It’s always tempting to book a weekend break away in some cool European city, but a staycation in Ireland can be just as appealing, if you know the right places to visit.
Sure, places like Berlin, Paris, Venice and Barcelona all have their charms but there’s something so special about discovering the beauty in your own back garden.
Ireland has some of the most stunning and rugged scenery in the world so we’ve rounded up eight beautiful towns that will make you want to spend your weekend right here at home.
Adare, Co. Limerick
Adare really is a postcard perfect town. Situated on the river Maigue, this idyllic village is quintessentially Irish, with its perfect thatched cottages and winding streets. The pretty little town is punctuated with medieval ruins so there’s plenty to see and do. Pay a visit to Adare Manor for a little bit of luxury along the way.
Dingle, Co. Kerry
Dingle and its surroundings offer some of the most spectacular scenery in Ireland. Drive over the Conor Pass for a 360 view of the Kingdom and snake around Slea Head to capture the rugged Wild Atlantic Way. A trip to Dingle wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Ireland’s friendliest dolphin, Fungi, but not before sampling some of the local seafood fresh off the boats.
Roundstone, Co. Galway
A gem in the stark Connemara landscape, the pretty village is located on one of the most striking coastal drives in Ireland, overlooking the Atlantic at the foot of Errisbeg Mountain. A haven for holidaymakers, artists and hikers, the diverse Connemara landscape offers everything from golden sandy beaches to good food and beautiful national parks to explore.
Carlingford, Co. Louth
In the northeast corner of Co. Louth, Carlingford and The Cooley Peninsula are two of Ireland’s best-kept secrets. Stroll around the town, taking in the beautiful old-world feeling of the medieval streets, or get adventurous and explore the local myths and legends that surround the area. Take a hike up Slieve Foy where mythical giant Fionn Mac Cumhaill lies, stretching his feet into Carlingford Lough.
Westport, Co. Mayo
A bustling, vibrant town on the Mayo coastline, Westport is the perfect spot to break away for the weekend. The beautiful streets are lined with great shops, bars and restaurants. If you really want to capture the beauty of the area, visit the historical Westport House for a day of family fun, take the coastal dive around Old Head or conquer Croagh Patrick – one of Ireland’s most famous peaks.
Kinsale, Co. Cork
This tranquil old fishing town in Kinsale Harbour is the perfect oasis away from the busy streets of Cork City. Stroll around the colourful streets, discover local crafts and, of course, pay a visit to the famous Fishy Fishy restaurant to sample the local produce! If you do nothing other than catch a sunset on the harbour, it will have been worth the trip!
Lismore, Co. Waterford
Situated in the Sunny South East, Lismore Heritage Town sits on the stunning River Blackwater. Take in the sights with a trip down the river with a Canoe and Camp trip. Or, if you’re feeling flush, hire out the exclusive Lismore Castle and feel like royalty for the weekend.
Kilkee, Co. Clare
Perched on the edge of the Atlantic, the seaside town of Kilkee has a lot to offer. Soak up the beauty of the landscape with a trip around the Loop Head Peninsula or visit the breath-taking Cliffs of Moher. Hire out this beautiful seaside retreat and enjoy the views until sunset.
Some great staycation ideas!