From Dublin and its surrounding area to touring the whole island, these are our top holiday spots.
Recently IrishCentral hosted a survey asking for our readers for input on a wide range of topics including traveling in Ireland. While the coronavirus pandemic has put a kibosh on people traveling into Ireland, for the most part, in 2020, staycationing in Ireland is all the rage for this Irish.
Whether you're traveling in Ireland this summer or planning your next big vacation to Ireland here are some suggestions from IrishCentral readers to inspire you.
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These are the responses to the question "Where would you visit in Ireland?":
West of Ireland (Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Mayo, etc.) - 49.46%
It's little surprise that the West of Ireland won the top spot for IrishCentral reader's favorite spot to vacation in Ireland. Almost 50 % of our readers said the West of Ireland would be their top spot for a vacation.
A cultural hub, which also boasts of some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world the West of Ireland is a stunning vacation spot.
IrishCentral readers singled out certain spots along the West coast. Such as the Cliffs of Moher, a 14 kilometer stretch of cliffs off the Burren coast, in County Clare, rising 214 meters out of the Atlantic Ocean at their highest point.
Galway, of course, makes the list and it is certainly one of the most popular destinations among the Irish. From Connemara and the Gaeltacht, to the city of Tribes, Galway is filled to the brim with wonderful sites and experiences to behold.
Similarly, to the north, County Mayo is a wonderful tourist destination - from the ancient Ceide Fields to the desolate and enchanting Achill Island you could spend weeks just touring this throughout this county.
South of Ireland (Cork, Kerry, Limerick, etc.) - 44.40%
Again, a whopping 44 percent of IrishCentral's readers said the Southwest of Ireland, along the Wild Atlantic Way, would top their vacation wish list.
Cork is Ireland's largest county and sprawls along the southwest coastline of Ireland. From Cork city, the third-largest in the country, to the stunning West Cork coasts and colorful welcoming towns this county is a jewel in Ireland's coastline.
Kerry is always a firm favorite with holiday-makers and even Queen Victoria, over 150 years ago, favored a trip to Killarney. The Kerry landscape is simply gorgeous.
Killarney National Park, between Killarney and Kenmare, boasts of 26,000 acres of woodland, mountains, and lakes. This is a firm favorite with tourists and locals alike.
Then there's the famous Ring of Kerry touring route, that showcases some of the most spectacular sights and quirkiest towns and villages that Kerry has to offer.
Limerick, at the mouth of the River Shannon, is a revitalized city full of art galleries, slick new hotels, and the legendary Thomond Park, the home of Munster’s passionate rugby union team. In Limerick, you can go from the Middle Ages, at King John's Castle, to enjoying cocktails in a Georgian townhouse in minutes.
All of the Republic of Ireland - 29.61%
Ireland is small but mighty! Just 174 miles wide and 302 miles long, Ireland is actually the same approximate size as the US state of Idaho. Imagine just how much of these beautiful green Ireland you could explore. What's also glorious is there are over 3,000 miles of coastlines on this beautiful isle.
Dublin and surrounds -27.97%
The population of Dublin is 1.348 million and it is most certainly the most densely populated area in the country. From the modern tech hub of Silicon Docks to The River Liffey's ancient quays and the bustle of city streets like Grafton Street and Dame Street, Dublin city center is compact and perfectly formed.
What's also brilliant about Ireland's capital city is that 20 minutes outside town, in any direction you can bask in the wonder of Ireland's countryside. Take the DART to the fishing village of Howth or walk the cliff path from Bray to Greystones, alternatively take to the hills and explore the Dublin mountains or enjoy the coast and head out to Dollymount beach.
No wonder it's such a big hit!
All of Northern Ireland - 15.28%
Counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone - Northern Ireland is filled with hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Northern Ireland has wild, rugged coastlines that demand awe and adventure. Gently unfolding rural landscapes filled with trails, history, and nature. Cosmopolitan cityscapes and towns buzzing with life and urban adventure. Bars, cafes, hotels, guesthouses, campsites, attractions, and experiences that leave you wanting more of their welcome.
Belfast and surrounds (Giants Causeway, etc.) - 13.85%
Of course, Belfast makes the cut. Antrim has largely been revitalized with the popularity of the Titanic and the presence of the Game of Thrones. Of course, those with a grá (love) for Irish history will be transfixed by Belfast's rich history and its regeneration since the end of the Troubles.
The Giant's Causeway also gets a special mention. Just an hour's drive from Belfast this amazing sight of polygonal columns of layered basalt is the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. This incredible structure is the result of a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point for a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries.
Other (Donegal and Midlands) - 11.68%
Voted among the coolest places on Earth by National Geographic, Donegal is a winning choice that's become more and more popular of late. Whether you're in the market for a relaxing getaway in stunning surroundings or fancy an exhilarating outdoor adventure, the Northern Headlands of Donegal have it all.
Another location that's become more and more popular is Ireland's midlands, also known as Ireland's Hidden Heartlands. Explore unexplored tracks and trails, beguiling Blueways, exciting waterside towns, and picturesque rural villages in the midlands of Ireland. Sounds good right?!
Derry and surrounds - 8.57%
Derry city is steeped in history and filled with craic (fun). Famous for it's Halloween festivities this city surrounded by 400-year-old walls is a wonderful place to explore by foot, taking in its history of sieges, emigration, and The Troubles.
Outside of the city, there's also a huge amount to explore. County Derry is home to perhaps one of the oldest recorded settlements in Ireland, located near Mountsandel. If you're in the mood for the trip to the seaside, Portstewart Strand is a year-long favorite beach destination, whether you’re looking for a wintery walk or for a lazy day sunbathing in an area of immense natural beauty.
Along the coast, another highlight is Mussenden Temple, made internationally famous by the Game of Thrones. This tower is dramatically located on the edge of a 120ft cliff and is one of the most photographed tourist locations in Ireland.
Ireland has so much to offer and this list only scratches the surface!
Do you have a favorite place to visit or wonderful memories of your vacation in Ireland? Let us know in the comments below.