Ireland's home to an almost endless number of places to visit and things to do and many of them hidden away off the beaten path... here are our favorites

From man-made attractions like the iconic Guinness Storehouse to natural, unspoiled areas of unparalleled beauty like the Beara Peninsula in Cork, Ireland has a little bit of something for every kind of traveler.

Our little island is also home to some VERY hidden gems that lay a little off the beaten path and tend to get missed by many of those that visit.

AND many of those that live here...

Irish travel website The Irish Road Trip made a list of unique things to do in Ireland and some of them sound incredible. We picked our favorites and made a list. Have a look and get some inspiration!

1 - The Lost Valley, Mayo

The Lost Valley in Mayo.   (Via the Lost Valley)

The Lost Valley in Mayo. (Via the Lost Valley)

Read more: 12 free things to do in and around Dublin City

The Lost Valley is a corner of County Mayo that has been largely untouched since the villagers who lived there were driven out during The Great Famine of the mid-1800s.

It's here that unspoiled beauty collides with a rich history and one of the most harrowing events in Ireland's past.

The valley is now privately held by the Bourke family, who’ve owned, maintained and farmed the valley for over a century. 

Fancy visiting?

There's a tour of the Valley that takes visitors on a fully guided cultural adventure.

Book now: Visit Mayo and the West of Ireland

2 – Loughcrew Cairns, Meath

Loughcrew cairns walk, Meath.    (Via Discover Boyne Valley)

Loughcrew cairns walk, Meath. (Via Discover Boyne Valley)

Our next stop takes us to a place in Meath that's often missed by those visiting Meath's mammoth attractions, like the Hill of Tara and Newgrange as part of Ireland's Ancient East.
Loughcrew Cairns is an area of great historical importance that's home to a number of megalithic tombs.

Interestingly enough, the site is older than Newgrange and it's also the highest hill in the county, at 276 meters.

Those that reach the top will be treated to spellbinding views of the surrounding countryside.

Visit now: Ireland's Ancient East & More 

3 - The Cliffs at Loop Head, Clare

Kilbaha Cliffs, Loop Head.    (Via The Irish Road Trip)

Kilbaha Cliffs, Loop Head. (Via The Irish Road Trip)

When people hear the words 'Cliff' and 'Clare' in the same sentence, their minds tend to shoot to Moher.

Which is only natural, considering their popularity.

However, if you're looking to dodge the crowds and soak up some magnificent cliff views, the cliffs at Kilbaha will be right up your street.

You'll find these cliffs in front of and to the side of Clare's Loop Head Lighthouse.

Expect wind (lots of it) and wonderful craggy coastal views.

4 - Brow Head, Cork

Brow Head, Cork.     (Via The Irish Road Trip).

Brow Head, Cork. (Via The Irish Road Trip).

Places like Brow Head make you truly appreciate the raw beauty and power of Mother Nature.

They also give you a solid understanding as to where the name The Wild Atlantic Way came from (see the photo above).

You'll find Brow Head a stone's throw from the little town of Crookhaven in West Cork.

This is another place to visit that tends to attract only a handful of tourists, which means you'll likely have this view all to yourself! Unlike the busy Wild Atlantic Way

5 - The Nine Stones Viewing Point, Carlow

Nine Stones viewing point.    (Via Suzanne Clarke)

Nine Stones viewing point. (Via Suzanne Clarke)

You'll find one of the most unforgettable views in Ireland in Carlow, at the Nine Stones Viewing Point.

From here, you'll be treated to an unrivaled vista of the lush, colorful Carlow countryside and beyond.

Well beyond, as it happens!

On a clear day, you'll be able to see eight different counties: Carlow, Laois, Kildare, WicklowWexfordWaterfordKilkenny and Tipperary.

If you visit, keep an eye out for nine small stones in the ground.

According to legend, these stones commemorate nine shepherds lost on Mount Leinster.

6 - The Geokaun Mountain and Cliffs, Kerry

Geokaun Mountains. Kerry.     (Via The Irish Road Trip)

Geokaun Mountains. Kerry. (Via The Irish Road Trip)

You'll find the Geokaun Mountain and Cliffs on Valentia Island in County Kerry.

The best piece of advice that I can give those of you planning a visit here is to try and angle your time of arrival around sunset.

As you can see from the photo above, the sunset on Valentia Island is special.

Incredibly special.

You can access the island by car, foot or bike via the Maurice O'Neill Memorial Bridge.

7 - The Torr Head Scenic Route, Antrim

Torr Head.     (Via The Irish Road Trip)

Torr Head. (Via The Irish Road Trip)

Our next stop will appeal to those of you that enjoy stepping off the beaten path and opting for 'the scenic route'.

It's in Antrim that you'll find the almost other-worldly Torr Head Scenic Drive.

This stretch of road clings to the coast and takes you along narrow roads (nervous drivers beware) and up steep hills high above the sea.

Make sure to stop-off at Torr Head.

On a clear day, you'll be able to see Scotland on the horizon.

8 - The Marble Arch Caves, Fermanagh

Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark

Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark

 

Many that explore Northern Ireland tend to miss County Fermanagh completely.

Which is a shame, as it's home to a number of fantastic attractions, one of which is the Marble Arch Caves.

At 11.5 kilometers in length, these caves form the longest known cave system in Northern Ireland.

Visitors here can experience a natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and lofty chambers.

9 - Marsh's Library, Dublin

marsh library dublin

marsh library dublin

Ireland's oldest library can be found right behind St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, where it has been educating visitors since 1707.

Home to around 25,000 books and 300 manuscripts, Marsh's Library has many a unique feature.

The most interesting of which is the bookcases that were hit with bullets during the 1916 Easter Rising.

Keep an eye out for the visitor book - you'll find signatures from the likes of Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift, and James Joyce scribbled inside its pages.

Read more: Five travel hacks to make your Irish vacation easier

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Valentia Island, Kerry.The Irish Road Trip