> Hillwalk Tours Blog > Hiking in Ireland > 10 Reasons to Visit Ireland
POSTED BY December 2, 2021

From the Northern Ireland coastline to the hidden beaches of County Kerry and from historic monuments in the Aran Islands to the natural beauty of Lake Glendalough – Ireland is a top destination and a walker’s paradise. Ireland conjoures up images of green rolling hills, rugged seaside cliffs, mountains and an abundance of historical sites. A visit to this Celtic gem will deliver that and much more! Here are our top 10 reasons to visit Ireland.

1. The end of the world

To visit the three thousand year old fortress Dun Aengus on the Aran Islands (and enjoy the view over the cliffs). This island off the west coast of Ireland has been referred to by locals as “the end of the world”. In that impressive site is one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites, Dun Aengus Fort, built thousands of years ago on the island’s cliffs.

You can also visit Dun Aengus as part of a walking holiday in Connemara and the West of Ireland.

Dun Aengus, part of the West of Ireland/Connemara tour
Dun Aengus, Aran Islands

2. Feet off the floor

To spend an evening in a pub with traditional Irish live music. There are many places to enjoy authentic Irish folk music, but the cozy town of Dingle is one of the best places in the country for a night of music. Located on the Wild Atlantic Way, Dingle is known for its various traditional pubs with live music every night.

As well as being famous for live Irish music, Dingle is also home to the most popular walking trail in Ireland, the Dingle Way.

3. Visiting Westeros

To reenact famous Game of Thrones scenes in Northern Ireland. The Giant’s Causeway has become one of Europe’s most popular destinations in recent years, and Northern Ireland will continue to be on many travelers’ wish lists.  Go on a voyage of discovery yourself in the environment where dragons could just come to life. As well as being used as a filming location for the hit television series, Northern Ireland’s dramatic coastline is simply breathtakingly beautiful.

You can also explore Antrims Glens and Coastline on foot.

Giant's Causeway in Antrim
Giant’s Causeway in Antrim

4. The beauty of Beara

To hike through the rugged wilderness of the Beara Peninsula. The Beara Way is perhaps the least known of all the walking routes in Ireland. This tour leads on winding trails through some of Ireland’s most beautiful mountains and valleys. Typical Irish villages, sweeping views of the ocean and a good dose of nature are on the path.

Lighthouse on the Beara Way

5. To the early Middle Ages

To completely unwind in the surroundings of the sixth-century monastic village of Glendalough on the lake of the same name. This is without doubt the highlight of a visit to the Wicklow Mountains located just south of Dublin. That is why you can also combined it with a walk along the Wicklow Way.

Glendalough, Wicklow Way

6. Fine Tasting in Western Ireland

To taste the very best of Irish food and drink. A vibrant city on Ireland’s west coast, Galway is known as Ireland’s foodie paradise. For example, sample wines in one of the coastal town’s many cozy wine bars, or head to one of the many top restaurants serving local and international specialties. The town has its own whiskey tour, local beer breweries and numerous pubs to enjoy a snack or drink. A visit to Galway can be perfectly combined with a tour of Connemara, the fascinating national park north of Galway.

7. Beach vacation

To take a dip in the ocean on a trip on Ireland ‘s longest hiking trail (214km!). The Kerry Way consists of fascinating landscapes full of mountains, lakes and the beautiful Killarney National Park. But perhaps more importantly, there are countless deserted beaches and bays on the route. For example, the beach at Waterville is the perfect place to take a dip – this seaside town was Charlie Chaplin’s favorite summer destination for a reason!

Hillwalk Tours Kerry Way Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Windy Gap, Kerry Way

8. Counting sheep

To count sheep along the Sheep’s Head Way. The Irish landscape would look a lot less fun without a lost sheep here and there. So look for these iconic Irish animals in one of the most remote places on the Emerald Isle. In addition to woolly quadrupeds, this view-rich route features ancient churches, prehistoric stone circles and a copper mine.

The Sheep's Head Way is an award-winner in sustainable tourism
Sheep’s Head Way

9. Flora and fauna

To learn about the unique geology of the Burren, one of the largest limestone areas in Europe. Although the appearance of this karst landscape is rather harsh, you will find a very large number of unique animal and plant species while walking the Burren.

Flowers on the Burren Way

10. Discover the craic

To get to know the Irish and their craic. Our list of 10 reasons to visit Ireland would not be complete without mentioning the craic. The Irish people are perhaps the best reason to visit this country. Irish people are known for their hospitality, friendliness and craic. Craic is basically fun and entertainment – something the Irish can’t get enough of quickly. So whether it’s a nice chat in the park or an evening in the pub, the Irish always know how to make it fun!

So there you have it, our 10 reasons to visit Ireland! Are there any you would add? If you’ve already been convinced to visit the Emerald Isle, why not consider an Ireland walking tour as part of your trip.