Ireland is definitely a paradise for all outdoor lovers, with huge areas of windswept and wild countryside, numerous small historic villages and cliffs that can only be described as stunning. The country features numerous UNESCO World Heritage locations and areas with truly unique vistas. There are so many choices available that it is hard to choose just some. However, the following are highly popular among international tourists so they have to be highlighted.
The Cliffs Of Moher
These cliffs are among the most visited attractions Ireland has to offer, with a huge 214 meters cliffs appearing right over the Atlantic. You can visit them in the west of Ireland, starting from the rustic Doolin village and going on for 8 kilometers till Hags Head. Obviously, the coastal walk you would have here would be highly spectacular. The Cliffs Of Moher appeared around 320 million years ago, offering views you will not see anywhere else.
The Giant’s Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is the only location in Northern Ireland with the UNESCO World Heritage title attached. It stands out as proof that natural attractions offer more than humans can imagine. Here you can see close to 40,000 rock basalt columns that were formed by an ancient volcanic landscape. The area stretches right along the coastline, being similar to huge stepping stones. Day trips from Belfast are available and really popular among tourists in Europe.
Ring Of Kerry
This is the most scenic trail for tourists in Ireland, running 120 miles through incredible landscapes that will make your jaw drop. Lush meadows, heather topped mountains and glacial lakes wait for you, offering incredible highlights, including Beara Peninsula and Kerry Way. You may want to know that Kerry Way is the oldest and longest walking route in Ireland. Make sure you stop at Killarney National Park, which is a biosphere reserve that earned the status of UNESCO World Heritage. People love the wild red deer here.
Glenveagh National Park
This is the second largest of Ireland’s national parks, covering 14,000 acres. It is the main attraction in Donegal County, drawing fishermen and hikers from far away. Mountaintop views are incredible and you have the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon tea in Glenveagh Castle, which dates back from the nineteenth century. Rare wildlife waits for you in the park, including the Golden Eagle that was previously thought to be extinct but reintroduced in 2000. Now it shares the natural habitat with the largest red deer numbers in Ireland.
These islands are well-known in the country because of the Aran sweaters, which are traditionally knitted. Also, the roads here are mostly car-free, giving you access to one of the few parts of Ireland where you can see what a true traditional Irish village looks like, a village that is not affected by the mainland’s modern developments. Most of the locals actually speak Gaelic as the main language, driving pony traps and living in farming communities. Aran Islands highlight enchanting countryside with literally endless sandy beaches, cliff tops and historic forts, all around rugged coastline.
Another incredible UNESCO World Heritage site, one that is easy to access from Ring of Kerry. The islands are small rocky mounts that are rising right up from the sea. They are Little Skellig and Skellig Michael, being home to a sixth century complex built right on a high cliff top, right up 230 meters. Bird watchers love this location. You can see herring gulls, razorbills, cormorants, black guillemots and gannets, all while you climb 600 steps to get to the standing remains.
The landscape here is filled with fissures, rocky mounds and ruts, which was described by many as being as if you walk on the moon. Acid erosion modified the landscape for thousands of years. The result is a karst landscape that is filled with clints and grikes, being 300 meters high above ocean level, in Clare County. There are many rare insects and plants you can see, with the best time to visit being spring.