Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Fri June 03 2016

How to See Ireland’s Most Unique Tourism Destinations

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | June 03, 2016

How to See Ireland’s Most Unique Tourism Destinations

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Ireland’s allure draws millions to its stunning and numerous natural and cultural attractions on a yearly basis. It’s a treasure trove of castles, manor houses, ancient ruins and full of fantastical tales of adventure and wonder. From Dublin, the country’s central hub and bustling metropolis to the rugged coastline of its Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland can be many things to many different people and while some of its most famous places are well trodden, there are many that await discovery by the most intrepid of visitors.

For those who are seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Ireland, the team at the Sheraton Athlone Hotel has put together a destination-driven story map that uncovers some of the country’s hidden gems in a unique format that showcases the beauty that awaits.

Slieve League County

The map takes readers on a journey around the country to some lesser-known attractions, beginning at Slieve League County in Donegal. These cliffs are among the highest in Europe – some even say they are more stunning than the Cliffs of Moher. The area was part of a Christian pilgrimage so visitors will find several monuments in the area as well as views of the Atlantic Ocean, Donegal Bay and the Sligo Mountains.

Seal Colony, Inis Mor, County Galway

The seal colony is one of the most popular attractions on Inis Mor Island and is easily reached by cycling along the coastal road. In a beautiful natural habitat, visitors will sea sea lions bathing as well as other birds, including swans and ducks.

Father Ted House, County Clare

Fans of the “Father Ted” comedy television series will appreciate a stop at the location of the fictional parochial house, located in Glenquin, near Killnboy & Carron.

READ MORE: 7 Incredible Things to See in Ireland

Hill of Uisneach, County Westmeath

The 597-foot hill is close to the village of Loughanavally and is an ancient ceremonial site, made up of a collection of monuments that is spread over two square kilometers. The site holds special significance in Irish mythology and is associated with the festival of Bealtaine.

St. Michan’s Church, Smithfield, Dublin

Five long burial vaults, located below the St. Michan’s Church, contain mummified remains of some of Dublin’s most influential 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century families, including the legendary Shears brothers and the decorated coffins of the Earls of Leitrim.

Rock of Dunamase, County Laois

This ancient fort dates back to before the 9th century and one of its earliest historical references was when it was plundered by the Vikings in 843 A.D., killing the abbot of Terryglass.

Castleboro House, County Wexford

This manor house was built in 1770 by Irish politician Rob Carew. It now lies in ruins after a fire in 1840 and creates an imposing site on the emerald-green countryside.

READ MORE: Ireland Hopes The Force is Strong with Star Wars Tourism

Ardmore, County Waterford

This charming coastal village is home to the Round Tower, which dates back to the 12th century, is a well-preserved monument to Irish monastic life and is one of the oldest Christian settlements in the country. The cliff walk takes visitors by several monuments and offers views of Ardmore Bay.

Night Kayaking on Lough Hyne, County Cork

One hour before darkness falls, visitors set out on kayaks on Lough Hyne to see an abundance of wildlife that is unique to this part of Ireland – as well as bioluminescence.

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