Killarney National Park
The natural scenery in Ireland is varied and interesting. Of course the island is known for its amazing array of all that is green, but you might be surprised at how many other types of landscapes are waiting to be explored in and around Ireland. The Burren is a magnificent stretch of land, home to long meandering streams and dramatic limestone layers. In this area you can find over 80 Neolithic tombs as well as over 500 original ring forts. Another incredible sight is the Giant's Causeway, a long stretch of basalt columns that are very close together. It has been compared to the landscapes found on the Moon, and is an integral part of several ancient fables about a mythical giant named Finn MacCool.
Ireland is an island, so of course it has some of the most beautiful coastline you will find anywhere in the world. The shores of this abundant island range from soft sandy beaches to rugged and imposing rock cliffs that tower hundreds of metres above the sea. The sea is an integral part of Irish history, life, and culture, so look for opportunities to grab a slice of the seafaring life in some of the charming fishing villages such as Kilcar, Roundstone, Kinsale, and Cushendun.
Many people do not realize how many smaller outlying islands there are in Ireland. These are some of the most remote and isolated places you will find, perfect outposts for a holiday spent in peace, quiet, and tranquillity. Keep in mind, however, that these amazing islands are home to people who are still firmly rooted in the customs and lifestyles of traditional Ireland. They are a rugged people, accustomed to living life in a rugged landscape, but at the same time incredibly hospitable to visitors who want to learn more about their way of life. Considering that some islands have only had electricity for less than thirty years, any holiday spent in the outer islands is sure to be interesting and memorable.
Aside from the stormy ocean surrounding Ireland, it's most famous body of water is perhaps the River Shannon. It is the longest navigable river waterway in Europe at 344 kilometres and a sheer pleasure to encounter. Think about taking a boat trip down the River Shannon, where you will find abundant wildlife, spectacular scenery, and an amazing assortment of charming, friendly villages. A boat trip such as this is a wonderful way to explore Ireland at your own relaxing pace, stopping when you want to stop and floating peacefully when you want to keep to yourself.
Ring of Kerry
Another fun way to explore Ireland is to rent a car and do a car tour. There are numerous routes to consider, such as the Ring of Beara, the Causeway Coastal Route, the Burren drive, and the Ring of Kerry. Some routes are set out as one or two day trips while others allow you to spend a week or more exploring the Irish countryside. When you are driving a vehicle yourself, you are not held to any kind of schedule or set route, allowing you to venture into many out of the way places you would otherwise not find. Eat lunch in a warm and friendly country pub, or picnic on a green hill overlooking a country road. The choice is yours, and that is what makes it such a wonderful alternative for your Irish holiday.