Competition heats up in search for Ireland’s top vacation destination - from beach resorts to idyllic country villages
25 locations make shortlist in prestigious Irish Times poll
Nominated by Daragh Hickey, who wrote: “When the sun comes out, get your spot on Ireland’s classic town beach and share a day with folks who built sandcastles and hunted crabs on this strand just like their accompanying grandchildren do now.”
GOUGANE BARRA, CO CORK
Nominated by Joan Healy, who wrote: “Wake in the morning to the sound of birdsong, watch the trout jumping in the lake, walk the crags of the mountains before a sumptuous meal. Peaceful, tranquil Gougane Barra has a magnetic attraction.”
GWEEDORE, CO DONEGAL
Nominated by Seán Mullin, who wrote: “The sheer, narrow inlets mash the surf into slosh pits of creamy foam next to beaches of smooth rocks which clack and rustle with each monster wave. I’m in New Zealand now. I still compare everywhere I go here to Gweedore.”
INIS MEAIN, CO GALWAY
Nominated by Nicole Trewartha, who wrote: “It feels remote, removed from the rest of the world, and the sky somehow seems larger than anywhere else in Ireland as there is nothing to interrupt your view. But the people are warm and generous. There are no strangers here.”
INISHBOFIN, CO GALWAY
Nominated by Hugh McMahon, who wrote: “From the minute you get off the ferry you know that you are in a magical place. The scenery, the Atlantic air and the pace of life allow you to leave behind the mainland and the personality you inhabit there.”
KILLARNEY, CO KERRY
Nominated by Maighread Forde, who wrote: “The view is the first thing that takes your breath away. But one can’t holiday on views alone. Around Killarney you can walk, take boat trips on the lakes, cycle, tour Muckross House or Ross Castle, go to the playground or the pet farms, go horse racing, golfing, fishing, run a marathon or learn to cook.”
KINSALE, CO CORK
Nominated by George Harding, who wrote: “Cork might be Ireland’s second city, but Kinsale is its first town. Known as the gourmet capital of Ireland, it has restaurants to suit every taste, from the award-winning Fishy Fishy, to high-end fish-and-chippers.”
THE LAKELANDS OF CO FERMANAGH
Nominated by Patricia Thirgood, who wrote: “Fermanagh is so green and not always wet, with amazing walks, lovely lakes, mountains sea breezes, and even the G8.”
LOOP HEAD PENINSULA, CO CLARE
Nominated by Mary Redmond, who wrote: “Beautiful, wild and unspoilt … with three beaches , the wonderful cliff walk in Kilkee, and loop head walk at the light house and the ruins of Carrigaholt Castle.”
LOUISBURGH, CO MAYO
Nominated by Catherine Duffy, who wrote: “Louisburgh, nestled under Croagh Patrick, is where Westport people go on holidays. For the painter, the pilgrim, the photographer, the forager, the fisherman, the foodie, the walker, the geogologist, the historian and the child there is no better place.”
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