Ireland is a world of ancient landscapes and great legends. With lush, green hills and cobblestone streets, Irish scenery is among the most spectacular in Europe. Its golden shores and high cliffs set the scene for a romantic feel and is ideal for an epic road trip with friends. You can hike its most scenic spots, savor delicious local eateries, and discover its tales of science and myth when you travel here. Its rich cultural and architectural heritage makes it one of the most picture-perfect places in the world. Visiting this island is to truly travel back in time. It’s home to an inspiration of pastoral poems and has been a favorite among writers, artists, and sculptors for the longest time. The people express their culture through art, music, dance, theater, literature and film. So, what are you waiting for? Here are 14 natural wonders you must travel to when you visit:
Every year, people marvel at the mystery of Giant’s Causeway, one of the prettiest natural wonders. These world-famous basalt columns stretch in total of nearly 40,000 in perfect horizontal sections. They’re found in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland. It has been discovered that the giant formations were made by volcanic eruptions some 50 million years ago. It has contributed to our growing understanding of the Earth’s geological history. At the Giant’s Causeway, you will be at the center of legend overlooking the stunning coastline! So, pack your hiking gear and travel!
Cliffs of Moher
Would you like to travel to Ireland’s most-visited natural attraction, a spectacular site with a magical vista that captures the hearts of over one million each year? At the Cliffs of Moher, you will encounter nature in its most raw, purest form. Through rugged cliffs, the smell of salt air, and ancient rocks beneath your feet, this site is a definite must when you travel here. They are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren (another natural wonder that we’ll talk about) region in County Clare. Travel to these gorgeous natural wonders for amazing photo opportunities!
Ring of Gullion
The Ring of Gullion is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – and its view of fields, divided by hedgerows and stone walls, all along a backdrop of soaring mountains in the distance is outstanding. It’s considered the first, geologically-formed ring to be mapped and studied in the world. Geologists have debated the area’s volcanic activity for years, using the Ring of Gullion as its model. The land has inspired a wealth of stories, music, and poetry. Keep your cultural map and travel guide handy to trek this outstanding and historic stretch of landscape!
The Burren is a region of County Clare in the southwest, and is very close to the Cliffs of Moher. It’s a landscape of bedrock with a cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone and cliffs, caves, fossils, rock formations, and archaeological sites for you to explore! What’s cool about this particular site is its array of species. 26 of Ireland’s 33 species of butterfly are found here, including its very own: the Burren Green. The word “burren” means “the stoney place.” Pretty accurate, huh? You’ll be standing on land that has existed for millions of years. Travel to this natural wonder for incredible sights and a trip back through history! Your travel experience will definitely be one for the books.
Slieve League is a mountain on the Atlantic coast of County Donegal. At 601 meters tall, it has some of the highest sea cliffs in Ireland. As one of the most popular natural wonders, this peak offers terrific views of the Atlantic, the Sligo Mountains, and Donegal Bay. The heights over the ocean are unbelievably picturesque! It’s a sacred place of peace and serenity. These monuments belong to a large part of Irish cultural heritage. When you hike the mountain, please be respectful of its history and its memory of religious, Christian settlement. Pack your bags for a magnificent, coastal travel route and a glorious hike up one of its highest mountains!
Croagh Patrick, nicknamed “the Reek,” is a 764 meter-tall mountain and an important site of pilgrimage in County Mayo, Ireland. It’s the holiest mountain here. The tradition of pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick spans over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present. Its religious importance dates back to pagan time, when people were thought to have gathered at the mountain to celebrate the start of harvest. Every year, over 1 million people travel here, putting it toward the top of the island’s list of most visited natural wonders. This mountain is for everyone: hikers, travelers, escapists, archaeologists, nature lovers, and photographers! Travel to Croagh Patrick during your time to celebrate its sacred background! It’ll be an unforgettable travel memory!
Carrauntoohil is the highest peak of the island. Located in County Kerry, is 1,038 meters high, and is the central peak of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks range. The trail up the mountain is a strenuous 4-6 hour hike through the Devil’s Ladder (the most popular, direct, and shortest route to the summit). No special equipment is needed to climb the mountain, but be careful if you choose to go on the journey. You’ll see two large lakes (Lake Calee and Lake Gouragh) along with the rugged countryside on the way. If you’re adventurous and an avid hiker, then Carrauntoohil is the perfect natural wonder for you to see on your trip. Come see Ireland from the top of the world! Don’t forget to pick up travel guides for the best hiking routes!
The River Shannon
River Shannon is the longest river of the island, rising in northwestern County Cavan and flowing for about 161 miles south. It divides the rocky landscapes of the west from the gentler plains of the east, where animals and plants thrive. You can go on river cruises and boat rides to stop at all the charming, Irish villages. Easy to navigate and calm in tide, the River Shannon will give you a unique way to see the landscape from the water! It’s beautiful at sunset, watching the world go by, enveloped in skyline views soaking up the sun. Grab a ticket for two to travel on a river cruise of a lifetime!
Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a scenic drive throughout the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry. It winds past pristine beaches, ancient remains, mountains and lakes, with ever-lasting, dotted views of the Atlantic ahead. The road will take you to many popular tourist destination points along the way, including Killarney National Park and Mahony’s Point. It also features the Skellig Islands that have six-century, Christian monasteries and insanely cool beehive huts! Not driving around the circuit is like not trying a pint of Guinness while you’re in Ireland. The Ring of Kerry will complete your trip with a full-circle ending! Get it? So, prepare yourself to travel on a stretch of road that will carry you across 10,000 years of Irish history!
The Dingle Peninsula is southwest Ireland’s most beautiful coastline, a speck of land tucked in the corners of the Atlantic. The Dingle (as its nicknamed) envelops Ireland’s westernmost point of the island. Its beauty lies in the presence of Mount Brandon and forever-trailing country lanes. Through Christian chapels, forgotten villages, ring forts (Gullion, cough), crosses and wells, the Dingle Peninsula is where land introduces sea. You will view stunning sandy coves in the shadow of grassy hills, all with a background of overlapping waves on the shore. Don’t forget to travel to this Irish natural wonder before you leave!
The Mourne Mountains are a granite-composed mountain range in County Down in the southeast part of Northern Ireland. The Mournes divide into two very distinct areas: ‘High’ Mournes in the east and ‘Low’ Mournes in the west. On your journey, you will see a variety of natural wonders that can be found within this landscape. The Mourne Wall and the “Brandy Pad” are two famous landmarks which run through the Mourne Mountains. The six highest peaks in these mountains are Slieve Donard, Slieve Commedagh, Slieve Binnian, Slieve Bearnagh, Slieve Meelbeg, and Meelmore. So much to see! Hike the trails here and you won’t forget your travel experience!
Torc Waterfall, another travel wonder, is at the bottom of Torc Mountain, near Killarney National Park in County Kerry. The waterfall is well worth visiting and like all waterfalls it’s best seen after heavy rains (which is not a problem here!). Torc Waterfall is nearly 80 feet high! It’s one of Killarney’s most popular travel attractions and stopping points for bus tours. The waterfall is easily accessible for you to discover the true, natural beauty Its base is just a five-minute walk from the car park through a beautiful forest. Jump in and travel to one of the prettiest natural wonders here!
Gap of Dunloe
The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass split between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain by flows of glacial water. The road winds through descends into The Black Valley, which has five lakes: Coosaun Lake, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake and Black Lake. You can see the Gap of Dunloe on your drive along the Ring of Kerry, as many of the natural wonders are close enough together to explore! But, these attractions definitely can’t be seen all in one day. Travel here for an incredible adventure!
Doolin Cave is a limestone cave in County Clare, Ireland, on the western edge of The Burren (“the stoney place,” remember)! The cave is home to the Great Stalactite. At 23 feet, it’s the longest free-hanging stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere. The Great Stalactite is truly amazing, as it hangs from the wall like a glistening chandelier. What’s awesome is that pottery and handmade trinkets are made using Doolin clay. So, you can take a piece of Doolin home with you! Get ready to walk through Doolin’s cave setting, its treasures made by a drop of water over thousands of years! You’ll love this travel experience!
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