With the new year now upon us, we have decided to look at some of the top Irish travel destinations to consider for 2018. From the north coast in Northern Ireland to the very tip of Co Cork, below we look at 15 places to consider visiting in 2018.
15 Great Places to Visit in Ireland in 2018
1 Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Antrim
One for those of you with a head for heights, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge is a truly unique Irish travel experience. Located along County Antrim’s stunning Causeway Coastal Route, Carrick-a-Rede is one of Northern Ireland’s most popular visitor attraction, and a must visit if you’re planning a trip north. Marvel at the views out towards the North Atlantic Sea where you can see Rathlin Island and the coast of Scotland on a clear day.
View the latest Antrim hotel deals and book your trip to Northern Ireland’s north coast today.
2 Brownshill Dolmen, Carlow
The largest portal tomb of its kind in Europe, Brownshill Dolmen is one of Carlow’s most iconic tourist attractions and a site that dates back some 4,000 years. Rumoured to be a site of human sacrifice, this impressive monument will make for a great photo background and a highlight for any trip to Carlow.
3 Dun Aonghasa, Inishmore, Galway
This ancient stone fort located 300 feet above sea level on Inishmore is perhaps the highlight of any trip to the Aran Islands. Believed to date back to 1100 BC, be sure to set aside time to visit Inishmore and indeed Dun Aonghasa, and relax with the stunning views from this ancient fort.
View the latest deals for accommodation in Inishmore and plan your island adventure today.
4 Hill of Uisneach, Westmeath
A former ancient high seat for Irish kings, and the ancient centre and capital of Ireland, it is said that you can see over 20 counties on a clear day atop the Hill of Uisneach. An area of huge importance in Irish history, it is at the Hill of Uisneach where the five ancient provinces of Ireland met, and where the mythical Goddess of Ireland, Eriu, is believed to be buried. The highlight for many is the Catstone, an ancient stone that is thought to have been the site for the inauguration of many ancient Irish kings.
View the latest Westmeath hotel deals and plan your trip to Ireland’s sacred capital today.
5 Clare Island, Mayo
The largest of the many islands of Clew Bay, Clare Island offers visitors to Mayo so much to see and do and is well worth adding to your Irish travel list for 2018. Some of the highlights of Clare Island include a Napoleonic Tower, a 16th-century castle which was once the stronghold of the Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley, and several ancient bronze age sites.
Check out the latest Mayo hotel deals and plan your Clare Island adventure today.
6 Hill of the O’Neill, Tyrone
Image via Mid Ulster Council
The ancient seat of the famous O’Neill clan in Ulster, the Hill of the O’Neill and Ranfurly House provides great insight into centuries of Ulster rule by the O’Neill dynasty, while also providing great views over the town of Dungannon.
View the latest Tyrone hotel deals today.
7 Birr Castle, Offaly
Home to the Great Telescope, Birr Castle was once one of the most important astrology areas in Europe, with astrologists from all over the continent visiting in the late 19th Century to marvel at the telescope. Today, the stunning gardens and Science Centre ensure visitors have a great time exploring these grounds. Along with the Great Telescope, Birr Castle is also home to Ireland’s largest treehouse, making Birr Castle a great location for all the family.
Check out the latest deals for Offaly hotels.
8 Devenish Island, Fermanagh
Nestled in the tranquil surroundings of the Fermanagh Lakelands, Devenish Island is the location of the 6th-Century Devenish Monastery and believed to be a site that was invaded by Vikings in Ulster in the 9th Century. The island has seen its fair share of action down the years, and today is one of Fermanagh’s undoubted highlights, and is only accessible by boat.
9 Skellig Michael, Kerry
One of the many highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way, and gaining plenty of global attention thanks to featuring in the latest Star Wars classic, be sure to have a day trip to Skellig Micheal high on your list for 2018.
View the latest Kerry hotel deals today.
10 Old Head Kinsale, Cork
Cork is a county with so much to offer, but one of the highlights for anyone visiting the county is the town of Kinsale, considered the gourmet food capital of Ireland. Be sure to consider a trip to Kinsale in 2018, and while exploring the area, set aside a few hours to enjoy the amazing scenery at the Old Head of Kinsale. For the golf fans among you, the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Club is among the most scenic in Ireland, so if you’re planning a trip to Kinsale this year, be sure to pack in those clubs.
11 Grianan of Aileach, Donegal
An ancient stone fort, Grianan of Aileach is an iconic fort that sits 250 metres above the sea in the popular Inishowen area of Donegal. The fort has been restored in recent times, and a trip to Grianan of Aileach will reward you with some of the best views in the whole of Donegal, including wonderful panoramic views of Lough Swilly, Lough Foyle and the Inishowen countryside.
12 Mourne Mountains, Down
The highest mountain range in Northern Ireland, the Mourne Mountains is home to some of the finest scenery in Northern Ireland, and perfect for a walking or driving holiday in Northern Ireland. View the 3-day Mourne Coastal Route and plan your trip to the stunning Mourne Mountains region today.
Check out the latest deals for accommodation in County Down.
13 Rock of Dunamase, Laois
An ancient wedding gift from King Dermot MacMurrough to Strongbow, the Rock of Dunamase is a prominent rocky outcrop that was formerly a Norman Castle. One of Laois’s most iconic attractions, the castle structure has declined in recent times, but its heritage and impressive views still make it one of Ireland’s most impressive and significant castles.
View the latest deals for hotels in Laois today.
14 Hill of Tara, Meath
One of the most iconic attractions of Ireland’s ancient kings and queens, the Hill of Tara is a former high seat of Ireland, and one of several famous ancient attractions in Meath. Discover more of Ireland’s ancient past by visiting the Hill of Tara, and other Meath attractions including Trim Castle and Newgrange.
15 Rock of Cashel, Tipperary
One of the most iconic tourist attractions anywhere in Ireland, and a former high seat for the King of Munster, the Rock of Cashel is one Irish attraction that everyone should visit at least once in their lives. Make 2018 the year you take in the wonder of this hugely impressive tourist attraction. Relax in the quaint town of Cashel after your visit to the famous ‘Rock’.
What Are Your Irish Travel Highlights For 2018?
Where are you planning to explore in Ireland in the coming year? Share your travel tips with us below.
Images via Fáilte Ireland