Ireland outdoors offer unmatched beauty and loads of fun for travel enthusiasts. With acres of wild countryside, cute little villages and stunning coastal cliffs, the country offers a diverse and surprising scenery. From UNESCO World Heritage Sites to unique scenery that you’ll fall in love with in an instant, here are the most beautiful places to visit while on a trip to Ireland.
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most visited natural attractions in the country, towering at 214 meters above the Atlantic Ocean, in western Ireland. The famous cliffs start near the Doolin Village, and extend about 8 km to Hags Head in County Clare. Here you can get the most spectacular coastal walks in the country. According to geographers, these majestic cliffs were carved by a giant river delta about 320 million years ago. They offer spectacular views of the Galway Bay, the remote Twelve Pines mountain range and the northern Maum Turk Mountains.
Ring of Kerry
Ireland’s most scenic route, the Ring of Kerry, runs 120 miles through some of the most prominent landscapes in southwest Ireland. The Ring of Kerry features a mix of lush meadows, glaciers and mountains, including highlights such as the rugged Beara peninsula and the Kerry Way, the longest and oldest hiking trail in Ireland. You can take a stop at Killarney National Park, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is home to the 15th century Russ Castle, and also hosts a herd of wild red deer.
The Giant’s Causeway
Giant’s Causeway, the only site on the UNESCO World Heritage List in Northern Ireland, is evidence that Mother Nature offers the most exciting tourist attractions. This magical place consists of 40,000 columns made of polygonal basalt rocks, formed from ancient volcanic landscapes and stretching along the coast like a series of massive stones. This is one of the most popular attractions in the country, where visitors get a unique opportunity to walk on one of nature’s “strangest” routes.
The magnificent Skellig Islands are part of the UNESCO World Heritages in Ireland. It is definitely worth getting here, easily accessible through the famous Ring of Kerry tourist trail. These islands are a pair of small rocky hills rising from the sea off the coast of Portmagee. It is home to a magnificent 6th-century monastic complex that sits on top of a 230-meter cliff, and also has a unique collection of some of the most beautiful birds in the world.
The Aran Islands are famous for their traditional “Aran sweaters” sold everywhere throughout the UK, and the car-free roads, one of the few places where you can experience the traditional Irish village life. Not as crowded with modern developments as the rest of the cities, many locals here still speak Gaelic as their first language and live in small farming communities. This countryside is absolutely stunning, with historical fortresses on cliff tops, and their endless sandy beaches with miles of rugged coastline.
Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh is Ireland’s second largest national park, stretching over 14,000 acres, and is the #1 attraction in County Donegal. The park attracts tourists and fishermen from all over the country. While enjoying mountain views and a nice cup of afternoon tea in the 19th-century Glenveagh Castle, you can keep an eye the rare wildlife of the park. The Golden Eagle was reintroduced to the park in 2000, and here you can also find the largest herd of red deer in Ireland.
Taking a walk in Burren has been compared to walking on the moon. Carved over thousands of years of acid erosion, this beautiful landscape seems like a giant puzzle of cracks and clints. It is located 300 meters above the ocean on the coast of Clare County in western Ireland. Its rocky terrain offers an amazing variety of rare plants and insects (about 700 different species), with colorful wild flowers that bloom between cracks throughout spring.
Connemara National Park
One of the most important national parks in Ireland, stretching around the famous Twelve Bens mountain range. Three of these mountains are located within the boundaries of the National Park, crossed by a wide network of hiking and climbing trails. Another landmark here is the magnificent Kylemore Abbey, a former monastery located in one of Ireland’s most beautiful castles.