Every year, the Henley Passport Index announces a ranking of countries that boast the most and least powerful passport. Those considered the “most powerful” are those that allow the greatest ease of travel for its passport holders.
This “ease of travel” translates to the following: seamless travel from one county to another, passport-holders being entitled to visa-free travel, or countries that allow passport holders to travel with a visa-on-arrival option.
This year it was announced that Irish passport holders are entitled to travel to a staggering 184 countries in the world, without needing a visa. Here is a round-up of 10 amazing countries you can visit visa-free with an Irish passport.
10. Chile – the all-in-one
Chile dominates the Western coast of South America. Stretching for miles upon miles, this mega-country offers varying adventures, terrains, cultural experiences, and climates.
Whether you’re exploring the wilderness, venturing to the iconic Easter Island, taking in the cityscape, or making friends with the vibrant locals, it is safe to say this will be one unforgettable trip.
9. St. Lucia – the Caribbean island
St. Lucia is a Caribbean island in the West Indies. An undisputed paradise, this is the type of surreal island setting most of us can only dream of; yet, Irish passport holders can visit the island visa-free.
Home to rainforests, waterfalls, reef-diving adventures, swaying palm trees, and crystal blue waters, this island is the epitome of paradise.
8. Iceland – the fantasy land
Iceland offers a very different type of dreamscape, but one that we are totally on board to check out, especially seeing as it is one of the amazing countries you can visit visa-free with an Irish passport.
Expect fantasy-type panoramas, the northern lights (a natural occurrence of a light display in the night sky), magical waterfalls, and dramatic landscapes.
7. Namibia – if you’re fond of sand dunes
This is, again, a very different type of fantasy land—at least in comparison to Ireland’s landscape—and it is well worth a visit.
This coastal country in South West Africa offers the Atlantic Ocean to the West, while inland a dense population of cheetahs thrive across salt flats and towering red sand dunes.
6. Greece – for postcard-worthy photos
Greece is a country in Southeastern Europe, not too far from Ireland. Comprising of thousands of islands that dot and dance amid the cyan waters of the Aegean and Ionian seas, Greece is almost something from a fairy tale.
Dramatic traditional architecture precariously hugs the coast along cliff faces that drop to dreamy waters below, making Greece one of the most Instagram-worthy countries on our list.
5. Peru – for heritage sites and history
Peru is an ancient country located in South America. It is rich in heritage sites and traditional culture that has survived centuries.
Famous for its rainforest, Machu Picchu, and the Inca Trail, this country is also 100% accessible, without a visa, if you are an Irish passport-holder.
4. Botswana – for an African Safari
Botswana is a county in Southern Africa. Home to an impressive catalogue of African animals including giraffes, cheetahs, elephants, and hyenas, Botswana makes for the perfect location to experience life on an African plain.
Chobe National Park is a top spot for safari sightseers. Lions, antelopes, and hippos can all be spotted going about their daily business in this Botswanan reserve.
3. Japan – for an oriental adventure
Japan is a country in East Asia with a diverse offering of climates, cultures, and landscapes. Little do many know that it is one of the countries you can visit visa-free with an Irish passport, all year round.
Whether you’re looking to get lost in ancient temples or explore the world-famous city of Tokyo, it’s all happening in Japan.
2. Greenland – for Arctic exploration
Located at the tip of Europe, with the Arctic Ocean to its north and the Atlantic Ocean to its south, Greenland makes for one of the most captivating entries on our list.
While much of its terrain lies under a bed of snow, this remote and beautiful country offers some of nature’s most stunning phenomenons, such as the northern lights. The territory is also home to polar bears, the arctic fox, and reindeer.
1. Cook Islands – the ultimate paradise destination
If you’re looking for the ultimate paradise, check out the Cook Islands. Located in Oceania, close to New Zealand, the Cook Islands consist of 15 small islands scattered across clear turquoise waters.
Expect stunning seclusion on this island paradise, complete with swaying palm trees, spectacular scuba diving, vast lagoons, and lively locals.