For a relatively small island, Ireland certainly packs in its visitors. Ireland attracts close to 11 million tourists each year. The Emerald Isle have some impressive attractions to please its visitors. We’re talking verdant landscapes; rolling hills; medieval castles; vibrant music; and folk so congenial, that you’ll strike up a lifelong friendship.
Ireland is also admired for its charming villages and bustling cities that are bursting with interesting things to do, see and eat. From unbeatable tourist attractions like the Cliffs of Moher to the breathtaking sight of Skellig Michael, Ireland is one of the world’s best vacation spots with a ton of stellar places to visit.
With so many great, unique places to visit in Ireland, we at Craic N Campers decided to create a list of 10 places you need to visit in Ireland.
The Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery is in a captivating part of Sligo, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Benbulben. See the monuments of this ancient site, some of which are nearly six thousand years old.
Discover Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, one of the most important megalithic sites in Europe. Over 30 tombs have been discovered here by archaeologists; take some time to explore these fascinating monuments.
The cemetery is accessible by foot. Explore the tombs and stop off at the restored cottage to see a small exhibition relating to the site. Check out the boulder circles with central dolmens and rudimentary passages that are among the earliest megalithic chambers built in Ireland. Don’t forget to wear shoes suitable for walking on uneven terrain.
Carrowmore is considered one of the ‘big four’ sites of megalithic importance along with Carrowkeel, Loughcrew, and Brú na Bóinne. Stand still and admire the breathtaking prehistoric landscape, dominated by epic views of Knocknarea mountain to the west.
9. Carrauntoohil in Kerry
Lace-up your hiking boots and climbCarrauntoohil in Kerry. Enjoy the magnificent scenery from the summit of the 1,039m high peak, and marvel at the spectacular views.
Standing tall among the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range in Kerry is Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain. Begin the epic climb that can take anywhere between four to six hours.
Carrauntoohil is a difficult hike, best suited to experienced hikers. There are three routes to the top – The Devil’s Ladder route begins at Cronin’s Yard and follows the path up through Hag’s Glen valley, crossing the gentle Gaddagh River. You can also choose from Brother O’Shea’s Gully route or the Caher route. All three trails treat you to views of lush valleys, serene lakes, and rich green forests.
Mark this major milestone with a photo at the Carrauntoohil cross. Soak up the views of dramatic mountain peaks and rugged ridges, with the Gap of Dunloe to the east and Glencar to the west.
8. Rock Of Dunamase
The Rock of Dunamase is an imposing and magnificent example of a Celtic fortification overlooking the valley of the O’Moores, just outside Portlaoise, County Laois.
Spectacular views of the surrounding countryside make the towering Rock of Dunamase a place of strategic importance. The site of an early Christian settlement pillaged by the Vikings in 842, Dunamase became one of the most important Anglo-Norman strongholds in Laois. It was part of the dowry of Aoife, the daughter of Diarmuid Mac Murrough, King of Leinster, when she was given in marriage to the Norman conqueror Strongbow in 1170. When Isabel, the daughter of Strongbow and Aoife, wed William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, Dunamase was given as part of her marriage’s wedding gift.
From 1325 until 1609, the castle belonged to the O’Moore family of Laois, before ownership passed to the Earl of Thomond. It was finally destroyed during the Cromwellian invasion in 1650.
Despite the castle’s ruined state, visitors can get a sense of its former grandiosity and also have the opportunity to take in stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
7. Aran Islands
Experience the Aran Islands, Inishmore (Inis Mór), Inishmaan (Inis Meáin), and Inisheer (Inis Oírr) each with their own unique charm.
Lofty lighthouses, holy wells, and historic monuments are to be found. See the striking Dún Aonghasa (Dun Aengus) on the edge of Inis Mór and swim in the sparkling waters of Kilmurvey Beach.
Hop on the Aran Islands ferry from the mainland and experience this remote paradise in the spectacular Atlantic Ocean on your next trip to the West.
6. Guinness Storehouse
Welcome to the home of Guinness. Visit the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin City to experience the history, heart, and soul of Ireland’s most iconic beer.
Located in the heart of St James’s Gate in Dublin City, the Guinness Storehouse building was once the fermentation plant of the brewery. Today it offers a Guinness experience. As you make your way through the space, explore the ingredients, history, and culture that tell the Guinness story.
Explore the story of Guinness before taking in the views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar while enjoying your perfectly poured, perfectly chilled pint of Guinness, included in your ticket.
Book a table in advance for Arthur’s Bar or the 1837 Bar & Brasserie and enjoy the best of local Irish food, cooked to order by a team of talented chefs. Eating at the Guinness Storehouse can be enjoyed without having to buy an experienced ticket. The menu showcases how stouts and beers uniquely cut, contrast, or compliment food. You can enjoy these unique dishes made with local Irish ingredients while taking in the Dublin views.
5. Book of Kells at Trinity College
A visit to the Book of Kells, at the Old Library in Trinity College Dublin, is a journey through some of Ireland’s most iconic cultural heritage.
Housed within the Old Library building, at Dublin City’s Trinity College, the Book of Kells is a precious 9th-century manuscript, featuring an exquisite combination of ornate Latin text and intricate illuminations.
Discover how the world’s most famous medieval manuscript was made and learn about the rich symbolism behind it. You will also gain access to the Long Room, one of the world’s most beautiful libraries and home to 250,000 of Trinity College’s most ancient books.
On exploring the Long Room, get a close-up view of the Brian Boru Harp, Ireland’s oldest surviving harp. You will also see a rare original copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, a seminal text in Irish history that influenced the foundation of the Irish Republic as a sovereign independent state.
The Book of Kells is open 7 days a week. Guided walking tours of Trinity’s 47-acre campus are also available 7 days a week. For the best value, you can purchase a Book of Kells and Campus Tour bundle. This includes both entry to the Book of Kells and a guided walking tour. Entry is timed and it is recommended that you purchase your tickets online in advance.
4. Skellig Michael
Discover the extraordinary Sceilg Mhichíl (Skellig Michael) Discovery Point with its well-preserved monastery and remote hermitage perched on a rock in the Atlantic. It is one of the most spectacular early medieval monastic sites in the world.
Plan a trip to magnificent Sceilg Mhichíl whose isolation in the Atlantic helped to preserve and protect the monastic remains.
Pre-book your seat on the boat and visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sceilg Mhichíl is an internationally renowned site for breeding seabirds with its steep rocky slopes providing nesting places for colorful puffins. This combination of cultural and natural history imbues the island with a strong sense of beauty and spirituality.
Climb up the 500 steps that wind up the 1000-year-old stone stairway. See the stone beehive huts where monks lived and prayed centuries ago that cling to cliff edges alongside oratories, a cemetery, stone crosses, holy wells, and the Church of St. Michael.
3. Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone
For over 200 years, world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions of pilgrims climbing the steps to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence. Its powers are unquestioned but its story still creates debate.
Once upon a time, visitors had to be held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements. Today, we are rather more cautious of the safety of our visitors. The Stone itself is still set in the wall below the battlements. To kiss it, one has to lean backward (holding on to an iron railing) from the parapet walk. The prize is a real one as once kissed the stone bestows the gift of eloquence.
Some say it was Jacob’s Pillow, brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah. Here it became the Lia Fail or ‘Fatal Stone’, used as an oracular throne of Irish kings – a kind of Harry Potter-like ‘sorting hat’ for kings. It was also said to be the deathbed pillow of St Columba on the island of Iona. Legend says it was then removed to mainland Scotland, where it served as the prophetic power of royal succession, the Stone of Destiny.
When Cormac MacCarthy, King of Munster, sent five thousand men to support Robert the Bruce in his defeat of the English at Bannockburn in 1314, a portion of the historic Stone was given by the Scots in gratitude – and returned to Ireland.
Others say it may be a stone brought back to Ireland from the Crusades – the ‘Stone of Ezel’ behind which David hid on Jonathan’s advice when he fled from his enemy, Saul. A few claim it was the stone that gushed water when struck by Moses.
Whatever the truth of its origin, we believe a witch saved from drowning revealed its power to the MacCarthys.
2. Cliffs Of Moher
Discover the spectacular Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions. The sea cliffs were given UNESCO Global Geopark status in 2011.
Experience the staggering Cliffs of Moher, Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. They stretch for 8km (5 miles) and reach 214m (702 feet) at their highest point north of O’Brien’s Tower, where you can enjoy unrivaled views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Find Hags Head, a natural rocky promontory that resembles a seated woman when viewed from the north. The Cliffs of Moher means the cliffs of the ruined fort, and although the fort no longer exists, the breathtaking natural wonder is named after it.
Stop by the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience midway along the sensational cliffs to explore the environmentally friendly Visitor Centre and 800 meters of protected cliffside pathways and viewing areas. Stand still and marvel at the towering heights of the soaring cliffs, their sheer scale and incredible impact amaze all who visit.
Newgrange is a 5,200-year-old passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley in Ireland’s Ancient East.
Newgrange is a Stone Age monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland. It was built about 3,200 BC (5,200 years ago) during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Newgrange is a large circular mound with a stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound is ringed by large stones known as kerbstones some of which are engraved with artwork.
Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however, Newgrange is now recognized to be much more than a passage tomb. Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious, and ceremonial importance.
The passage and chamber are aligned with the rising sun in the mornings around the winter solstice. It is the best-known monument within the Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site. Newgrange also shares many similarities with other passage tombs in Western Europe, such as Gavrinis in Brittany, Maeshowe in Orkney, and Bryn Celli Ddu in Wales.
After its initial use, Newgrange was sealed and it remained so until the passage and chamber were rediscovered in 1699. In the 1970s, the front of the monument was reconstructed.
Why You Should Choose Craic N Campers For Your Irish Road Trip
Craicncampers is the best Irish campervan rental company in the market. We offer a huge selection of modern, top-quality vehicles available for hire at the most competitive rates.
We have a modern, stylish and safe fleet that provides all the facilities necessary for your trip. Our vehicles are maintained to the highest industry standards by our SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) approved workshop.
Unlike other companies, each of the benefits of our vehicle is from a private toilet area plus gas-fired central heating & water heaters to ensure cozy sleeping and hot showers. Each vehicle has a 12v power inverter to provide charging facilities for phones & electronics regardless of location.
At Craic N Campers, we pride ourselves on providing a professional and personal service to our customers. We have integrated our knowledge and experience into our website to ensure a smooth and informative booking experience. We understand that everyone is different & therefore we use informational videos to help familiarise you with your chosen vehicle prior to pick up. If you cannot find the answer to your question on our website we are simply an email or phone call away.
Plan Your Next Epic Adventure In Ireland Today!
Are you planning your next adventure? Contact Craic N Campers and let us know how we can help you with your upcoming trip. We would love to hear from you.
Visit our Contact Us page.