Now that lockdown measures have eased, there’s a huge move towards booking staycations in Ireland. It makes sense; you’ve lots of holiday days to take, flying abroad isn’t recommended, and you could certainly use a break! So, whether you’re planning a quiet getaway with your significant other, an active cycle break with friends or a full-on family road trip, here are some of our hottest recommendations.
Walk This Way
Having been cooped up indoors for so long, many of us are craving the great outdoors. What better way to get some exercise while enjoying all our fabulous country has to offer than a walking holiday. If you love to hike, Wicklow is one of Ireland’s most scenic locations, and boasts a whole host of pretty trails. Take your pick from loops in and around the majestic Wicklow Mountains, the pretty coastline or historic Glendalough. If you fancy more of a challenge, why not check out the Kerry Way in the stunning ‘Kingdom’. At over 200km, this is one of Ireland’s longest sign-posted trails. Starting in the buzzing town of Killarney, you’ll loop around the breath-taking Iveragh Peninsula. In fact, there are looped walks all along the rugged Wild Atlantic Way; check them out here.
A Cycle to Remember
If you and your pals prefer to explore the country on two wheels, there are some exquisite cycling trails in Ireland too. One highlight is undoubtedly the Waterford Greenway. Set along 46km of old railway line, the track runs from the bustling city of Waterford to the historic port of Dungarvan. A similar length, the Great Western Greenway in Co. Mayo will take you from Westport to Achill – Ireland’s biggest island – stopping along the way in charming towns like Newport and Mulranny. Fancy more of a challenge? The Burren Cycle Route in Co. Clare is 150km, meaning you can spread it over a few days. The Burren is one of Ireland’s most dramatic landscapes, and a UNESCO World Heritage site to boot. Be sure to stop off at the Cliffs of Moher too; from the vantage point they offer, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the crashing Atlantic and Aran Islands.
Trip for Two
Looking for something more low-key? A romantic getaway with that special someone? The otherworldly beauty of Donegal is hard to put into words. Home to hidden beaches and wild, windswept cliff-tops, time spent here will really blow away the cobwebs. Explore Malin, Ireland’s most northerly tip, visit the magical island of Tory, or simply chill out on endless stretches of golden sands. You’ll be equally mesmerised by the beauty on the other end of the country; West Cork is another great romantic destination. As you travel along the coast, be sure to sample fresh seafood in fishing towns like Castletownbere and Skibbereen, all while taking in the county’s famous sweeping countryside.
A Family Affair
Finally, if you’re looking for somewhere to accommodate a young family, consider Wexford. Dotted along its many beaches, you’ll find plenty of mobile homes and glamping sites. Children will feel history come alive at unique local sites like Hook Lighthouse and the Dunbrody Famine Ship. Up north meanwhile, the Giant’s Causeway is well worth a visit. Framed by Co. Antrim’s unique beauty, the Causeway and neighbouring rope bridge are always a hit with kids. Finally, a cruise along the Shannon will be truly unforgettable. Rent your boat at any of the river’s marina towns, and explore its famous lakes, stopping off to explore towns like Athlone, Drumshanbo and Carrick.