It’s a country characterised by patch work green fields, dramatic coastlines of the Atlantic ocean and rugged mountains. The scenery is as good enough reason to come to Ireland as any.
Here are some of the best scenic places in Ireland you must to visit:
Glendalough, County Wicklow
Located south of Dublin in the ‘Garden of Ireland’, Co. Wicklow, Glendalough is one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. Today it still draws plenty of people for its spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and fascinating archaeology.
Killarney National Park, County Kerry
Nestled in the foothills of the highest mountains in Ireland (the McGillycuddy’s Reeks) is Killarney National Park. Explore the stately Muckross House & Gardens, wander through a Franciscan Abbey, or simply gaze out on the expanse of lakes and mountains that surround you. All just a stones throw from Killarney town. Some places to check out in Killarney National Park include:
Torc Waterfall – From the roadside in Killarney National Park a short stroll leads to the magical Torc waterfall. The heavy moist air has created a rich eco system, with lush green vegetation.
Ross Castle – Perched on the banks of Lough Leane is the historic Ross Castle which was once a stronghold of Irish chieftains during the middle ages.
Muckross Abbey – Situated in the heart of Killarney National Park, Muckross was a Franciscan Abbey, that was founded in 1448. This well persevered monastic site is open to public to explore and wander through its halls and cloisters. In the centre of the abbey is a must see beautiful 800 year old Yew tree, that spirals upwards toward the heavens.
The Beara Peninsula, County Kerry
The Beara Peninsula is known for it jaw dropping beauty, sweeping coastal views and patch work green fields. Of the four peninsulas in Ireland’s south west it is the least visited. This in turn gives it a a unique off the beaten track feel
Some areas to check out on the Beara peninsula include:
Garnish Island – located in the shelters harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay. Garnish island is a haven for all sorts native & exotic flora, all of which you can discover when wandering around its famed gardens.
The Ring of Kerry, County Kerry
This well-known 179 km scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula takes in the best that Kerry has to offer. Rugged mountains, dramatic coastline, sandy beaches showcase the natural beauty of this area. The Ring of Kerry also includes the picturesque towns such as Kenmare, Portmagee and Killorglin. About 12 km off shore on the Iveragh Peninsula in the rocky outcrop of Skellig Michael. A 7th century abandoned Christian monastic site. Nowadays this ECO UNESCO World Heritage site attracts visitors after featuring on the Star Wars Movie; The Force Awakens
The Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry
Another stunning peninsula in south west Ireland. Besides the picturesque town of Dingle, the Dingle peninsula itself has much to offer -from the sandy Inch beach to the most westerly point in Ireland, Slea Head. In fact, the area itself is an official Irish language region.
Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
At 702 feet high and 5 miles long. The Cliffs of Moher attracts over 1 million visitors annually to marvel at it vistas. On a clear day you can look out to Galway Bay and see the Aran Islands, with the Twelve Bens and the Maum Turks mountains of Connemara to across the bay to the north.
Connemara, County Galway
The Connemara landscape is characterised by crashing sea, rugged mountains and pristine lakes. A wild landscape, with ever-changing weather. Connemara is home to the mountains of the Maumturks and the Twelve Bens. At just over 700 meters, they are not high by international standards, but provide the perfect backdrop for this beautiful landscape.
Not far from Connemara National Park is the majestic looking Kylemore Abbey. A construction of grandeur resting in the shadow of a mountain overlooking a dark lake. A bit further down the road from Kylemore Abbey, is Killary Fjord. Forming a natural border between Galway and Mayo, this 45 metre deep waterway was carved out by glaciers 1000’s of years ago.
Clew Bay, County Mayo
Further North in County Mayo is Clew Bay. According to tradition there are 365 islands – one for every day of the year. These islands were formed by glaciers millennia ago, and have created one of the most beautiful bays in Ireland. The views as you drive around its coast are spectacular. The largest island in Clew Bay is Clare Island, famed as being the home to the pirate queen Grace O’Malley. On the north side of the bay you’ll find Mulranny and Achill islands, both areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Benbulben, County Sligo
The poet W.B. Yeats once described County Sligo “The Land of Heart’s Desire”. It was in fact the inspiration for much of his early poetry. In his honour, the area in which the mountain Belbulbin is located is called Yeat’s Country. Although not recommended to climb, trails let you get close enough to marvel at this distinctive mountain that was carved out during the last Ice Age.
A great location to get out a stretch the legs. Situated in north Mayo, with the prominent sea stack Dun Briste standing aloof just off the shore. Legend has it that St Patrick tried to convert a local chieftain from Paganism to Christianity. When he refused, St Patrick hit the ground with his crozier, the sea stack separated from the shore with the Chieftain on top!
Slieve League, Donegal
Not as well known as the Cliffs of Moher, the Slieve League cliffs in North West Donegal are nearly three times higher. At 600 meters they are the highest sea cliffs in Europe. Interesting fact about the cliffs, they are actually part of the Appalachian Trail – though separated millions of years ago by tectonic plate shifts. The views from the top let you take in the expanse of Sligo Bay and the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
The Antrim Coastline, Northern Ireland
One of the most scenic drives in Northern Ireland is the Antrim Coastline. Winding along the north east coast of Ireland. It takes in the ECO-UNESCO site of the Giants Causeway, as well a the Carrick-a Rede rope bridge. The area itself rose to prominence after featuring in the Game of Thrones
The Giants Casueway – Consisting of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns created by volcanic activity millions of years ago. The jewel in the crown of the beautiful Antrim coastline, and featuring in the Irish legend of Finn McCool. The giant who crossed over to Scotland using the Causeway. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is well worth exploring.
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