Ireland’s major cities and towns may be a hive of activity, making them ideal for fun-seeking travellers. There’s a plethora of museums, galleries, historical attractions, festivals, and vibrant nightlife scenes, loaded with music and craft beer. But locals can agree: you didn’t experience all of Ireland’s beauty if you haven’t seen the countryside.
The Irish countryside’s unparalleled beauty is a feast for the senses. Just imagine waking up to views of rolling hills, craggy mountains, and roaring coasts. Along the trip, you’ll see historic castles, monasteries, and ruins that inject character into the already postcard-worthy sceneries. The blissful sounds of birds singing and lambs bleating are the music to the ears. And as for the cherry on top, you’ll be meet admirable locals who are always open to sharing their destination’s rich cultural heritage through stories and folklore, food, art, and music.
If you’re planning to visit a rural destination in Ireland, check out our tips to make the most out of your stay.
1. Explore the green landscapes on foot
Ireland is called Emerald Isle for a good reason – it’s filled with green, picturesque natural landscapes that can be admired for free.
You can explore a National Park, like Killarney National Park, and follow trails, have a picnic, and marvel at the vast array of flora and fauna along the way. You may also hike a mountain and reward yourself with a stunning view upon reaching its peak. Taking coastal walks is also a great way to see scenic vistas of green and blue.
2. Visit castles and ruins
The countryside isn’t just filled with majestic natural wonders — it’s also a treasure trove of heritage sites, like castles, churches, and ruins that played a huge role in Ireland’s history over the centuries. While some historical attractions are standing alongside modern, architectural wonders in the city, nothing beats visiting a beautifully-preserved heritage site nestled in a natural setting.
3. See the coast (or get wet)
The Emerald Isle is also home to stunning beaches, rivers, lakes, and coastal towns that provide a host of travel experiences. If you’re a laidback traveller, you may take a plunge at a beach or take a cruise or a boat trip along the calm waters. If you crave thrill, you can also do kayaking, canoeing, and surfing to beat the waves and rapids.
4. Enjoy rustic accommodation, food, and company
If you love the idea of a “home away from home”, you may check out Irish bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), situated in a wide variety of rural locations.
Unlike standard hotel stays, B&Bs provide sumptuous local food and are run by friendly hosts with a great knowledge of their locality. Here, you’ll get the chance to fully immerse yourself in Irish culture while soaking up natural views.
You may also check out boutique hotels that are beautifully situated in a lush estate or park, like this charming house hotel in Killarney National Park. The 19th-century manor house surrounded by nature is a haven for guests seeking a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
5. Go for a scenic drive
Fan of road trips? Sometimes the best part of one’s trip isn’t the target destination but the journey. So make sure to open your car windows and enjoy the scenic views along the way.
Whether you plan to rent a car or you know someone in Ireland who can drive for you, going for a scenic drive in summer is always a great idea. Drive along the Ring of Kerry, Wicklow Mountains, and Wild Atlantic Way to see for yourself the beauty of the Irish countryside. And don’t be afraid to go off the beaten track where you’ll find charming towns and other hidden gems that beg to be discovered.
6. Embrace slow travel
Staying longer in one place is more practical than rushing from one place to another and lodging in different places. Ireland isn’t that big — you can pick a base and easily travel from place to place and seeing the countryside, small towns, and bustling cities without booking multiple lodgings. Hotels, hostels, B&Bs and other forms of accommodation are more likely to offer better deals to guests who stay for more than just one night.
It serves a great purpose too, as taking it slow and soaking in as much as possible from your beautiful surroundings give you a more memorable trip. Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a travel and lifestyle writer. Aside from taking vibrant street photos, you can find her writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit Cahernane House Hotel Killarney.