The Republic of Ireland delights with its natural landmarks and culture-laden cities. Coming in at a similar size to the state of Indiana, it’s perfectly feasible to see a large portion of the country over the course of your vacation. Here are the top 10 luxury experiences in Ireland, the “Emerald Isle”.
1. Stay in a castle
One of the most luxurious experiences in Ireland is to sleep in a castle. With around 30,000 castles spread across the country, a portion of these have been revamped and will ensure you sleep, eat, and live like royalty.
2. Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare are one of the most spectacular natural sights in Ireland. A scenic 11-mile hiking trail traverses the cliff tops while helicopter tours are the best way to elevate the experience.
Ireland’s capital city is rich in cultural and heritage attractions including St Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle. This is also an excellent destination for shopping, dining, and unwinding in upbeat pubs. Those with a thirst for history and beer can visit the Guinness Storehouse where pints are served with your portrait in the foam.
4. Bend of the Boyne
The Bend of the Boyne is a World Heritage Site that predates even the Egyptian pyramids. The complex spans chamber tombs, standing stones, henges, and grave passes that elude modern-day engineers and historians.
5. Food tours
Ireland caters to food-minded travelers with an array of dining experiences including food tours on working farms, boutique cooking classes, and tasting menus at Michelin-starred restaurants. A short drive north of Dublin, Howth stuns with its collection of harborside seafood restaurants. Head to Galway Bay for premium oysters and shellfish at Kelly Oysters.
6. Whiskey tasting
Ireland is a haven for whiskey enthusiasts with tastings, tours, and “golf and whiskey” trails. One of the most deluxe options is led by expert John Callely at Malahide Castle and Gardens. Group and private tours are available at this 12th-century castle on the outskirts of Dublin.
7. The Wild Atlantic Way
Driving in Ireland is a joy, provided you can cope with driving on the left-hand side of the road! The Wild Atlantic Way is an outstanding stretch of ocean scenery and quaint Irish villages on the west coast with over 150 strategic lookouts.
Cities in Ireland run an extensive calendar of festivals spanning food, music, literature, theater, and comedy. As an example, the Galway Oyster Festival occurs annually in September while the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (Festival of music in Ireland) takes place in summer with the location changing every year.
9. Spa retreeats
If your Ireland itinerary is jam-packed with hiking, whiskey tastings, and outdoor pursuits, factor in a spa day before heading home. Monart Spa is a high-end, adults-only destination offering bespoke day packages as well as 5-star accommodations and dining.
10. Connemara National Park
Made up of misty mountains, boglands, heaths, grasslands, and forests, the 2,000 hectares of the Connemara National Park are a safe habitat for birdlife, wildlife, and rare plant species. Four walking trails are available of increasing difficulty, with the lower-lying routes suitable for children.
Contact me when you are ready to book your trip to Ireland and design your bespoke itinerary.
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