Monday 1 May 2017

Ireland's Top 10 tourist attractions - as chosen by you!

Reader Travel Awards 2017

Cliffs of Moher. Photo: Deposit
Cliffs of Moher. Photo: Deposit
Giants Causeway, Co. Antrim. Photo: Getty
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

What's your favourite big hit, hidden gem, coastal attraction or city museum? Our readers have voted!

Winner: The Cliffs of Moher

“Just stunning,” was one of your descriptions of the iconic Cliffs of Moher, voted Ireland’s Top Tourist Attraction by our readers for 2017.

The Cliffs are perhaps an obvious winner. They are recognisable at home and abroad, and a firm fixture of tour bus circuits (heck, they even appear in Harry Potter and The Princess Bride). But that doesn’t make them any less deserving.

This is a world-class natural attraction, a sheer, 700-foot drop into the Atlantic that now boasts an excellent visitor centre. Sure, fees and crowds remain an issue, but you’ll find the same at iconic landscapes all over the world.

Ireland's Top 10 Tourist Attractions 2017

  1. Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare
  2. The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin
  3. The Ring of Kerry
  4. Giant’s Causeway, Co Antrim
  5. The Wild Atlantic Way
  6. Aillwee Cave, Co Clare
  7. Glendalough, Co Wicklow
  8. Hook Head, Co Wexford
  9. Slieve League, Co Donegal
  10. Dingle, Co Kerry

“Nature at its finest,” you said about the Cliffs of Moher. “Breath-taking” was the term that pinged most often. One reader had been three times in a single year.

“It’s where my husband proposed to me,” said another. “Really symbolic of the Wild Atlantic Way,” you said, while several of you reminded us that the cliffs don’t have to be seen from the shore — boat tours provide stunning views from the sea, too.

The Cliffs, of course, are just one stop on the wonderful West Clare coastline.

You also mentioned Doolin, Lahinch, Liscannor and Lisdoonvarna in your replies, the Burren featured widely, and Aillwee Cave ranked at No.6 on our list of Ireland’s Top Tourist Attractions (above).

“I leave the area feeling completely refreshed,” said one reader.

“Having been to Victoria Falls, I can safely say the Cliffs of Moher are among the Wonders of the World.” We agree.

Details: 065 708-6141; cliffsofmoher.ie; €6/€4.50 (children U16 go free).

Our readers have their say

Hook Lighthouse new tour 1.jpg

YOU SAY: “My 12-year-old son says it’s the Croke Park experience. The girls think differently — my eldest thinks it’s the GPO (she’s a mad 1916 fan), the eight-year-old says it’s the Westport to Achill cycle track. The 10-year-old thinks Hook Lighthouse (above), while my four-year-old happily says it’s the beach.”

YOU SAY: “The cliff walk to Greystones... Every step you take washes your cares away. Out there, on a good day, you could be on the Amalfi Coast. On a mizzly Irish day, you might be the only sinner on the track.”

YOU SAY: “I have never felt so immersed in the elements, or so free as I felt the day I visited the Cliffs of Moher with the rain and wind in my face.”

YOU SAY: “The National Museum in Kildare St. It has a fascinating collection - and the tour guides are great at putting it all in context. Amazing to think that it is free of charge. My favourite is the contrast between the huge Viking skeleton and the wee Celt one.... sure they didn't stand a chance!”

YOU SAY: “We love the beach in Ardmore. It was my Granny’s favourite place (RIP), my Auntie Betty (RIP) and my Auntie Mary's favourite place still. My children love it now so four generations have fallen in love with it!!”

YOU SAY: Keem Bay in Achill Island! That feeling as you round the bend and peep over the cliff and see the beach for the first time... paradise.”

TRAVEL TRENDS: The Causeway Coast

GettyImages-540805037.jpg  

You’ve heard of the Wild Atlantic Way. In 2017, get ready for another stretch of coastline to enter the conversation: Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast.

The Giant’s Causeway is the area’s Cliffs of Moher, but there’s much more to it — from the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge to the new Gobbins Cliff Path, breath-taking beaches to the Old Bushmill’s Distillery, and several spectacular Game of Thrones locations.

Our judges noted how much the food and drink have improved in recent years too. Time for a visit? See visitcausewaycoastandglens.com.

More from our Reader Travel Awards 2017:

Ireland's Favourite Airline: Our readers reveal their No.1!

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