Ireland may very well be one of the most fascinating countries on the planet. Offering a unique melange of culture, passion and beautiful natural scenery, The Emerald Isle attracts countless tourists each and every year, not just to Dublin. However, it is often times difficult to know which sights are the best to view on what may prove to be a limited time or budget. So, let us have a quick look at the top five destinations which should not be missed.
Bru na Boinne
It is no secret that Ireland is an island steeped in history, and much as in England right next door, and nowhere is this more apparent that in the ancient structures found in this area. One of the most well-known prehistoric sites in all of Ireland, the monuments around Bru na Boinne are said to have been constructed in the vicinity of 3200 BCE. This immortal site will leave a lasting impression on any who choose to take the numerous guided tours.
This location is ideal for nature and history lovers. Glendalough is the site of some of the earliest Christian relics including St. Kevin’s Kitchen (which is actually an ancient church) and an old cathedral, which although now in ruins echoes memories of the interesting and sometimes turbulent Irish past. Additionally, nature lovers will certainly not be disappointed, as Glendalough is located in a green valley between two crystalline lakes.
Killarney was originally the home to a Franciscan monastery which opened its doors in the 15th century, and when the railroads arrived in the late 19th century, this city had already become a popular tourist destination. It should be noted that the centre of Killarney has been specifically designed to cater to tourists, therefore it may be pleasant for some while for those looking to immerse themselves regional history, it can be overwhelming. For this reason, many choose to frequent some of the attractions just outside of the city. One can visit Ross Castle which was built in 1420 or instead choose to take a lazy boat trip which circumnavigates many of Killarney’s lakes. Either way, the surroundings will certainly not disappoint.
The Giant’s Causeway
This stunning example of geology is not to be taken lightly. This World Heritage Site was formed some 55 million years ago as stone pillars literally shot up from the earth below. Bring a camera and good pair of walking shoes, as this location is rather remote. Nonetheless, this geologic marvel is considered one of the most breathtaking displays in all of Ireland.
The Cliffs of Moher
The word “cliff” may indeed be an understatement, as the landscape above plunges nearly 700 feet vertically to the coastline below. Thus, this site is a photographer’s dream as it offers simply unforgettable views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding environs. There are numerous safety features in place preventing any approach from those daring enough to venture too close to the cliff’s edge. This site also provides an interesting multimedia display titled the “Atlantic Edge” which informs visitors on how the cliffs were originally shaped. Needless to say, the Cliffs of Moher are some of the largest in Europe and this immortal coastline continues to attract countless tourists each year.
These are but a few of the attractions that Ireland can offer. Whether one desires to partake in this island’s rich history or simply wishes to stand in awe of the nature which abounds, Ireland will certainly not disappoint.