The island of Ireland, home to the Republic of Ireland and to Northern Ireland, is one of the largest islands in Europe and blessed with several natural wonders and a rich cultural heritage that is well preserved through its historic architecture and monuments. The scenic beauty and mild, welcoming climate make it very popular with visiting tourists throughout the year. There is a lot to do and see in Ireland and in this blog, we have listed 10 attractions and activities that will surely make your trip truly memorable.
- The Dark Hedges
This natural wonder looks like it’s straight out from a fairy tale book. It is a natural tunnel created by the line of trees on both sides of the road. These trees were planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century on this avenue that led up to their residence — the Gracehill House. What was done to make the family ride back unforgettable in the 18th century has become a major tourist attraction in the 21st century! The Dark Hedges are today a part of the Bregagh Road which lies about 80 km north west of the city of Belfast.
- Carrick-a-Rede Bridge
The Carrick-a-Rede is a popular rope bridge in the Ballintoy region of Northern Ireland. The bridge is about 20 m long and connects the mainland with the small volcanic island of Carrickarede at a height of nearly 30 m above the rocky terrain. The bridge has become very popular because of the surrounding scenery, which has been declared a ‘Site of Special Interest’ for its unique fauna and flora. The bridge is accessible anytime of the year for a small fee. Visitors are able to see stunning views of the surroundings, along with the neighboring Rathlin and Scottish islands, from this bridge. If you are traveling in a large group, you can also opt for guided tour of the region.
- Fanad Peninsula
Fanad Peninsula is a small piece of land that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean from the northern tip of Ireland between Mulroy Bay and Lough Swilly. The place has become a favorite with travelers because of the stunning scenery. Add with this the Blue Flag beach that is located at the Ballymaststocker Bay and you have the perfect place for a weekend visit with the whole family. The Great Arch and the Fanad Lighthouse are two popular places of interest in the peninsula. For those who like playing golf can head to the picturesque Portsalon Golf Club.
- Giant’s Causeway
Located in the north eastern coastline of Northern Ireland is one of the most famous natural wonders of the British Isles — the Giant’s Causeway. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a large area of nearly 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that have been formed from an ancient volcanic eruption. Some of these columns reach a height of up to 12 m. Most of these columns are hexagonal in shape. The typical shape and the large cluster of these rocks have made Giant’s Causeway one of the true natural wonders of the region attracting numerousourists. You can opt for audio guides or guided tours of this site.
- Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way is the scenic 2600 km long ride along the western coastline of Ireland. The route passes through 9 counties, 3 provinces, and numerous small towns. The route is divided into 5 sections. According to the local tourism authorities who officially introduced it in 2014, the Atlantic Way has 1000 attractions and 157 discovery points along the route! So if you are adventurous enough to explore one of the most scenic drives of Europe, then pack your bags and head out.
- Cooley Peninsula
The Cooley Peninsula is situated in County Louth along the north eastern coastline of Ireland. Comprising of lush green rolling hills and beautiful soft sand beaches, this is one of the most popular tourists attractions of Ireland. The region is geologically diverse — the northwest and southwest have 440 million years old sandstones, the east has 340 million-year-old limestone, and the backdrop is formed by the Cooley Mountains with 60 million-year-old volcanic rocks. The place is ideal for a relaxing trek where you can discover the ruins of villages from the medieval times.
- Rock of Cashel
This ancient castle, dating back to the 12th century, is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the whole of Ireland. It stands as one of the best examples of Medieval architecture and Celtic art. Also known as St. Patrick’s Rock and Cashel of the Kings, this castle used to be the seat of the kings of Munster for many centuries. Presently, the complex consists of the Round Tower, the Cormac’s Chapel, and the Cathedral. There is also a historic graveyard. If you do not have a car to get to the site, you can opt for a guided tour, several of which are offered at the neighboring towns.
- Slea Head
Located on the Dingle Peninsula, Slea Head is a promontory which is the westernmost point of Europe. It has a dramatic coastline that is best enjoyed as a 30 km long drive from west to east. Along the drive you will not only have stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, but also the neighboring Blasket islands. Keep a lookout for the ruins of the ship Ranga that was washed ashore in 1982. Other landmarks on the route include some beautiful beaches, a prehistoric fort, the Beehive Huts, and the Gallarus Oratory. You can also join a road tour that will take you along this route and introduce you to all the attractions.
- Killarney National Park
Located in south western Ireland, the Killarney National Park is one of the best places to explore the unspoiled natural beauty of Ireland. Spread over 100 sq km, the park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The scenic mountains and woodlands of the park are dotted with cascading waterfalls along with several medieval bridges, Victorian mansions, and castles — giving the place a magical fairy tale look. If you are fond of nature and want to discover the true natural beauty of Ireland, then visiting this park is a must. The park is well-equipped with recreational facilities, making it ideal to visit with the whole family.
- Cliffs of Moher
With almost a million visitors every year, the Cliffs of Moher is one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland. The cliffs are situated along the south western coastline of Ireland and have become popular for their steep edges which rise to a height of up to 214 m above the sea level, creating a dramatic sharp drop. This jagged coastline runs for almost 8 km and the best place to view it would be from the O’Brien’s Tower. This observation tower, named after the local MP who built in 1835, is just next to the highest point of Cliffs of Moher, providing the best panoramic view of the attraction.
Originally posted 2017-03-24 07:08:03.