Ireland is the perfect destination to escape to with its spectacular scenery, amazing food and great city life. Whether it’s for St. Patrick’s Day or just some rest and relaxation, here are some weekend getaways in Ireland that are sure to amaze.
About a four hour train ride outside of Dublin, Wexford is beautiful area with a rich history and amazing landmarks scattered along its coastline. From the oldest operational lighthouse in the world — Hook Lighthouse and Heritage Centre — to the ruins of Tintern Abbey, if you’re looking for a historic place to escape to in Ireland, then Wexford is for you.
Another popular destination for Dubliners is Glendalough – also known as the Valley of Two Lakes. In the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, this is a place for anyone who loves being active outdoors. From cycling and hiking, to fishing and gold, this area has it all. And if you’re there on St. Patrick’s Day, head to Glendalough Distillery where there’ll be tasting of Poitin (premium Irish whiskey).
If you’re looking for a beach getaway, then Donegal is the perfect destination. With amazing sandy beaches like Murvagh beach, great surfing conditions at Rossnowlagh, and stunning beachfront accommodation like the Beach Hotel and Red Castle Hotel, you’ll find it hard to leave.
4. Cooley Peninsula
If you’re looking for a place that is untouched by tourism, then the Cooley Peninsula is the perfect place. With stunning scenery and views of the forested Mourne Mountains, it’s a great place to disconnect from the city. If you’re there during St. Paddy’s Day celebration, then make sure to stop by PJ O’Hares in Carlingford for its delicious beef and Guinness pie.
Just across the border is the capital and biggest city in Northern Ireland, Belfast. From dancing the night away at Box Nightclub or Kremlin Night Club, to taking in a bit of history or culture at Ulster Museum or Irish Republican History Museum, this city has something for everyone. Don’t forget to catch the St. Patrick’s Day Carnival and Concert if you’re in the area.
6. Connemara National Park
Covering over 2975 ha of scenic mountains, grasslands, and woodlands, Connemara National Park in Ireland is absolutely stunning. With its herd of wild ponies, a backdrop of the Twelve Bens mountains and the magnificent Kylemore Abbey, the area is an eyeful. You can also stay at the nearby Letterfrack Lodge.
Full of personality, this city has amazing nightlife, some of the best whisky in the world and stunning beaches. During St Patrick’s Day celebrations, Dublin is at its best with Dublin Saint Patrick’s Parade & Festival — one of the biggest in the world.
8. Achill Island
Ideal for a family weekend away, Achil Island has various accommodation option including Óstán Oileán Acla, The Railway Hostel, Joyce’s Guesthouse, and Lavelle’s Caravan & Camping Park. The island also has Blue Flag beaches which are ideal for surfing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking, as well as some historic ruins.
9. Aran Islands
This group of three islands just off Ireland’s west coast is one of the most enchanting places in the country with historic forts, endless beaches and miles of rugged coastline. A few must-see attractions in this region are Dun Aengus, Dun Duchathair, Aran Pony and Trap, and Kilmurvey Beach.
10. Glenveagh National Park
Ireland’s second-largest National Park stretches over 14,000 acres of land. It is also home to golden eagles, the largest herd of red deer, and the Glenveagh Castle. There is a limited amount of accommodation in the area including Radisson Blu Hotel Letterkenny and Station House Hotel Letterkenny.
If you’re looking for a great place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, Cork also makes a great place. With the awesome Cork St Patrick’s Festival happening for three days, you’ll be in for a good time. Cork City also has some really cool things to do like visiting Fota Wildlife Park, Blarney Castle And Gardens, and The English Market.
12. Boyne Valley
Whether you want to take a walk through the quaint town and villages, experience iconic prehistoric tombs that are also UNESCO World Heritage Site or treat yourself to a spa day, Boyne Valley offers it all. This area also has affordable accommodation including Boyne Valley Hotel & Country Club.
County Kerry has a dramatic coastline, ten of the highest peaks in Ireland and has the country’s oldest oak forest. Another paradise for hikers and climbers, the town has many B&Bs and homely pubs.
In the west of Ireland is the city of Galway which lies on the the River Corrib. With loads to do like visiting Dunguaire Castle, going to see some theatre at Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, and visiting the Spanish Arch, this beautiful city is a must-visit.
With so many cute towns and villages scattered around this region in the mid-east of Ireland, Wicklow is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The area also features amazing castles, delicious food and a variety of places to hike.