What are the top 10
tourist attractions in Ireland?

If you were to ask thousands of tourists what their favorite tourist attractions in Ireland were, they'd undoubtedly include these exciting and memorable places.

Even though Ireland is a fairly small place (about the size of the state of Virginia), it's packed with fantastic sightseeing throughout the land.

You could stay months and still not see all the best places Ireland has to offer. So I've narrowed it down to my top 10 favorites.

Here are my favorite
tourist attractions in Ireland :

Many of the best tourist attractions in Ireland can be found in the western regions. So let's begin in the western counties of Galway and Clare...

The Connemara Countryside
Covering 2,000 hectares of Connemara mountain countryside, this beautiful area is one of Ireland's five national parks.

Two short signposted nature trails, which start at the Visitor Centre in Letterfrack, allow views of Ballinakill Harbour, Inishbofin and Inishark. The Connemara countryside is located in Letterfrack, Galway county.

The Cliffs of Moher
Just north of Lahinch, on the coast of West Clare, are the Cliffs of Moher... one of the most breathtaking tourist attractions in Ireland.

Boldly facing the Atlantic, the Cliffs of Moher are the highest cliffs in Europe. The cliffs are also the site of ancient buildings once used as watch towers to warn of invading Vikings.

From its vantage point you can view the Clare coastline, the Aran Islands and mountains as far apart as Kerry and Connemara.

Even though the kids may find it a little boring, anyone who appreciates majestic scenery is sure to be awed by the Cliffs of Moher.

The Burren
The Burren, situated in South County Clare and North County Kerry, is a huge area covered in lime stone. Sound boring? On the contrary!

The Burren is another tourist attraction in Ireland shrouded in mystery. Plants grow at the Burren that won't grow anywhere else in the world.

It's quiet here, but if you can give the Burren Outdoor Pursuit Center a try if you're seeking excitement. You can rock climb its spectacular rock faces, canoe its lakes, or crawl through its caves.

Now, we head just south to the counties of Cork and Kerry...

Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone
One of Ireland's oldest and most historic castles, and one of the most famous tourist attractions in Ireland, is in County Cork.

An ancient stronghold of the MacCarthys, Lords of Muskerry and one of the strongest fortresses in Munster, its walls are eighteen feet thick in places.

The famous Blarney Stone is embedded in the Battlements at the top of Blarney Castle. Legend says that with one kiss the Blarney Stone will bestow the 'Gift of the Gab' - the power to talk your way into or out of any situation.

Be prepared! To kiss the Blarney Stone you must be held upside down from the top of the castle while you kiss the stone.

The Lakes of Killarney
The Lakes of Killarney is located in the Kerry County. The three main lakes of Killarney occupy a broad valley stretching south between the mountains.

The three lakes and the mountains that surround them are all within the Killarney National Park.

The Lower Lake, which is nearest the town, is studded with islands and has Muckross Abbey and Ross Castle on its eastern shore. The Lower Lake is separated from the Middle Lake (sometimes called Muckross Lake) by the wooded peninsula of Muckross.

Muckross House
The Muckross House is located at Killarney, in the lovely County of Kerry.

Discover the magnificence of Muckross, as Queen Victoria did in 1861. More than a century after her visit, much remains the same in this fine Victorian mansion, set in the spectacular scenery of Killarney National Park.

The gardens benefit from the natural setting of the mountains and lakes of Killarney. The rock garden, on a natural outcrop of limestone, has winding steps, small paths and a collection of Rollinn dwarf conifers and shrubs.

The Dingle Peninsula and the Blasket Islands
The Blasket Islands, located in County Kerry, are red sandstone rocks sprawled in the Atlantic, two miles beyond the westernmost tip of the peninsula.

The smaller islands are Beginish, Youngs Island and Illaunboy. The big islands are Inishmore, Inish na Bro, Inishvickillane, Inishtooskert, and the Great Blasket.

The Great Blasket Island off the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, is known for its historic, cultural and literary heritage. In the 1920's and 1930's, native Blasket writers produced books which have become classics.

The island was abandoned in 1953 when only 22 inhabitants remained and has been designated a National Historic Park. The Dingle Penninsula is located in the Kerry county.

There is also a great sea rock, the Tearaght, 19 hectares long and 602 feet high, and a multitude of lesser rocks and reefs.

Ruined hermitages and forts which exist on several of the islands, show that they were occupied in early historic times. The marauding Vikings were undoubtedly familiar with the Blaskets and may even have had bases in the area in the 9th and 10th centuries.

For its beauty, oddity, and history, the Blasket Islands are a must-see tourist attraction in Ireland.

The best tourist attractions in Ireland remaining take us north to the Dublin region. In County Wicklow you'll find...

Powerscourt Garderns
One of the world's great gardens, Powerscourt is situated 12 miles south of Dublin in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains.

The garden was begun by Richard Wingfield in the 1740's and stretches out over 45 acres. It is a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, and ornamental lakes together with secret hollows, rambling walks, walled gardens and over 200 variations of trees and shrubs.

The 18th Century Palladian House, designed by the German-born architect Richard Castle, now incorporates an innovative shopping experience, terrace cafe and house exhibition.

The exhibition shows you the evolution of Powerscourt House, from the original owners, its buildings, from a castle and then into a Country House.

The Powerscourt Gardens is located in the Wicklow county.

Next, you'll find one of the best tourist attractions in Ireland North of Powerscourt Gardens in County Meath.

Newgrange is located in County Meath. This mysterious structure is 5000 years old, so it's even older than the Great Pyramids at Giza!

Newgrange is covered in Celtic spirals. No one really knows what it was used for.

Some believe it was a pagan holy building. Others believe it was a calendar because it only allows sunlight to enter one day of each year - the winter solstice.

Newgrange is a wondrous tourist attraction in Ireland that draws many vacationers and locals alike.

Last but certainly not least you head to Northern Ireland to see the...

Giant's Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is located in County Antrim in Northern Ireland.

According to Irish legend, the Irish Giant Fionn MacCumhaill threw huge stones into the Irish Sea in order to reach his wife in Scotland. The stones are known as the Giant’s Causeway.

It's hard to believe that the strange uniform polygonal basalt rocks are not man-made but are the result of an eruption, which is the scientific explanation for this geographical anomoly.

If you want to see as many of the best tourist attractions in Ireland as you can, yet still have a relaxing Ireland vacation, I suggest touring the Western counties of Galway, Clare, Cork and Kerry. These counties have the highest concentration of great tourist attractions in Ireland bar none.

But if you don't want to miss any of the top 10 tourist attractions in Ireland, be sure to visit the Eastern and Northern regions as well. That way you won't miss Powerscourt Gardens, Newgrange, or the Giant's Causeway.

What ever you decide to do you will find plenty of amazing tourist attractions in Ireland to fill your days with excitement and wonder.

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