Ireland is a country that is known worldwide for its many beautiful towns and villages, here is a list of some, that in our view are the best towns to visit in Ireland!
Ireland’s towns and villages are full of character, charm, culture and heritage, each unique in its own right. Some of these towns are situated along the raw coastline of the wonderful Wild Atlantic Way , others are hidden gems in Ireland’s Hidden Heartland or situated in the historic region of Ireland’s Ancient East.
Should you wish to create a tailor made self-drive, rail or chauffeured tour of Ireland which includes some or all of these great towns, please
Doolin is a small village in Clare located on the west coast about five kilometres from the towering Cliffs of Moher which lie southwest of the village. Doolin is an extremely popular place with travellers because of its Irish bars which are famous for playing traditional Irish “Ceili” music nightly. It is also a village where you can access the famous Aran Islands from which are not too far offshore. Doolin is in the heart of the Burren and its home to an excellent gourmet trail of different food businesses. Doolin is one of the best towns to visit in Ireland especially in the summer months when it is a thriving tourist destination with excellent accommodation options, craft shops and other activities.
Enniskerry is located in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains and only a short drive from Dublin. It is a fantastic base to explore Glendalough, Powerscourt Gardens, Sally Gap and Lough Tay (Guinness Lake). Enniskerry itself has some terrific cafes and tea rooms. The clock tower at the centre of the village frames the town, it is a great place to relax and unwind on a beautiful day. There is an excellent array of restaurants offering great choice with a new spot to try every evening.
Kinsale is often referred to as Ireland’s Gourmet Capital. Its colourful shopfronts, bars and restaurant make it a good candidate for our best towns to visit in Ireland list! You will find exceptional seafood restaurants with fresh fish caught nearby. You will find excellent bars with traditional Irish music throughout the summer months. Kinsale is also famous for its arts and crafts and will find a diverse collection to choose from. While you are visiting the area, it is worth a drive to the Old Head of Kinsale which offers spectacular views of the surrounding area.
Ardmore is situated on one of Ireland’s oldest Christian site and is ideally situated on the coastline of Ireland’s Ancient East. The village is extremely picturesque and has won many ‘Tidy Town’ awards. Ardmore boasts a wide range of accommodation options with excellent food and fun pubs to visit. Ardmore boasts five beautiful beaches to choose from for relaxing seashore walks. The town also has a lovely cliff walk with panoramic views of Ardmore Bay and boast one of the finest Round Towers in Ireland. For water enthusiasts, a great way to see the coastline is by sea kayaking.
Dingle is situated on the western peninsula of Kerry, the town is famous for old-style Irish bars and is a mecca for seafood. It also has a thriving arts scene with the ‘Other Voices’ music festival being held there every December. Dingle is a Gaeltacht town with its first language spoken being Gaelic but don’t worry, the locals all understand English too! Dingle has managed to retain its charm over the years in spite of its popularity. Rent a bike or drive west of Dingle and explore Slea Head and you will not be disappointed! If you are an Ice cream fan, Murphy’s homemade ice cream with a selection of different flavours is well worth a visit!
Kinvara is a scenic town on the southern shores of Galway Bay and gateway to the Burren. Kinvara, translated as “The Head of the Sea”, was once a thriving port village and is a nice base if you would like to visit Galway City but prefer to stay outside the bustle of the city. Kinvara is also home to Dunguaire Castle, one of Ireland’s most popular castles to visit.
Kenmare is located on the picturesque famous Ring of Kerry. This town has something for everyone from its excellent choice of restaurants, bars and cafés to superb accommodation options. Kenmare is beautiful in summer when the town park gardens are in full bloom with its stunning rhododendron collection. The town itself is beautifully situated as a great starting point for a drive along the Beara Peninsula. With golf courses, horse riding, trekking and unspoilt scenery, it is certainly a contender for one of the best towns to visit in Ireland!
This town is situated remotely in the tranquil setting of Donegal in the north-west of Ireland. Gwedore is a Gaeltacht town with its first language spoken being Gaelic and is one of the largest places in Ireland that speak Gaelic. Surrounded by rolling hills and mountains and long stretches of sandy beaches this is a very peaceful place and a great place to clear your head from daily life. An excellent site near Gwedore is Glenveagh National Park and Castle.
Adare in Limerick is often regarded as one of Ireland’s prettiest villages. The main street in Adare is dotted with an array of beautiful stone buildings, medieval monasteries ruins and beautiful village park which is a great place to take a peaceful walk. The pretty thatched cottages on the main street are part of the charm of Adare and why is it a great place to visit. The town is full of historical landmarks such as Desmond Castle that dates back to the 12th century and Adare Manor which is today a luxury hotel and golf resort which re has opened in the last number of months after a two-year upgrade. With a great array of accommodation options, boutiques, craft shops and bars the village has lots to offer.
Lismore is located in the Sunny South East of Ireland, in the county of Waterford. Lismore is a stunning town situated in the lush countryside on the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains and is one of Waterford’s most historical towns. You can spend time here exploring Lismore castle and the gardens the town’s main tourist attractions which are over 800 years old. The castle which was built in medieval times and build on a steep hill above the town, providing excellent views over the town. Time can also be spent exploring the woodlands around the River Blackwater.
Dalkey located on the south side of Dublin city and it is home to the likes of Bono, Van Morrison, Enya and many others in the music and arts industry. In the past Vikings had a port in Dalkey which was first constructed in the 8th century. Dalkey and its neighbouring Killiney are considered one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in Ireland to reside in. Today Dalkey is full of castles from its past and with a pleasant array of restaurants and bars to choose from. Close by is Killiney Hill which is an excellent place to see breathtaking views out over Dublin Bay.
The town gets its name from the Old Norse which can be translated to “narrow sea inlet of the hag”. This town is surrounding by rolling hills and has roots to the Viking past with the towns’ street showing evidence of the medieval age. Carlingford offers adventure or a complete quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It has great live music in the bars and activities for groups of friends or family. Also, it is known for its quality of fishing with oysters and crabs are often caught off the nearby harbour.
Clifden is located in Connemara and is one of the best towns to visit in Ireland if you are heading back west of Galway city exploring the national park. Not too far from Clifden is Kylemore Abbey and Gardens, one of Ireland’s most visited tourist attractions. Clifden may be small in stature but it packs a punch with its collection of excellent restaurants and bars. It also has lots of arts and craft shops for you to stop at. Highly recommended is the “Sky Road” offering unparalleled views over Clifden Bay.
Kilronan is the main village on Inis Mor on the largest island of the three Aran Islands and is one of the most picturesque spots in Ireland. As one of the most unique and diverse places to visit in Ireland, this should be on everyone’s itinerary to Ireland and one of the best places to visit. Kilronan has an excellent range of restaurants, serving seafood and traditional Irish bars and music.
Birr is most famous for its castle and also it is one of the most scenic places to visit in Ireland with the heritage that it has on offer. The town itself was developed around Birr Castle estate which belonged to the Parsons family. Birr is known as one of the best examples of Georgian towns in Ireland with its wide streets and makes for a charming place to visit.
The best way to learn about Ireland and its towns and villages is to visit, immerse yourself in the history and heritage of the places. Contact us today for a quotation from our dedicated travel advisors who will be able to help you create your ideal trip to Ireland and answer any questions you may have. We can tailor your itinerary on any of our Self Drive or Chauffeured tours.
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