From beautiful architecture to breathtaking scenery, the island of Ireland really does have it all. Here are the ten most beautiful places in Ireland you’ve never known.
Full of character and charm, the island of Ireland has no shortage of beautiful and unique places. The fantastic natural landscape coupled with rich history makes Ireland the perfect place to explore and discover.
There is no shortage of beautiful places on the Emerald Isle but some are less well known than others. These hidden gems aren’t on your stereotypical Irish bucket list, which means they won’t have the long queues associated with the more well-known attractions.
Here are the ten most beautiful places in Ireland you’ve never known.
10. Murlough Bay, Co. Antrim – for a place where time stands still
The only way to access this magical bay is to head down a narrow and steep route that is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. It is best to access it on foot to ensure that you get to enjoy all that Murlough Bay has to offer.
Having been used as a filming location for HBO’s Game of Thrones, the bay and surrounding area ooze beauty. Time will stand still as you admire the views of the sea, while the striking Fair Head dominates the scenery.
Not to be confused with Northern Ireland‘s other Murlough Bay, which looks out over the Mourne Mountains in County Down.
Address: Ballycastle, BT54 6RG
9. Holy Island, Co. Clare – for a step back in time
Otherwise known as Inis Cealtra, this magnificent island is situated amongst the blue waters of Lough Derg. This historic place has roots in early Christian times and is associated with several Irish saints.
With the remains of six churches, an early monastic cell, a graveyard, a holy well, and the spectacular 80-foot round tower, there is so much to be discovered on this historic site.
Appreciate the architecture and history while admiring the breathtaking views of the surrounding lake.
Address: Knockaphort, Co. Clare, Ireland
8. Bluebell Wood, Co. Roscommon – for a natural display of beauty
For about two weeks of the year, usually between mid-April and May, you’ll find one of the most colourful displays of nature; the blooming of the bluebells. During this period Derreen Wood comes alive with thousands of bluebells which grow beneath the trees.
This natural wonder really takes your breath away and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Ireland that you’ve never known.
Address: R573, Derreen, Co. Kerry
7. The Glen of Aherlow, Co. Tipperary – a quintessential valley
The crisp waters of the Aherlow River run between the Galtee Mountains and the wooden ridge of Slievenamuck. This scenic destination is home to countless walking trails about the beautiful hinterland.
The beautiful valley acts as a stunning backdrop to the quaint Irish villages of Bansha and Galbally. With mountains, rivers, lakes, and forests, the Glen of Aherlow truly is a hidden inland piece of paradise.
Address: Glen of Aherlow, Gortnafurra, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
6. Rock of Dunamase, Co. Laois – a beautiful fortress
This imposing but beautiful structure was built here to overlook the surrounding area and the remains of this Celtic fortress, offering some of the most spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.
Over the years the fortress has been pillaged by the Vikings and acted as a home for Anglo-Norman lords.
Although the structure that remains is only a fraction of what it once was, you can really begin to imagine the grandeur that existed here. Standing 46-metres above the surrounding landscape, the fortress offers visitors breathtaking views.
Address: Dunamaise, Aghnahily, Co. Laois
5. The Guinness Lake, Co. Wicklow – an iconic location
The Guinness Lake, otherwise known as Lough Tay, had to make our list of the top ten most beautiful places in Ireland you’ve never known.
The lake is one of the most photographed locations in Ireland, and rightly so. The shape of the stunning lake along with the white sand on the shore makes it look like a creamy pint of Guinness.
The best views of the lake can be enjoyed from the Military Road, which also has views over the Wicklow Mountains.
The white sand, which creates the “head” of the Guinness Lake, was imported by the Guinness family who have an estate in the area.
Address: Ballinastoe, Co. Wicklow
4. McDermott’s Castle, Co. Roscommon – the ruins of a fairytale
Lough Key in County Roscommon is home to over 30 islands, one of which is the picture-perfect Castle Island.
Originally built in the 12th-century, the castle has had an unfortunate history. In 1184, it is reported that a lightening bolt caused a fire, after which the castle had to be rebuilt.
The castle is part of Lough Key Forest Park, an 800-hectare woodland and park full of rich history. The ruins of the castle coupled with the dark and chilly waters make for stunning photographs.
Address: The Warren, Co. Roscommon
3. Bunbeg Beach Shipwreck, Co. Donegal – a tragic landmark
Magheraclogher Beach in Gweedore is home to ‘Bád Eddie’, a wrecked ship that came to an unfortunate end in the 1970s. The ship ran aground during a storm and has since become an important part of the local heritage.
This truly is a hidden gem as, to get the best view of this shipwreck, it is advised to wait until the tide is out. However tempting the water may seem, swimming is not advised as the water is extremely dangerous.
Address: Magheraclogher, Strand, Co. Donegal, Ireland
2. Geokaun Mountain, Co. Kerry – for unrivalled views
The beautiful Valentia Island is home to the Geokaun Mountain, which offer some of the most beautiful views in all of Ireland.
From the summit, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, the nearby Kerry mountains, and the infamous Skelligs.
If you fancy a hike, there are various viewpoints as you ascend the mountain, or if you’d prefer to drive, you can enjoy the beautiful panoramic views from the top.
We suggest heading here at sunrise and sunset to enjoy all the magic on offer here.
Address: Feaghmaan West, Co. Kerry
1. Nohoval Cove, Co. Cork – the most beautiful place in Ireland you’ve never known
By heading down a narrow and windy country road, you will become amazed by the magnificent seaview at Nohoval Cove, an untouched bay in County Cork.
Surrounded by stunning steep cliffs and multiple sea stacks, this truly is the most beautiful places in Ireland.
Take a short stroll up the cliff trail to get some of the most spectacular views of the Irish coastline. Then head back down to the stony bay to enjoy a swim in the crystal-clear waters.
Address: Reaniesglen, Co. Cork, Ireland