Here are our top 10 tourist towns that are a must- visit while touring Ireland because of their scenery, historical attractions, retail therapy and fine cuisine.
1. Adare, Co. Limerick
Located in the heart of Co. Limerick just 15 minutes south of Limerick City on the N21 and 40 minutes from Shannon Airport, Adare is the gateway to the southwest of Ireland, bordering the counties of Kerry, Cork, Clare and Tipperary. You won't have a hard time finding things to do here from historical sites, to shopping, live traditional music and wonderful cuisine. It is well worth a stop on your journey to Ireland's south-west.
2. Ardmore, Co. Waterford
The village is most picturesque and its neatness has won Ardmore many awards, including the national title in the Tidy Towns Competition. Ardmore boasts a wide range of accommodation, making it a great area to stay and enjoy the fun in the pubs and the excellent food in the restaurants. Visitors have five lovely beaches to choose from.
3. Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Clonakilty is a multi-award winning, innovative & dynamic seaside town, at the heart of West Cork, in the South of Ireland. Famous for its community spirit, blue flag beaches, award winning food producers and restaurants, as well as an internationally renowned music scene.
4. Kenmare, Co. Kerry
Kenmare in Ireland is a haven of tranquility, gourmet food, superb accommodation, golf courses, riding & trekking and breathtaking scenery in one of the most natural, unspoiled environments in Europe.
5. Lismore, Co. Waterford
Lismore is located in the west of Waterford between Fermoy in Co. Cork and Dungarven, Co. Waterford. The picturesque town is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is only a short distance from the popular seaside towns of Youghal and Ardmore.
6. Sneem, Co. Kerry
Sneem is a village in Co. Kerry, south-west of Ireland, long associated with a remote and relaxed way of living. It is situated in the famous Ring of Kerry a route that incorporates some of the best scenery nature has to offer. Nestled between mountains and wild and rugged coast it offers some of the best views in the country, to be experienced either from the car, on foot or on a bicycle as the weather dictates!
7. Cobh, Co. Cork
Cobh is a pleasant waterside town, with brightly colored houses where its streets climb the steep slope of a hill, the top of which is crowned by the imposing Cobh Cathedral, St. Coleman's, with its carillon of 47 bells. It is from Cobh that hundreds of thousands of mostly hungry and penniless Irish men and women left for America to build a new life, especially in the Famine years of 1844-48.
8. Killarney, Co. Kerry
Killarney is a town beside Lough Leane, a lake in southwest Ireland’s County Kerry. It’s a stop on the well-known Ring of Kerry circuit, and the start and finishing point of the Kerry Way walking trail. It’s also a gateway to Killarney's rural National Park, whose more than 100 square kilometers of countryside encompass lakes, mountains, castles and stately homes.
9. Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny
Kilkenny is a medieval town in southeast Ireland. The grand Kilkenny Castle was built in 1195 by Norman occupiers. The town has deep religious roots and many well-preserved churches and monasteries, including imposing St. Canice’s Cathedral and the Black Abbey Dominican priory, both from the 13th century. It's also a crafts hub, with shops along its winding lanes selling pottery, paintings and jewellery.
10. Tralee, Co. Kerry
Tralee is the county town of County Kerry in the south-west of Ireland. The town is on the northern side of the neck of the Dingle Peninsula, and it is the largest town in County Kerry. It is almost 800 years old. Tralee offers beautiful scenery, historical sights, fine cuisine and popular retail stores.