It takes days, weeks really, to see the best of the greenest country in Europe, and trying to figure out what to do can be a bit overwhelming. So save some time and check out this list of just 10 don’t-miss things to do on your next trip to Ireland.
1. Seek adventure on the Wild Atlantic Way
Certainly one of the must-see areas for awesome scenery on an Irish holiday, the Wild Atlantic Way is also an unspoilt adventure playground and full of sustainable activities. Hop between charming coastal villages and incredible national parks, while enjoying any kind of outdoor pursuit you can think of. Surf the water, ride horses on the beach, spot whales, climb mountains, do a spot of forest bathing, cycle greenways, walk through eons of history and much more.
2. Steal away to an island
For the ultimate in remote experiences, escape to the tranquil and idyllic Rathlin Island, lying six miles off County Antrim and just a quick ferry ride from the seaside town of Ballycastle in Northern Ireland. You will soon fully appreciate the magic of this wild, L-shaped and unspoilt island. Walk the car free roads. Cycle for miles in solitude, watch out for seals in the bay. Explore lighthouses, visit the bird sanctuary, soak up the fresh sea air and sup a pint in the island’s only pub.
3. Try an ultra-luxury hotel experience
Once home to the Guinness family, the 800 year-old Ashford Castle in County Mayo has long been the hotel that presidents, royals and the famous choose for an iconic Irish experience. It has an exceptional reputation when it comes to luxury travel. Situated in a spectacular 350 acre estate, it’s full of sumptuous rooms and suites, amazing interiors, antique furniture, fine fabrics and unique features at every turn, all underpinned by ambitious sustainability practices. The ultimate indulgent experience in the west of Ireland.
4. Explore a magical dark sky
Connect with the ancient past and experience a magical link between astronomy and archaeology at Northern Ireland’s OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory. Fringed by Davagh Forest at the foot of the Sperrin Mountains in County Tyrone, the park is close to the Beaghmore Stones, a series of mysterious Neolithic stone circles. Explore the stories of the stones or go mountain biking by day, and stargaze away from light pollution by night.
5. Go green in an eco-destination
To keep your holiday carbon footprint to a minimum, head for the protected, moon-like and eco-friendly terrain of the Burren in County Clare. Along with the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren is part of a UNESCO Global Geopark, where sustainability, socially responsible, nature-based tourism and excellent eco-travel experiences are the norm. Stay in sustainable accommodation, eat locally sourced food and revel in any number of environmentally-friendly activities and experiences.