Top 10 Attractions in Ireland

Top 10 Attractions in Ireland

The third largest island in Europe, although politically divided, Ireland is a truly beautiful country. It boasts mountains, green valleys and emerald waters, whose powerful waves crash into the dramatic shores. There is a number of attractions here, so pick your favorite and hit the road!

10. The Dark Hedges

This road of trees, planted in the 18th century by the Stuart family, can also make you believe in wonders. Although looking quite saturnine, the avenue has a beautiful history. The Stuart family created this avenue, which approached their Gracehill House. So that the arrival to the house would be unforgettable. Indeed – the bundle of branches create a stunning tunnel.

How to get there?

Drive about 80 km (50 mi) northwest from Belfast. The Dark Hedges stretch along Bregagh Road.

Top 10 Ireland-DarkHedges-Photo by Mark Geddis

Photo by Mark Geddis

Top 10 Ireland-DarkHedges-Photo by ZDR Photo

Photo by ZDR Photo

9. Carrick-a-Rede

A famous rope bridge is a popular tourist attraction, as it is found in the striking surroundings. The swinging bridge spans from the mainland to Carrickarede – a small volcanic island. The overall shoreline is indeed dramatic and provides some unforgettable sites.

Why to go there?

Beautiful views to the shoreline open from Carrickarede island. And of course the experience of walking this bridge is really entertaining. Popular sites like Bushmills, Ballycastle and Giant’s Causeway are also not far away.

Top 10 Ireland-Carrick-a-Rede-Photo by Tomas Kotasek

Photo by Tomas Kotasek

Top 10 Ireland-Carrick-a-Rede-Photo by Lisa Ann Photography

Photo by Lisa Ann Photography

Top 10 Ireland-Carrick-a-Rede-Photo by Harold Hall

Photo by Harold Hall

8. Fanad Peninsula

Fanad juts out into the Atlantic Ocean and offers some amazing landscapes. It also has Blue Flag beach in Ballymastocker Bay, that is often listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by the magazines. Even the well preserved Great Roman Wall stretches in Fanad. Fanad Lighthouse and the Great Arch are among the most popular sites on the peninsula as well.

Why to go there?

To admire the classic landscapes of the island. Sandy beaches attract swimmers, as well as surfers. And even more for the action loving travelers: golfers love Portsalon Golf Club, which is situated in the picturesque fields.

Top 10 Ireland-Fanad-Photo by Gary McParland

Photo by Gary McParland

Top 10 Ireland-Fanad-Photo by Derek Smyth

Photo by Derek Smyth

Top 10 Ireland-Fanad-Photo by Eddie Maxwell

Photo by Eddie Maxwell

Top 10 Ireland-Fanad-Photo by Dominic Kummer

Photo by Dominic Kummer

7. Giant’s Causeway

A true natural wonder, protected by UNESCO and National Nature Reserve, the site is indeed breathtaking: 40 000 naturally formed hexagonal basalt columns don’t look like anything else. Formed 60-50 million years ago, Giant’s Causeway is a result of a volcano eruption. Some columns reach 12 m (39 ft) height and form a surreal landscape.

Why to go there?

The Giant’s Causeway Visitors Center provides tourists with audio-guides, parking space, cafes, shops and hotel. It can be visited as part of the Northern Ireland tour, which introduces the beautiful nature and historic locations.

Top 10 Ireland-Giant

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Ireland-Giant-Photo by Jim Richardson

Photo by Jim Richardson

Top 10 Ireland-Giant-Photo by Lucie Debelkova

Photo by Lucie Debelkova

Top 10 Ireland-Giant-Photo by Scott Cartwright

Photo by Scott Cartwright

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Photo by Unknown

6. The Wild Atlantic Way

The 2 600 km (1 600 mi) long route stretches along the dramatic coast of western Ireland. It passes nine counties, three provinces, numerous great towns and most importantly a wonderful landscape. Travelers have an opportunity to admire spectacular views and historic monuments throughout their trip. In addition they can always make a stop and go for a walk on a beach or along a precipitous coastline.

Why to go there?

This is definitely one of the most scenic rides in the UK and Europe as well. One doesn’t need to complete the whole route to get the impression – every small section of the road provides wonderful experience, great views and outdoor activities. Also one can even rent a bike and go cycling, thus exploring the scenery from even closer.

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Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

5. The Cooley Peninsula

A geologically diverse peninsula sprawls over in County Louth and encompasses mountains, forested hills and Medieval villages, until it finally juts out into the Irish Sea. Soft sandy beaches stretch on the coast, while the other side is ringed by the regional road. Also ruins of Medieval buildings are scattered around, adding an extra charm to the place.

Why to go there?

The most popular tourist attraction in the county. It provides great views and hiking opportunities, allowing to explore the true natural beauty of Ireland.

Top 10 Ireland-Cooley3

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Ireland-Cooley-Photo by Damien Wogan

Photo by Damien Wogan

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Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Ireland-Cooley

Photo by Unknown

4. Rock of Cashel

The striking ensemble is one of the finest examples of Celtic and Medieval architecture in Europe. Founded in the 12th century, the castle served as the seat of the kings of Munster for hundreds of years. The complex on the top of the hill encompasses the Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral and 15th century Castle.

Why to go there?

This is regarded as one of the most beautiful castles in the country. Guided tours are available and access by bus makes it easy to visit the site if you don’t own a car.

Top 10 Ireland-Rock of Cashel

Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

3. Slea Head

The dramatic coastline, found on Dingle Peninsula, provides breathtaking panoramic views to the Atlantic ocean. Precipitous cliffs, acute promontories, sandy beaches and emerald waters – the place is indeed characterful and makes an unforgettable impression. Incidentally, it is also the westernmost point of Ireland and Europe!

Why to go there?

The site can be reached via scenic Slea Head Drive, which provides 30 km of panoramic road.

Top 10 Ireland-Slea HEad2

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Ireland-Slea HEad-Photo by Giusy Vaccaro

Photo by Giusy Vaccaro

Top 10 Ireland-Slea HEad

Photo by Unknown

2. Killarney National Park

The visitors can admire the best natural landscape of Ireland. From mountains, lakes, cascading waterfalls and woodlands, to rare animals and plants – the park provides numerous landmarks. And as if to make it look even more magical, there are Medieval bridges, abbeys, Victorian mansions and even castles.

Why to go there?

Discover nature, distinct to the region of County Kerry, famous for its gloomy woods, green fields and mountainous landscapes. Besides there are numerous historic landmarks as well, making the trip to the park even more rewarding.

Top 10 Ireland-Killarney

Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

1. The Cliffs of Moher

With over 1 million visitors every year, the Cliffs of Moher is the most popular natural attraction in Ireland. The approximately 214m (702 ft) tall rocky walls stretch for 8 km (5 mi) along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. On the highest point O’Brien’s Tower, built in 1835, provides a great viewpoint, from where the breathtaking vista opens.

Why to go there?

The site provides incredible views, hiking trails and historic viewpoints. One of the most popular natural attractions in the country must be on a bucket list.

Top 10 Ireland-Moher

Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Ireland-Moher-Photo by Artistic Globe

Photo by Artistic Globe

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