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Ireland offers visitors rolling green hills, stone fences, rustic foods, and enchantment beyond compare.
You can, of course, tour the numerous castles that can be found throughout the countryside and stand in line to kiss the Blarney Stone, but there is so much more to Ireland than this. Have a pint, put on some comfortable shoes, and get ready to have one of the most incredible adventures of your life when you plan a holiday here.
Celtic influences tend to dominate the thoughts of those who picture Ireland, but there are numerous cultural influences that have fused together. From the early Viking raids to the Druids and even the Roman influences that reached the island, even though the Romans never did, you can experience the history of this nation along every street, beach, and pub you decide to explore.
Dublin is always a popular place to visit when planning a trip to Ireland, but one cannot forget options like Galway or Cork for the true Irish experience. Pubs with over 8 centuries of history can be found on colorful pedestrian avenues. Use them as your base of operation and you’ll be able to see the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher, and other incredible sites that are synonymous with Ireland.
Then there are the amazing festivals that are held across the island. There is a certain jubilant attitude that can be found in every Irish city, making it an easy decision to embrace the dancing, music, and drinking that lets you experience Ireland in your own unique way.
Best of Ireland
Ireland is often thought of as a cultural destination. Those with Irish heritage come on a pilgrimage to rediscover their ancestral roots. It is also a destination that is rooted in history, time-honored traditions, and stunning views that take your breath away.
Here are the best stops you’ll find during an adventure in Ireland.
#1. The Ring of Kerry
This hiking trail runs more than 150km through the southwestern part of the country. You’ll see the most amazing views as you walk along any portion of the trail. If you can only take on a small part of this adventure, then do so around the Beara Peninsula or Killarney National Park.
#2. The Giant’s Causeway
This world heritage site is one of the most unique natural spots in the world today. More than 40,000 basalt rock columns were formed from Ireland’s volcanic landscape, making each stone seem like a massive step, built for a giant. The columns all seem very similar to each other too, which almost makes it seem like this wonder was man-made.
#3. Skellig Islands
From a distance, these two islands look like a tall rock jutting out of the sea. When you arrive at the islands, you’ll discover a stunning 6th century monastery that lies at the top of a 230m cliff. Birdwatchers will love a trip to the islands, with dozens of cormorants, guillemots, and gannets to see. There are 600 steps required to reach the top of the monastery ruins.
#4. Cliffs of Moher
Arguably the most popular destination in Ireland, these 214m cliffs provide towering views of the Atlantic Ocean. The cliffs run from Hags Head to Doolin and allow you to view the iconic Galway Bay. In the distance, on a clear day, you’ll get views of the Twelve Pins.
#5. Glenveagh National Park
You might stop to see the 19th century castle in this park and enjoy some afternoon tea. You could come for the herds of red deer which love to wander. What makes this national park a top destination choice is the abundance of world-class hiking trails, the fishing opportunities, and the stunning views of the lakes.
The Valley of Two Lakes is another prominent monastic site. You’ll find it hidden within the beauty of Wicklow Mountains National Park. The settlement was founded in the 6th century and offers carpets of wild heather that bloom in season. Streams, lakes, and meadows all call out for you to discover them.
#7. The Burren
Thanks to localized acid erosion, the rocks found at this site have been carved by nature to create a wondrous landscape. There are several rare plants and wildlife that can be found here as well. Come in the spring and you’ll see wildflowers blooming within the rock fissures. It is a true one-of-a-kind destination.
The best of Ireland brings you through the history of this culture and its natural wonders. Explore the cities, find a hidden trail, and you’ll discover something truly marvelous here.