With St Patrick's Day around the corner, we thought it only fitting to take a tour of Ireland's captivating landscape to seek out its most picturesque sights.
Windswept and remote, the Ring of Kerry encompasses the southwest tip of Ireland. Starting in Killarney, this 110-mile touring loop includes spectacular rugged cliffs, awe-inspiring coastline, ancient archaeological sites and charming villages
Views from the famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare are simply dazzling. At their zenith, the cliffs rise 702 feet straight out of the ocean and stretch for five miles along the west coast. Visitors can view the Aran Islands and Galway Bay from the clifftop or take a ferry to see the cliffs from sea level.
Also in County Clare, the Burren is a popular natural attraction and a conservation area. Limestone rocks make up the terrain, which is highly valued by geologists and botanists for the diverse flora and fauna that is found there.
Cork is visited for its wild rugged landscape, small islands and villages. Attractions include Fota Island, famous for its wildlife park where animals freely roam, Blarney Castle with its iconic Blarney Stone, and Lough Hyne, a saltwater lake and marine nature reserve.
Kilkenny has previously been voted Ireland's tidiest town as well as its cleanest. It goes without saying the whole county is spotless, and it's chock-full of heritage attractions, which you can discover on the Kilkenny Way Tour. This includes castles, deer parks, gardens, ruined churches and Ireland's best-preserved example of a 12th century town.
Venture outside the urban confines of Galway city to truly appreciate this beautiful county. Nearby Connemara National Park is full of scenic delights with the Twelve Bens mountain range, heaths, lakes and forests. The splendour of the Aran Islands can be viewed from Galway Bay and they can be visited by boat from there.
These three islands are a top tourist attraction for their remote beauty and weather-beaten landscape. The inspiration of many an Irish artist and poet over the centuries, today they offer a glimpse into a forgotten way of life. Discover a rich folklore, ruined churches, Iron Age forts and medieval castles.
The gorgeous scenery in county Sligo is well worth the trek north, and is perfect for driving tours. The Knocknarea Mountain, where the mythical Queen Maeve of Connaught is said to rest in a 40-foot stone cairn, dominates the landscape. Rugged coastlines and sandy beaches abound, with quaint pubs on hand for a pint or two.
Located in County Wicklow, the glacial valley of Glendalough nestles beside two tranquil lakes and is perfect for hikers and photographers. The Wicklow Way is the most famous nature trail in the area, taking in Glendalough valley with its early Christian monastery, plus mountains, lakes, forest and farmland.
For many, the northern county of Donegal is the icing on the cake of any trip to Ireland. Glenveagh National Park has everything you need in the way of outdoor activities with fishing, walking, beaches and lakes, not to mention the stunning views.