Ireland is one of the most stunning travel destinations in Europe. It allures people from all over the world with its natural treasures, mysterious legends and traditional music. However, despite its eternal green the island is incredibly diverse and has unique experiences to offer:
1. Visit the oldest lighthouse in the world
The Hook lighthouse on the Hook Peninsula is the oldest operating lighthouse in the world and visiting it is definitely an enlightening experience! Having been built 800 years ago, it is one of 70 lighthouses guiding sea travellers to Ireland. It is now controlled remotely, but you can still learn about the fascinating work of a lighthouse keeper during a guided tour and enjoy a panoramic view from the top.
Where to stay: Mount Juliet, a luxury 5-star hotel close to Kilkenny
2. Cape Clear Island Distillery – Ireland’s southernmost and only island distillery
On Cape Clear Island, the southernmost inhabited part of Ireland, you will find the country’s only island distillery. It is located in the state protected Gaeltacht region, where Irish is still actively spoken. A short ferry ride from Baltimore will bring you to the unique distillery where you can taste the award winning gin. You can also preorder bespoke bottles for a more personal memory.
Where to stay: Hayfield Manor, a luxury 5-star hotel in Cork City Centre
3. Night Kayaking in the only inland saltwater lake in Europe
Near the south eastern coast, you will find Europe’s only inland saltwater lake. You should not miss out on the opportunity to go kayaking here as Lough Hyne is also Ireland’s first Marine Nature Conservation Reserve. Take part in a mesmerising kayak night tour where you can see the bioluminescent biotope cause a trail of light behind you while you paddle through the calm water.
Where to stay: Sheen Falls Lodge, a luxury 5-star estate at Kenmare Bay
4. Take a boat tour on Ireland’s only fjord
When you hear the name Killary fjord you might first think of Norway but we are in fact in Ireland. Glaciers left their trace thousands of years ago leaving you to discover Ireland’s only fjord. Embark on a fascinating boat tour to admire the landscape of the historical Green Road on the tranquil waters. Maybe you will spot some Connemara ponies, the only Irish horse breed.
Where to stay: Ashford Castle, a luxury 5-star estate at Lough Corrib
5. Sleep in a traditional Irish Castle
Ireland possesses numerous castles with some being over 800 years old. Many estates are still in excellent condition and can be visited. More than 15 of them even found a new life as luxurious hotels with pompous furnishing that make you feel like a royal. Why not treat yourself to a night in an original accommodation?
Where to stay: Dromoland Castle, a luxury 5-star hotel hosting guests since the 16th century
6. Titanic Museum in Belfast
The Titanic Museum tells the story of the most famous ship in the world and its sisters. It awaits you at the bay where the real Titanic had been constructed before it set off on its maiden voyage. Take part in the exciting interactive exhibition to learn more about the tragic story. Finish your stay with a visit of SS Nomadic, the Titanic’s original tender ship and the world’s last remaining White Star vessel.
Where to stay: Galgorm Resort & Spa, a 4-star resort at River Maine
7. The Giant’s Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder as it consists of thousands of hexagonal basalt columns leaving a fascinating constellation at Ireland’s northern coast. The counterpart can be found in Scotland. Legend says that a giant living in Northern Ireland was once threatened by a Scottish giant and created a path in the water to reach him – the Giant’s Causeway.
Where to stay: Lough Eske Castle, a luxury 5-star estate by the eponymous Lough Eske
We hope these ideas made you curious to get to know Ireland from an entirely different perspective. Feel free to contact us, so we can design an unforgettable Ireland trip for you.
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