8 Unreal, Easy Access Holiday Destinations in Ireland

We're challenging the perceptions around summer holidays in Ireland

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There's an unspoken stigma surrounding Irish holidays – making them out as boring, playing it safe, average, unexciting and basic. 

Perhaps it's all those family staycations we took as children. With the stale-smelling caravan, itchy wetsuits and hours of self-amusement. 

Is this what inspires people to choose a holiday in Marbella over one in Ireland? Maybe, but I'm telling you to ditch Spain, ditch Greece and ditch Lanza – get bang for your buck without the hefty price tag of a two hour flight – all in a place equally as beautiful as anywhere in the Med. 

Look no further than our very own island and its abundance of beautiful holiday destinations – all on your doorstep.

Kilkenny Countryside

Not only is Kilkenny an absolute treat to drive through, with its lush green hills, flora and fauna, but the places to stop along the way are truly special.

From the walking paths of the River Nore to the beautiful grounds of Kilkenny Castle, there is ALWAYS something to see and do. 

Nestled 10 minutes outside of Kilkenny town, Lyrath Estate is the perfect place to kick back, relax and enjoy a massive breakfast spread to your hearts content.

Money can buy happiness you guys. 

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Lyrath

The Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry

An obvious choice for a hol? Perhaps.

But can you beat it? No, probably not. 

Dingle is one of our dearest national treasures and its sweeping coastal beauty is known to capture the hearts of all visitors. 

With numerous activities, including kitesurfing, windsurfing, paddle boarding and dolphin boat tours, you'll never be at a loss for things to do.

Let Dingle Skellig Hotel be your home away from home for the weekend. 

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Kinvara, Co. Galway

Set up camp in friendly Kinvara, where you can look across the length of Galway bay. 

Start your drive through Galway's artistic inner city and head on out to Connemara for a first hand look at pure, untouched nature. Climb the Twelve Pins in all its peaked glory before downing a bowl of chowder in Pádraicíns in Furbo on your way back. 

Tackle the Burren the next day for an unforgettable trek over a lunar-like limestone landscape of rock, cliffs and woodlands.

It's like something straight out of a movie. 

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Rosses Point, Co. Sligo

Staying on the West coast but moving upwards to Sligo, Rosses Point is where W.B. Yeats and his family used to spend long summer days. 

The peninsula is steeped in history and you'll see just that in the woman 'Waiting On the Shore' statue who reaches out to embrace Coney Island, the Metal Man lighthouse and beautiful surrounding Sligo Bay. 

Yeats Country Hotel is the perfect place to put your feet up but make sure to visit Strandhill for some unreal grub and a seaweed bath.

Lissadell House and Gardens is also a must visit in the region for some jaw dropping, real estate envy that will give you absolute chills. 

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Lahinch, Co. Clare

With its sprawling beaches, enormous waves and idyllic cafes, Lahinch is ideal for a weekend away with friends or family.

And sure with the Cliffs of Moher just around the corner it really is the perfect getaway. 

Stay in The Falls Hotel just up the road from Lahinch in Ennistymon is an 18th-century mansion. Stroll through the gorge woodland along the waterfall – right on your doorstep.

The dream. 

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Naas, Co. Kildare

Naas might not seem like a holiday destination, oh but it is. 

Nothing says holiday like retail therapy, and I can't think of a better place than Kildare Village to get your fix. If you're not in the mood for shopping chill out with a cup of Joe's Coffee.

If you want to have some fun in the great outdoors check out the Kildare Maze for some family banter. 

The Osprey Hotel in The Devoy Quarter will comfortably put a roof over your head. 

Nothing like hiding out in a hotel for a weekend with some room service.

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Donegal Coast

The stroll out to the lighthouse at Fanad Head is one you'll cherish forever, it lies just between Lough Swilly and Mulroy Bay and is jaw droppingly gorgeous. 

The Shandon Hotel is your best bet for a central yet isolated hotel, a stone's throw from all you want to see and do. 

If you're a native Irish speaker make sure to go and chat to the locals in the Gaeltacht area, even if not, go experience that distinct Gaelach culture, reflected in the music, song and dance. 

Go on, act the tourist. 

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Achill Island

The mountains and beaches of this beautiful island off the coast of Co. Mayo are undisputedly stunning. 

No need to load the car onto the ferry for this one, you can drive straight over the bridge directly onto the island. Sound.

The Achill Cliff House Hotel will happily take you in for your weekend of fun on The Wild Atlantic Way. 

Be sure to watch the sun go down over the mountains with some food and drinks on a coastal picnic. 

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Well, what are you waiting for?

Pack your bags, fill the car's tank and hit the road. 

Written By

Alana Laverty

Just a Galway gal eating and writing her way around Dublin alana@lovindublin.com

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