You know here at Lovin.ie we are big fans of an awl staycation.
Let’s be real though, the best of Ireland is the places you find yourself with very few others around. The places that feel somewhat untouched and undiscovered, the hidden gems.
Want to take the road less travelled and discover some alternative tourist sites?
We got you.
Here are our top 10 picks for 2019:
1. Discover Murder Hole Beach – Donegal
Murder Hole Beach is not an easy destination to come across, that’s why it was voted “Ireland’s Best Secret Beach”. To get there you have to hop a few fields and trust your gut as Google Maps won’t be there to help you.
When you find it you’ll realise why it was worth the journey. It’s a stunning spot with some serious history, it also appears in Irish mythology.
2. Have A Pint In Murphy’s Bar – Brandon, Kerry
Brandon is one of the most scenic places in Ireland. Just a few miles out from Dingle, it boasts incredible hillside and coastal views. It’s real Ireland, where we came from and what we’re known for.
Murphy’s Bar is one of the most scenic pubs in all of Ireland and one of the best places to have a pint in the sun.
There’s a range of picnic benches by the sea where you can listen to the waves and look out across to the breathtaking West Kerry coastline.
3. Walk The Leitrim Way – Leitrim
There are so many famous walks around Ireland such as Cuilcagh and the Waterford Greenway but have you ever tried the Leitrim way?
The 12-kilometre walk will take you along shimmering blue waters on the eastern edge of Lough Allen, a famine graveyard and an ancient sweathouse built of moss-dusted stones.
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4. Get Chills In Dunmore Cave – Kilkenny
Said to be one of the darkest places in Ireland, Dunmore cave is sure to send chills down your spine.
The cave has formed over millions of years and is full of calcite sculptures, stalagmites and stalactites.
It is said that Vikings massacred a thousand local people who had sought refuge at this cave. There have since been archaeological discoveries of skeletons, mainly of women and children, scary stuff.
Treasures such as Viking coins, ingots and buttons have also been found here.
Deffo one to check out.
5. Find The Secret Waterfall In Slieve League – Donegal
Located in Slieve League in Donegal there is a secret waterfall.
Many have tried to find it and failed.
6. Snorkelling In Inishmurray Monastery – Sligo
There is an old monastery in Co. Sligo that is like something out of a movie.
The shape of the site is still intact, as are some of the buildings and nearby is one of the most breathtaking islands. Picture secret alcoves, secret beaches and glistening waters.
This is a must for the adventurous spirit.
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7. Check Out Ireland’s Freakiest Sculpture Park – Wicklow
Let’s get one thing clear up front: Victor’s Way is most definitely not for everyone.
The Indian sculpture park near Roundwood in County Wicklow was designed for a select few who are capable of appreciating its purpose.
It was designed as a contemplative garden for over 28s.
Having spent time with a number of spiritual orders across Asia, the owner not only sponsored and curated this park, but designed most of the sculptures it contains. The whole purpose of these statues of black granite and bronze is to give visitors a space for contemplation and meditation.
8. Walk Barefoot On Coral Beach – Galway
Located at the edge of Carraroe, this beach is a thing of dreams.
The coral sand is actually detached red calcified seaweed, maërl, that stretches across the entire beach.
The beach itself feels like fine gravel underfoot. You won’t have tiny grains of sand stuck to your clothes or wedged in your shoes here.
The coral comes in many sizes and you’ll also find an assortment of seashells on show too.
It’s also a lovely location for swimming, kayaking, snorkelling and exploring.
9. Take A Boat Trip Around Clew Bay – Mayo
Did you know that there are 365 islands off the coast of Mayo?
One for each day of the year.
Hop on a boat and explore this unique coastal landscape. If you’re looking for a memorable stay, there is an incredible Airbnb on a private island called Collanmore – I stayed there and it’s been one of my favourite places I’ve ever stayed.
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10. Secret Surfing Cave – Bundoran, Donegal
We need to find this one for ourselves.
All you need to decide is… which one will you visit first?