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Why Ireland Should Top Your Summer Travel List


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By Niamh Walsh on 11th June 2024

Discover the magic of the Emerald Isle.

With the summer sun on the horizon, thoughts turn to adventure, relaxation, and the allure of mystic lands. For those seeking a destination that combines natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture, look no further than the captivating shores and rolling landscapes of Ireland.

Exploring Ireland's Coastal Majesty

Begin your journey along the Wild Atlantic Way, a coastal route that winds its way along Ireland's rugged western coastline, stretching over 2,500 kilometers. Starting in the northernmost point of Donegal and ending in the southern reaches of County Cork, this scenic drive promises breathtaking views at every turn.

Marvel at the sheer imposing beauty of the Cliffs of Moher, where the Atlantic crashes against towering rock faces, creating a spectacle that has captured the imagination of travelers for centuries. Take a boat trip to the awe-inspiring Skellig Islands, home to ancient monastic settlements and a haven for seabirds.

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

For those seeking adventure, the coastline offers ample opportunities for surfing, kayaking, and sailing. Ride the waves at renowned surf spots like Lahinch and Bundoran, or explore hidden coves and sea caves by kayak, discovering secluded beaches and marine life along the way.

Immersing Yourself in History and Heritage

Ireland's rich history is woven into the fabric of its landscape, with ancient ruins, medieval castles, and historic sites waiting to be explored. Journey back in time at the Rock of Cashel, an imposing fortress that has witnessed centuries of Irish history, from the arrival of the Celts to the rise of Christianity.

Wander through the narrow streets of Kilkenny, where medieval buildings and stone castles transport you to a bygone era. Visit the ancient passage tombs of Newgrange and Knowth, older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza, and marvel at their intricate carvings and celestial alignments.

The Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary
The Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary

Savouring the Flavors of Ireland

No trip to Ireland would be complete without sampling its culinary delights and savoring the warmth of its hospitality. Indulge in hearty Irish stews, fresh seafood caught from the Atlantic, and artisanal cheeses produced in the lush pastures of the countryside.

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Ireland's pubs, where traditional music sessions and lively dance performances bring the night to life. Sip on a pint of Guinness or sample the smooth flavors of Irish whiskey as you swap stories with locals and fellow travelers alike at Johnnie Fox’s. Tucked away in the picturesque village of Glencullen in the Dublin Mountains, Johnnie Fox’s holds the distinction of being one of Ireland's oldest and most iconic pubs. With its charming thatched roof, cozy interiors, and warm hospitality, the pub has been welcoming visitors for over two centuries, offering a quintessential Irish pub experience like no other

Ireland's Top Restaurants

Chapter One - Dublin

Chapter One is a Michelin-starred restaurant renowned for its creative and contemporary approach to Irish cuisine. Helmed by chef Ross Lewis, the restaurant offers an exquisite tasting menu featuring seasonal ingredients sourced from local producers. 

Aniar - Galway

Aniar is a Michelin-starred restaurant that celebrates the rich bounty of Irish ingredients. Chef JP McMahon's innovative tasting menus highlight the diversity of Irish produce, with dishes inspired by traditional recipes and modern techniques. 

The Chart House - County Kerry

Perched on the waterfront in the picturesque town of Dingle, The Chart House is a culinary haven that combines stunning views with exquisite seafood-focused cuisine. Chef Noel Enright's menu showcases the freshest catch of the day, sourced directly from local fishermen, and transformed into beautifully crafted dishes that highlight the flavours of the Atlantic. 

Dingle, County Kerry
Dingle, County Kerry

Finding Tranquility in the Countryside

Venture beyond the coastline and into the heart of Ireland's countryside, where rolling hills, meandering rivers, and quaint villages await. Take a leisurely drive through the picturesque landscapes of County Wicklow, known as the "Garden of Ireland," and discover hidden gems around every corner. Among these treasures lies the enchanting valley of Glendalough, where ancient monastic ruins stand in silent reverence amidst serene lakes and lush woodlands. Explore the historic site of St. Kevin's monastery, wander along the tranquil pathways of the Glendalough Valley Trail, or simply bask in the tranquility of this sacred place, where nature and history intertwine in perfect harmony. Whether you're seeking solace in the beauty of the landscape or embarking on a journey of spiritual discovery, Glendalough offers a glimpse into Ireland's rich heritage and natural splendor that is not to be missed.

Glendalough, County Wicklow
Glendalough, County Wicklow

Similarly, explore the tranquil beauty of the Connemara National Park, where rugged mountains, sparkling lakes, and vast expanses of bogland create a landscape of breathtaking beauty. Hike along scenic trails, spot native wildlife, and immerse yourself in the peace and serenity of nature.

Adventures in the Great Outdoors

For outdoor enthusiasts, Ireland offers a wealth of activities to satisfy your sense of adventure. Cycle along the Great Western Greenway, a scenic trail that winds its way through the rolling countryside of County Mayo, offering stunning views of mountains, lakes, and coastline along the way.

Hike to the summit of Croagh Patrick, Ireland's holy mountain, and enjoy panoramic views of Clew Bay and the surrounding countryside from its peak. Explore the rugged terrain of the Mourne Mountains, where winding trails lead to hidden waterfalls, ancient forests, and panoramic viewpoints.

Mourne Mountains, County Down
Mourne Mountains, County Down


  1. Cliffs of Moher: Marvel at the breathtaking beauty of one of Ireland's most iconic natural wonders. Towering 702 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, these sheer cliffs offer spectacular views that are sure to leave you in awe.

  2. Ring of Kerry: Embark on a scenic drive along the enchanting Ring of Kerry, where you'll encounter stunning vistas of rugged coastline, rolling hills, and charming villages. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the picturesque town of Killarney and its surrounding national park.

  3. Giant's Causeway: Venture to Northern Ireland to witness the geological marvel that is the Giant's Causeway. Formed millions of years ago by volcanic activity, this UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts hexagonal basalt columns that create a surreal landscape unlike any other.

  4. Kylemore Abbey: Step back in time with a visit to Kylemore Abbey, a magnificent neo-Gothic castle nestled amidst the tranquil Connemara countryside. Explore the lush gardens, visit the Gothic church, and learn about the fascinating history of this iconic landmark.

Geokaun, Feaghmaan West, County Kerry
Geokaun, Feaghmaan West, County Kerry

Ireland's Top Hotels

When it comes to luxury accommodations, Ireland offers a diverse array of options, from elegant city retreats to historic countryside estates. 

1. Adare Manor - County Limerick

Nestled on an 840-acre estate in the picturesque village of Adare, Adare Manor is a five-star hotel that epitomizes luxury and elegance. This Neo-Gothic masterpiece boasts lavishly appointed rooms and suites, a world-class golf course, and an award-winning spa. 

2. Ashford Castle - County Mayo

Step back in time at Ashford Castle, a 13th-century fortress turned luxury hotel set on the shores of Lough Corrib. Each of the castle's rooms and suites is uniquely decorated with antique furnishings and period details, offering a truly immersive experience in Irish history and heritage. 

3. Ballyfin - County Laois

Tucked away in the rolling countryside of County Laois, Ballyfin is a luxurious country house hotel set within a meticulously restored Georgian mansion. Surrounded by 600 acres of private parkland, the hotel offers guests a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life. 

4. The Shelbourne, Autograph Collection - Dublin

Overlooking St. Stephen's Green in the heart of Dublin, The Shelbourne is an iconic hotel that has been welcoming guests for over 200 years. With its elegant Georgian facade, luxurious accommodations, and world-class amenities, The Shelbourne offers a truly unforgettable stay in the Irish capital. 

5. Sheen Falls Lodge - County Kerry

Set amidst the breathtaking landscapes of County Kerry, Sheen Falls Lodge is a luxurious retreat that offers the perfect blend of natural beauty and refined elegance. Nestled on the banks of the Sheen River, the hotel boasts stunning views of cascading waterfalls and rugged mountains. 

Temple Bar, Dublin
Temple Bar, Dublin

Planning Your Irish Adventure

With its diverse landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, Ireland is a destination that promises an unforgettable summer getaway. Whether you're seeking outdoor adventure, cultural exploration, or simply a chance to unwind in beautiful surroundings, the Emerald Isle has something for everyone.

So pack your bags, set your sights on Ireland, and prepare to be enchanted by the magic of its coast and countryside. From the windswept cliffs of the west coast to the tranquil beauty of its rural landscapes, Ireland awaits, ready to welcome you with open arms.

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