..or at least a limited number. As Ireland is a major holiday destination (especially during the summer months), it’s quite difficult to escape the guided-tour buses and camera-wielding crowds most of the time, even more so when you visit the “must-sees” as mentioned in most travel guides: the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle (and Blarney Stone) or the Ring of Kerry.
That’s why I thought I’d give you an overview of some of Ireland’s not-so-crowded destinations, which will still give you a good (first) impression of the Emerald Isle. You may also combine these with a longer intineray.
If you’re looking for a nice little getaway at the sea, with Waterford and its impressive Viking history at hand, Dunmore East is the place to go. Excellent connection to road and rail network, but still a feeling of remoteness prevails here with the 5 local pubs, 3 bed and breakfasts and 1 hotel.
I recommend to visit it in Autumn or Winter to enjoy a look at the ocean battering at the quay wall while sitting snug into a pub and enjoying a warm fireplace and a cold Guinness. It only gets crowded during the annual Bluegrass Festival.
Less crowded than the Ring of Kerry or Connemara, this is scenic Ireland at it’s best. Travel along the N71, passing by the small towns of Baltimore and Schull, and end your journey at Irelands most south-western point, where the Atlantic splashes against the rocks beneath the Mizen Head-lighthouse.
Impressive sea-cliffs are your thing? Forget about the Cliffs of Moher. The Slieve League-cliffs are the highest sea-cliffs in Europe and not for the faint-hearted. Avoid after rainfalls. The ground gets slippy….
In the very north-west corner of Ireland lies this little gem, almost a miniature-Ireland in itself. Extrordinary beaches allure flocks of surfers in summer, but also outside the main season the Atlantic Drive and the scattered ruins all along the mountains make for a nice and scenic visit.
Glendalough, you are asking? The one tourist attraction that’s easiest accessible from Dublin and Lonely Planet lists as “the one thing to see when Ireland”. And still it is on this list. Because if you visit in autumn, during a heavy rain shower, or in winter when everything is cold, damp and miserable, I promise that you’ll have the place almost for yourself. And Glendalough during heavy rain (and with the right attire) has an eerie charm for itself. But by all means don’t. Visit. During. Summer. It’s like an Irish Disneyland complete with foodstalls and buses full of schoolchildren.
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