Hidden tourist gems in Ireland

Gaeltacht, photo by Peter Cruikshank

Although it is in the best interests of any country to make its attractions known to the world, this is not always the case, and some sights might be a bit…out of sight. But a few hidden attractions are great news for tourists who are looking to see something novel, something off the beaten path. Ireland has several tourist gems which are not on obvious display, and while it’s great to discover them by accident, we thought we’d make it easier to find them for those who are not staying in Ireland long enough to explore it thoroughly. So here’s a list of some hidden tourist gems in Ireland.

Bettystown beach, Laytown, Co Meath

photo by Kieran Campbell

Laytown might be a household name for locals, but for tourists who don’t know the fine details of Irish history, it might not be very familiar. Bettystown beach was the site of one of the biggest archaeological discoveries in Ireland. This is where a woman found the Tara Brooch, a Celtic artifact, buried in the sand. There are other historical sites near the beach, but the beach itself is also a great sight!

Ring Gaeltacht, Co Waterford

Gaeltachts are Irish speaking areas, which are fortunately expanding due to an increased interest in Irish language and culture. The Ring area consists of a main village, Baile na nGall, and town lands. There are several schools in the village, restaurants and pubs, and some shops. The village is a repository of Irish culture, and well worth a visit if you are interested in it.

Slieve Bloom Mountains

photo by greyhobbit

These mountains in the geographical center of Ireland are not the first destination for nature lovers (people first flock the national parks, mostly), but seeing the impressive peaks of the Slieve Bloom is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. Although the peaks are not very high, the mountains span on a large area, and there are countless walking and hiking trails all over them. Glenbarrow waterfalls, the Ridge of Capard and Silver River Eco Trail are worth seeing.

Cavan Lakes, Co Cavan

County Cavan is nicknamed the Lakeland County, thanks to the many lakes that are scattered over it, in between hills. The small and scenic town of Virginia is an excellent base of exploration for the lake region. There are several bed and breakfasts and small inns in the area, and the region is a great location for those who are keen on seeing wildlife and natural attractions.

New Ross, Co Wexford

photo by Nigel Cox

The main jewel of Co Wexford is the town of Wexford itself, so many people don’t bother checking out smaller destinations like New Ross. This hidden tourist gem in Ireland is quieter and less touristy than Wexford, but New Ross is a lively place with a great arts and music scene, several big yearly festivals and a small collection of great pubs.


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