15 Photos of Ireland That Will Make You Want to Go

Ireland not only represents leprechauns, 4-leaf clovers and Guinness, it also possesses some of the most beautiful scenery around, easily making my list of the 3 most beautiful places I’ve ever been, rivaling Santorini, Greece and Tuscany, Italy.  Although I knew Ireland was going to be beautiful I didn’t expect it to be this stunning, as you’ll see in these 15 photos of Ireland.  Displayed below are 15 of my best photos of Ireland.

15 Photos of Ireland. The Old Head of Kinsale. This area is the nearest point of land to where the RMS Lusitania was sunk in 1915.
15 Photos of Ireland. The Old Head of Kinsale. This area is the nearest point of land to where the RMS Lusitania was sunk in 1915.

20 Photos of Ireland That Will Make You Want to Go

Around almost every corner was another photo opportunity.   From well-manicured gardens, vibrant farmland and colossal cliffs over the coast, Ireland is a photographer’s dream.  My mother and I rented a car and drove around the country and loved every moment.

15 Photos of Ireland. Blarney Castle, home to the Blarney Stone. According to legend, the stone has the power to give anyone who kisses it the ‘gift of the gab’ (or the ability to be a smooth talker), so for those who dare, a climb to the battlements to reach the famous stone could be well worth it.
15 Photos of Ireland. Blarney Castle, home to the Blarney Stone. According to legend, the stone has the power to give anyone who kisses it the ‘gift of the gab’ (or the ability to be a smooth talker), so for those who dare, a climb to the battlements to reach the famous stone could be well worth it.

About two hours drive from Dublin sits the 12th century Blarney Castle in County Cork.

15 Photos of Ireland. An Angel Oak tree in the gardens of Blarney Castle estimated to be in excess of 400-500 years old.
15 Photos of Ireland. An Angel Oak tree in the gardens of Blarney Castle estimated to be in excess of 400-500 years old.

I climbed the castle’s narrow staircase and hung backwards over a death-defying drop to kiss the Stone of Eloquence, better known as the Blarney Stone. They say if you kiss the stone you’ll never be at a loss for words.  Of course I had to do it.  When I finished my mother and I enjoyed a nice walk around the magnificent gardens.

15 Photos of Ireland. Waterfall in the gardens of Blarney Castle. The gardens occupy over 60 acres of sprawling parklands which include gardens, avenues, arboretums and waterways.
15 Photos of Ireland. Waterfall in the gardens of Blarney Castle. The gardens occupy over 60 acres of sprawling parklands which include gardens, avenues, arboretums and waterways.

Just south of Blarney Castle, sits the quaint seaside town of Kinsale where I was able to take some of my favorite photos of Ireland.

15 Photos of Ireland. The seaside town of Kinsale in the south west corner of Ireland. Two 17th-century fortresses overlook the River Bandon: the vast, star-shaped Charles Fort to the southeast, and the smaller James Fort on the river's opposite bank.
15 Photos of Ireland. The seaside town of Kinsale in the south west corner of Ireland. Two 17th-century fortresses overlook the River Bandon: the vast, star-shaped Charles Fort to the southeast, and the smaller James Fort on the river’s opposite bank.

We spent the day meandering around cobblestone streets, browsing the interesting shops and eating some fresh seafood.  Then we hopped in the car and drove south to Old Head, parking right before the exclusive Old Head Gold Course.  I climbed down both sides of the hill to see the stunning cliff and sea views and to take some photos.

15 Photos of Ireland. Old Head of Kinsale, home to the Old Head Golf Course which reaches 2 miles out into the Atlantic.
15 Photos of Ireland. Old Head of Kinsale, home to the Old Head Golf Course which reaches 2 miles out into the Atlantic.
15 Photos of Ireland. The Old Head Golf Course. A par 72, comprises of five Par 5s, five Par 3s and eight Par 4s – stretching to over 7,300 yards from the tips – with a minimum of six tees per hole. Nine holes play along the cliff tops, and all eighteen holes provide stunning ocean views. With the ever-changing sea breezes, the course provides a stern test to the touring pro and the high handicapper alike.
15 Photos of Ireland. The Old Head Golf Course. A par 72, comprises of five Par 5s, five Par 3s and eight Par 4s – stretching to over 7,300 yards from the tips – with a minimum of six tees per hole. 
15 Photos of Ireland. The Old Head Golf Course with nine holes play to along the cliff tops, and all eighteen holes provide stunning ocean views. With the ever-changing sea breezes, the course provides a stern test to the touring pro and the high handicapper alike.
15 Photos of Ireland. The Old Head Golf Course with nine holes play to along the cliff tops, and all eighteen holes provide stunning ocean views. With the ever-changing sea breezes, the course provides a stern test to the touring pro and the high handicapper alike.

From Kinsale we drove a couple of hours north to Killarney National Park.

15 Photos of Ireland. Killarney National Park near the town of Killarney, County Kerry, was the first national park in Ireland.
15 Photos of Ireland. Killarney National Park near the town of Killarney, County Kerry, was the first national park in Ireland.

We took our time driving around the lakes, enjoying the beautiful scenery.  You can hire a horse-drawn wagon to take you on the 4.8 KM (3 mile) trek to the Gap of Donloe, a narrow mountain passage between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain forged by glaciers.  We drove into the gap instead of hiring a horse and wagon since my mom is handicapped.  Normally cars are not permitted.

15 Photos of Ireland. The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass forged between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain by glacial flows.
15 Photos of Ireland. The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass forged between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain by glacial flows.

From Killarney National Park we drove west to the Ring of Kerry, a 179 km (111 mile) drive along the curved rugged coastline where you can take wonderful photos of Ireland.

The lush green landscape and sea cliffs make this route a photographer’s paradise.  It’s also been featured in various Hollywood flicks including two Star Wars movies: “The Force Awakens” and the latest blockbuster “The Last Jedi”.

15 Photos of Ireland. The two rock island seen here on the Ring of Kerry were featured in the Star Wars movie "The Last Jedi".
15 Photos of Ireland. The two rock island seen here on the Ring of Kerry were featured in the Star Wars movie “The Last Jedi”.

To the north of the Ring of Kerry sit the magnificent Cliffs of Moher in County Clare.

15 Photos of Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher. These are the second most popular tourist attraction in Ireland next to the Guinness Brewery in Dublin.
15 Photos of Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher. These are the second most popular tourist attraction in Ireland next to the Guinness Brewery in Dublin.
15 Photos of Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher. The cave seen was in the Harry Potter Movie "The Half Blood Prince."
15 Photos of Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher. The cave seen was in the Harry Potter Movie “The Half Blood Prince.”

Stay overnight in Doolin, making sure to see the cliffs at sunset. Then hire a boat to take you on an up close tour of the towering wall which runs for about fourteen KM (8.6 miles) and reaches heights of 214 meters (702 feet).  They are one of the most visited sites in all of Ireland.

While you’re driving around Ireland it’s hard to miss the colorful farmland.

15 Photos of Ireland. Donkey seen on the Ring of Kerry. Donkeys come from Asia and Africa and have only been in Ireland for a few hundred years - not long enough for them to adapt to the wet climate.
15 Photos of Ireland. Donkey seen on the Ring of Kerry. Donkeys come from Asia and Africa and have only been in Ireland for a few hundred years – not long enough for them to adapt to the wet climate.

Beautiful yellow grape seed flowers line the hills.  Lush green landscapes are dotted with ancient ruins, reminders that this county has a very long history.  Like Tuscany and Santorini, you’ll find yourself stopping frequently for photographic opportunities.

15 Photos of Ireland. Grape seed flowers. Because most grapes are propagated from cuttings, and not grown from seeds, a single vine with good characteristics can be readily turned into many more vines, all with the same genes and thus the same characteristics.
15 Photos of Ireland. Grape seed flowers. Because most grapes are propagated from cuttings, and not grown from seeds, a single vine with good characteristics can be readily turned into many more vines, all with the same genes and thus the same characteristics.

Are you ready to go to Ireland yet? I hope like me you are incredibly impressed with Ireland’s rugged, natural beauty.  Just remember, flights to Europe can be very inexpensive!

Have you been to Ireland yet?

Please let me know about your Irish travels in the comments!

Happy travels,

Matt Weatherbee

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Matt Weatherbee
Matt Weatherbee

Hi, I’m Matt.  In 2008 I quit my job, sold everything and drove from Boston to Mexico to start a business.  Now I live and work in the Carribean, and spend my free time traveling the globe.  Learn more.

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