Did we mention we love Ireland? We’ve had the good fortune of traveling from South to North, East to West and all the way back down again. I can safely say that we’ve done a lot in Ireland. Our first trip took us all the way up the Wild Atlantic Way, and after witnessing the stunning Irish coast, we couldn’t wait to go back again. We’ve been to Ireland a total of four times and while we could never replace a local experts list of the best things to do in Ireland, I think we’ve discovered a lot of the great things that tourists like us can enjoy when they visit Ireland too.
Great Things to do in Ireland
We wanted to round up our favourite things we’ve done on the Emerald Isle to give you some choices of things you might want to do in Ireland that you may not have thought of! If you are looking for things to do in Dublin check out our post here. We’re leaving out the capital city because there is so much to do there, you could spend your entire vacation in town. This is the best of Ireland outside of Dublin. Some of the popular stops and some unique ideas. Enjoy!
I could suggest driving the entire route of the Wild Atlantic Way. If you do this, you will see a lot of the landmarks and stops mentioned on our list. But there are so many other places to see in Ireland that are not a part of the Wild Atlantic way. I suggest doing both! If you have the time, drive the Wild Atlantic Way and explore the west coast of Ireland at your leisure and then go about and see the rest of beautiful Ireland. A month should do it!
I think Skellig Michael is the most magical place we visited in all of Ireland. Located 12 km off the coast, Skellig Michael is home to a 6th century monastery standing 200 metres above sea level. The beehive huts are left in extraordinary condition overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is such a mysterious and beautiful scene, Star Wars chose to shoot the final scene of The Force Awakens at this site. If it was good enough for Luke Skywalker to go into seclusion for years on end, it’s good enough for me!
Slea Head Drive has often been considered one of the most beautiful drives on earth. Starting in the town of Dingle, there are many things to see along this coastal drive. Here you’ll find more old monastery beehive huts, ancient ruins, churches, and a stone monastery. It’s the cliffs and coast that takes your breath away as you overlook the Blasket Islands and the Three Sisters Islands.
Ride a Horse – Dingle and Wicklow Counties
Taks a horseback ride up into the hills to truly take in the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula. It’s amazing landscape littered with ancient ruins. Horses are an integral part of Irish history and in nearly every county you’ll find a stable where you can join a trail ride. Another one of our favourite spots to ride in Ireland was in County Wicklow. For you western riders out there, be aware, it’s English style on these Irish beauties.
Kylemore Abbey – County Galway
Kylemore Abbey a mere hundred and fifty years old (young by Irish standards), but it’s a beautiful stop in Connemara of County Galway. It was originally built as a private residence for a wealthy doctor from England and then as an estate for the Duke and Duchess of Manchester in 1909. In 1920, the Irish Benedictine Nuns purchased the castle after fleeing Belgiusm in WWI. You can tour the grounds and gardens, plus there is a nice bakery for a slice of pie.