33 things everyone must have on their bucket list from this magical part of Ireland.
1. Poulnabrone Dolmen, The Burren, Co. Clare
In the heart of the stark landscape stands the magnificent Poulnabrone domen. A wedge tomb, is the finrdt of over 70 burial sites to be found in the Burren’s limestone uplands and consists of four upright stones supporting a thin capstone. When the tomb was excavated in the 1960s, the remains of 20 adults, five children and a newborn baby were uncovered. Subsequent carbon dating calculated the burials took place between 3800 and 3600BC.
2. Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare
The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction with a magical vista that captures the hearts of up to one million visitors every year. Standing 214m (702 feet) at their highest point they stretch for 8 kilometres (5 miles) along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the west of Ireland. From the Cliffs of Moher on a clear day one can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, as well as the Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk mountains in Connemara, Loop Head to the south and the Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands in Kerry.
3. Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare
Ballyvaughan village is situated between the hills of the Burren and the southern coastline of Galway Bay. Ballyvaughan (O’Behan’s Town) developed as a fishing community from the 19th century. A castle site and celtic ring fort hint at earlier habitation of this sheltered bay.
Today this community welcomes visitors to the Burren region. Each year botanists and naturalists roam this lunar landscape searching for the Arctic, Alpine and Mediterranean plants which grow in profusion over the limestone pavements.
The Burren is renowned for its archeology. Ballyvaughan is surrounded by megalithic tombs such as Poulnabrone Dolmen, celtic ring forts, medieval churches and castles.
4. Spanish Point, Co. Clare
Spanish Point is located on the west coast of county Clare Ireland. Spanish Point takes it’s name from the unfortunate Spanish who died here in 1588, when many ships of the Spanish Armada were wrecked during stormy weather. Those who survived the wrecking and sinking of their ships and made it to land were executed by Sir Turlough O’Brien of Liscannor and Boethius Clancy, High Sheriff of County Clare at the time.
5. Bunratty Castle, Co. Clare
Bunratty Castle is a large 15th century tower house in County Clare, Ireland. It is located in the centre of Bunratty village, by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and its airport. The castle and the adjoining folk park are run by Shannon Heritage as tourist attractions.
6. King John’s Castle and River Shannon, Co. Limerick
King John’s Castle is a 13th-century castle located on King’s Island in Limerick, Ireland, next to the River Shannon. Although the site dates back to 922 when the Vikings lived on the Island, the castle itself was built on the orders of King John in 1200.
One of the best preserved Norman castles in Europe, the walls, towers and fortifications remain today and are visitor attractions. The remains of a Viking settlement were uncovered during archaeological excavations at the site in 1900.
7. Adare Manor, Co. Limerick
Adare Manor is a 19th-century manor house located on the banks of the River Maigue in the village of Adare, County Limerick, Ireland, the former seat of the Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, now a luxury resort hotel – the Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort.
8. Rock of Cashel, Co. Tipperary
The Rock of Cashel, Co. Tipperary. Also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick’s Rock, is a historic site located at Cashel. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion.
In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. The picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe.
Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries.
9. Cahir Castle, Co. Tipperary
Cahir Castle, one of the largest castles in Ireland, is sited on an island in the river Suir. It was built in 1142 by Conor O’Brien, Prince of Thomond. Now situated in Cahir town centre, County Tipperary, the castle is well preserved and has guided tour and audiovisual shows in multiple languages.
10. The Swiss Cottage, Co. Tipperary
The Swiss cottage was built around 1810 and is a fine example of cottage ornée, or ornamental cottage. It was originally part of the estate of Lord and Lady Cahir, and used for entertaining guests.
The cottage was probably designed by the architect John Nash, famous for designing many Regency buildings. Cahir, alternately spelt: Cahier, Caher, Cathair Dún Iascaigh, may have been built by Richard Butler, 10th Baron Cahir, 1st Earl of Glengall (1775–1819), who married Emily Jeffereys from Blarney Castle in 1793.
After some years of neglect, restoration of the cottage started in 1985. The Swiss cottage opened to the public as a historic house museum in 1989.
11. Holy Cross Abbey
The Holy Cross Abbey in Tipperary is a restored Cistercian monastery in Holycross near Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland, situated on the River Suir. It takes its name from a relic of the True Cross or Holy rood.
The fragment of that Holy rood was brought to Ireland by the Plantagenet Queen, Isabella of Angoulême, around 1233. She was the widow of King John and bestowed the relic on the original Cistercian Monastery in Thurles, which she then rebuilt, and which was thenceforth thereby named Holy Cross Abbey.
12. Kerry Bog Villag, Co. Kerry
The Kerry Bog Village Museum, located on the beautiful ‘Ring of Kerry’, gives people an insight into how people lived and worked in Ireland in the 18th Century. The village is the only one of its kind in Europe.
13. Annascaul, Co. Kerry
Annascaul (or Anascaul) is a village in the heart of the Dingle Peninsula: situated close to both the Slieve Mish mountains and the long sandy beach at Inch, it is a popular area for walkers. It is also home to a number of pubs and aaccommodation providers.
14. Slea Head, Co. Kerry
The Slea Head Drive is a circular route, beginning and ending in Dingle, that takes in a large number of attractions and stunning views on the western end of the peninsula.
The route is clearly labelled by road signs throughout its length. To properly enjoy the Drive, a half-day should be set aside for the journey.
15. The Skelligs from Valentia Island
Valentia Island is one of Ireland’s most westerly points lying off the Iveragh Peninsula in the south-west of County Kerry. It is linked to the mainland by the Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge at Portmagee.
A car ferry also departs from Reenard Point to Knightstown, the island’s main settlement, from April to October. The permanent population of the island is 665 and the island is approximately 11 kilometres long by almost 3 kilometres wide.
16. Puffin Island, Co. Kerry
Puffin Island is an Irish Wildbird Conservancy reserve on a small island to the south of Valentia Island near Portmagee, County Kerry and separated from the mainland by a narrow sound. It holds some thousands of pairs of Manx Shearwaters, Storm Petrels and Puffins and smaller numbersof other breeding seabirds.
17. Derrynane Bay, Co. Kerry
Derrynane is a village in County Kerry, Ireland, located on the Iveragh peninsula, just off the N70 national secondary road near Caherdaniel on the shores of Derrynane Bay. Also Trundle outbreak zone.
18. Moll’s Gap
Moll’s Gap is a pass on the N71 road from Kenmare to Killarney in County Kerry Ireland. On the Ring of Kerry route, with views of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountains, the area and its shop is a panoramic spot visited by thousands of tourists each year. The rocks at Moll’s gap are formed of Old Red Sandstone.
19. Sneem, Co. Kerry
Sneem is a village situated on the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland. It lies on the estuary of the River Sneem. National route N70 runs through the town.
20. Torc Waterfall, Co. Kerry
Torc Waterfall is approximately 7 kilometres from Killarney Town and approx 2.5 kilometres from the motor entrance to Muckross House and can be accessed from a car park on the N71 better known as the Killarney – Kenmare road. A short walk of approx 300 metres brings you to the waterfall.
21. Waterville, Co. Kerry
Waterville is a village in County Kerry, Ireland, on the Iveragh Peninsula. The town is sited on a narrow isthmus, with Lough Currane on the east side of the town, and Ballinskelligs Bay on the west, and the Currane River connecting the two.
22. Muckross House, Co. Kerry
Muckross House is located on the small Muckross Peninsula between Muckross Lake and Lough Leane, two of the lakes of Killarney, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the town of Killarney in County Kerry, Ireland.
In 1932 it was presented by William Bowers Bourn and Arthur Rose Vincent to the Irish nation. It thus became the first National Park in the Republic of Ireland and formed the basis of the present day Killarney National Park.
23. Ross Castle, Co. Kerry
Ross Castle is a 15th-century tower house and keep on the edge of Lough Leane, in Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland. It is the ancestral home of the O’Donoghue clan, though it is better known for its association with the Brownes of Killarney who owned the castle until more recently. The castle is operated by the Office of Public Works, and is open to the public seasonally with guided tours.
24. Allihies, Co. Cork
Allihies is a coastal parish in the west of County Cork, Ireland. The corresponding civil parish is Kilnamanagh. The largest village in the parish is Cluin, but is often mistakenly referred to by the name of the surrounding parish.
Allihies Parish is located on the western tip of the Béara Peninsula and stretches between Cod’s Head to the North West and Dursey Island to the South West. Allihies is the furthest village in Ireland from the capital, Dublin, some 394 km away by road.
25. Garnish Island, Co. Cork
Garnish Island is located in the sheltered harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay, in Southwest Ireland. Garnish is world renowned for its gardens which are laid out in beautiful walks and it has some stunning specimen plants which are rare in this climate.
26. Bantry House, Co. Cork
Bantry House is a historic house with gardens in Bantry, County Cork, Ireland.
27. Glandore, Co. Cork
Glandore is the name of both a harbour and village in County Cork, Ireland. Glandore is located about an hour’s drive west of Cork city.
28. Drombeg Stone Circle, Co. Cork
Drombeg stone circle is a Recumbent stone circle located 2.4 km east of Glandore, County Cork, Ireland. Drombeg is one of the most visited megalithic sites in Ireland and is protected under the National Monuments Act.
The area of the circle has been covered in gravel to protect it from the volume of visitors.
29. Blarney Castle, Co. Cork
Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland, and the River Martin.
Though earlier fortifications were built on the same spot, the current keep was built by the MacCarthy of Muskerry dynasty, a cadet branch of the Kings of Desmond, and dates from 1446. The noted Blarney Stone is found among the machicolations of the castle.
30. Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford
Lismore Castle is a stately home located in the town of Lismore in County Waterford in Ireland, belonging to the Duke of Devonshire. It was largely re-built in the Gothic style during the mid-nineteenth century by William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire.
31. Grubb’s Monument, Clogheen, Co. Tipperary
Samuel Grubb was buried on Sugarloaf Hill, in the Knockmealdown Mountains on September 10th 1921. To this day a monument stands on the mountain in his honour.
It is located at the following Loc8 Code – YYR-20-RN9 – as you can see from the map further down the page, it is very close to The Vee (within a few hundred meters or so). It is signposted just along from the Vee on the Waterford side.
32. Brow Head, Co. Cork
If you have visited the northern-most point of the whole island of Ireland, you have to visit the southern-most point at Brow Head. Its a great spot with fantastic views!
33. Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
Dungarvan is a coastal town and harbour in County Waterford, on the south coast of Ireland. Prior to the merger of Waterford County Council with Waterford City Council in 2014, Dungarvan was the county town and administrative centre of County Waterford.
Waterford City and County Council retains administrative offices in the town. The town’s Irish name means “Garbhan’s fort”, referring to Saint Garbhan who founded a church there in the seventh century.
The town lies on the N25 road (European route E30), which connects Cork, Waterford and Rosslare Europort.