If you’ve never been to Ireland, here are some of the best places to visit in this island nation. You’ll find some of the country’s most beautiful places in the south, including the Cliffs of Moher, Achill Island, Downhill Beach, Glendalough, and more. After you’ve read this article, you’ll be ready to plan your trip to Ireland! After all, you’ll only be visiting one country, so why not make it Ireland?
Cliffs of Moher
You can visit the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare if you want to take in some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery. The five-mile cliffs feature steep drops and crashing waves. This place also has an observatory tower that was built in 1835. The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most popular attractions. However, it is important to plan your trip accordingly.
If you plan to visit Cliffs of Moher, the best time to visit is between April and September. These months see the least rain, so you can avoid the peak tourist season. Although you should plan your visit in advance, the Cliffs of Moher are particularly beautiful at sunset. Most tourists arrive at the Cliffs of Moher at the end of the day. However, if you’re planning to visit this place on a day trip, it’s better to arrive at the cliffs early in the morning, before the crowds descend.
You can also enjoy the cliffs without walking on them. There are safety barriers around the cliffs to protect the public from falling off, but they end as soon as you walk away from the visitor center. You can still take a look at the cliffs while staying at a safe distance, but you should be aware of the strong winds that could blow you off. Also, the cliffs are made of sandstone and Namurian shale, which means that erosion could easily cause them to crumble.
Besides the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland also has plenty of other gorgeous locations. You can take a cooking class, pottery workshop, or even ancestry tracing. Another interesting option is to take a stroll around town. If you want to stay closer to the coast, you can go to Lahinch, a small seaside town with brightly painted heritage buildings. Clifden is also only 2.5 hours away and is close to the Connemara National Park.
The island of Achill is marked by rugged mountains and peat bogs, and the breezy shoreline and clean beaches are what make it so special. Graham Greene and Heinrich Böll found inspiration in the island’s Keel and Keem Bay beaches. These idyllic beaches have clean water and surf. The picturesque village of Keel is famous for its sandy surf beach. The surrounding area is home to peat bogs and wetlands that have been protected since ancient times.
On Achill Island, you can explore abandoned homesteads and an abandoned village. You can even visit the tower of Grace O’Malley, which is located on the Wild Atlantic Way. The island is also home to Keel Beach, a four-kilometer stretch of shoreline. There are many opportunities to participate in water sports on this island, including surfing, and the waves are perfect for beginners. Kitesurfing is also popular on the beach.
The island is also home to a world-class International Harp Festival. You can also visit the Deserted Village, a collection of 100 stone cottages that were left behind after the Great Famine. You can also see the site of a 1951 boating tragedy that killed four film crew members. The movie, Shark Hunters, is based on local shark hunting tradition. This makes Achill Island one of Ireland’s beautiful places.
After visiting the town of Dooega, you can take a drive along the Atlantic Drive, which circumnavigates the southern part of the island. The drive through the dramatic coastal scenery is worth taking. Stop along the way to admire the flat heather specked moors. Minaun, the island’s third highest peak, is a popular hike and an excellent place to take a break.
Downhill Beach is a long stretch of sand that stretches eleven kilometers (seven miles) in length. This pristine beach offers plenty of water sports, hiking, and scenic walks. Known as one of Ireland’s most beautiful places, Downhill Beach was even used in a Game of Thrones scene. Visitors can also take in the scenery of the surrounding area, which includes the Mussenden Temple, a famous castle from the show.
The golden beach of Downhill is accessible by car from the parking lot at the base of the hill, and you can also enter the beach through a tunnel. The beach extends all the way to Lough Foyle’s Magilligan Point, and is separated from Benone Strand by the Umbra Burn. The golden sand makes the beach a great place for children and families alike to play.
Benone Temple is an impressive building that is modeled on a Roman temple. Built in 1785, it is now a library and a popular tourist attraction. Its circular room and dome roof are spectacular, and you can catch the Aurora Borealis there. The Benone Temple is located near the Downhill Beach, and the Benevenagh mountain is visible from the temple. The beach is seven miles long and is accessible by car.
Downhill Strand is another of Ireland’s most beautiful places. This 11-kilometer-long beach boasts beautiful golden sands and boulders scattered throughout. Its indented rock formations provide a natural setting for little rock pools. There are many places to explore along this 11-kilometer-long beach. And don’t forget to sample Al’s delicious coffee! After you’ve explored the beaches of Downhill Strand, take time to visit the castle and explore its historical heritage.
Visit Glendalough in Co. Meath, a short walk from Dublin. The valley is home to a 6th-century monastic settlement. The monastery was founded by St. Kevin and flourished as one of Ireland’s great religious foundations and schools of learning. Unfortunately, the Normans destroyed the monastery in 1214 A.D., but it’s still one of Ireland’s most beautiful places.
A visit to Glendalough is a unique experience. This valley is covered in mountains and surrounded by lakes. The monks of the monastic site were first attracted to the area by the peaceful and pristine nature. You’ll find the ruins of this ancient monastery scattered around the Valley, including the round tower, one of the oldest and most beautiful monuments in Ireland. The name Glendalough means ‘valley of two lakes’, so the name is fitting.
It is possible to visit the Monastic City year-round, though crowded in the summer and spring, avoiding weekends and the peak holiday season. However, if you visit in winter, it may be too cold and chilly for you. In autumn, however, the monastery is open every day and is a wonderful place to visit. The ruins of the monastic buildings are still well-preserved, and the atmosphere is still very mystical.
If you are looking for a romantic getaway in the countryside, there’s no better place to go than Glendalough. It is a stunningly beautiful place with an interesting history and charming local culture. The Valley of Two Lakes was originally home to monks who sought sanctuary from the Vikings. This area has some of Ireland’s most beautiful places, and it’s certainly worth the visit.
If you want to get a taste of medieval Irish life, you can visit the Bishops Palace Museum in Waterford City. Its collections include artefacts dating from the 17th century, as well as items from the 1700s and 1970s. Its impressive architecture was designed by an Anglo-German architect. Visitors can also take a tour of the Bishops Palace factory, which showcases the transformation of molten crystal into beautiful pieces of art.
The city of Waterford is also home to one of the oldest civic buildings in Ireland, the Reginald’s Tower. This tower is located right next to the Waterford Cathedral and is the only one of its kind in the country. You can explore the tower’s medieval chambers, including the 13th-century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th-century Mayor’s Wine Vault. There are guided tours led by re-enactors, or you can simply wander at your leisure. If you’re visiting Waterford, be sure to check out the Viking Triangle, which includes a replica of the Viking longship.
While visiting Waterford, you should consider refueling at the local coffee shops and restaurants. There are plenty of excellent pubs and restaurants in the area. Don’t forget to check out the House of Waterford Crystal, a place renowned for its cut glass. Or, you can try the famous bread roll, known as a blaa. In the evening, head down to the Merchants Quay to check out the lively food market.
For those who love art, there’s the Greyfriars Gallery, which features over 300 works of art from famous Irish painters. Throughout the year, it also hosts different art events. A visit to this gallery will leave you awestruck by its ambience, impressive contemporary art, and audio-visual facilities. The museum is also home to Ireland’s tallest tree – the Great Charter Roll.