16 Reasons You Must Visit Ireland This Year from 16 Reasons You Must Visit Ireland This Year

16 Reasons You Must Visit Ireland This Year

When many of us think of Ireland, beer and St. Patrick’s Day usually come to mind. While those are two of the most significant things Ireland is famous for, they are not the only ones.

*Related: The Absolute Best Adventure Destinations for Fall

There is something magical about Ireland. Maybe it’s their pristine beaches, luxurious resorts or magnificent castles. Regardless to if you are looking for adventure or relaxation, Ireland has it all. Go horseback riding along lake shores, relax on the Aran Islands and visit a UNESCO World Heritage site.

 

The Aran Islands

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Also known as “The Islands of Saints and Scholars,” the Aran Islands offer some of the most exceptional sites in the country. Visit the largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mor Island. It is home to Dun Aonghasa or visit the smallest of the islands, Inis Oirr Island and experience its distinctive charm.

The beer in Dublin

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Well, I hope you like beer because Dublin is definitely famous for it! It’s the perfect solo trip to go on if you’re trying to have fun and make some new friends. I mean seriously… just walk into a pub and start talking to the people around you, and don’t forget to visit the famous Guinness Brewery.

Horseback riding in Cong

The Ashford Castle provides a majestic backdrop for riders to explore. It offers trail, carriage and pony rides as well as private lessons available for all ages. Ride through woodland paths, along lake shores and view the stunning mountains of Connemara on your horseback riding adventure.

Tour the castles

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Ireland is famous for their incredible castles. Make sure you visit Blarney Castle in County Cork – one of the most visited castles in all of Ireland. It contains the famous Blarney Stone inside of it.

Go surfing in Bundoran

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Surfers will enjoy surfing in Ireland, especially in Bundoran on the west coast. Unfortunately, the waves there are not for beginners, as you would guess, since the city has hosted the European Surfing Championship several times and is home to the national championships every year.

Tour the Guinness Storehouse

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This is Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction; it is located in the heart of the St. James’s Gate Brewery. Walk through seven floors with interactive experiences. Learn about Ireland’s history and brewing heritage. Once you get to the top floor, you will be delighted to see their world-famous rooftop Gravity Bar.

Explore historical sites

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You can’t go anywhere in Ireland without coming across a piece of history. Visit the passage tomb at Newgrange – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the Hill of Tara, Rock of Cashel, Jerpoint Abbey and one of Ireland’s most important monasteries, Clonmacnoise.

Attend the festivals

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Ireland is famous for their exciting festivals. Laugh along with others at the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, listen to music at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, enjoy delicious seafood at the Galway Oyster Festival, and experience one of Irelands largest and longest running festivals – Rose of Tralee. But the festival that tops them all, Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival. It is the largest parade in Ireland with an average of 500,000 people attending each year.

Explore Tollymore Forest Park

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Located in Northern Ireland, nature lovers are in for a treat. Explore gothic-style gate arches, walk along the Shimna River and pass rocky outcrops, grottos, bridges and caves. Also admire the giant redwoods and Monterey pines.

Galway

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This is a city located in the West of Ireland. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. Explore Lynch’s Castle, the Eglinton Canal, the Claddagh, and the earliest medieval settlement fragment, The Hall of the Red Earl. You will also encounter museums, have the opportunity to participate in festivals, and experience the Irish culture.

 

Laytown Races

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The Laytown Races is a horse race that has been in existence for approximately 140 years. People travel from all over the world to see this unique event. Crowds as large as approximately 11,000 people show up to the event every year. It is the only race event to run on a beach under the Rules of Racing.

Explore a television filming destination

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Game of Thrones is filmed throughout many locations in Northern Ireland. The scenic backdrops of mountains, moorlands and forests are what make it a prime filming spot. Visit the Tollymore Forest Park in County Down; the location where the white walkers began to march into the realm of men – known as the Haunted Forest in the show. Also visit the spot where Arya disguised herself as a boy to avoid being captured – Kingsroad or Pollnagollum Cave.

Mount Errigal

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This mountain is located in County Donegal. It is known as the most beautiful mountain in the country, with the tallest peak in the county and the 76th tallest in Ireland. Climbers love this mountain because after reaching the summit they are exposed to One Man’s Pass, a short but exposed walk.

Beautiful beaches

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Relax and soak up the sun at Irelands gorgeous beaches. Visitors say the best time to go is between March-October. Head to Inchydoney Beach for an unspoiled stretch, walk along the white sand at Derrynane Beach, marvel at Inch Beaches beautiful scenery, and enjoy some quiet time at Rossbeigh Beach.

Explore the glacial valley of Glendalough

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Located in County Wicklow is this incredible glacial valley. View abundant wildlife, spectacular scenery and learn about their rich history. *See: The Most Spectacular Glaciers to Visit Before They Melt  

Glenariff Forest Park

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This park contains three waterfalls, making it the perfect destination for photographers. Walk along trails for incredible panoramic landscapes, go camping, horseback riding, picnicking and caravanning. There are also tons of trails at the park, all of which offer wildlife viewing. Some of their most famous trails include the Waterfall Walk Trail, Viewpoint Trail, Rainbow Trail and the walkway that winds through the Glenariff National Nature Reserve.