Visiting Ireland can be an exciting travel opportunity for many Americans. With its beautiful architecture, historic landmarks, rich local culture, and breathtaking natural settings, Ireland can be an enriching experience for many first-time visitors. Travelers certainly need to plan ahead and decide on which particular places to visit during their stay in Ireland. Here are five must-see sights in Ireland that will provide travelers with just the right combination of nature exhibitions, historic monuments, and entertaining recreation.
Boa Island Caldragh Cemetery
Travelers seeking to visit mystical sites where the veil between the real world and the eternal world is believed to be thin should visit Boa Island’s Caldragh Cemetery, located in the scenic county of Fermanagh, off the shores of Lough Erne. The ancient cemetery is one of the lesser known, yet highly mysterious sacred sites that every traveler should visit. An uneven, extremely bumpy ground covers the cemetery, balancing gravestones that date back several centuries and that make the location quite a sight to behold. The focal point of the cemetery seems to be a pair of stone statues that appear to keep surveillance at the site. The three foot tall, two-faced Janus figure is the larger of the two statues and seems to constantly watch the cemeteries visitors from every angle. The Janus figure is believed to have kept watch over the cemetery for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. The shorter figure, brought from Lusty Beg Island after it was found sitting alone in a marshy field, was relocated to the Caldragh Cemetery for protection and appropriately termed the Lusty Man. Both figures are believed to contribute to the cemetery’s high spiritual energy and to attract visitors from afar to this sacred place of rest that is not often found in tourist guidebooks.
While Ireland is filled with beauty and amazing landscapes, visitors interested in familiarizing themselves with Ireland’s older, stranger settings should visit the Burren. Infamous for its bizarre, ancient natural attractions and prehistoric monuments, the Burren is a strange-looking landscape formed over centuries of rain eroding its limestone plateau. The Burren is cast in a decidedly gray setting with little plant growth in the area. Despite its colorless appearance, the Burren is one of the most often visited tourist attractions, and its ancient monuments, like the Poulnabrone Dolmen, the Blackhead lighthouse, and the Aillwee Cave, only add to its mysterious attractiveness.
The Hill of Tara
Another popular tourist attraction for travelers to Ireland is the Hill of Tara, an enormous landscape located on the Emerald Isle that represents the ancient seat of the former High Kings of Ireland. The Hill of Tara is a beautiful, mythological landscape that works to awaken the imagination of its visitors as they are able to overlook a quarter of the Irish mainland. The Hill Tara includes a few ancient monuments including The Stone of Destiny, Teach Chormaic (Cormac’s House), Ráith na Rig, Banqueting Hall (Teach Miodhchuarta), and Ráith Laoghaire (Laoghaire’s Fort).
The Belfast Castle
Abundant in local history and modern attractions, Northern Ireland’s capital is definitely worth a visit when traveling through this country. One of its prominent attractions, the Belfast Castle, located on the slopes of Cavehill Country Park, is a tremendous sight to behold and overlooks both the city of Belfast and Belfast Lough. Originally constructed in the 19th century, the Belfast Castle is a replacement for the original, much older structure that was destroyed by fire in 1708. Its characteristic Scottish baronial design is reminiscent of the romantic architecture of the time and includes elegant sandstone, stone staircases, and elaborate turrets.
For the tourist who seeks less adventures and more recreational opportunities, Grafton Street in Dublin is the ultimate must-see attraction in Ireland. As Dublin’s busiest shopping center, Grafton Street is accessible mainly to pedestrians and spans from southern St. Stephen’s Green to northern College Green. The popularized shopping center is filled with attractive landmarks, high-end shops, and local eateries that travelers will want to experience. Live entertainment is present throughout the boulevard, and musical acts, called buskers, perform for visitors along the way.
Kevin Caldwell wrote this article for DublinTempleBarHotels.com. Temple Bar in Dublin is a great place for people to visit and DublinTempleBarHotels.com helps people find hotels near Temple Bar.