💎 33 Hidden Gems in Ireland Best to Visit This Summer

Discovering Ireland’s hidden gems in summer invites you to venture beyond the familiar into a realm of secluded beauty and timeless charm.

These secret spots, set against Ireland’s lush summer landscapes, offer an escape into tranquility, history, and natural wonder.

From the hushed ruins of ancient abbeys to the serene shores of untouched islands, each destination is a portal to a more intimate Ireland, promising a journey of discovery away from the well-trodden tourist paths.

1. Sheep’s Head Peninsula

Sheep's Head Peninsula
Sheep’s Head Peninsula, Ireland’s tranquil pathways winding through rugged beauty.

Sheep’s Head Peninsula, nestled in County Cork, offers a serene retreat with its rugged coastal walks, quaint villages, and the iconic Sheep’s Head Lighthouse.

This hidden gem is perfect for outdoor adventures or a peaceful getaway amidst Ireland’s stunning landscapes. The peninsula’s unspoiled natural beauty and the warm hospitality of its small communities make it an ideal spot for relaxation and exploration.

Whether hiking the Sheep’s Head Way or enjoying the panoramic ocean views, this tranquil destination promises a truly Irish experience away from the crowds.

A map highlighting the Sheeps Head Peninsula in Ireland, with an inset photo of a scenic view of the rocky coast and the ocean.
Sheeps Head Peninsula
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Begin your journey to Sheep’s Head by driving to Bantry, a picturesque town that serves as a gateway to the peninsula. From major cities like Cork or Killarney, the drive to Bantry reveals the lush beauty of West Cork.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: For a comfortable stay, consider the Maritime Hotel in Bantry, known for its scenic views and upscale facilities. Alternatively, the Bridge View House B&B in Kilcrohane offers a charming and intimate setting, ideal for those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture.

2. Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven, a celestial ascent through misty highlands
Stairway to Heaven, a celestial ascent through misty highlands.

The Stairway to Heaven is an enchanting trail leading to the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain. Known officially as the Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail, this boardwalk path offers hikers breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

The trail’s unique blend of natural beauty and accessibility has made it a favorite among both locals and tourists seeking to experience the tranquility of Northern Ireland’s countryside.

A split-image with the top half showing a wooden boardwalk extending into a picturesque landscape of green hills and a clear sky, labeled "Stairway to Heaven," and the bottom half displaying a map of Ireland highlighting the location with a purple map pin.
Stairway To Heaven Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The trailhead is near Enniskillen in County Fermanagh. Visitors can drive to the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, where the walk begins.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Consider staying at the Lough Erne Resort for a touch of luxury amidst the natural beauty of Fermanagh. For a more intimate experience, the Arch House B&B near Enniskillen offers cozy accommodations and a warm welcome.

3. The Vee, County Tipperary

Bench at the Vee Pass
Bench at the Vee Pass offering panoramic splendor in blooming rhododendrons.

The Vee is celebrated for its breathtaking scenic drive and vibrant rhododendron blooms, particularly stunning in late spring.

This mountain pass offers panoramic views of the lush valleys and the Knockmealdown Mountains, attracting photographers, nature lovers, and driving enthusiasts for its unparalleled vistas and serene atmosphere.

A map of Ireland highlighting The Vee in County Tipperary with a small inset picture of a scenic viewpoint overlooking a lush landscape.
The Vee County Tipperary Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The Vee is accessible by car via the R668 road, linking Lismore to Clogheen. It’s a favorite route for a scenic drive in the South of Ireland, and it is easily reached from Cork or Waterford.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Annaswood B&B, located in Cahir, offers a unique blend of elegance and modern comfort, perfect for unwinding after a day
  • of exploration. Alternatively, Cahir House Hotel provides a quaint and welcoming setting known for its hospitality and beautiful gardens.

4. Lismore Castle, County Waterford

The Lismore Castle, an aristocratic heritage
The Lismore Castle, an aristocratic heritage, nestled in verdant gardens.

Lismore Castle stands out with its stunning architecture and historic gardens, offering visitors a glimpse into Ireland’s noble past. The castle grounds are a horticultural delight, featuring extensive gardens that are open to the public, while the castle itself remains a private residence.

A map of Ireland highlighting Lismore Castle's location in County Waterford with an inset image of the castle on the upper left corner.
Lismore Castle County Waterford Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Lismore Castle is situated in the town of Lismore, accessible by car from Waterford City via the N72 route, making for a pleasant journey through the Irish countryside.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Lismore House Hotel, located in the heart of Lismore, provides easy access to the castle and comfortable accommodations with a touch of local heritage. For those seeking a cozy bed and breakfast experience, Ballyrafter House Hotel offers charming rooms with scenic views of the surrounding area.

5. Plassey’s Shipwreck, County Galway

Plassey's Shipwreck, Ireland's maritime relic
Plassey’s Shipwreck, Ireland’s maritime relic, hauntingly grounded in time.

Plassey’s Shipwreck offers a unique glimpse into maritime history on the smallest Aran Islands, Inis Oirr. The wreck of the MV Plassey, cast ashore in 1960, has become an iconic landmark, immortalized by the popular TV show “Father Ted.”

The island is a tapestry of ancient forts, stunning seascapes, and traditional Irish culture, making it a captivating destination for adventurers and history enthusiasts.

An informational image featuring a map of Ireland highlighting the location of the Plassey Shipwreck in County Galway with a purple pin. An inset picture at the top left shows the rusted remains of the Plassey Shipwreck under a blue sky, resting on rocky terrain. Text at the top reads "Plassey Shipwreck, County Galway," with the Google and Mapprr.co logos at the bottom, indicating the map data source.
Plassey Shipwreck County Galway Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Access to Inis Oirr is by ferry from Doolin, County Clare, or Rossaveal, County Galway. The journey offers spectacular views of the Cliffs of Moher and Galway Bay.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: On Inis Oirr, Aran Islands Hotel, Kilronan offers a warm, traditional stay, immersing guests in island life. For those preferring to stay on the mainland, Doolin Inn in Doolin provides modern comfort with easy access to ferry services.

6. Achill Island, County Mayo

Beaches of Keem Bay on Achill Island
Beaches of Keem Bay on Achill Island, where land and sea embrace.

Achill Island is a haven of natural beauty with its dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches like Keem Bay, and rich cultural heritage. The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge, making it easily accessible for a scenic retreat.

Achill’s landscapes are a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities from windsurfing to cycling along the Great Western Greenway.

A graphic image showing a map of Ireland with a marker indicating the location of Achill Island in County Mayo. To the upper left, there is an inset photo of a coastal scene presumably from Achill Island, depicting a sandy beach with lush green hills in the background. The title "Achill Island, County Mayo" is displayed at the top.
Achill Island County Mayo Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Drive to Achill Island from Westport, County Mayo, via the N59 and R319 roads, enjoying the scenic route through the rugged Irish countryside.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Achill Island’s Achill Cliff House Hotel & Restaurant provides stunning ocean views and local seafood dishes. For a homely stay, Ferndale Luxury Boutique Bed & Breakfast combines luxury with unique thematic decor inspired by global cultures.

7. Lough Bray, County Wicklow

The Lough Bray, a mirror to the sky, cradled in mountain arms
The Lough Bray, a mirror to the sky, cradled in mountain arms.

Lough Bray is a lesser-known gem in the Wicklow Mountains, offering serene beauty with its twin glacial lakes and rugged mountain backdrop.

The area is a haven for hikers and nature lovers, with trails offering splendid views of the lakes and surrounding landscapes, making it an ideal spot for a day trip or a quiet picnic away from the hustle and bustle.

An image featuring a dual layout with the upper portion showing a scenic photograph of Lough Bray in County Wicklow, Ireland, with clear skies, a body of water, green hills, and rocky shores, and the lower portion presenting a map highlighting the location of Lough Bray near Dublin, on the east coast of Ireland, created by MappR.co with Google map data.
Lough Bray County Wicklow Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Lough Bray is best accessed by car from Dublin, via the M50 and R115, providing a scenic drive through the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: For those wishing to stay nearby, the Dublin Premier Suits, located in Sandyford, offers cozy accommodations with easy access to local attractions. Powerscourt Hotel, Resort & Spa, set in the magnificent Powerscourt Estate, offers luxury and elegance for those seeking a more upscale retreat.

8. Slieve League, County Donegal

The cliffs of Slieve League, guarding the Atlantic's secrets
The cliffs of Slieve League, guarding the Atlantic’s secrets.

Slieve League stands as one of Europe’s highest sea cliffs, offering awe-inspiring vistas that rival the more famous Cliffs of Moher.

The sheer drop into the Atlantic Ocean, combined with the ancient pilgrimage path known as “One Man’s Pass,” provides an exhilarating experience for visitors. The area’s rich history, including early Christian monastic sites, adds depth to the natural beauty.

Map showing the location of Slieve League cliffs in County Donegal, Ireland, with a purple marker indicating the specific area on the map. The surrounding region and nearby towns are visible. There's also an inset photograph in the upper left corner that shows the dramatic cliffs and coastline of Slieve League.
Slieve League County Donegal Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Slieve League is most accessible by car from Donegal Town, following the N56 and then the R263 towards Teelin, from where signposts lead to the cliffs.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Rusty Mackerel, located at the base of Slieve League in Teelin, offers cozy, traditional lodging and local cuisine. The Lough Eske Castle Hotel in Donegal Town combines historic elegance with modern comfort for a more luxurious stay.

9. Gougane Barra, Cork

Gougane Barra, where serenity whispers among ancient pines
Gougane Barra, where serenity whispers among ancient pines.

Gougane Barra is a serene haven where history and spirituality converge amidst stunning landscapes. The site offers a peaceful retreat with its picturesque forest park and the quaint St. Finbarr’s Oratory on the lake island.

This sacred spot, surrounded by rolling hills and lush woodlands, is perfect for reflection, photography, and exploring the great outdoors.

A map showing the location of Gougane Barra in Cork, Ireland, with an inset photograph of a historic stone building by a lake surrounded by trees.
Gougane Barra Cork Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Gougane Barra is best reached by car from Cork City via the N22 towards Macroom and following signs for Gougane Barra through the scenic countryside.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Gougane Barra Hotel, situated on the lakeshore near the oratory, offers stunning views and a cozy stay in this tranquil location. For those looking to stay closer to Macroom, the Castle Hotel offers luxury accommodations with easy access to the town’s amenities and natural beauty.

10. Shannon Pot, Cavan

The Shannon Pot, a mystical source
The Shannon Pot, a mystical source, where legendary waters begin their journey.

The Shannon Pot, Cavan, marks the mystical source of Ireland’s longest river, the Shannon. Legend intertwines with the natural world here, where a small pool feeds the mighty river.

The area is steeped in myth and offers a tranquil setting for walks and contemplation, surrounded by the unspoiled landscapes of County Cavan.

Map of Ireland highlighting the location of Shannons Pot, Cavan with an inset aerial view of the area.
Shannons Pot Cavan Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The Shannon Pot is accessible by car, located near the village of Blacklion in County Cavan, with signage from the village leading to this natural wonder.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Five Glens Inn in Manorhamilton provides an exquisite culinary experience and comfortable accommodations, ideal after exploring the local countryside. Alternatively, the Slieve Russell Hotel offers luxury with its golf course, spa, and scenic grounds.

11. Kinnagoe Bay, Donegal

Beaches at the Kinnagoe Bay
Beaches at the Kinnagoe Bay, cradling stories in golden sands.

Kinnagoe Bay is a secluded beach between rolling hills and steep cliffs, known for its golden sands and crystal-clear waters. The bay’s serene atmosphere and natural beauty make it a hidden gem for those seeking tranquility and a connection with nature.

The historical significance of the bay, being the site of the wreck of the Spanish Armada ship La Trinidad Valencera in 1588, adds a layer of intrigue to its scenic charm.

Map showing the location of Kinnagoe Bay in County Donegal, Ireland, with a small inset photograph at the top left corner depicting a view of the coastline with greenery and a beach. The map illustrates parts of Ireland and the United Kingdom, with a purple diamond marker indicating the location of the bay on the northern coast of Ireland.
Kinnagoe Bay Donegal Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Kinnagoe Bay is accessible via a narrow winding road off the R241, north of Greencastle in County Donegal. The journey to the bay is as picturesque as the destination.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The McGrory’s Hotel in Culdaff offers a cozy stay with a rich musical tradition, only a short drive from Kinnagoe Bay. For those seeking a peaceful retreat, the Redcastle Hotel, Golf & Spa, located on the shores of Lough Foyle, provides luxury accommodations with panoramic views.

12. Sruth in Aghaidh an Aird, Sligo

The Devil's Chimney natural alchemy
The Devil’s Chimney natural alchemy, sculpting water into air.

Sruth in Aghaidh an Aird (The Devil’s Chimney), is Ireland’s tallest waterfall, only visible after heavy rain or during the wetter seasons.

This natural spectacle, also known as “The Devil’s Chimney,” offers a unique and somewhat ephemeral attraction, with water cascading down from the cliffs above Glencar Lake.

The surrounding area, with its lush forest trails and scenic viewpoints, provides a peaceful escape into nature.

Image of a Google map showing the location of Sruth in Aghaidh an Aird, a waterfall in Sligo, Ireland, with an inset photo of the waterfall at the top left corner.
Sruth In Aghaidh An Aird Sligo Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Located near Glencar Lake in County Sligo, the waterfall is best accessed by car. Take the N16 towards Manorhamilton from Sligo town, and follow the Glencar Waterfall signs.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Riverside Hotel in Sligo, situated along the picturesque banks of the Garavogue River, presents charming and comfortable lodging. Alternatively, the luxurious Radisson BLU Hotel & Spa, situated on the shores of Lough Gill, provides a tranquil setting and elegant rooms a short drive from the waterfall.

13. Benwee Head, Mayo

Benwee Head's rugged canvas, painted with untamed beauty
Benwee Head’s rugged canvas, painted with untamed beauty.

Benwee Head captivates with its raw and rugged coastline, offering some of Ireland’s most dramatic sea cliff views. The untouched beauty of this place, with its towering cliffs and expansive ocean vistas, makes it a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.

The Carrowteige Loop Walks here provide a perfect way to immerse oneself in the wild and pristine landscapes of North Mayo, often accompanied by the soothing sounds of the Atlantic waves crashing below.

Alt text: A map highlighting Benwee Head in Mayo, Ireland, with an inset image of the coastal landscape featuring cliffs and small islands at the top left corner.
Benwee Head Mayo Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Benwee Head is located in North Mayo and is most easily reached by car. From Ballina, follow the Wild Atlantic Way northwards, enjoying the scenic drive to Carrowteige, where the walking trails begin.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The family-run Stella Maris Country House Hotel, situated in Ballycastle, offers comfort and stunning sea views, making it an ideal base for exploring Benwee Head. Alternatively, the Broadhaven Bay Hotel in Belmullet provides modern amenities and a warm welcome, a short drive from the dramatic coastline.

14. Crag Cave, Kerry

Crag Cave, a subterranean wonder, echoing ancient whispers
Crag Cave, a subterranean wonder, echoing ancient whispers.

Crag Cave, discovered in 1983, is a fascinating underground network of limestone formations, including stalactites and stalagmites.

This million-year-old cave system offers guided tours, revealing the natural artistry and history beneath the Kerry landscape. It’s an educational and awe-inspiring visit for all ages.

A map of Ireland highlighting Crag Cave in Kerry, with an inset photo of the cave's interior featuring stalactites.
Crag Cave Kerry Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Located just outside Castleisland in County Kerry, Crag Cave is easily reached by car via the N21, making it a convenient stop on a tour of the county’s rich offerings.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The River Island Hotel in Castleisland provides a comfortable and convenient base for exploring Crag Cave and the surrounding area. For a more rural retreat, the Ballyseede Castle Hotel in Tralee offers historic accommodations in a luxurious estate.

15. Down Cathedral, Down

Down Cathedral, Ireland's sacred spires
Down Cathedral, Ireland’s sacred spires, reaching towards celestial realms.

Down Cathedral stands majestically on the Hill of Down, commanding views over the historic town of Downpatrick. This site, steeped in history and spirituality, is believed to be the final resting place of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint.

The cathedral’s striking architecture and the sacred atmosphere of its grounds make it a poignant destination for those interested in Ireland’s Christian heritage and the legacy of its most famous saint.

A map showing the location of Down Cathedral in Down, Northern Ireland, with a smaller inset photo of the cathedral's exterior on a clear day.
Down Cathedral Down Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Down Cathedral is located in Downpatrick, easily accessible by car from Belfast via the A7. The drive-through County Down offers picturesque landscapes and a glimpse into the region’s rich history.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Denvir’s Coaching Inn, one of the oldest coaching inns in Ireland, located in Downpatrick, provides a historic backdrop for your stay. For a more rural setting, the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Newcastle offers luxurious accommodations with stunning views of the Mourne Mountains and the Irish Sea.

16. Garnish Island, Cork

An Italian garden on the Garnish Island
An Italian garden on the Garnish Island.

Garnish Island is a unique island within the sheltered harbor of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay, known for its world-renowned gardens. The island’s microclimate allows for an extraordinary range of exotic plants and garden designs, making it a paradise.

A visit to Garnish Island is a journey into horticultural splendor and an escape into the tranquil beauty of Ireland’s southwest coast.

A composite image with two sections; the top section shows a photo of a formal garden with symmetrical stone paths, a central pond, and classical architectural features, labeled "Garnish Island, Cork." The bottom section is a map highlighting the location of Garnish Island off the southwest coast of Ireland, near the town of Glengarriff in County Cork, with a purple diamond-shaped marker.
Garnish Island Cork Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Garnish Island is accessible by a short ferry ride from Glengarriff. The charming village of Glengarriff is reachable by car from Cork City, following the N71 road through the scenic landscapes of West Cork.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Eccles Hotel in Glengarriff, overlooking Bantry Bay, offers a blend of historic charm and modern comfort. Casey’s Hotel, also in Glengarriff, provides a cozy and welcoming base with easy access to the ferry departure point.

17. Kinbane Castle, Antrim

The Kinbane Castle, perched between Ballycastle and Ballintoy
The Kinbane Castle, perched between Ballycastle and Ballintoy.

Kinbane Castle, perched on a dramatic headland jutting into the sea, offers some of the most breathtaking coastal views in Northern Ireland.

The ruins of this 16th-century castle hold tales of Gaelic chieftains and centuries of history against the backdrop of rugged cliffs and the expansive Atlantic.

The site’s remote beauty and the panoramic vistas make Kinbane Castle a captivating stop for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike.

Map showing the location of Kinbane Castle in Antrim, Northern Ireland, marked with a purple diamond, with an inset photo of the castle ruins on a coastal cliff.
Kinbane Castle Antrim Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Kinbane Castle is located on the coast of County Antrim, reachable by car from Ballycastle via the A2, known as the Causeway Coastal Route.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Salthouse Hotel in the nearby town offers comfortable lodgings with sea views. On the other hand, The Fullerton Arms in Ballintoy provides a charming and intimate setting, further along the coastal route.

18. Dunmore Cave, County Kilkenny

The Dunmore East coastline
The Dunmore East coastline, dotted with small coves and caves.

Dunmore Cave presents a captivating underworld of stalactites and stalagmites formed over millions of years. This limestone cave is a geological wonder and a site of Viking massacre, adding a layer of historical intrigue.

The atmospheric chambers and calcite formations make Dunmore Cave a must-visit for those interested in natural science and ancient history.

A map highlighting the location of Dunmore Cave in County Kilkenny, Ireland, with a small inset image in the upper left corner showing a rugged coastal landscape. The map is labeled with various cities and geographic landmarks across Ireland.
Dunmore Cave County Kilkenny Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Situated just north of Kilkenny City, Dunmore Cave is easily reached by car via the N77. The journey from Kilkenny provides a delightful glimpse into the rural charm of County Kilkenny.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny offers a comfortable base with extensive grounds and a spa, perfect for relaxing after a day of cave exploration. Butler House and Garden, nestled in the heart of Kilkenny, combines elegance, history, and serene garden views.

19. The Spire of Lloyd, Meath

The Spire of Lloyd, County Meath
The Spire of Lloyd, County Meath, a towering beacon guiding through the rolling green.

The Spire of Lloyd, an intriguing inland lighthouse built in the 18th century, is a unique historical monument in County Meath. This 30-meter high tower, also known as the “Conolly’s Folly” of the North, offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

The Spire’s unusual purpose and design make it a fascinating detour for those exploring Ireland’s rich architectural and navigational history.

Alt text: A graphic overlay featuring "The Spire of Lloyd, Meath" on a Google map of Ireland, with a purple pinpoint marking its location and an inset image of an old stone tower against a cloudy sky on the left side.
The Spire Of Lloyd Meath Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The Spire of Lloyd is located near Kells in County Meath, accessible by car via the M3 motorway from Dublin, making for an easy and scenic drive through the heart of the Boyne Valley.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Headfort Arms Hotel, situated in the heritage town of Kells, provides a warm, family-run accommodation experience. For a more secluded countryside retreat, the Lakeside Manor Hotel offers luxury in a picturesque setting on the shores of Lough Ramor.

20. Coumshingaun Lough, County Waterford

Coumshingaun Lough, Comeragh Mountains
Coumshingaun Lough, Comeragh Mountains, Ireland’s heart-shaped wonder.

Coumshingaun Lough is a glacial lake in the Comeragh Mountains, renowned for its almost perfect circular shape and crystal-clear waters.

The hike to the lake is as rewarding as the destination, with breathtaking views of the rugged mountain landscape. This spot is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and photographers seeking the tranquility and beauty of Ireland’s mountainous terrain.

An image displaying a map of Ireland with a label and marker indicating the location of Coumshingaun Lough in the southeastern part of the country. A small inset picture in the upper left corner shows a scenic view of the actual Coumshingaun Lough with green hills. There are city names and some geographic details visible on the map.
Coumshingaun Lough Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Coumshingaun Lough is best accessed from the village of Kilrossanty or the town of Clonmel, with signposted routes leading to the Comeragh Mountains.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: For those wishing to stay nearby, the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore provides luxury accommodations with stunning sea views. Alternatively, Hanora’s Cottage in the Nire Valley offers a cozy, family-run guesthouse experience, ideal for hikers and nature lovers.

21. Murlough Bay, County Antrim

Beaches on the coast of Murlough Bay
Beaches on the coast of Murlough Bay, whispering tales of land and sea.

Murlough Bay is a hidden coastal gem offering tranquility and breathtaking views of the rugged Antrim coast. Known for its wild beauty, the bay features unspoiled beaches, dramatic cliffs, and sweeping views across the Irish Sea to Scotland.

The area is rich in wildlife and history, with ancient ruins and tales of smugglers adding to its allure, making Murlough Bay a perfect escape for those seeking solitude and natural beauty.

A map showing the location of Murlough Bay, County Antrim in Northern Ireland, with an inset photograph in the top left corner depicting the sandy beach and greenery of the bay area.
Murlough Bay County Antrim Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Murlough Bay is best accessed from the town of Ballycastle, County Antrim, via a narrow country road that descends towards the coast, offering dramatic views along the way.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Hedges Hotel provides a comfortable and convenient base for visitors wishing to explore Murlough Bay. For a more secluded stay, the Gary’s at Bushmills offers a private retreat in the scenic countryside near the bay.

22. Phoenix Park, Dublin

Phoenix Park, Dublin's urban escape
Phoenix Park, Dublin’s urban escape, where nature and history converge.

Phoenix Park is one of the largest enclosed public parks in any European capital city, offering a vast green oasis in the heart of Dublin.

The park is home to herds of wild deer, the Dublin Zoo, numerous historic buildings, and monuments. It’s a favorite spot for Dubliners and visitors alike for picnics, walks, cycling, and tranquility away from the city bustle.

A map showcasing the location of Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland, with a small inset photo of the park's green landscape and a monument.
Phoenix Park Dublin Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Phoenix Park is centrally located in Dublin, easily accessible by public transport, including buses and the Luas tram system, or by car. Its proximity to the city center makes it an easily reachable escape into nature for anyone visiting Dublin.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Ashling Hotel, situated near the park’s Heuston Gate entrance, offers elegant accommodations with easy access to Phoenix Park. For those looking for a more boutique experience, the Castleknock Hotel, located on the park’s outskirts, provides luxury and comfort in a more suburban setting.

23. Glenevin Waterfall, County Donegal

Glenevin Waterfall, a cascading melody set in emerald serenity
lenevin Waterfall, a cascading melody set in emerald serenity.

Glenevin Waterfall is a picturesque cascade nestled within a lush woodland in the Inishowen Peninsula. The waterfall, dropping into a tranquil pool, creates a serene and photogenic spot perfect for nature walks and picnics.

With its well-maintained paths and bridges, the surrounding park makes this natural wonder accessible to all visitors, offering a peaceful retreat in the heart of Donegal’s stunning landscapes.

A map showing the location of Glenevin Waterfall in County Donegal, with a photograph of the waterfall inset in the top left corner. The map highlights Northern Ireland and the northwestern part of the Republic of Ireland, with a purple diamond marker indicating the waterfall's position.
Glenevin Waterfall County Donegal Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Glenevin Waterfall is just outside Clonmany village on the Inishowen Peninsula. It can be reached by car, with the route well-signposted from the main road.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa, located in the nearby town of Ballyliffin, offers luxurious accommodations and stunning views of the surrounding area. For a more intimate setting, the Harbour Inn in Buncrana provides a charming bed and breakfast experience set in a traditional Irish country house.

24. Arranmore Island

The Lighthouse at Arranmore Island
The Lighthouse at Arranmore Island, echoing the Gaelic call.

Arranmore Island, off the coast of Donegal, is a serene retreat known for its rugged landscapes and welcoming community. This island offers an escape into nature with its cliff-top walks, sandy beaches, and traditional Irish culture.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the island life, exploring its small but vibrant villages and experiencing the local hospitality. For those seeking tranquility and a break from the bustling mainland, Arranmore provides an idyllic setting.

A lighthouse on Arranmore Island with an inset map showing the location of the island on the northwest coast of Ireland.
Arranmore Island Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Arranmore Island is accessible by a short ferry ride from Burtonport on mainland Donegal. The journey offers scenic views of the Atlantic and the surrounding landscapes.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Consider the Arranmore Glamping for a cozy, budget-friendly option with stunning ocean views. Alternatively, the Waterfront Hotel Dungloe offers a more luxurious stay, with modern amenities and easy access to the surrounding Donegal countryside.

25. Inishturk Island

Inishturk Island, a remote sanctuary
Inishturk Island, a remote sanctuary where horizons stretch endlessly.

Inishturk Island, nestled in the wild Atlantic off the coast of County Mayo, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This small, remote island is a haven of tranquility, offering breathtaking landscapes, unspoiled nature, and a warm community spirit.

With fewer than 60 residents, Inishturk is the perfect destination for those looking to unwind and connect with nature. The island’s rugged cliffs, clear waters, and diverse wildlife provide an idyllic backdrop for hiking, bird watching, and sea kayaking.

A map of Ireland highlighting the location of Inishturk Island with a purple marker, accompanied by a small inset image in the top left corner showing a scenic view of the island with buildings near the coast.
Inishturk Island Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Reach Inishturk by ferry from Roonagh Pier near Louisburgh, with access to the pier available from Westport and Castlebar by car or public transport.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Inishbofin House Hotel offers comfortable accommodations with stunning sea views, catering to individuals and groups. For those looking for a more luxurious experience, Tranaun Beach House provides a peaceful retreat right on the shore with many amenities.

26. Saltee Islands

Saltee Islands, an avian haven
Saltee Islands, an avian haven

The Saltee Islands, located off the southern coast of County Wexford, are an enchanting duo of islands rich in wildlife and steeped in history. Great Saltee and Little Saltee are renowned for their bird colonies, making them a paradise for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

The island’s clear waters and diverse marine life make it a popular spot for diving and snorkeling. Access to the Great Saltee is permitted during daylight hours, allowing visitors to explore its natural and historical wonders, including the impressive Saltee Throne.

A map showing the location of the Saltee Islands off the southern coast of Ireland, near Wexford, with a small inset picture in the upper left corner depicting a scenic view of the coastline and greenery of the islands.
Saltee Islands Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Access to the Saltee Islands is by private boat from Kilmore Quay, a charming fishing village with regular boat services available during the warmer months.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Stay at the Saltee Islands View B&B in Kilmore Quay for a comfortable base with panoramic views of the islands and the sea. Alternatively, the Quay House B&B offers a warm, welcoming environment and is ideally situated for those exploring the local area.

27. The Burren, County Clare

Poulnabrone Dolmen at the Burren
Poulnabrone Dolmen at the Burren

The Burren, a vast limestone plateau in County Clare, is a landscape of otherworldly beauty. Known for its unique flora, ancient megalithic sites, and intricate cave systems, The Burren offers an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and history buffs.

Hiking through this lunar-like terrain reveals hidden archaeological treasures and rare plant species thriving in the cracks of the limestone. The Burren National Park and the nearby Cliffs of Moher provide ample opportunities for exploration and stunning views of the Atlantic.

A map of Ireland highlighting The Burren in County Clare with a location marker, alongside an inset photograph of the limestone landscape at The Burren during dusk with a dolmen in the background.
The Burren County Clare Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The Burren is most accessible by car from nearby towns like Ennis and Galway, with signposted routes leading into the heart of the landscape.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Wild Atlantic Lodge in Ballyvaughan offers a cozy retreat with easy access to the Burren’s walking trails. Ballinalacken Castle Country House Hotel, set amidst the breathtaking scenery of the Burren, provides luxury accommodation and fine dining.

28. Valentia Island, Kerry

Valentia Island, bridging history and natural splendor
Valentia Island, bridging history and natural splendor.

Valentia Island, situated off the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, is a picturesque island known for its stunning landscapes, historical sites, and vibrant marine life.

The island’s diverse attractions include the Glanleam House Subtropical Gardens, the Valentia Lighthouse at Cromwell Point, and the Tetrapod Trackway, one of the earliest evidence of amphibian life.

With its mild climate and scenic beauty, Valentia Island offers a peaceful retreat with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and kayaking in the surrounding waters.

A map of Ireland highlighting the location of Valentia Island in Kerry with an inset photograph showing a coastal landscape of the island with flowers in the foreground.
Valentia Island Kerry Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Valentia Island is accessible by car via the Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge from Portmagee or by ferry from Reenard Point, with connections from Cahersiveen and other towns in Kerry.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Royal Valentia Hotel provides comfortable accommodation with stunning views of the harbor and beyond. The Carraig Liath House offers charming rooms and a warm welcome for a more intimate setting.

29. The Wormhole, Inishmore

Poll na bPéist, Ireland's geometric marvel, etched by the sea's hand
Poll na bPéist, Ireland’s geometric marvel, etched by the sea’s hand.

The Wormhole, also known as Poll na bPéist, is a remarkable natural rectangle pool carved into the limestone of Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands.

This geological marvel, shaped by the Atlantic’s force, offers a unique spectacle, especially during high tide or when divers leap into its clear waters from the surrounding cliffs.

Inishmore combines this natural wonder with ancient ruins, like the iconic Dún Aonghasa fort, providing a deep dive into Ireland’s Celtic past amidst stunning coastal scenery.

A map highlighting the location of The Wormhole on Inishmore Island in Ireland with an inset showing a photo of the geological feature.
The Wormhole Inishmore Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Inishmore is accessible by ferry from Rossaveal in Connemara or Doolin in County Clare. Flights are also available from Connemara Airport.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Kilmurvey House offers charming, traditional accommodation in the heart of Inishmore, close to major attractions. The Aran Islands Hotel provides comfortable rooms with scenic views of the island and the sea for a more modern stay.

30. Hore Abbey, Tipperary

Hore Abbey, a monastic ruin, whispering of medieval spirituality
Hore Abbey, a monastic ruin, whispering of medieval spirituality.

Hore Abbey, nestled in the shadow of the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary, is a hidden monastic ruin with a rich history. This serene, off-the-beaten-path site offers a glimpse into Ireland’s medieval past, with its well-preserved ruins against a backdrop of lush green fields.

The tranquility of Hore Abbey makes it a perfect spot for contemplation and photography, away from the crowds of the nearby Rock of Cashel.

A map highlighting the location of Hore Abbey in Tipperary, Ireland, with an inset photo of the abbey ruins in a green field.
Hore Abbey Tipperary Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Hore Abbey is easily reachable by car from Cashel, with the site located just a short walk from the town center. Cashel is well-connected by road to major cities like Dublin, Cork, and Limerick.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Baileys Hotel Cashel offers luxury and comfort in the heart of Cashel, with easy access to both Hore Abbey and the Rock of Cashel. For a more rural retreat, consider staying at the Rockville House B&B, known for its hospitality and proximity to local attractions.

31. Torc Waterfall, Killarney National Park

Torc waterfall
Torc Waterfall, dancing through ancient woodlands.

Torc Waterfall, located in the heart of Killarney National Park in County Kerry, is a majestic waterfall cascading through lush woodland. A short walk from the parking area leads to this natural wonder, with the surrounding trails offering stunning views of the lakes and mountains.

Killarney National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, has many attractions, including Muckross House and the Gap of Dunloe, making it a must-visit for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

A map of Ireland highlighting Torc Waterfall near Killarney with an inset photo showing the multi-tiered waterfall surrounded by lush greenery.
Torc Waterfall Killarney Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Torc Waterfall is accessible by car or bike from Killarney, with the national park providing ample parking and signposted routes to the waterfall.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Lake Hotel Killarney offers a picturesque lakeside setting with views of the national park and Torc Mountain. For a cozy, family-run experience, the Kingfisher Lodge in Killarney provides a comfortable base within walking distance of the national park.

32. Skellig Michael, Kerry

Skellig Michael, Ireland's monastic pinnacle
Skellig Michael, Ireland’s monastic pinnacle, rising starkly from the wild Atlantic.

Skellig Michael, a remote, rocky island off the Kerry coast, is famed for its early Christian monastery and its role in the “Star Wars” films. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers an unparalleled glimpse into monastic life, with well-preserved beehive huts and stunning ocean vistas.

Visiting Skellig Michael is an adventure, with boat trips providing an opportunity to experience the island’s rugged beauty and diverse birdlife, including puffins during the breeding season.

An image depicting a map of Ireland with a location pin over Skellig Michael, Kerry on the southwest coast, accompanied by a photograph showing a stone stairway amidst greenery on the rugged terrain of Skellig Michael.
Skellig Michael Kerry Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Boat trips to Skellig Michael depart from Portmagee, Ballinskelligs, and Caherdaniel, weather permitting, typically from May to October.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Moorings Guesthouse & Seafood Restaurant in Portmagee offers comfortable accommodations and fresh, locally sourced seafood. Alternatively, the Sea Lodge Hotel in Waterville provides budget-friendly options with a friendly atmosphere.

33. Slea Head Drive, Dingle Peninsula

Slea Head Drive, a scenic embrace
Slea Head Drive, a scenic embrace where the land’s end meets the sea’s beginnings.

Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula is a spectacular coastal route in County Kerry, offering some of Ireland’s most dramatic scenery. This circular route takes visitors through a landscape of ancient sites, sandy beaches, and rugged cliffs, with panoramic views of the Blasket Islands.

The drive, best enjoyed leisurely, allows for numerous stops to explore local attractions, including the Gallarus Oratory, Dunquin Harbour, and Coumeenoole Beach.

A composite image with a scenic view of Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula in the upper left, featuring a coastal road with lush greenery, and a Google map of Ireland in the lower right highlighting the Dingle Peninsula location with a purple marker.
Slea Head Drive Dingle Peninsula Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Slea Head Drive is best accessed by car from Dingle, the peninsula’s charming and lively hub. Dingle is reachable from Tralee and Killarney by bus or car.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Dingle Skellig Hotel offers luxurious accommodations, stunning views of Dingle Bay, and easy access to the peninsula’s attractions. For a more intimate setting, the Greenmount House provides a boutique experience with stunning panoramic views.

Final Thoughts

Ireland’s hidden gems offer a unique journey into the island’s heart, far from the usual tourist trails. Rich in tranquility and natural beauty, these spots promise an authentic experience of Ireland’s heritage and landscapes.

As you explore these lesser-known treasures, you’ll uncover a deeper connection to Ireland, its history, and its natural wonders, making your summer exploration truly unforgettable.

Image Sources and Copyright Information
  • Coastal Lighthouse on Rocky Cliffside: © Fabiano's_Photo/Shutterstock
  • Wooden Staircase Leading Up a Lush Hillside: © Paul_Shiels/Shutterstock
  • Empty Bench Overlooking Scenic Valley: © D. Ribeiro/Shutterstock
  • Lismore Castle Surrounded by Greenery: © Paul Vowles/Shutterstock
  • Rusty Shipwreck on Rocky Shore: © mark gusev/Shutterstock
  • Scenic Beach Cove with Lush Green Hills: © Mica Stock/Shutterstock
  • Lough Bray in Wicklow with Clear Skies: © Patrycja St/Shutterstock
  • Cliffside Ocean View at Slieve League: © alexilena/Shutterstock
  • Chapel by the Lake in Gougane Barra: © Lukasz Janyst/Shutterstock
  • Rural Pathway with Fence and Trees: © John Clarke Photography/Shutterstock
  • Coastal View of Kinnagoe Bay with Beach and Cliffs: © jksz.photography/Shutterstock
  • Waterfall Cascading Down a Rocky Cliff: © mark gusev/Shutterstock
  • Coastal Cliffs and Sea Stacks: © teddiviscious/Shutterstock
  • Stalactites in a Dimly Lit Cave: © Sarah-Jane Jones/Shutterstock
  • Gothic Cathedral Tower Against Blue Sky: © Lance Bellers/Shutterstock
  • Formal Garden with Reflecting Pool and Statues: © dvlcom/Shutterstock
  • Kinbane Castle Ruins on Coastal Cliffs: © shawnwil23/Shutterstock
  • Coastal Cave Entrance at Dunmore: © Andrzej Bartyzel/Shutterstock
  • Spire of Lloyd Against Sky: © Michelle Holihan/Shutterstock
  • Lake Nestled in Mountain Valley: © Eimantas Juskevicius/Shutterstock
  • Sunny Day at Murlough Bay Beach: © SeraphP/Shutterstock
  • Dusk at Phoenix Park with Wellington Monument, Dublin: © Bruno Negri/Shutterstock
  • Secluded Forest Waterfall: © Michelle Holihan/Shutterstock
  • Coastal Lighthouse on Arranmore Island: © Rob Crandall/Shutterstock
  • Coastal Village on Inishturk Island with Docked Boat: © Maria_Janus/Shutterstock
  • Coastal Landscape of Great Saltee Island: © Nicola_K_photos/Shutterstock
  • Poulnabrone Dolmen at Dusk: © pics721/Shutterstock
  • Coastal View of Valentia Island with Flowers: © MNStudio/Shutterstock
  • Aerial View of Coastal Rock Formation with Sea Water: © mikecphoto/Shutterstock
  • Aerial View of Ruins of Hore Abbey in Green Field: © MNStudio/Shutterstock
  • Cascading Waterfall in Lush Forest: © Jane McIlroy/Shutterstock
  • Stone Steps Leading Up Skellig Michael: © Armin Binz/Shutterstock
  • Coastal Road Along Cliffs and Ocean: © JeniFoto/Shutterstock