Thursday 22 June 2017

Revealed: Ireland's Top 10 home holiday destinations

Reader Travel Awards 2017

Slea Head Drive, Dingle Peninsula
Slea Head Drive, Dingle Peninsula
Dingle harbour, Co. Kerry. Photo: Getty
Dick Mack's Pub in Dingle, Kerry
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

We asked you to nominate the place you love most in Ireland, the place in which you truly relax and return to again and again.

Winner: Dingle, Co Kerry

Dingle was the resounding result, a “home away from home”, as you put it, that combines landscape, food, hospitality and craic in a small package full of punch.

“You can't beat the sea air, fresh fish and local craic,” you said. Among the highlights were “smashing sea views”, “access to the mountains”, “great scenery” and “friendly people”. Dingle is “a fantastic all-rounder” you told us, a place with “something for everyone”, be it hiking, beaches, shops, restaurants, pubs and watersports… “not to mention it’s great to hear Irish spoken”.

Our Readers' Top 10 Irish Holiday Destinations

  1. Dingle, Co Kerry
  2. Killarney, Co Kerry
  3. Westport, Co Mayo
  4. Ardmore, Co Waterford
  5. Connemara
  6. Enniscrone, Co Sligo
  7. Kenmare, Co Kerry
  8. Achill Island, Co Mayo
  9. Inchydoney, Co Cork
  10. Dunmore East, Co Waterford

Food is a huge driver in Dingle, our judges noted (see John McKenna’s ‘Local Heroes’ column here), in everything from local gins to ice cream. The Other Voices festival is utterly unique, the peninsula has no end of treasures, pubs are hopping, the Blasket Islands await offshore, and that’s not even starting on a certain dolphin.

“It's the perfect base for discovering the magic of the Kingdom,” you said. “Even the road to get there is a stunning experience.”

Dick Mack's Pub in Dingle, Kerry
Dick Mack's Pub in Dingle, Kerry

Four of your favourite places

“The Slea Head drive, Dingle. Rugged beauty, the Blaskets, the sense of "next stop America", an Ghaeilge bheo thart timpeall, the Atlantic wind, a timeless and deep-rooted pride in my Irish-ness.”

“I love Dun Laoghaire pier! In the summer there is no better place to be in the world, watching the boats come in and out and the young and old fishing and I can't forget the Teddy’s ice-cream on the walk.”

Achill Island (below). The light is truly spectacular no matter what the weather or time of day. The Atlantic blow there clears the most mentally stubborn cobwebs in an instance and soothes the senses for a restful holiday.”

Keem Bay, Achill 2.JPG
Keem Bay, Achill Island. One of the new Blueway trails.

Connemara… where do I begin? Nowhere on the planet can compare to Connemara… fact. It offers adventure and serene calmness, lively pubs and the most breath-taking landscape. Family, group or couples holiday, historical or sight-seeing, it is all catered for and to the highest of standards.”

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