Today’s article is brought to you by Ian Leaf.
Ireland, it’s the land of emerald dreams and mystic tales of Leprechauns, Celtic musicians, and medieval warriors. If you have an Irish heritage, a pilgrimage to the Isles is a lifetime dream. If you are a lover of travel, Ireland is full of interesting historic spots, events, and unique places to satisfy your need to discover the most brilliant scenes on earth. It’s not important how you get to Ireland. What’s important are the places you visit. Here are just a few of the most intriguing, enlightening, and endearing locations within Ireland no traveler should forget to visit.
The Ring of Kerry
This is one of Ireland’s most scenic peninsular routes. Hikers, bikers, and sightseers can take a circular route beginning and ending in either Killarney, or Kenmare. Along the scenic trail, blue-green Atlantic waters jut next to amazingly high cliffs. Along this route, everything from traditional golf tournaments to deep-sea fishing is available. There are even ancient Celtic monasteries to visit between taking pictures of some of the most unusual landscapes in the Isles.
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
The growth and influence of the Shannon region in Ireland dates to the 15th century. It was the home of upper class Irish families who had a knack for throwing parties and providing entertainment. Later, this region was a fortress for war-torn patriots who still enjoyed the lavishness of upper-class Irish living. Bunratty Castle is an example of a fully restored residence that was host to some of Ireland’s most important nobles.
Shop Street, Galway
Galway is a modern artist’s hub. It is home to several ancient residences that influenced the creation of one of the country’s most vibrant markets. Shop Street is the place for purchasing artisan Irish trinkets, gifts, and rounds of locally produced ales. The heart of Ireland resides in places like Galway, and Shop Street is where that heart beats the loudest. Several days are needed to fully enjoy this Irish cultural hub.
The Rock of Cashel
This isn’t only a natural wonder. It’s an oceanic rock outcropping the site of Ireland’s most precious heritage site. The medieval castle that sits on the rock still houses a monastic choral group. This location is, in every way, authentically Irish, but exhibits attributes that are reminiscent of Roman influence. Though ancient, it has survived every conflict in Irish history, and remains a testament to the country’s resolve.
The Cliffs of Moher
Though Dover is white, Moher is rugged and raw. This County Clair attraction is rife with unending beauty and mystique. These cliffs are a natural anomaly, with sea cliffs and outcroppings standing solitary at more than 600 feet tall. Many of the cliffs are accessible by hiking trail, but they are all visible in morning light that is extraordinarily brilliant.
Dalkey and Killiney in Dublin
This monument area is only reachable by light rail. It is a short ride from Dublin, and is an historic heritage center for all Irish folk. This peninsular location was important in various political and military campaigns in Irish history. The main naval marker still stands, and is set against amazing oceanic backgrounds and rolling natural features. This is a traveling photographer’s Irish dream location.
The Aran Islands
The three Aran Islands have been the focus of film producers and historians. At one time, the Aran Islands were home to a thriving Celtic culture. The fort of Dun Aonghasa now remains a tribute to these ancient tribes. The modern residents near this area maintain an old-world attitude, and love their islands with an undying passion. These islands are where travelers can experience what true old Irish living was like.
This recreational area emerged from a long Irish fishing, manufacturing, and shipping culture. It is part of the village of Sligo, and is open to all inquisitive travelers. This is the ultimate place in Ireland for deep sea swims, authentic seafood cuisine, fishing charters, and long walks along quiet shores. The entire town is tied in some way with the sea, and is an interesting contrast with interior Irish communities.
This medieval relic has been fully restored, and is now an internationally renowned hotel. Though there are many similar locations in Ireland, Ashford has a unique charm and extravagance. This famous 5-star hotel in Mayo County is a testament to Irish high-class couture. It is also the starting point for visitors who prefer to view manicured country settings and historic venues in style.
The length and breadth of Ireland is small. There is no reason that travelers cannot partake in the most beautiful sites offered by this country. Everything green needs to be seen. There are however, places that are more beautiful that the rest. Everything about Ireland is extraordinary, and it only takes an adventurous spirit to see them all.