~ Sliabh Liag - Co Donegal ~

In no particular order, here are mine

1 ~ Seven Wonders of Fore ~ Fore Valley, Westmeath

2 ~ Sliabh Liag ~ No clown costume for these fabulous Cliffs!

3 ~ Inis Oirr ~ Spend a day, spend a few days

4 ~ Strangford Lough ~ Portaferry, Co Down

5 ~ Torey Island ~ Co Donegal

6 ~ Dolmain Chnoi an Bhrúnaigh (Browne's Hill Dolmen), near Carlow Town, County Carlow ~ Largest Dolmen in Europe

7 ~ Garnish Island ~ Glengarriff, Co Cork ~ accessible only by boat ~ sunbathing seals, magnificent Garden in May and June, especially

8 ~ Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre ~ Tulsk, Co Roscommon

9 ~ Tuamgraney, Lough Derg, Co Clare ~ yes, the whole of the town ~ round tower, monastic ruins, East Clare Heritage Centre

10 ~ Doon Fort, Port Noo, Co Donegal

There are many more than ten but that is a start ~ Who's next?

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Hadn't really thought about it in a list of ten, but here are a few I'd suggest:

1) Inis Meáin -- The middle of the three Aran islands, and even less visited than Inis Oírr.

2) Lough Gill -- On the border of Counties Sligo & Leitrim.  Really this whole area.

3) Inisbofin -- Great music / arts here.

4) Bundoran -- Border of Counties Leitrim & Donegal ... not sure just how "off the beaten path" this is.

Go raibh mil maith agat Ryan, mo chara.

Lough Gill is indeed over looked. I have never understood that. It has strong connections to Yeats, the birding is fantastic, not to mention Church and Cottage islands and all of the walking trails. I could get lost there for days, happily

I have never understood why the ferries dock at Inis Oirr and not at Inis Meáin.  Each island has so much to offer in their own right.

Inis Bó Finne, there is much on offer there, to be sure. It has its own song, a cacophony of corncrakes and seals, that I can hear still if I close my eyes at dawn. I have spent many an early morning in St Colman's cemetry.

Bundoran, not so much off the beaten path if you are into surfing. I do enjoy that fun & funky surfer vibe that seems to be present in every surf town no matter where you might be.

Ferries do indeed dock at Inis Meáin, Bit.  Nothing direct from the mainland, if that's what you mean.  You can get there easily enough by the island-to-island ferry, though.

Yes, you can indeed get there via inner island.

I did mean from the mainland. There is "regular" ferry service to the Inis Oirr & Inis Mor but not so much to Inis Meáin from the mainland. I liken Inis Meáin to the middle child in a family, most of the attention is directed to the eldest and the youngest

Add to that Smerwick Harbor, where in 1580 the English slaughtered a Spanish garrison who had come to help the Geraldines in their rising against the the English. When I visited it in June 1974, I recalled a summer school nearby but nothing in eye shot, just a bog- and rock-dominated landscape that seemed to bespeak a tragedy.

This list changes with my mood... today, I'd pick:

  • Athassel Priory, Co Tipperary: fantastic monastic ruin a few miles from Cashel in Golden
  • Achill Island, Co Mayo: the cliffs and coast are beautiful and the famine village is simply amazing
  • Rock of Dunamase, Co Laois: enormous ruin with views of the countryside
  • Kilmalkedar Church and Graveyard, Co Kerry: beautiful stop on the Dingle Peninsula
  • Skellig Michael, Co Kerry: even with its UNESCO status, it's missed by many visitors
  • Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle: an absolute treasure of ancient manuscripts
  • Loughcrew, Co Meath: a bit like Newgrange, except more rustic (and minus the quartz front) and nobody goes there
  • Lough Derg, Co Clare/Tipperary/Galway: loads of history and beauty... including the towns of Ballina, Killaloe, Portumna
  • Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin: a who's-who in modern Irish history
  • Kilbeggan Distillery: they're making whiskey on site and they're giving tours (choose one of their upgraded tours to meet the distiller and get extra samples)


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