For many people, Ireland represents a scenic getaway that is steeped in tradition and mystery and the experience of visiting Ireland for the first time is a treat for all the senses. As someone who is actually from here and who has explored the architecture and nature of the country from top to bottom, Ireland and all its beautiful destinations, to me simply feels like home.
To help first time travelers to Ireland, I wanted to write a piece detailing great places for first timers to visit should they make their way to Ireland. To do this I teamed up with , an online travel agency, to see what places they recommended for first timers in my beloved home country. As destination information in detail all the time as part of their business, I felt they could provide me with more than enough information to put together a list of some of the best places to see when visiting Ireland for the first time. Here’s what they came up with:
Brú na Bóinne
Comprised of Neolithic mounds, chamber tombs, standing stones, henges, and other ancient structures, Brú na Bóinne predates the Egyptian pyramids and was built a degree of scientific and astronomical skill. The site itself occupies over 1900 acres and contains numerous graves and monuments. The highlight of Brú na Bóinne according to FlightHub is Newgrange, the central mound of the settlement that features an expansive burial chamber. Several of the structures were built with the stars in mind, corresponding with different solstices and equinoxes.
Cliffs Of Moher
The Cliffs Of Moher are spectacular cliffs that sit on the Atlantic Ocean. Ranging from 390 to just over 700 feet, these cliffs are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland, receiving over 1 million visitors annually. Sitting on the cliffs is O’Brien’s Tower, which was built during the Napoleonic Wars to serve as a lookout point. From this tower you can see much of the surrounding area including the Aran Islands and the Twelve Pins mountain range. Their natural beauty isn’t limited to tourists, as these cliffs have been featured in many movies, television shows, and music videos as well according to FlightHub.
Home of Ireland’s most famous beer, the Guinness Storehouse is a living monument to the world famous beer. Built to resemble the famous Guinness pint glass, this facility allows visitors to learn about the brewing process and the breweries founder, Arthur Guinness. Located in Dublin, the Storehouse features a seventh floor lookout that gives you a view of Ireland’s most famous city. The original building, which has since been modified, was built in 1902 and was the first multi-storey, steel framed building in Ireland.
Once an ancient monastery, Skellig Michael has the look and feel of an evil lair. This island monastery sits on the larger of the two Skellig Islands and sits just offshore of the Northwest corner of Ireland. Originally built between the sixth and seventh centuries, Skellig Michael was continuously occupied until the island was abandoned sometime in the 12th century. To reach the monastery site you must first climb 600 feet to a plateau. Once there, you can see the remains of six beehive cells, two oratories, and various stone crosses and monuments. Like the Cliffs of Moher, Skellig Michael has cultural significance in film, most recently appearing in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens as the planet Ahch-To. It will also play heavily in the following films in the series according to the nerds at FlightHub. One of the top spots on Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way coastal route.
Featuring a massive amount of genetic diversity and ancient artifacts, The Burren is a region in Ireland steeped in history. Housed within its 250 square kilometre radius lies over 90 megalithic tombs, portal dolmens, celtic crosses, and ring forts. Beyond the artifacts, The Burren features many plants that are native strictly to this small region. In addition, it is home to over three quarters of all of Ireland’s plant species. This plant life is home to a diverse ecosystem of bugs and small animals that thrive in this region due to its unique climate, which is unusually temperate. While this region is great for hiking and exploring, The Burren is also great for spirited rock climbers and spelunkers looking to explore the regions caves and cliffs.
Editors note: This post was sponsored by Flight Hub and the article is a result of shared ideas between the two of us. Let me know if there are any other great places you feel first timers should visit!