Before I moved to Ireland I never realized how different the island is from the old continent. While most of this green island still remains unspoiled, the capital seems to be more lively than most European cities. No surprise Ireland was voted number of times by travel magazines among 20 most beautiful countries in the world. I’ve been exploring all parts of the country and diversity of this incredible island makes the trip unique every time I travel. Here are the top 10 best places to visit in Ireland.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge – one of the best places to visit in Ireland!
Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge is located in Northern Ireland near Ballintoy in County Antrim. They place knocks out with stunning views over the whole Causeway Coastal Route and dramatic ocean cliffs. Carric-a-Rede is an unforgettable walk 30 metres above the sea surface through the rope bridge, which links the mainland with a small island. The original rope bridge was built by salmon fishermen in 18th century, so they could set nets in a deep sea for more succesful catch. The walk might be a little scary experience if you are afraid of heights. Focus on the breathtaking panoramic views and you’ll shortly find yourself on the other side of the rope bridge.
The rope walk is pretty stable. There are only 10 people allowed to walk the bridge on the same time. It is monitored by the guards on both ends, so the movement progresses nicely and smooth, so unfortunately you may not be permitted to stop half way to take some shots. You should keep walking all the way through untill you step the small island. There are many great places to visit near Carric-a-Rede-Rope Bridge within 20-30 kilometres.
Before you go you should check if the bridge is opened for tourists – it happens the bridge remains under maintanace or replacement works. Check full information about this unique attraction
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge – Northern Ireland
Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge is one of the things you should never miss while traveling around the island. Located in Northern Ireland, this bridge offers stunning views of the Causeway Coastal Route.
The Dark Hedges Bregagh Road in Northern Ireland – the stunning tree tunnel you saw in the Game of Thrones!
The Dark Hedges – one of the best places to visit in Ireland – the stunning tree tunnel you saw in Game of Thrones!
The Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees along Bregagh Road between Armoy and Stranocum in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. While this is just a valley of trees, it’s a very untypical place and feels like a magic path.
Howth – lovely fishing village in Dublin.
Howth used to be a small fishing village. Nowadays with its unforgettable atmosphere and stunning cliff views remains one of the main toursit attractions in Ireland. Howth peninsula is a great destination for a beautiful day trip – cliff walk. The longest path is around 10 km loop. Views along the cliff walk spread across the whole Dublin Bay and Wicklow Mountains. The path leads through some incredible rocky beaches and it’s very likely you’ll see dolphins or sea lions. Howth harbour is famous for its sea food restaurants. Although there’s plenty of them the place can be extremely busy during holidays and weekends. But the fish burger is worth waiting 😉
Dingle in County Kerry (Ring of Kerry) and The Wild Atlantic Way.
County Kerry is considered as one the most scenic county in west coast of Ireland. Ring of Kerry is one of the most popular 180 km loop route, taking you through majestic landscapes of the region. County Kerry is well know for its Irish-language speakers and plenty of splendid attractions:
- Killarney National Park with the highest peak of Ireland – Carrauntoohil,
- Dingle Peninsula,
- incredible Skellig Michael islands adventure,
- Wild Atlantic Way – the longest coastal route in the world!
Wild Atlantic Way – one of the longest coastal route in the world!
Wild Atlantic Way covers 2600 km on the west of Ireland coast and it is considered to be the most dramatic and longest coastal route in the world. It’s a fantastic ocean drive exploring the west of Ireland. The drive spreads from the northern city of Donegal down to West Cork on the south of the country, uncovering the wildest spots of the oceanic side of the island.
Cliffs of Moher – one of the best places to visit in Ireland.
County Clare is another region unveiling the amazing beauty of the west coast of Ireland. The main attraction of the region are Cliffs of Moher. However not many people know that Slieve League located north direction are the highest cliffs in Ireland and almost three times higher that Cliffs of Moher. There is an entrance fee and be prepared for hundreds of tourists. If you plan to spent more time around Cliffs of Moher, best thing to do is taking a walk along the cliffs to enjoy this fantastic scenery from different perspectives.
Carrantoohill – the highest peak of Ireland in County Kerry.
National Park in County Kerry is one of the best places to visit in Ireland with an option to hike Carrauntoohil – the highest peak in the island. There are number of hiking trails across the park. The most popular route to the top of Carrauntoohil is Devil’s Ladder. It’s very challenging but absolutely stunning expedition with highly rewarding views from the top! This is one of my favourite scenery of the green valleys of ireland.
Devils Ladder route is a challenging trail. The beginning of the route is flat and it’s hard to imagine it turns into a steep rocky trail! No special equipment is needed to climb the mountain but be careful. The route has become more dangerous in recent years due to loose stones. On the way to the top you pass two beautiful lakes, which look like human lungs from the top view.
Wicklow Mountains are among the most famous hiking destinations in Ireland. Glendalough is a fantastic starting point for a number of walking routes in the valley at all levels of difficulty. From the Glendalough Upper Lake Car Park there are number of marked trails, which start from half an hour walks up to the 10 km full loop. One of the most spectacular trails is a loop around Glendalough Upper lake through Miners Village. Hiking up is rewarded by stunning views of the Glenealo Valley.
If you are looking for some decent hiking adventure choose Lugnaquilla – the highest point of Wicklow Mountains – 925 metres.
Giant’s Causeway – incredible phenomenon formed 50-60 million years ago!
Giant’s Causeway is one of the most famous attractions in island. It’s a 3 km walk from Windy Gap – the starting point. This untypical rocky coast was formed 50 to 60 million years ago from successive lava flows cooling while contacted with the sea. This phenomenon is to be seen only in two places in the world – Ireland and New Zealand.
The Loop Head Peninsula.
Loop Head is probably one of my favourite walks in the west coastal of Ireland. It is marked with a lighthouse built in 1670 and a fascinating history is linked to this building. The lighthouse is the main landmark on the northern shore of the Shannon River. Loop Head offers dramatic views from 90 metre high cliffs of the sea down to Kerry Head and Dingle to the Cliffs of Moher in the north.
Galway – a must stop on the Wild Atlantic Way
Galway is a charming city located on the Wild Atlantic Way. With only 80 000 inhabitants it is a wonderful place to visit and enjoy local pubs with traditional Irish music and atmosphere. The pleasant streets are full of crafts shops, original souvenirs and plenty of delicious restaurants.