The Emerald Isle is without a doubt one of the most romantic places you could pick for a honeymoon. With fairytale-like castles, postcard-perfect beaches, soaring mountains, waterfalls and endless lush greenery, you’ll have lots of exciting destinations to choose from for your stay. You could do a road trip to experience many of them, or book one of these and soak up everything the destination has to offer.
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The medieval hilltop town of Dingle is especially picturesque, overlooking a bustling harbor and filled with colorful buildings housing unique shops, casual eateries and fine dining restaurants, along with countless pubs for enjoying live Irish music. The peninsula itself is absolutely stunning with that postcard-perfect Irish scenery you’ve been looking for, complete with vibrant green hills dotted with thatched white-washed cottages, hundreds of sheep and dramatic cliffs that touch down to golden beaches and the cobalt blue waters of the Atlantic.
Killarney is renowned for its postcard-worthy views that stretch as far as the eye can see, from sparkling lakes and waterfalls to heather-covered mountains and castles. An outdoor lovers’ dream, you’ll find lots of tranquil walks, including a short trek to Torc Waterfall and a round-trip hike beginning and ending at Muckross House that features a number of historic buildings and formal gardens too. You can also take a romantic horse and carriage tour, paddle around the lakes, enjoy outstanding golf and one of the world’s most scenic drives, which begins and ends in Killarney: the Ring of Kerry.
Wicklow National Park
Just a 40-minute drive south of Dublin, a stay in or near Wicklow National Park may be ideal for those who want to be relatively close to the city while being immersed among some of Ireland’s most breathtaking scenery. Enjoy scenic hikes that are even more dramatic in the summer and early fall when the heather is in bloom as a sea of purple and maroon blankets the hills. You can also visit stunning lakes, fascinating medieval ruins that include a 6th-century monastic settlement with a Round Tower, Powerscourt Estate with its colorful gardens, and take advantage of countless idyllic picnic spots to enjoy foods like yummy Irish cheeses, smoked salmon and homemade brown bread.
The Aran Islands offer a trip back in time to Ireland as it once was, unspoiled by modern development. Made up of three islands, Inisheer (Inis Oirr in Irish), is the smallest and perhaps the most idyllic, a place where locals still speak Irish as their first language. For honeymooners looking for a tranquil escape, or those who enjoy more traditional, authentic daily life along with stunning ocean views, beautiful beaches and ruins, it’s hard to beat. It covers just two square miles so it’s easy to explore most of it on foot, searching for colorful wildflowers in late spring and early summer, visiting the famous shipwreck along the shoreline and watching for Sandy the resident dolphin, often spotted in the cove near the ferry dock. There are a couple of pubs for enjoying Irish stew or the fresh catch of the day with a pint and occasionally live music too.
Cliffs of Moher
The dramatic Cliffs of Moher have become one of Ireland’s most famous symbols, with the towering cliffs stretching for miles along the west coast in County Clare. They’ve also been named one of the country’s most romantic spots, a place where you can enjoy glorious sunsets and often the sounds of a Celtic harp, played right along the edge overlooking the Atlantic. One of the best spots to base your stay is the seaside village of Doolin which offers lots of fun after dark too. Pubs here are renowned for their live music, including 150-year-old Gus O’Connor’s pub which draws locals and visitors for nightly music sessions, filling the place with singing and dancing on stage and off.
The world-famous Giant’s Causeway lies along the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland, providing an incredibly atmospheric and romantic location. There are lots of other attractions and breathtaking sights here as well, like Dunluce Castle, one of the most iconic historic monuments in the area, perched on a dramatic rocky promontory a hundred feet above the sea. The roofless ruins have been spotlighted in the hit series “Game of Thrones” and are particularly stunning just before sunset, or in the sunshine with the striking white chalk cliffs nearby. You can also tour and sample whiskey at Bushmills Distillery and take the heart-pounding walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
Located in the heart of the picturesque Connemara region, Clifden not only makes a great base for exploring the area, it has plenty to offer of its own, with lots of great pubs hosting traditional Irish tunes and unique shops that sell locally-made crafts and things like cozy Irish sweaters. Enjoy hikes in nearby Connemara National Park, discovering coral beaches and visiting magnificent Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden. It hosts a 19th-century castle turned abbey, Neo-Gothic church, pottery studio, craft shop, scenic woodland walks and a restaurant.
A picture-postcard town if there ever was one, images of Adare has been reproduced countless times alongside hundreds of thousands of “Wish You Were Here” notes. The main street is lined with stone buildings, medieval monasteries, ruins and thatched cottages that date back to the 1820s. Some have been converted into arts and crafts shops, boutiques and fantastic restaurants like the renowned Blue Door.
For a honeymoon in the city that won’t leave you feeling claustrophobic, consider Kilkenny. This enchanting medieval city boasts lots of historic sites, including breathtaking Kilkenny Castle. Its narrow, cobbled roads are lined with ancient buildings, many of which house art galleries, cafes, pubs and gift shops. On any given night you can expect to find live traditional tunes – during the peak summer season, Kytelers Inn (which dates to the 14th century) offers traditional sessions every night of the week.
Located in County Mayo, Achill Island is one of the country’s largest and most popular offshore islands. It offers lots for honeymooners seeking spectacular scenery and outdoor pursuits. It’s home to five Blue Flag beaches and towering emerald mountains with dramatic cliff faces rising majestically from the Atlantic, while white-washed stone cottages dot the foothills and the coastline.