Ireland is a stunningly beautiful country. It has UNESCO World Heritage sites, dramatic seascapes and breathtaking landscapes. So, if you want to take in the views and see the magnificent vistas here are the ten best scenic views of Ireland. Don’t forget your camera!
Need a ride? We offer several day tours from Dublin that will either pass or stop by some of the views on this list! Find each of our relevant tours in the list below.
10. Glencar Waterfall, Co. Leitrim
The poet W.B. Yeats and artist Jack Yeats drew a lot of inspiration for their work from the scenic beauty around counties Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon. As a result, these parts are known as Yeats’ Country and a visit to this part of Ireland will hopefully inspire you too with its enchanting views and bewitching shows of nature.
One of the most scenic views is of the Glencar Waterfall, which inspired the poem ‘The Stolen Child’. The Glencar Waterfall 15 metres (50 foot) high and tumbles into the Glencar Lough. The waterfall is particularly impressive after heavy rainfall, which happens a lot in Ireland. The Glencar Waterfall isn’t the tallest in Ireland but it certainly is one of the most beautiful.
9. Glendalough, Co. Wicklow
Nestled in the Wicklow Mountains National Park is the glacial valley of Glendalough. Here you can stroll around the glacial lakes and explore the monastic settlement that dates from the 6th century. But to admire one of the most scenic views of Ireland you really should hike the Spinc Walk, which takes you through a glacial valley, forests, mountain tops and along the upper and lower Glendalough lakes. Once you reach the top, you will be reward with breathtaking views of the valley made even more scenic with the rich, vibrant colours of the lakes and surrounding mountains.
You can visit Glendalough as part of our Kilkenny, Wicklow Mountains, and Glendalough day tour from Dublin.
8. Glengesh Pass and the Slieve League Cliffs, Co. Donegal
Voted the ‘most beautiful road in Ireland’, the Glengesh Pass weaves its way through a wild and, what feels like, an abandoned landscape. Driving this road you feel like you have the whole county of Donegal to yourself. And the views stretch out from all sides and seem to go on forever.
As if that isn’t enough, the road leads to the Slieve League Cliffs, which are some of the highest and most dramatic marine cliffs in Europe. This most scenic view of Ireland is made all the more lovely by the bursts of bright purple heather that decorate the cliffs and provide a technicolour backdrop against the deep blue Atlantic Ocean.
7. Lough Tay, Co. Wicklow
Lough Tay is surrounded by marvellous mountainous views. There is a beach on the northern side of the lake which has brilliant white sand. When you look at the lake’s shape and see the white sand at the top it is reminiscent of a pint of Guinness. Now, if that’s not one of the most scenic views of Ireland, what is?
Lough Tay is actually on private property but you can still get a great view along Military Road at the junction with the Wicklow Way.
6. Mizen Head, Co. Cork
Mizen Head is located in a rugged and windswept part of Ireland. But this just adds to its beauty. At Mizen Head you’ll find a signal station and an iconic arched bridge spanning across a dramatic gorge. Are you brave enough to cross it?
The cliffs at Mizen Head are bashed by the Atlantic Ocean and the endless seascape is just mesmerising. When the sun shines, the colours of the landscape are dazzling but even in bad weather, the scenic views are incredible with fog and rain creating a mysterious atmosphere.
5. Mourne Mountains, Co. Down
The Mountains of Mourne in Co. Down in Northern Ireland are a picturesque range of 12 peaks. The highest peak, Slieve Donard, at 850 metres (2,788 feet) is also the highest peak in the province of Ulster and the highest in the country of Northern Ireland.
A hike to the top will take you past the Mourne Wall, which was built between 1904 and 1922 to enclose a reservoir. At the top, there are two prehistoric burial cairns (man-made piles of stones) as well as a small stone tower. But the payoff is the panoramic views over the Mourne Mountains and the County Down Coastline. They are magnificent and wild and when the light catches the water and grass it looks just like a painting. You sometimes can’t believe that the scene is real.
4. The Burren, Co. Kerry
If you like your scenic views of Ireland with a hint of otherworldliness, then you have to visit The Burren in County Kerry, which has been declared a UNESCO Global Geopark. The area has a shattered limestone landscape with rambling wildflower meadows, which have been shaped by geological forces for hundreds of millions of years. It is an almost prehistoric-like scenic view of Ireland and one of the most remarkable too.
We pass through the Burren as part of our Cliffs of Moher, Atlantic Edge Ocean Walk, and Galway City day tour from Dublin, where our dedicated guides will tell you the many stories of this mythical landscape.
3. The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare
Over 1.5-million people a year visit the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, making them the second most popular tourist attraction in Ireland. The cliffs, a series of eight sheer headlands, are located in County Clare in the west of Ireland and can easily be reached from Dublin in a day.
But what makes them one of the best scenic views of Ireland? Well, the Cliffs of Moher are 214 metres (702 feet) high and stretch 8km along the rugged coastline. They look and feel imposing as they roll off into the mist towards the horizon. They not only look dramatic, but they also sound dramatic too with the wild Atlantic Ocean crashing into the cliffs below accompanied by a soundtrack of squawking seabirds.
For an even more dramatic scenic view, time your visit to the Cliffs of Moher to catch the sunset. It’s magical.
The Cliffs of Moher is one of the main stops on our aforementioned day tour, which you can find here. We give you plenty of time – and included admission – to explore the cliffs.
2. The Giant’s Causeway, Co. Antrim
Northern Ireland’s Coastal Causeway Route stretches from Belfast and skims the north coast. The route takes you past many locations used in the TV series Game of Thrones.
As you gaze out in amazement you’ll see 40,000 interconnected polygonal basalt columns tumble down into the Atlantic Ocean. The columns are astonishing, not only because they were formed some 50-60 million years ago but also because they are in perfect horizontal sections. It really is a scenic view as well as a unique one.
If you stay for sunset at the Giant’s Causeway, you’ll see the sun reflect a beautiful pink and golden glow off the top of the formations.
The Giant’s Causeway is a main stop on our Giant’s Causeway & Belfast Day tour from Dublin, where we give you plenty of time to traverse the strange and beautiful landscape on your own or with a guided tour. We also stop here on our Game of Thrones day tour.
1. The Ring of Kerry, Co. Kerry
The Ring of Kerry offers up vista upon vista and postcard-esque scenic views of Ireland at every turn, no matter what route you take. One of the best-known and most scenic views along the Ring of Kerry is Ladies View. This place got its name because, during the royal visit in 1861, Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting stopped here and loved the view so much that it was named after them.
A visit here rewards you with a wonderful view of the upper lake and its islands surrounded by the McGillycuddy’s Reeks and the Purple Mountain Range. It really is a sight to behold.
As you can see, Ireland really is a country with a seemingly endless supply of scenic views. From round towers and ancient settlements to otherworldly landscapes and glacial lakes, from landscapes formed by nature to those formed by myths and legends, Ireland has it all.
If you would like to see some of the best scenic views of Ireland, take a Wild Rover Tour. We do day trips from Dublin or we can create a bespoke tour to meet your specific needs. Whichever you decide, you are sure to see some of the most beautiful and breathtaking scenery Ireland has to offer.