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Keltfacts: seven highlights to visit in Ireland

We already showed you the most beautiful places in Scotland in our blog. Next up is Ireland. Our team simply can’t stop talking about this amazing country! We made a list of our top seven must-visit places in Ireland.

Dublin

The first one on the list is Dublin, of course. You can easily spend days wandering around in Ireland’s capital.

In the city centre, you find the cultural quarter Temple Bar District. With many bars and pubs, it is the perfect spot to end a full day of sightseeing and grab yourself a Guinness and dinner. Don’t forget to make a little detour on your way here, the statue of Molly Malone is not that far away. Pay her a visit as she is the main character in the unofficial anthem of Dublin, “Molly Malone” a.k.a. “Cockles and mussels”.

The Guinnes brewery and beer garden are not that far away as well. Here you can learn all about the brewing process, and taste specialty beers with matching food. It’s open from Wednesday to Sunday.

Besides these ‘culinary’ highlights, Dublin has a significant cultural and literary heritage. We highly recommend visiting Trinity College Library. Here you can find the Book of Kells, a manuscript made by Celtic monks. The movie Secret of Kells, mentioned in our Irish film tips, tells about the making of this book.

Or what about Dublinia? This museum shows you all about the rich history of Dublin in times of the Vikings and the Middle Ages.

Hill of Tara

Not far from Dublin, you’ll find Hill of Tara. Long ago this hill was the centre of society. This ceremonial spot has been the stage for the coronation of multiple kings.

Hill of Tara is a special place with an extraordinary history. That is why it’s very much worth it to read and learn about it in advance of your trip. This in combination with a guided tour at location makes it completely worth it. You can start reading about Hill of Tara in our blog.

Cliffs of Moher

On the other side of Ireland are the Cliffs of Moher. These cliffs are an amazing backdrop for a hike with on one hand the Atlantic ocean and on the other Ireland’s raw nature. It is home to a wide array of bird species during the breeding season.

Glendalough

In the middle of Wicklow Mountains National Park lies Glendalough. In this valley between two lakes, you can find the ruins of a monastery settlement from the 6th century. For 500 years people inhabited this city and survived the harsh weather conditions and pillaging Vikings. The area has great walking routes all through the National Park and past the settlement ruins.

Ring of Kerry en Skellig Michael

Ring of Kerry is not just a tourist highlight, the Irish themselves love the area just as much. The ring-shaped route of 179 km takes you to the most beautiful landscapes and historic buildings.

When driving on these coastal roads you can see two islands, Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. The latter one is off-limits, unfortunately, but Skellig Michael can be visited between May 18 and September 30. Its nature has a surreal look, which is why multiple scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens have been filmed here.

The Burren

Another spot where you’ll almost feel like being in outer space is at the Burren. This huge area used to be the seabed of tropical seas but feels like a lunar landscape. At a first glance, it looks like barren land, but when you take a closer look you can see all kinds of special flora bloom from the cracks in the ground. This in combination with the 5000-year-old dolmen that can be found there, makes it an out of this world sight.

Newgrange

The last highlight on our list is Newgrange. On this hill, you can find a 5200-year-old passage tomb. It’s even older than Stonehenge and the pyramids of Gizeh. This prehistoric tomb is listed on the lists of World Heritage Sites and lets you take a peek in the old cultures.

There are even more amazing places to visit in Ireland. Which ones are on your wishlist?

Photo's by Femke van Hilten

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