The Most Beautiful Landscapes of Ireland (2024 Guide)

Ireland Landscape

The landscapes of Ireland – a mix of the most beautiful, unique and varied scenery you will see anywhere, and all in a relatively small island.

The beautiful landscapes of Ireland are consistently cited as the primary reason visitors come to, and fall in love with, the Emerald Isle. Ireland possesses a huge variety of natural landforms, from soaring cliffs and vast beaches, to isolated valleys and rolling, green hills.

In order to truly fall in love with the splendour of Ireland, nothing beats being there in person. But for now, this post will attempt to showcase some of the most stunning landscapes Ireland has to offer.

These landscapes will be divided up into different categories ranging from cliffs to mountains, beaches to rivers and much more…

The Cliff Landscapes of Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher

Located in County Clare, the Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. Standing at 217 metres high and dropping vertically into the pounding waters of the Atlantic, they are a sight to behold.

image via Tourism Ireland

Croaghaun Sea Cliffs

Located on Achill Island off the coast of County Mayo, these are the highest cliffs in Ireland and the third highest in Europe at an incredible height of 688 metres. One of Ireland’s true landscape highlights and a real hidden gem. We have a full guide to Croaghaun here.

image via Failte Ireland/Gareth McCormack/
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Slieve League Sea Cliffs

Located in County Donegal, these magnificent cliffs reach a height of 601 metres. One of Donegal’s many magnificent landscapes.

image via Failte Ireland/Gardiner Mitchell

Kerry Cliffs

Almost resembling a shield, proudly protecting the county of Kerry from the might of the Atlantic Ocean, these cliffs reach an impressive height of 300 metres.

image via Failte Ireland/Tom Archer

The Beach Landscapes of Ireland

Dog’s Bay/Gurteen Beach

You would be forgiven for believing these beaches are in the Caribbean. Located in one of the most beautiful regions of Ireland, Connemara, these beaches are just epic.

images via Failte Ireland

Keem Bay/Beach

Another incredible sight on Achill Island. Voted as one of the great beaches of the world, Keem Beach is a must-see for anyone who visits Ireland. The whole area of Achill has some of the most spectacular landscapes of Ireland. We have a comprehensive guide to Keem here.

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image viaThe Connaught Telegraph

Barley Cove Beach

This wonderful strand is located in west Cork on the way to Ireland’s most southerly point – Mizen Head. Surrounded by beautiful greenery, Barley Cove is magnificent.

image via Failte Ireland/Joshua McMichael

Murder Hole Beach

Contrary to its terrifying name, this County Donegal beach is the definition of Ireland’s wild west and another hidden gem.

image via Twitter/©madame connasse

Rossbeigh Strand

This impressive sand-spit, located in the county of Kerry is a beautiful stretch of coastline.

image via Wikipedia

Ireland’s Islands

Skellig Michael

Iconic, and known the world over from a certain movie, this ridiculously impressive rock is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Ireland.

image via Getty Images
image via Tourism Ireland/Tom Archer

Achill Island

Ireland’s largest island and arguably the most geographically varied region in the country, Achill Island is a mecca for those seeking adventure. We have a list of the best things to do in Achill here.

image via achillcliff.com

The Aran Islands

A step back in time to how Ireland used to be, this group of islands located off the coast of Galway are wild ,rugged and beautiful.

image via Discover Ireland

Garnish Island

Compared to the wild western islands of Ireland, this ‘tamer’ island is a horticulturist’s dream. It’s wide variety of plant species is testament to the effects of the mild Gulf Stream.

image via Failte Ireland/© Chris Hill Photographic

Ireland’s Bays

Clew Bay

This bay with its hundreds of drumlin (glacial) islands and backed by the imposing peak of Croagh Patrick is a truly unique place.

image via Tourism Ireland/Gareth McCormack/garethmccormack.com
image via Tourism Ireland/Ugnius Brazdziunas

Bantry Bay

Located in County Cork, this beautiful inlet is surrounded by lush, rolling green hills.

image via Fáilte Ireland / Tourism Ireland/© Chris Hill Photographic

Galway Bay

This iconic bay is home to the Aran Islands and its coastline possesses some wonderful coral beaches, quaint fishing towns and wonderful vistas. Immortalized by the song of its namesake.

image via Tourism Ireland/© Mark Flagler

The Mountain Landscapes of Ireland

Carrauntoohil

Ireland’s highest peak and located in County Kerry. This mountain may be only 1,038 metres in height, but is not to be underestimated.

image via Tourism Ireland
The infamous ‘Devil’s Ladder’, image via  Tourism Ireland

Croagh Patrick

Ireland’s holy mountain and located near Westport, County Mayo, Croagh Patrick offers one of Ireland’s most amazing panoramic coastal views. We have a full guide to Croagh Patrick here.

image via Tourism Ireland/Gareth McCormack/garethmccormack.com
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Ben Bulben

Located in County Sligo (an often overlooked hidden gem) this is Ireland’s answer to Cape Town’s ‘Table Mountain’. Breathtakingly unique and a fantastic photo location.

 image via Tourism Ireland
image via Fáilte Ireland/Courtesy SligoWalks.ie

Mt. Brandon

One of Ireland’s great hikes and named after Ireland’s renowned navigator: St. Brendan.

image courtesy of kerryclimbing.ie

Errigal

This conical peak, located in the wonderful county of Donegal, must be one of the most photographed mountains in Ireland.

source: Getty Images

Ireland’s Rivers

The River Shannon

Ireland’s longest river, at a length of 360 km, this famous body of water is almost completely navigable. One of the landscapes of Ireland which is in stark contrast to the wild coastal scenery of the west.

image via Tourism Ireland/ © Chris Hill Photographic

The River Boyne

Located primarily in County Meath, the Boyne is one of Ireland’s most important channels, and the Boyne Valley contains passage graves dating back to before the pyramids.

Knowth Burial Mound Site via Fáilte Ireland / Tourism Ireland

The River Liffey

Rising in the Wicklow Mountains and meandering its way towards Dublin Bay, the Liffey is perhaps one of Ireland’s best known rivers.

image via Fáilte Ireland/Gareth McCormack/garethmccormack.com

The River Barrow

Perhaps one of Ireland’s most scenic rivers, the Barrow flows for a distance of almost 200 kms before reaching the Celtic Sea.

image via Fáilte Ireland/Courtesy Luke Myers

Ireland’s Lakes

Lough Corrib

Ireland’s second largest lake (after Lough Neagh), Lough Corrib is located in County Galway. It is drained by one of Ireland’s shortest rivers, the River Corrib, which flows through Galway City. This is a great day trip from Galway.

image via  Fáilte Ireland/Courtesy Barbara Warde

Lough Conn

This County Mayo lake is truly picturesque, with the background of Nephin mountain providing a stunning landscape. There is a beautiful beach here also, details of which are here.

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Lough Bunafreva

Are you going to see a more spectacular lake anywhere in Ireland? This jaw-dropping corrie lake dates back to the ice age and almost defies logic.

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Lough Erne

A truly unique and wonderful lake located in County Fermanagh, this lake is popular for fishing and also for those wishing to stay on ‘houseboats’. One of the more calm and tranquil landscapes of Ireland, which is well worth a visit.

image via Tourism Northern Ireland

Upper Lake-Killarney National Park

One of the most photographed lakes in Ireland and for good reason. Ireland’s inland natural beauty at its best.

image via Tourism Ireland/©Chris Hill Photographic

Ireland’s Low Central Plains

The Curragh-County Kildare

Known in Ireland for its horse racing, this glacial plain also has some of the most fertile soils in all of Ireland.

The Curragh Racecourse, Kildare, image via Fáilte Ireland

The Bog of Allen

Ireland’s largest bog, this vast area of peatland is located in the province of Leinster. Once a largescale producer of peat, it has in recent years been recognised as an area of conservation.

image via Tourism Ireland/Gareth McCormack/garethmccormack.com

Lush, Green Meadows of Ireland

The Midlands are home to some wide open tracts of greenery as far as the eye can see.

image via Tourism Ireland/Courtesy of International Arts Festival

Finally, some unique and starkly beautiful landscapes of Ireland

The Giant’s Causeway

This incredibly unique landscape appears almost other-worldly. Legend says that Finn McCool was responsible for these basalt rock formations and geologists state they were born from volcanic activity. Whatever you may believe, this place is is truly unique.

image via ©Tourism Ireland photographed by Chris Hill

The Drumlins of Ireland

These unusual, yet wonderfully green rolling hills are part of a ‘basket of eggs’ type typography, which forms a belt starting in Clew Bay in Mayo and following a north-easterly trend towards the county of Cavan. Clew Bay’s islands were cut off from the mainland during the end of the last ice age, approximately 10,000 years ago.

image via Tourism Ireland/Gareth McCormack/garethmccormack.com

The Burren

This almost lunar landscape in the county of Clare, quite close to the Cliffs of Moher is certainly one of the more unusual landscapes of Ireland, but an incredibly important eco-system and national park.

It is one of the few places on earth where livestock is moved upslope during the winter months. This landscape can also be found on the Aran Islands, giving the islands’ landscape a stark, raw appearance.

image via Failte Ireland/Courtesy Air Swing Media

The Dry Stone Walls of the West of Ireland

One could argue that a man-made structure should not be included among the natural landscapes of Ireland, but as these incredibly intricate pieces of engineering have been part and parcel of the Irish landscape for thousands of years, it seems fit to include them here.

image via Tourism Ireland
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The Dark Hedges

A mysterious way to end the list. This moody, atmospheric laneway is known the world over after its exhibition on The Game of Thrones. One of the most photographed landscapes of Ireland in recent times, these 350 year old beech trees must have lived through some fascinating periods of Irish history. During late autumn, early winter, this natural tree-tunnel is hauntingly atmospheric.

 image courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland
image courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland

Final Thoughts

I genuinely hope you enjoyed this journey through the wonderfully varied landscapes of Ireland. It goes without saying that in order to truly fall in love with Ireland, one has to witness these places up close and personal.

So, considering visiting the Emerald Isle? Why not scan around for some reasonable flights down below. We believe that the best time to visit is May and September, when the prices are lower than the main season you may have beaches all to yourself. You won’t find a better flight search tool than Skyscanner, it’ll compare every single flight permutation, finding your best deal:

By the way, there are numerous other regions of Ireland which provide a feast for the eyes, and I could go on and on, but then again all good things must come to an end…

Check back with us again over the next while for some more posts. If you feel you’d like to add any more iconic locations, please mention them below. We’d be delighted to hear from ye! Slán Go Fóill!

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