Planning to visit Ireland? What about seeing some history and beautiful countryside where few tourists go?
We all know the Ireland of Saints and Scholars, Book of Kells, Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle, not to mention the Ring of Kerry and Cliffs of Moher. But what about a trip to the hidden Ireland where few tourists go?
Here are some hidden beauty spots that will make your visit there even more special.
Cooley Mountains in County Louth
Towering over the border areas, the Cooley peninsula has been cut off as a tourist spot because of The Troubles which has meant that it is incredibly unspoiled, with beautiful views North and South over Carlingford Lough from its peaks. The grandeur and beauty of Kerry without any of the high prices or tourist traps is how our guide described it. Just take your car and drive north to Dundalk and head for the Cooley peninsula.
Once known as Bandit Country during The Troubles, it too, like Cooley, suffered greatly because of those bad times. It has stunning vistas, beautiful mountain ranges, and a wonderful Irish music tradition. Tommy Makem of the famous Makem and Clancy Brothers hails from here and his legacy and that of the South Armagh musical tradition can be found in the pubs. Nearby Slieve Gullion national park is one of the great nature parks of Ireland, North or South.
Just twenty-five miles North of Dublin in County Meath are Bettystown and Laytown, two beautiful little villages with wonderful beaches and a huge expanse of Irish Sea. Many Dubliners take their vacations there but overseas tourists are rare. There is a championship golf course and inexpensive lodgings and restaurants.
You may be familiar with Dingle, Gweedore and Connemara Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking locations, but Ring just six miles from Dungarvan in Waterford is the smallest Gaeltacht in Ireland and a beautiful and remote spot. Here you can hear the language of your ancestors, visit the little town and surrounding villages, and step back in time.
Slieve Bloom Mountains, Laois
One of the great natural assets of County Laois in the Irish midlands is the Slieve Bloom Mountains, which also touch surrounding counties such as Offaly.
They are without a doubt one of Ireland’s hidden gems and underrated beauty spots.
The best entry point is via Portarlington. The magnificent Slieve Bloom Way boasts an almost unlimited amount of different activities including walking, cycling, auto touring, heritage tours, equestrian trails and Irish music and dancing festivals.
The Glen of Aherlow
The Glen of Aherlow is a quiet country valley near Tipperary town, secluded but not isolated. There are sixteen miles of unspoiled countryside offering some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable. a wonderful hiking, walking and outdoors vacation experience.
New Ross, Wexford
The home of the Kennedys before they set out for the New World and created the greatest political dynasty in American history. The Dunbrody, a recreated famine ship, is an amazing adventure. Nearby is the Irish National Historic Park where visitors can experience 900 years of history in just ninety minutes.
Stretching through large parts of counties Louth and Meath. the Boyne Valley is an unparalleled area of great historical importance, minutes North from Dublin Airport. Following the path of the Boyne River, Newgrange, and other historical sites, including the Battle of the Boyne heritage site, can be seen. Helpful road signs direct you to the highlights.
Courtesy of Irish Central.