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Love on the Emerald Isle: Most Romantic Places in Ireland

Posted on Feb 01, 2018 by Dawn Rainbolt

Love is in the air this February – and Ireland (yes, that wet little European island) is full of places to explore with your partner, enjoy a romantic getaway, or even pop the question!

Rain or shine, the rolling green hills of the Emerald Isle are an idyllic, romantic place – after all, there’s nothing better than a lovely Irish sunset or a bit of dancing in the rain! Our insider’s guide to the most romantic places in Ireland will help you create the perfect romantic getaway for you and your beloved!

Here’s our take on the most romantic places in Ireland to share with your spouse.

1. Cliffs of Moher at Sunset

Cliffs of Moher at sunset - most romantic places in ireland

Bathing in the softly lit sunset over the Cliffs of Moher with your lover is a perfect end to a perfect day!

The Cliffs of Moher, an enduring classic. Visiting these massive and beloved cliffs is always a wondrous experience, but visiting with your true love is even better! Whether you opt to charter a boat to pass underneath the magnificent precipices, or you prefer to hike along the cliffs, setting off from the quiet Doolin village is perfect en couple!

2. Jaunting cart/jarvey through the Gap of Dunloe

Jaunting cart Gap of Dunloe Kerry, Killarney Ireland

A jaunting cart rolling through Kerry’s Gap of Dunloe

A horse and carriage ride in a charming 19th century buggy through the wild beauty of the Gap of Dunloe in the heart of Killarney National Park – what could be more romantic than that? Stop off at the Wishing Bridge to make a wish with your beloved before continuing on to the elegant Muckross House, before listening the sound of cascading water at Torc Waterfall.

3. Enjoy adorable Adare & elegant Adare Manor

Adare Cottage Adare Manor, most romantic places in Ireland

Hard to beat Adare’s thatched cottages!

Stay in the elegant luxury of the newly-renovated Adare Manor, just reopened in 2018, to be pampered in one of the romantic places in Ireland to stay. If that’s not enough, stroll arm in arm with your other half through the adorable village of Adare, where cute thatched cottages house homey restaurants and snug shops.

4. Moonlight kayak in Cork’s bio-luminescent water

For a truly unique and magical experience with your partner, do a moonlight kayak in Cork. From a dazzling sunset to a starry sky, this is lovely experience to share with your lover. However, to truly experience one of the most romantic places in Ireland, paddle through quiet, moonlit waters to marvel at the astonishing bio-luminescence (at certain times of year), emitted by thousands of marine fireflies lighting up the waves.

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5. Oyster Tasting in Connemara

most romantic places in Ireland - connemara oysters

Eating oysters along Connemara’s Killary Fjord!

For a unique but romantic foodie experience, try oyster shucking and tasting in the mystical Killary Fjord. A region known for its seafood (and in particular, its shellfish), this is the perfect way to experience the magic of Connemara. And did you know that oysters are aphrodisiacs? The best time to experience their aphrodisiac quality is spring – which coincides well, as spring is also the best time for a seashore walk to see their different stages of growth!

6. Learn about the Claddagh Ring in Galway

Galway City Ireland - most romantic places Ireland

Wandering the colourful streets of Galway, one of the loveliest romantic places in Ireland

The Claddagh Ring, associated with Galway, is a traditional Irish ring made from two clasped hands holding a crown. The ring is said to represent love, loyalty, and friendship – when the ring’s heart is pointed towards the fingernail, it’s said the wearer is open to love, whereas the heart pointed inward means that your heart is taken. After learning the story of the Claddagh Ring, wander the colourful streets of Galway with your significant other before tucking into a pub before a snug fireplace!

7. Hiking Ben Bulben’s Gleniff Horseshoe

Hiking Ben Bulben Mountain, Sligo Ireland - most romantic places in Ireland

Hiking in the shadow of Sligo’s Ben Bulben in search of mythical lovers, Diarmuid and Grainne

For nature-loving couples looking for Great Outdoors romantic places in Ireland, a hike through the quiet backcountry may be just the thing! Head to County Sligo’s Ben Bulben Mountain for a blend of nature and legend – either the Gleniff Horseshoe for a gentle walk, or to Ben Bulben’s summit if you’re ready for a challenge. This magical valley is alive with stories and legends, but the one that springs to mind is the tragic love story of Diarmuid and Grainne, mythological lovers eternally pursed by an angry giant, who met their ends under Ben Bulben’s shadow in the real-world Cave of Diarmuid and Gráinne.

8. A beachside picnic at quiet beaches like Sliver Stand, Darryclare, Glassilau (Connemara)

A beachside picnic is one of those experiences that always sounds lovely, but then when you arrive and must share the sand with hundreds of others, the moment loses its romantic appeal. So instead, for a truly romantic experience, picnic at a beach like Mayo’s Silver Stand, Derryclare or Glassilaun Beach in Connemara for a remote, quiet beach where you can listen to the waves, taste the salt in the air, and have the sand to yourself!

9. Greet St Valentine in Dublin’s Whitefriar Street Church

Okay, so bear with us on this one. While you’re in Dublin, pop over to the little-visited Whitefriar Street Church, founded in the 13th century. The reason couples need to visit this specific church? It’s the final resting place of St Valentine! Head here to pay homage to the patron saint of love before wandering Dublin’s lively alleys to the Ha’penny Bridge – a perfect place to share a kiss in the moonlight!

10. Summer sunset bike ride along Sky Road

Biking Ireland sunset

Biking in Ireland at sunset with your partner is a lovely way to explore the rambling landscapes!

Due to its high latitude, Ireland enjoys remarkably long summer days. If you’re in Connemara with your spouse, a perfect way to spend a summer evening is to ride bikes along the aptly-named Sky Road. Not only can you and your loved one drink in impressive panoramas, but you’ll witness perhaps one of the best sunsets in Ireland on a lovely romantic getaway!

11. Kayaking along WB Yeat’s Favourite, Lough Gill

Kayaking Ireland Sligo Lough Gill

Kayaking in tandem through the idyllic landscapes that inspired Yeats the poet

Ireland’s king of romantic poets is surely Sligo local, WB Yeats – and he was wildly inspired by the windswept landscapes, jagged coastlines and green hills of Sligo. One of his favourite places was Lough Gill, which he famously romanticised in his poem, The Lake Isle of Inisfree, in which he bemoans his lost childhood. Experience this idyllic setting through Yeats’ eyes by paddling the reflective waters and lush islands of Lough Gill by kayak!

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12. Look to the stars in Mayo’s Dark Sky

Too often today when we think of lights after dark, headlights and street lamps and storefronts come to mind. But for a decidedly more romantic experience, head to County Mayo, one of Ireland’s most rural open spaces, for a romantic getaway to experience Ireland’s first International Dark Sky Park, showcasing some of the darkest and most pristine skies in the world. On a good, dark night, you’ll see up to 4,500 twinkling stars, a few planets, the Milky Way and the occasional meteor shower all without a telescope!

13. Pilgrimage to Gougane Barra Monastery

One of the prettiest places in Ireland is surely the tiny Gougane Barra Monastery, the terminus to St Finbarr’s Way, an ancient Irish pilgrimage winding back to the 6th century. Its fusion of history, beauty and solitude makes it the perfect place to ramble through Cork with your partner!

14. Horseback at dawn on Streedagh Beach

Dawn or dusk seem to be the best time to enjoy a beachside horseback ride. One of the loveliest places to enjoy horse riding is on Sligo’s Streedagh Beach, a long and wide sandy expanse perfect for admiring the sunset on the horizon on a simple but perfect romantic getaway.

15. Romantic Retreat at the Cliff at Lyons Hotel

Orangery Cliff at Lyons Hotel Kildare most romantic places in Ireland

Watch the sunrise over a lavish breakfast in the converted orangery of the charming Cliff at Lyons hotel in Kildare.

An accommodation acclaimed for combining both contemporary and classic traits, the Cliff at Lyons Hotel is housed in an old estate. You’ll breakfast in the orangery and stay in renovated cottages, now luxurious apartments, and for a bit of exercise, walk or bike along the Grand Canal (even as far as Dublin if you wish!)

Looking for romantic trip suggestions?

Trip Date Name Price Availability Book
6th Jul - 12th Jul 2019 Deluxe Hiking - The Kerry Mountains €1,9956 place(s) leftBook Now
27th Jul - 2nd Aug 2019 Hiking - Connemara to the Cliffs of Moher €1,7956 place(s) leftBook Now
16th May - 22nd May 2020 Biking and Yoga Escape €2,2408 place(s) leftBook Now
23rd May - 30th May 2020 Deluxe Hiking - The Kerry Mountains €1,9958 place(s) leftBook Now
30th May - 5th Jun 2020 Bike Tour - Connemara & the Aran Islands €2,0108 place(s) leftBook Now
4th Jul - 10th Jul 2020 Deluxe Hiking - The Kerry Mountains €1,9958 place(s) leftBook Now
4th Jul - 10th Jul 2020 Biking and Yoga Escape €2,2408 place(s) leftBook Now
25th Jul - 31st Jul 2020 Bike Tour - Connemara & the Aran Islands €2,0108 place(s) leftBook Now
22nd Aug - 28th Aug 2020 Bike Tour - Connemara & the Aran Islands €2,0108 place(s) leftBook Now
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About the author

Dawn Rainbolt

American by birth but European in spirit, Dawn has called the US, Costa Rica, Spain, England, Poland, France and now Ireland home over the years. While she has travelled to more than 30 countries, she has fallen in love with the rich Irish culture and sweeping landscapes of Ireland. Armed with a Masters Degree in Tourism Marketing and a love of writing and photography, she is Wilderness Ireland's Marketing Executive since 2017.

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