This is Ireland's most visited natural attraction and with good reason. About one and a half hours by car from Galway , in neighbouring County Clare, the cliffs are visited by close to a million people from across the globe each year. They stretch for eight kilometers along the Atlantic and rise some meters at their highest point.
Take a walk along the trail to experience the raw power of nature at its most majestic. Accommodation: Where to Stay near the Cliffs of Moher. So much more than a shopping street, Grafton Street is alive with buskers, flower-sellers, and performance artists. You will also find countless places to stop off and simply watch the world meander by. True, this is Dublin's shopping heartland, but there's no need to spend a fortune if visiting. You'll find friendly, chatty service no matter where you go and be entertained from the bottom of the street to St.
Stephen's Green at the top. Take time as well to duck down the numerous alleyways and streets to see what you can discover. If visiting the Kerry region, 19th-century Muckross House and Gardens, set in spectacular Killarney National Park , should be top of the must-see list. Standing close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney's three lakes that are famed worldwide for their splendor and beauty, this former mansion oozes the grandeur and gentility of bygone days. When exploring, bear in mind that Queen Victoria once visited here. In those days, a royal visit was no small affair; extensive renovations and re-landscaping took place in preparation, and no detail was left to chance.
The adjacent Traditional Farms are also well worth taking in for a taste of how the ordinary folk once lived. A highlight in the western part of Killarney National Park is the kilometer drive over the scenic Gap of Dunloe , a narrow and rocky mountain pass carved by glaciers at the close of the Ice Age. The gap separates Purple Mount and its foothills from Macgillycuddy's Reeks. Another highlight in this national heritage site is Ross Castle. Winding lanes and cycling paths are among the best ways to see the park. Accommodation: Where to Stay in Killarney. Ireland's oldest university, Trinity College in Dublin is one of the country's ancient treasures.
Founded in by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity is a world within a world, once you enter the gates and cross the cobblestones, it's as if the modern, thriving city outside simply melts away. A stroll in and around the grounds is a journey through the ages and into the hushed world of scholarly pursuit. Many shop and office workers take their lunchtime sandwiches here during summer months simply to escape the hustle and bustle outside.
The college is famed for its priceless treasures including the awe-inspiring Book of Kells on permanent exhibition and the mind-boggling Long Room the inspiration for the library in the first Harry Potter movie. Featured in many a rebel song and occupying a notoriously dark place in Irish history, Kilmainham Gaol should be high on the list for those with any interest in Ireland's troubled past. It was here that the leaders of the Uprising were brought and, after being convicted of High Treason, executed in the prison yard.
The only one spared was future Irish President Eamon De Valera who, by virtue of his American citizenship, didn't suffer the same grisly fate. Dating from , the prison was a dank vile institution that housed those guilty of such misdemeanours as being unable to pay their train fares and, during the famine, the destitute and hungry. In Irish eyes, Kilmainham became an irrevocable symbol of oppression and persecution. A visit here will open your eyes and senses and remain with you indelibly. The yard mentioned earlier is particularly spine chilling.
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In short, this is one of Ireland's absolute must-sees. If in Kerry, take the time to explore what is arguably Ireland's most scenic route, the Ring of Kerry Iveragh Peninsula. Of course you can start anywhere along the way, however most set out from either Kenmare or Killarney ending, naturally enough, back in the same spot. The entire journey non-stop could take under three hours, but that's unlikely to happen.
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En-route there's a feast of jaw-dropping Atlantic Ocean views, stunning islands to visit, wild sweeping mountains, and many picturesque villages. This area of astounding natural beauty boasts a range of outdoor pursuits including golf, water sports on pristine beaches, cycling, walking, horse-riding, and terrific freshwater fishing and deep-sea angling. For history enthusiasts, there are Ogham Stones, Iron Age forts, and ancient monasteries, all set against a canvas of striking landscapes. Magical and mysterious, Glendalough is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland.
The settlement was established by St.
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Kevin during the 6th century and eventually evolved into what's known as the Monastic City. Visitors have flocked to the valley of the two lakes for thousands of years to absorb its rich history, magnificent scenery, plentiful wildlife, and fascinating archaeological finds. The monastic site with its incredibly preserved round tower is a joy to explore, and the surrounding woodlands and lakes are perfect for rambling through at your leisure or stopping off for a picnic. There are marked nature trails to follow and a Visitor Centre for all the information you'll need for a day out like no other.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Wicklow. Superb views, serene lakeside walks, engaging history, and the stunning backdrop of Sugarloaf Mountain are just some of the treats in store when visiting this magnificent home, just 20 kilometers from Dublin. Now owned by the Slazenger family, the house is set on 47 manicured acres. There are more than varieties of trees, shrubs, and flowers, and particularly moving is a section where much-loved family pets were buried complete with headstones and inscriptions.
The gardens were laid out over a period of years and were designed to create an estate that blends harmoniously with the surroundings. Truly one of the most majestic attractions in Ireland, a visit here shouldn't be missed. A recent addition to the capital's museums, The Little Museum should be top on the list for anybody wishing to grasp Dublin's recent history.
The museum grew organically from a 'meet and greet' service for visitors and quickly became what we see today. On permanent exhibition are such items as the lectern used by John F. Kennedy during his visit to Ireland and a U2 exhibition with mementos donated by band members themselves. This is a joyful museum that celebrates Dublin with all its quirkiness and humor. Ireland's most visited heritage site, the Rock of Cashel, stars in countless images of the Emerald Isle. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain even visited by helicopter during her official tour of the country.
Perched upon a limestone rock formation in the Golden Vale, this magnificent group of Medieval buildings includes the High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, the 12th-century round tower, a 15th-century castle, and a 13th-century Gothic cathedral. The restored Hall of the Vicars Choral is also among the structures. Tourist attractions include an audio-visual show and exhibitions.
It's also said that this was once the seat of the High Kings of Munster prior to the Norman invasions. Possibly Ireland's best-known attraction, the Blarney Stone sits high on a tower of Blarney castle, not far from Cork. Reputed to endow the famed Irish eloquence to those who dare hang their head over the parapets to kiss it, the stone is not the only reason for visiting Blarney Castle.
It was built more than years ago by Irish chieftain Cormac McCarthy, and you can tour the massive stone building from its towers to its dungeons. Extensive gardens surround it, filled with stone features and secret corners. Blarney Woollen Mills is known for its sweaters and other knitwear and has a shop selling crystal, porcelain, and other Irish gifts. Soaked in history, and in a scenic coastal setting at the gateway to West Cork , Kinsale has been attracting large numbers of visitors for decades.
The town has a decidedly Spanish feel, particularly in summer.
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If you get a chance to ever return, do try to visit the south-west. The Ring of Kerry is absolutely amazing, not to mind Killarney although I am quite biased. If you want to see breathtaking scenery climb Torc Mountain or even just the waterfall and the town itself; It is exquisite!
Also Galway has an amazing culture, being incredibly diverse but keeping the old school Irish feel. I went to Ireland last summer and I have to say I had the time of my life! Just enjoyed everything the landscapes, the monuments, the welcoming people and the …. You pictures make me wish I was there right now! In your experience is the immigration at the border cool with spending the entire three months there? Did they ask what you are doing? Is it possible to do a border run to get an additional 3 months if I went to France and back for example?
Um… ok. I think this blog post may just convince him! Thank you for sharing! Any more hints for travelling during the summer months we hate crowds. Ireland is just way too beautiful! I was there in October and Glendlough is beautiful. Though I would totally go back to see these places as well. I love Ireland already…. Those pictures are amazing!
Hi Brooke, Did you do a self drive trip for your road trip to Ireland or did you do a tour? Thank you so much!
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I would love to go to Ireland, some day!
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