Tripadvisor has revealed the “best of the best” staycation experiences around Ireland.
The travel company’s Travellers’ Choice 2021 awards has seen reviewers choose the best tours, trips and activities to get up to on the island this summer.
The line-up includes city walking tours, hikes around cliffs and sea caves, sea safaris and a secret food tour.
1 Guided Walking Tour in Kilkenny
Top of the list is a guided walking tour of Kilkenny, from Shenanigans The Kilkenny City Walk.
The tour has 79 five-star reviews on Tripadvisor, with the lowest rating being a single four-star review.
The tour meets under the arch of the main gate of Kilkenny castle, before taking visitors on a “magical” walk through the city’s “medieval mile,” bringing its stories and history to life.
It ends at Kytelers Inn — famously once home to Dame Alice Kyteler who was tried for witchcraft.
2 Howth Peninsula Hiking Tour
Next is a hiking tour of Howth Peninsula, courtesy of Shane’s Howth Adventures, with 121 five-star reviews.
The four-hour hike takes travellers “off the beaten path to trails, woodlands, vistas, and even secluded sea caves” — weather permitting.
Hikers will be led by a “seasoned trekking guide” full of local stories, with stops to rest at and snap photos along the way.
3 Dingle Sea Safari
Third is an “exhilarating rib experience” from Dingle Sea Safari, with 260 five-star reviews.
The tour around the Dingle coast and Blasket islands gives a “unique up-close viewing of everything that is a must-see.”
The boat’s captain will be on hand to inform visitors about nearby marine life, sea birds and the history and geology of the area.
4 Titanic Belfast and Giant’s Causeway Day Trip
This day trip by Wild Rover Tours transports visitors from the capital to Northern Ireland, with 458 five-star reviews.
Travellers will leave Dublin city centre on a luxury coach before visiting the Giant’s Causeway, and skipping the line to have a go on the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
Travellers can then choose either an admission ticket to Titanic Belfast or a black-cab tour of Belfast’s dramatic past.
“This tour makes it easy to get out of Ireland’s capital without dishing out a lot of cash on a rental car,” the company says.
5 Seal Kayaking Safari at Dalkey
In fifth place is a kayaking safari promising seal sightings in Dalkey, Dublin, with 165 five-star reviews.
The three-hour safari begins in Bullock Harbour where visitors are given a wetsuit before hopping into their kayak.
Kayakers are then treated to “stunning” views of Dublin Bay, which is an UNESCO biosphere – an ecosystem home to many rare and important species of wildlife.
Those on the tour will have the chance to interact with “the friendly Dalkey island seals” in their natural environment, along with a scenic stroll on Dalkey island before returning to the harbour.
6 Game of Thrones Tour
Next is a Game of Thrones tour from Wild Rover Tours, with 113 five-star reviews.
The day trip sets off from Dublin and includes costumes, along with stops that take in the major settings of the drama series filmed in Northern Ireland.
Stops include the Caves of Cushendun, Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle and the Dark Hedges.
7 Cycling Tour at Killarney National Park
Seventh on the list is a cycling tour of Killarney National Park by Killarney Bike Rental.
This self-guided cycle tour has 61 five-star reviews and gives travellers “maximum flexibility” to enjoy the unique landscape at their own pace.
Cyclists will be given a bike, helmet, historical information sheet and a map of the route and attractions, before setting off on their journey.
The route includes Muckross House, Muckross Abbey and the Torc Waterfall.
8 Irish Rock 'N' Roll Museum Experience
Next is the Irish Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum Experience in Dublin, with 436 five-star reviews.
Visitors will “walk off the street and onto the stage” with the tour’s “immersive and theatrical rock ‘n’ roll experience.”
They will learn the history of the famous musicians who have passed through the museum’s halls, discover exclusive memorabilia from the likes of U2 and Thin Lizzy – and start their own band and experience what it’s like to be a real rockstar.
9 Cliffs of Moher Tour
Next is a day trip to Galway from Dublin By Wild Rover Tours, with a whopping 2,513 five-star reviews.
The coach tour takes in many of Galway’s major sights as it makes its way along the Wild Atlantic Way, including the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, and gives travellers free time to explore Galway city.
“Spend less time reading maps and more time soaking up the scenery on a stress-free tour from Dublin. An experienced driver navigates the roads safely and a guide transports you to premium viewing spots you may have missed if exploring independently,” the company says.
10 Dublin Secret Food Tour
In tenth place is a secret food tour of the capital, by Secret Food Tours Dublin.
The half-day food tour of Dublin sees a local guide bring visitors to authentic pubs, cafés, markets and food shops.
“Try typical dishes like a traditional Irish breakfast, and artisanal cheeses, and sip an Irish liqueur and other drinks. Pass landmarks such as Christ Church Cathedral and Trinity College as you explore with a small group and learn about Ireland’s culinary heritage,” it says.
The stops along the tour are a secret — but the 359 five-star reviewers were pleased.