What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of Ireland? There’s no right or wrong answer but the truth is, while Dublin and Guinness are key features in Ireland’s genetic makeup, there really is plenty to see and do outside of the Irish capital – you just have to know where to look! It’s also the best place to spend a St. Patrick’s Day break with your family or a loved one.
Luckily, at Super Break we know where to find Ireland’s most hidden treasures, and we’ve created a list of the top must-sees and dos when planning a staycation in or short break to the beautiful Emerald Isle, as it’s our Destination of the Month for December.
1) Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary
Explore Ireland’s most-visited heritage site, Rock of Cashel, which is believed to have been the seat of the High Kings of Munster before the Norman invasions.
2) Aran Islands
Three picturesque islands on Ireland’s west coast, the Aran Islands are a great place to hike or bike – jaw-dropping views guaranteed!
3) Kinsale, County Cork
Kinsale is a beautiful fishing town popular for yachting, angling, golf and sightseeing – it’s a great place to visit on a relaxing Cork break. It’s known for its brightly coloured shops!
4) Father Ted’s House, County Clare
Father Ted fans will relish a trip to Father Ted’s House. Known more commonly as Glanquin House, it is located in a beautiful Irish valley.
5) Fota Wildlife Park, County Cork
With tigers, zebras, giraffes and many other animals all set within 100 acres of lush greenery, Fota Wildlife Park is a great day out for all ages!
6) Newgrange, County Meath
Newgrange is a Stone Age monument in Ireland’s Boyne Valley and is older than the Pyramids of Giza – it’s a great place to soak up some history!
7) Powerscourt House & Gardens, County Wicklow
Home to the highest waterfall in Ireland, Powerscourt Estate & Gardens is a great place to relax and unwind. Wander through the gardens, take a tour of the grand estate and indulge in the Terrace Cafe – a heavenly afternoon awaits!
8) Kylemore Abbey, County Galway
A scenic and historic place to visit, you can mosey through the Abbey’s impressively restored rooms before heading out to the Victorian Walled Gardens to explore the feathered woodland and tranquil lakefront.
9) Lough Tay Lake, County Wicklow
Lough Tay Lake is also known as the ‘Guinness Lake’, not only because of its pint-like shape, but also as its top is fringed by white sand, resembling Ireland’s iconic creamy stout beverage.
View this post on Instagram
10) Ring of Kerry, County Kerry
A 179km route around the Iveragh Peninsula, Ring of Kerry is one of the most picturesque spots in Ireland. Derrynane, Portmagee and Torc Waterfall are just of the few must-sees along this iconic route.
11) Blarney Castle & Gardens and Blarney Stone, County Cork
Built almost 600 years ago, Blarney castle has been visited by millions. Many people flock to the castle to kiss the famous Blarney Stone, which as legend has it, presents all who kiss it with the gift of eloquence.
12) Adare, County Limerick
Known as the ‘prettiest village in Ireland’, Adare is a postcard-perfect town with lots to see, including Adare Manor, Desmond Castle and plenty of charming thatched-roof houses – it’s a real fairytale destination!
13) Dog’s Bay Beach, County Galway
A mesmerising, horseshoe-shaped beach in west Ireland, Dog’s Bay Beach boasts white sands stretching for over one mile. The crystalline waters makes this beach a great spot for swimming, sunbathing and windsurfing.
14) Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
Ireland’s famous cliffs stand 702ft tall and stretch for 8km across the scenic Atlantic coast. The majestic vistas from these cliffs have to be seen to be believed – on a clear day you can see the Aran Islands and the Dingle Peninsula in Kerry.