If you ever want to see those cute towns featured on postcards, then you should head over to Ireland. They have these quaint houses and buildings that are not only pretty but are also where the kind and hospitable locals live. So if you are truly interested in getting to know the culture and the people, forget the touristy spots and head over to the following destinations.
Getting to most of these small towns is not as difficult, especially if you have a rental car to drive around. You should, however, take care when driving along some of the trickier roads along this peninsula. That said, the first stop in your road trip should be Dingle, known for its picturesque vistas.
Its claim to fame is being a setting for Star Wars and most of its visitors come because of this. Despite more people coming in, Dingle has not lost its small town feel and the local establishments are very welcoming. The medieval-style buildings are one of the highlights, but the harbor is another. It is also a great place to eat seafood.
Though unknown to most people, The Titanic made its last stop here, which makes this small town quite historical. They have a museum where the White Star Line Ticket Office was, which documents the 123 passengers who boarded here. History buffs might find it very interesting.
The town also has beautiful scenery and some historic sites that you should not miss, like St. Coleman’s Cathedral with the largest carillon in Ireland. Spike Island, the world’s largest prison in the 1850s, is also open to visitors.
Adare has the reputation of being one of the loveliest towns in Ireland. The Irish Government named this as a Heritage Town, so make sure to add it to your list of places to see. Don’t miss the Holy Trinity Abbey Church, with its popular stained glass and the stonework. Another stop is the Adare Castle, which was built in the 1200s and though it has been damaged, parts of it are still standing strong.
One of the biggest reasons to visit small Irish towns is to see historical sites that are still standing. In Cashel, you can still visit the remains of a medieval fortress with a cathedral built during the 13th century. If you are truly into history, then you can visit the historical museums in the area that document important events in Ireland like the Great Famine. Beyond history, Cashel is also the best spot for traditional Irish music and dancing.
This is another beautiful medieval town, with a long history and well-preserved buildings. You will probably get tired taking numerous photos of the cathedrals, abbeys, and castles in great condition. The Kilkenny Castle is one of them, built in 1195 and after more than 800 years is still standing. Its grounds and the other gardens in the town are just as beautiful and should never be missed. Lastly, it hosts yearly art festivals and shows, especially during summer time.
Most of these small Irish towns have retained most of their original buildings, and along with them, their charm. Beyond coming over to experience their history, they also have wonderful landscapes that will surely enchant you.