Posted on 27/04/2021

#Nature #Ireland

Ireland's best natural wonders that will make you want to visit

Everything you have ever heard about Ireland's beauty is true. Locals are often in disagreement over the must-sees, but you cannot go wrong with the wildness of Donegal, the magnificent cliffs of Moher and Ireland's most famous Causeway Coast. We've put together a small list of some of Ireland's best natural wonders, so sit back and enjoy the beauty.

Everything you have ever heard about Ireland's beauty is true. Locals are often in disagreement over the must-sees, but you cannot go wrong with the wildness of Donegal, the magnificent cliffs of Moher and Ireland's most famous Causeway Coast. We've put together a small list of some of Ireland's best natural wonders, so sit back and enjoy the beauty.

Giant's Causeway

Giant's Causeway ©Logan Brown / 123RF

The Giant's Causeway is an impressive rock formation, it is also Northern Ireland's only Unesco World Heritage Site. The phenomenon is explained in the Giant's Causeway Visitor Experience, found in a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly building half-hidden in the hillside above the sea. The reason it's called the Giant's Causeway is because the rock formation is made up of closely packed, hexagonal stone columns that look like the handiwork of giants. Visiting the Giant's Causeway is free but you have to pay to use the car park which is combined with a ticket for the visiting center, you cannot purchase parking-only tickets.

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher © upthebanner / 123RF

On clear days, the Cliffs of Moher (Aillte an Mothair, or Ailltreacha Mothair), situated in western Clare, are mighty impressive. These cliffs are 214 meters (702 feet) high, the edge abruptly falls into the wild Atlantic Ocean. From the top of the cliffs, you can see as far as to the Aran Islands and the hills of Connemara. The sunsets here are breathtaking, the sky turns into a kaleidoscope of amber, amethyst, rose pink and deep red.

Dun Briste

Dun Briste © Kirchdt5 / 123RF

Dun Briste is another rock formation that is bashed by sea waves. Dun Briste is located in Mayo and legend says that St PAtrick drove all the vipers from Ireland onto the stack on Downpatrick Head. For a better experience, try and head here on a clear day. You can drive almost all the way but you have to walk the last 400 meters (1,312 feet). Dun Briste is 6km (3.7miles) northeast of Ballycastle. The sea stack was severed from the mainland in 1393 because of a major storm that left people stranded on it, don't worry they were rescued! There is now a viewing area by a blowhole away from the edge of the cliff. There are multiple plaques giving details about the history and folklore of the area. On stormy days, seawater is dramatically blasted through the blowhole. I believe that Dun Briste looks like Azkaban Prison from the Harry Potter series.

Sliabh Liag

Sliabh Liag © Arturmkphoto / 123RF

The Cliffs of Moher get a lot more publicity than Sliabh Liag or Slieve League in Southwestern Donegal. Sliabh Liag are higher and free, they are actually among the highest cliffs in Europe. Sliabh Liag are 600 meters (1,969 feet) high. From Teelin, a road through the stark landscape leads to the lower car park (with hiking signs) beside a gate in the road; drive another 1.5km (0.93mi) to the upper car park (often full in summer) right beside the viewpoint (close the gate though).

Gap of Dunloe

Gap of Dunloe © Shajduk / 123RF

The Gap of Dunloe is in the Killarney Region and is a scenic valley situated in between Purple Mountain and the eastern summit of MacGillicuddy's Reek. Gap of Dunloe can get very crowded in the summer, as it is crammed with coaches bringing day-trippers for one-hour pony-and-trap rides. You can choose to hire a bike and cycle through the passes if you don't want to be a part of the crowds.

Carrauntoohil

Carrauntoohil © Dawid Kalisinski / 123RF

Macgillycuddy's Reeks is Ireland's highest mountain range, Carrauntoohil is Ireland's highest summit at a whopping 1,040 meters (3,412 feet) high. This mountain is in the Killarney Region and there are multiple routes up. Even the most straightforward trails require good hiking and navigation skills, the harder trails can involve rock-climbing. This is definitely a site for adventurers.

The Burren

The Burren © Jordi2r / 123RF

The Burren is a long stretch across northern Clare and is a unique striated lunar-like landscape of barren grey limestone that took form beneath ancient seas. It was forced to rise by a great geological cataclysm. It covers 250 square km (97 square miles) of exposed limestone and is 560 square km (216 square miles) in total. During springtime, wildflowers grow, giving the Burren colour amid dark beauty. There are plenty of villages in the region to visit as well, including the music hub of Doolin on the west coast, Kilfenora inland and charming Ballyvaughan in the north, on the shores of Galway Bay.

Caves of Keash

Caves of Keash © Kevin Hart / 123RF

If you head roughly 6 km (3.7 miles) southeast of Ballymote, you will find the magnificent limestone Caves of Keash high in the Keshcorran Hill. you can park towards the bottom of the fields at the foot of the hill. It won't take long to reach the 16 caves, some of them are really deep, they offer great views of the surrounding countryside. Be careful though as it is steep and when wet it can get very slippery.

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