9 Secret Villages in Ireland
If you’d like to go beyond Dublin on your trip to the Emerald Isle, set your course for these secret villages in Ireland. From the steep cliffs of the west coast to the lush hills and historic ruins of the countryside, Ireland is worth exploring. In these small Irish towns you’ll find cozy abodes, peaceful walking trails, and deep history.
Near the scenic Wicklow Mountains and among the ruins of Ireland’s Ancient East, Wicklow is a small village with plenty to see and do, like taking ghost tours at an 18th-century prison or hiking to the legendary Mottee Stone. While you’re in town, you can stop for a healthy meal at the Vital Health Café or make a pit-stop in the nearby town of Delgany to try an award-winning pastry at Firehouse Bakery.
Where to stay: Keep things cozy at a bed and breakfast like the Wicklow Way Lodge.
Where to stay: The Trident Hotel offers modern accommodation with gorgeous views of the River Bandon.
If you’ll be driving the ring of Kerry, don’t pass over the adorable village of Dingle. It’s most famous for great surfing conditions and as the bizarre home of an out-of-place bottlenose dolphin named Fungie, and you’ll have plenty of fun meandering through town center. You can also visit nearby attractions like the ancient Gallarus Oratory or grab your boots for a hike up to the viewpoint on Mount Brandon.
Where to stay: Just a walk down the road from the main town, Pax House offers guests a beautiful space to unwind on a visit to Dingle.
On the rugged western coast of Ireland, there’s plenty of culture to be found in this secret Irish village beyond its iconic Westport House. With nearby attractions like the slopes at Croagh Patrick, Rockfleet Castle, the National Museum of Ireland, and Killary Fjord, there’s plenty to do throughout Westport. Considered among the Irish to be one of the best places to live, it’s a three-time winner of the Irish Tidy Towns Competition.
Where to stay: At the family-owned Hotel Westport you can stay in comfort and style on seven acres of private woodland.
Where to stay: A modern hotel on a large property complete with landscaped gardens, a duck pond, waterfalls, and nature trails, the Westlodge Hotel is a relaxing retreat.
Where to stay: For great hospitality and comfort in Birr, book a bed and breakfast like the Emmet House in the center of town.
Where to stay: Built in the style of a traditional railway building, the Station House Hotel is unique and close to town.
Where to stay: Embrace history and spend the night in a castle at the Lough Eske Castle.