Digital Desk Staff
The ‘Five Best Places to Holiday in Ireland 2022’ have been named.
They are Achill in Mayo, Carlingford in Louth, Inisbofin in Galway, The Burren in Clare, and The Causeway Coast/Portrush in Antrim.
The Irish Times ‘Best Place to Holiday in Ireland 2022’ competition, which is in association with Fáilte Ireland, began in early May when members of the public were invited to nominate their favourite holiday destination on the island of Ireland.
Over the course of the summer, close to 1,200 members of the public nominated hundreds of locations in every county in Ireland for the title of ‘The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland 2022’.
Two weeks ago, the long list of ‘Best 20 Places to Holiday in Ireland’ was published and this has now been reduced to five. The overall winner will be named next week, over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.
The competition last took place in 2013 when the Loop Head Peninsula in County Clare emerged as the eventual winner.
Every nominated location in this year’s competition was considered by a panel of judges on a range of criteria including natural amenities, built environment, sustainability, tourism services, diversity, a warm welcome for visitors, transport links, accommodation supply, cost and of course the X factor.
The Chair of the Judging Panel, Conor Goodman from The Irish Times, said selecting the five finalists from the long list had been extremely difficult.
“The competition has really highlighted the natural beauty, excellent quality, and the sheer variety of our holiday locations as is clear from our five finalists. It has also generated debate about the different types of visitor experience which are available here and highlighted important issues such as sustainability, accessibility and attractability.”
“At a time when inflation is at record levels, cost and value have to be key considerations for anyone planning a holiday in Ireland, as they were for the judges in this competition.”
Here’s what the judges had to say about the ‘Five Best Places to Holiday in Ireland 2022’:
Achill, Co Mayo – ‘Adventure Island’
Stunning and elemental, with huge skies, and uninterrupted views of the sea and mountains, the landscape is the star in Achill. The main attractions here are outdoors, and this large island has a wealth of beaches, mountains, lakes, and adventure activities. Some of its outstanding features are the “beach at the end of the world” that is Keem Blue Flag strand, plus Keel and Dooagh, both of which offer good surfing. A wonderful and affordable place to holiday with a family
Carlingford, Co Louth – ‘Activity Central’
One of only three natural fjords in Ireland, looking out on the Mourne Mountains and framed by the Cooley Mountains, this is among the most eye-popping locations on the east coast. A rare blend of medieval buildings and 20th and 21st-century additions, the town itself is as beautiful as the landscape in which it sits. Whether paddleboarding, ziplining, golfing or walking the 40Km Táin Way or any of the other many hill and mountain trails you’ll never run out of things to do here.
Inisbofin, Co Galway – ‘Bohemian Beauty’
There is something special about Inisbofin. This beautiful, wonderfully tranquil island, just 5.5km long, off the northwest coast of Co Galway has a precipitous coastline on its western flank, some lovely sandy beaches, and a rich archaeological heritage. Just a 35-minute ferry ride from Cleggan, it also has an arty feel with lots of musicians and a bit of a hippy / hipster vibe. Walking and cycling are the main way to get around, but there are also paddleboards or kayaks for hire while the Inishbofin Blueway has a snorkel trail.
The Burren, Co Clare – ‘The Real Ireland’
An uncommercialised and unspoilt natural wonder with brilliant attractions like The Cliffs of Moher, Ailwee Cave / Birds of Prey Centre and Doolin Cave, The Burren is a strikingly original place with so much to see and do. An accessible treasure trove for nature lovers, walkers, geologists, cyclists, and archeologists the region also has lovely beaches such as Fanore, while Doolin is Clare’s gateway to the Aran Island. This is the “real Ireland” that many are searching for, but few can find.
The Causeway Coast/Portrush, Co Antrim – ‘Land of myth and legend’
The Causeway Coast, home not only to the Giant’s Causeway, but also to the towns of Portstewart, Cushendall and Cushendun, and the Glens of Antrim drive, is surely one of the most scenic road trips in Ireland. The old tourist town of Portrush with its excellent beaches, championship golf course, and wide array of cafes and restaurants offers the ideal base to explore this land of legend and myth. And of course, the locations where scenes from Game of Thrones were shot. It should be on every Irish tourist’s hit list.
For further information about ‘The Best Places to Holiday in Ireland 2022’ go to Best Place To Holiday – The Irish Times