Collected by Julie Schmidt
AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
Church Hill, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ireland
Glenveagh National Park is one of the highlights of the northwest of Ireland. A number of walking trails traverse the 62 square miles of rugged mountains, lakes, remote bogs, and woodlands, where wildlife such as red deer and golden eagles...
Letterfrack, Co. Galway, Ireland
The bleak, windswept landscape of Connemara in the West of Ireland is characterized by bogs, lakes, mountains, and miles of stone walls. Connemara National Park is one of the best places to appreciate this unique landscape, with more than 7,000...
2 Distillery Rd, Bushmills BT57 8XH, UK
This is where to find out how Irish whiskey is made, with a guided tour through the live production process from grain to glass at Ireland’s oldest working distillery, which got its licence in 1608. You can see everything from the malted barley...
Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2, D02 CK38, Ireland
There’s a rooftop bar that feels straight out of Miami (albeit a colder, damper Miami), an out-there checkerboard facade, and futuristic interiors like an all-white honeycomb. Needless to say, the Marker is like nothing Dublin had seen...
Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland
A Georgian grand dame just off St. Stephens Green in downtown Dublin, the Merrion has been around in one form or another since 1760, when it was a set of four stately homes owned by English nobility. Today, it is elegance incarnate. An excellent...
Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
Quirky is the word for Castle Leslie Estate in Monaghan—near the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland—where rooms are arranged at the end of higgledy-piggledy corridors and long flights of stairs. The winding...
31 Leeson Cl, Dublin 2, D02 CP70, Ireland
Ask someone who’s stayed at Number 31, a downtown Dublin house-hotel, what it’s like and he or she likely won’t get past the breakfast: the pears poached in vanilla syrup, Wexford strawberries, eggs scrambled with smoked salmon...
Slieve League, Shanbally, Co. Donegal, Ireland
You will need a head for heights to visit Slieve League; at 600 meters (2,000 feet), these are the fifth-tallest sea cliffs in Europe. What makes them so special is that they are also some of the most accessible ones. Nearly three times higher...
1 Baile Na Gleanna, Inisheer, Co. Galway, Ireland
Inisheer (also called "Inis Oirr") is the smallest of the three Aran Islands, off the coast of Galway, Ireland. Before I went I was told by an Irish friend that it has a spiritual quality to it and it does: the quiet (that you can literally feel),...
Inishowen, Owenboy, Co. Donegal, Ireland
Tour the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal, and you’ll have the most dramatic views on your way to Malin Head at the tip—be sure to stop at the Gap of Mamore, 820 feet above sea level, for panoramic vistas of Lough Swilly and...
Cionn Fhánada, Eara Thíre na Binne, Baile Láir, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, F92YC03, Ireland
On the north coast of Donegal, take a drive on part of the Wild Atlantic Way around the Fanad Peninsula and Rosguill Peninsula for some spectacular coastal scenery. There’s a mix of golden beaches, rolling farmland, and dramatic...
Adare, Co. Limerick, V94 W8WR, Ireland
This castle was erected with an ancient ring-fort, around the early part of the 13th century. It became a strategic fortress during the following turbulent years. It was the property of the Earls of Kildare for nearly 300 years until the rebellion...
Killadoon, Ard Na Mara, Co. Mayo, Ireland
My Irish friend, Aedín, and I were driving from Galway to Westport when suddenly she veered off the main road. "There's a great beach down this way, I think," she said to me. I was up for anything, seeing her country for the first time. We came...
Sligo, Co. Sligo, Ireland
On a sunny September day, I took a walk along Streedagh beach in County Sligo, Ireland, with maritime archeologist Auriel Robinson of SeaTrails. It was an encounter with geologic time, pre-history, and centuries of Irish participation in world...
Parnell Square East Parnell Square E, Rotunda, Dublin 1, D01 ND60, Ireland
Wobbly floors, a crooked staircase, dusty books, an old piano, and a few hundred years of character mix together in the beating heart of old Dublin, the Temple Bar. I spend more than half of every year on the road, calling in at one hotel and the...
College Green, Dublin 2, Co. Dublin, Ireland
The Book of Kells is an illustrated Latin manuscript of the four Gospels, probably written in the early ninth century. It's on display, along with other beautifully ornate manuscripts, in the Old Library of Trinity College, Dublin. The display is...
18 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1, D01 T3V8, Ireland
15 Merrion Row, Dublin, Ireland
O'Donoghue's Bar, which dates back to the eighteenth century, is arguably the most famous pub in Dublin for traditional Irish music. The bar is lively, rammed with a mainly—but by no means exclusively—local crowd, and has a great, welcoming...
2, Bewley's Cafe, 78-79 Grafton Street, Dublin 2, D02 K033, Ireland
Cold, damp days in Ireland call for places like Bewleys, where you can get a home-cooked meal and a cuppa. It was the best tea I had in Ireland, so much so that I bought some for myself and my mother to bring back to the States. We walked in and...
25 Wexford St, Dublin, D02 H527, Ireland
Irish audiences are crazy in the best way. Whelan’s holds about 450 people and is one of my favorite venues; I would love to play there four nights in a row. It’s gorgeous, with a rustic wood and stone interior, and the attendees love being there...
Cow's Ln, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
This cafe offers the most delicious raspberry, apple, and chocolate chip scones you will ever taste. In addition they offer a wide variety of pastries, sandwiches, and teas. Their 2 locations in Dublin are fairly close to each other but distinct—...
Horn Head, Largatreany, Co. Donegal, Ireland
This short 13km drive is worth taking for the panoramic views of the northwest coast, stretching from the Rosguill Peninsula to the Bloody Foreland, and out to Tory Island to the north. There’s plenty of seabird life on the cliff ledges, with...
Tory Island, Co. Donegal, Ireland
Hop on a ferry and take off for a few days to this windswept island off Donegal’s northern coast, which has a thriving community of artists, an Irish-speaking community, and even its own king, who will welcome you off the boat. There are plenty of...
Formoyle, Glencar, Co. Leitrim, Ireland
Definitely worth a visit when in Sligo. An easy drive down the N16 - it is a beautiful drive. The waterfall is an easy walk from the parking lot. There is also a hike up the mountain, but I didn't have time to check it out. If driving back to...
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