As the birthplace of poets like W. B. Yeats with lush greenery stretching across rolling hills, the Emerald Isle is the perfect destination for a romantic escape. It’s a great place to spend quality time with your partner strolling through Ireland’s national parks, visiting windswept islands, and enjoying scenic drives along rugged coastlines. There are so many beautiful hotel accommodation options in Ireland where you can get cozy when the weather turns! It’s the best place whether you’re planning a short and sweet overnight stay, a couples’ vacation, or a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon. Here are some of my favorite romantic getaways in Ireland from the Northern Irish coast to Cork City in the south.
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Most Romantic Getaways in Ireland
You might not expect to find an idyllic coastal town with soft white sands and clear blue waters off the coast of Ireland, but you can in South West Cork. Kinsale’s nautical-colored guesthouses and charming harbor make it perfect for sea lovers looking for romantic weekend breaks in Ireland.
Dock Beach is a wonderful place to visit on a sunny Irish day (yes, they do exist!). James Fort and Charles Fort are two 17th-century ruined fortresses. Both are popular historical sites with visitors, but one of the more romantic activities in Kinsale is to eat.
Book as many fine-dining restaurants in The Good Food Circle in Kinsale as far in advance as possible. This group of restaurants is responsible for the town’s unofficial title as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland. Bastion Restaurant even has a Michelin Star! Fishy Fishy serves seafood and local cuisine that is so local. They can even tell you the name of the fisherman who caught your dinner.
Strolling along Scilly Walk or kayaking along the River Bandon are fun romantic outdoor adventures you can experience together too.
2. Cliffs of Moher
One of the most romantic getaways in Ireland has to include visiting the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. From a practical standpoint, the UNESCO-certified sea cliffs are only an hour’s drive from Shannon Airport. This makes them very easy to reach. From a non-practical standpoint, they’re incredibly dramatic, breathtaking, and the perfect location for a romantic proposal!
The Cliffs of Moher are a great day trip from the city of Galway, or you can stay in Doolin. Doolin an adorable village on the Wild Atlantic Way (an epic road trip route on Ireland’s west coast), but it’s also regarded as the Capital of Traditional Irish Music.
Take a windswept boat cruise from Doolin or Galway to see the cliffs from the water. If you would rather stay on land, you can see the spectacular views from the 18 km hiking path.
Stay in an old guesthouse with cozy bedrooms and sea views. Spend your evenings cuddled in front of the open fires in old pubs like Gus O’Connor’s listening to live folk music and sipping a dram of Irish whiskey.
3. Aran Islands
Right off the coast of the Cliffs of Moher are the Aran Islands. Staying on these remote islands isn’t every couple’s cup of tea, but ideal if you and your partner want a secluded romantic weekend break or a unique experience.
These islands have a rich history that few tourists in Ireland will experience. Don’t miss the huge prehistoric Dún Aonghasa fort and the ruins of medieval churches.
The Aran Islands consist of three large islands, Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer, and several smaller ones. Most people visit the largest island of Inishmore. You can either take a romantic boat cruise to Inishmore from Galway or Doolin (fingers crossed you spot seals!) or book a memorable stay overnight on the island.
There are a lot of cute Bed and Breakfasts and guesthouses in Inishmaan. Most won’t be able to offer a long list of luxurious amenities but will have free WiFi and serve a classic, full Irish breakfast in the morning.
4. Killarney National Park
Ireland has six incredible national parks, but Killarney in County Kerry is hands down the best for romantic getaways in Ireland. It has all the natural beauty you’d want to see in the Irish countryside. Picture this: mountain views from hotel rooms, hiking trails like the Kerry Way, several waterfalls, lakes, rivers, and more. This is also a popular place for families so the best time to visit is spring or fall for a more relaxing, romantic break.
Killarney National Park also has many historical buildings like Muckross House that are fun to visit on a couples’ trip. It’s a fully-furnished 19th-century stately home just down the road from Muckross Park Hotel, a five-star hotel with an award-winning spa. Add Muckross Abbey to your itinerary too if you enjoy visiting eery ruined churches.
Want to explore the rest of the park without wearing boots and a raincoat? Forget hiking and horse riding, take a quintessential Killarney Horse and Carriage Tour.
If you are a more adventurous couple, hire a boat or kayak and paddle along Lough Leane. The 15th-century Ross Castle sitting on the banks of this lake provides a romantic backdrop.
5. Adare Manor
If you want to book a stay in one of the most romantic hotels in Ireland, look no further than Adare Manor in County Limerick. This 19th-century, five-star hotel on an 840-acre estate is a popular choice for destination weddings, but it’s the perfect place for a romantic hotel break to celebrate a special anniversary.
Fine dining is par for the course at Adare Manor as The Oak Room is an award-winning restaurant with a Michelin Star. Guest rooms and drawing rooms are cozy without being dated or stuffy. You can head out on the estate for a romantic stroll or play a round of golf together on Adare Manor’s world-famous golf course.
Even if you don’t end up staying at Adare Manor, you can still visit. There are plenty of dining options available to non-guests like a luxury afternoon tea experience. The small town of Adare is worth visiting for its quaint thatched cottages lining the main street which act as a time capsule to transport you back to the 1800s.
6. Dingle Peninsula
Road trips are the perfect getaway for some couples and Ireland has plenty of beautiful drives. The Ring of Kerry is a scenic loop around the coastline of the Dingle Peninsula, not far from Killarney National Park. It’s only 111 miles long so you could tackle the entire route in three and a half hours. Give yourself plan ample time to discover the rich history of the area and romantic things to do en route.
Ireland’s west coast has incredible rugged and wild beaches like Coumeenoole Beach and Inch Beach on the peninsula. Visit ancient, historic buildings like the Fahan Beehive Huts and the Gallarus Oratory.
If you think your relationship can survive the stress, drive along the narrow Conor Pass high in the mountains to the town of Dingle. Stop at every overlook to admire the epic mountain views.
Make Dingle Distillery your next stop before heading to a romantic hotel on the Dingle Peninsula like the Parknasilla Resort & Spa. You can enjoy a tour and whisky tasting before winding down with a couples massage.
Glendalough is widely known as Ireland’s most picturesque lake, and for good reason. It’s nestled in a valley between several hills like Mullacor and Camaderry Mountain and boasts many incredible viewpoints. Located in County Wicklow, this small town and lake is in a prime location just a 90-minute drive south of Dublin.
Hiking is the top romantic thing to do in Glendalough. The Spinc Trail and Miner’s Way are two top choices as they’re not too strenuous and offer incredible views of the lake.
It’s essential to note that most of the accommodation in Glendalough town is geared towards hikers and not those seeking romantic getaways in Ireland.
However, you won’t have a long drive back to Dublin or elsewhere in Wicklow National Park if you’d prefer to stay in more luxurious lodgings. Both the city and the national park have several options, like The Shelbourne in Dublin and the Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort in County Wicklow.
8. Cliff House Hotel, Waterford
One of the best places to spend luxury romantic breaks in Ireland, the Cliff House Hotel in County Waterford is a destination in its own right. It quite literally sits overlooking a cliff on Ireland’s south coast near the small town of Ardmore, but you won’t want to leave this romantic, unique place once you’ve checked in.
Unlike the manor houses and refurbished castle hotels in other parts of Ireland, Cliff House Hotel is uber modern. It has floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining room so you can watch the sunset on the horizon while enjoying a romantic dinner. There’s underfloor heating, multi-story suites with private balconies, and an endless list of other luxurious amenities.
There are things to do outside of Cliff House Hotel if you and your partner decide to resurface from the comfort of your suite. Take a stroll along the cliffs and you’ll be able to spot what’s left of the Samson Shipwreck of 1987. Book a sea kayaking excursion through the hotel and hopefully you’ll spot seals or dolphins which are a common sighting here.
9. Powerscourt Gardens
Looking for a romantic idea for a side trip from Dublin that’s a little different? Powerscourt Gardens is less than an hour’s drive south of Dublin. These impeccably manicured themed gardens include a Japanese Garden, a waterfall, and an Italian Garden spread across 47 acres. It’s the perfect place to visit on a romantic trip to Ireland in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.
Powerscourt House, an 18th-century stately home, acts as a stunning backdrop to the gardens. It’s home to the Tara’s Palace Museum of Childhood, a café, and some shops too. Powerscourt Distillery produces whisky and hosts tastings that you can pair with a charcuterie board. Save yourself a drive by spending the night at Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa. Much more romantic than staying in Dublin city center!
10. Giant’s Causeway
Don’t forget about Northern Ireland when planning romantic getaways in Ireland. It’s where you’ll find the storied and romantic Giant’s Causeway. Rows of interlocking basalt columns line the Antrim Coast. They look so mystical that previous generations thought the causeway was the remains of a giant’s bridge. It’s a particularly romantic place to visit at sunrise or sunset and you can walk along the entire cliff to escape any crowds.
There are plenty of romantic things to do close to the Giant’s Causeway too. Old Bushmills Distillery is Northern Ireland’s signature Irish whiskey brand where you can book tours and tastings. Just keep an eye out for the distillery’s resident ghost!
Dunseverick Falls and Castle are just north along the coast of the Giant’s Causeway. Thanks to the yellow gorse bushes lining the coast in the winter, Dunseverick is a stunning place to visit in the colder months as well as in summer. Dunluce Castle is another favorite as a former stronghold of Clan MacDonnell.
11. Ashford Castle
Sitting on the banks of Lough Corrib on the border of County Mayo and County Galway is Ashford Castle. This five-star hotel is possibly the most luxurious and sought-after accommodation on the entire island. It’s a fabulous choice for a romantic getaway if you’re celebrating an anniversary or milestone birthday.
With parts of the castle dating back to medieval times, Ashford Castle is incredibly cinematic and even featured in John Ford’s The Quiet Man (1952). Guests can expect chandeliers in every room and traditional decor that you would expect to find in a former castle.
If you and your partner want a romantic trip to Ireland with a full spa experience, Ashford Castle delivers. It’s highly regarded for its indoor heated pool and hot tub, steam room, and relaxation room. Enjoy a couples massage in Ireland’s first five-star spa or any number of other spa treatments on offer.
With a river and lake on Ashford Castle’s doorstep, you can hire wetsuits and kayaks from the hotel. Boat cruises, Loch Measc Distillery, and Cong Abbey are other romantic places to visit and things to do in the local area that don’t involve getting wet!
Plan an Unforgettable Couples’ Trip With These Romantic Getaways Ireland
There are hundreds if not thousands of romantic cities around the world. However, romantic getaways in Ireland are ideal if you want to unplug in the countryside, enjoy plenty of outdoor activities, and stay in a secluded manor house turned luxury hotel or charming guesthouse.
You can both visit beautiful historical buildings, listen to live music in cozy pubs, and unwind in the luxurious rooms of a boutique hotel. Hopefully, my list of Irish destinations will inspire you to plan a romantic stay here!