advertisement
  • MacGillycuddy's Reeks (County Kerry): Cresting grandly over the Iveragh Peninsula, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks not only has the best name of any mountain range in Ireland, it also has the highest peak on the island, Carrantuohill (1,041m/3,414 feet).
  • The Slieve Bloom Way (County Laois): Slieve Bloom, Ireland's largest and most unspoiled blanket bog, rises gently above the peat fields. Its beauty -- gentle slopes, glens, rivers, waterfalls, and bog lands -- is subtle but persistent, and it is comparatively untouched. You can have it more or less to yourself, apart from its deer and foxes, and an occasional frolicking otter.
  • The Burren (County Clare): We can guarantee this: The Burren is one of the strangest landscapes you’re likely to see anywhere in the world. Its stark limestone grassland is spread with a quilt of wildflowers from as far afield as the Alps, and its inhabitants include nearly every species of butterfly found in Ireland. 
  • Mizen Head (County Cork): While most travelers flock to the better-known Cliffs of Moher, you won’t find crowds at these majestic sea cliffs at Ireland’s southwest tip. Watch the waves crash against the 210m-high (689-foot) cliffs from the excellent visitor center.
  • Malin Head (County Donegal): From one extreme to the other—literally! The Malin Head promontory, in the remotest part of Ireland’s remotest country, looks out over a seemingly unending sea. Next stop: New York. 
  • The Twelve Bens (County Galway): Amid Connemara's central mountains, bogs, and lakes, the rugged Twelve Bens range crowns a spectacular landscape. The loftiest, Benbaun in Connemara National Park, reaches a height of 729m (2,392 feet).
  • Croagh Patrick (County Mayo): Rising steeply 750m (2,460 ft.) above the coast, Croagh Patrick is seen as a holy mountain, where the saint is said to have retreated in penance. Traditionally, barefoot pilgrims climb it the last Sunday of July, but in recent years, hundreds of Nike-shod tourists have been making the ascent daily. The view from above can be breathtaking or nonexistent -- the summit is often wrapped in clouds.
  • Slieve League (County Donegal): As the Slieve League peninsula stretches for 48km (30 miles) into the Atlantic, its pigmented bluffs rise to startlingly high sea cliffs. They can also be walked along, if you dare.
  • Giant's Causeway (County Antrim): At the foot of a cliff by the sea, this mysterious mass of tightly packed, naturally occurring hexagonal basalt columns is nothing short of astonishing. This volcanic wonder, formed 60 million years ago, looks even better when negotiated (cautiously) on foot.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.