Places to Travel in Ireland

Places to Travel in Ireland
It's hard to travel to Ireland without passing through Dublin, the country's capital city and home of the world-famous Guinness Factory, Ireland's top tourist attraction. But for an adventure a little off the beaten path, consider these out-of-the-way destinations located on the southwestern edge of the Emerald Isle.

The Dingle Way Walking Trail

The Dingle Way Walking Trail, one of 30 long-distance walking trails in Ireland, wraps around the remote and jagged Dingle Peninsula, the westernmost point in Europe. Taking an average of 8 to 9 days to complete, this well-maintained, 111-mile walking trail offers walkers varied landscapes, remote villages, numerous lodging options and archaeological sites along its route. You'll hear your fair share of Gaelic (or Irish language, as the Irish say) during your tour of a peninsula that has retained many cultural and linguistic roots throughout its nearly 6,000 years of history.

Killarney National Park

Located near the Dingle Peninsula sits Killarney National Park, Ireland's first and largest National Park. Since 1932, this 25,000-acre park has been a gateway to a car-free wonderland of lakes, waterfalls, rivers, woodlands, wildlife and to McGillycuddy's Reeks, Ireland's highest mountain range . Whether you choose to cycle along one of the park's numerous cycling trails, go for a nature walk or tour the park by a two-wheeled horse-drawn "jaunting car," don't forget to bring your camera along.

Cape Clear Island

If you enjoy bird-watching, you won't want to miss a trip to Cape Clear Island, Ireland's southernmost island. This three-mile-long island boasts the country's only manned observatory, and, according to professional bird guide Eric Dempsey (see his website,, for more information), its location and climate make it one of Europe's best places to spot common and not-so-common seabirds, including Puffins, Manx Shearwater, Storm Petrel, Skuas (Jaegers), Sooty and Great Shearwaters.

Article Written By Susan Heller

Susan Heller is a Seattle-based freelance writer who has been writing outdoor-related articles for five years. Her work has appeared in "University Week," the "Ballard News-Tribune," and In 2004 she was named a Mary Gates Scholar, and in 2005 she received her Bachelor of Arts in Comparative History of Ideas and Comparative Religion from the University of Washington.

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