Partially edited from a Conde Nast Traveler article
12 Of Our Favorite Places in Ireland
July 12, 2020
For a relatively small country, Ireland scores high in the sightseeing stakes from the elegant Georgian streets of its capital Dublin, to the more elemental and remote appeal of its further flung beauty spots and historic landmarks. The craic might be mighty and the welcome warm, but it’s not just a nostalgia-steeped vision of the past that is the draw, modern-day Ireland is a progressive, youthful and cosmopolitan society with a fast-moving contemporary scene when it comes to art, film, music, food, literature, and tech with something new to discover all the time.
The Cliffs of Moher, Clare
The Atlantic Ocean churns relentlessly like a butter machine below the towering Cliffs of Moher. This cliff is forever buffeted with present winds, the full majesty of the world’s longest defined cliffs unfurl before you, towering up to 702ft above the water for almost nine miles along the County Clare coast. Enjoy the views over Galway Bay towards the Aran Islands that are staggering, as this is one of the countries visited natural wonders. Avoid crowds by visiting this place in the evening where you will be rewarded with the most spectacular sunsets to enjoy – Perfect spot for picnics. This area is all surrounded by old farmhouses, Sheeps, standing rocks, and majestic plantation.
Situated in the North-West of Galway in Ireland, with one of the most mysteriously attractive wilderness. The haunting beauty of the Connemara region stretches across County Galway, a landscape of slate-colored lakes, bogland, sheep-dotted mountains, rugged coastlines, hidden bays, and small towns. In this craggy region at the very edge of Europe, the lakes are as black as stout and the stout is as thick as cream. Come here for toe-tapping music in creaky pubs and kaleidoscopic landscapes that change color by the second.
Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a 179km circular route around the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry in South Western Ireland. It takes in the towns of Killarney, Beaufort, Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Caherdaniel, Sneem, and Kenmare. The Ring of Kerry offers far more to those who get off the beaten track. You’ll find the smaller towns, villages, and attractions every bit as rewarding as the larger ones. It’s not all about sight-seeing. The Ring of Kerry, Ireland’s highlands, has the tallest mountains in the country just waiting to be climbed. The ocean offers great surf, and the rivers and coastline some of the best fishing you’ll find anywhere.
The Irish capital sliced in two by the River Liffey and hugging the gentle sweep of Dublin Bay was first founded by Vikings in the ninth century and has a rough around the edges charm where Georgian grandeur rubs up against inner-city grit. Dublin is notorious for its incredible ancient architectural buildings and City parks.
Often called the city of tribes, Galway has a relaxed, bohemian vibe. One of two European Capitals of Culture for 2020, this is a place that celebrates creativity and craft. A university town with a strong sense of its Irish heritage, the city is also a Gaelic-speaking stronghold and when summer rolls around the Galway International Arts Festival and Galway Film Fleadh attract culture lovers from all over the world. Explore the brightly painted pubs and unique doors of Galways and live music, while restaurants and cafes offer front-row seats for observing buskers and street theater.
Wild Atlantic Way
Ireland’s headlining scenic route, the Wild Atlantic Way, is an epic road trip that hugs the rugged, western coast of Ireland from the isolated, weather-beaten beauty of Malin Head in Donegal for more than 1,500 miles through Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, and Kerry to the picturesque fishing town of Kinsale in Cork. You can pick up the well-signposted route in either a northerly or southerly direction anywhere along the coastline, stopping off to explore its show-stopping landscapes, towns, and villages. The Wild Atlantic Way is also full of something Ireland is famous for – quaint, picturesque towns.
Located in the south-west of Ireland, in the province of Munster, Cork is Irish’s second-largest City in Ireland. Spanning both sides of the River Lee is the self-styled People’s Republic of Cork, whose residents only half-jokingly refer to as the real capital of Ireland. A flourishing merchant city in the 18th and 19th centuries, its must-sees include the cherished English Market, where Corkonians have been shopping for some of the finest produce from the surrounding countryside since 1788. The Glucksman gallery within the grounds of the leafy University College Cork and the Crawford Art Gallery set inside the repurposed 18th-century Customs House. Cork’s closest port, in Cobh, with its colorful houses creeping up the hill, was the last place the ill-fated Titanic docked in 1912.
Sliabh Liag, Donegal
Sliabh Liag Cliffs, situated on the southwest coast of County Donegal, are said to be one of the highest and finest marine cliffs in Europe. The Cliffs of Moher might be the crowd puller, but Sliabh Liag in County Donegal has high-altitude thrills of its own. Rising almost 2,000ft above the Atlantic Ocean, the mountain has some of Europe’s tallest accessible sea cliffs, three times higher than their County Clare rivals. Those with a head for heights should tackle the One Man’s Pass trail, where you can see the surf swirling beneath and marvel at the vertiginous, if stomach-churning, views. There are terrific views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains, and Donegal Bay as you walk towards the terrifyingly high top of Sliabh Liag, where the cliff face of Bunglas rises over 600m above the raging ocean.
Glendalough is a small historic town in Wicklow county, Ireland. It is located in a beautiful valley and is an important tourist spot. There are plenty of historic buildings, well-preserved, like the gateway, the round tower, the cathedral built in the 12th century, as well as the ruins of older churches. In addition to historic monuments, there is a wonderful setting the town is located on. Glendalough is a great recreation spot, with some modern facilities for rock climbing, hiking, fishing, boating, etc.
Rock Of Cashel, Tipperary
This is a historic site located in Cashel, County Tipperary – Ireland. The Rock of Cashel is also known as the Cashel of the Kings and St Patrick’s Rock. Sitting on top of a jagged outcrop with the velvety green landscape of County Tipperary unfolding beneath for more than a millennium, the Rock of Cashel has a touch of the film set about it which proves why to be one of Ireland’s most spectacular historic sites, a prominent green hill, banded with limestone outcrops, rising from a grassy plain and bristling with ancient fortifications.