Friday, 29 June 2012 1:39 PM
The beauty of booking luxury self catering in Ireland is that you are free to simply relax and not worry about sticking to someone else's schedule. You can get up when you want, eat when you want and stay out – or in! – as long as you like.
When it comes to the ideal destination for a special getaway to the Emerald Isle, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are a few of our favourites.
The south coast
If you want picturesque views, endless rolling countryside and easy access to the beach, the south coast of Ireland is your dream holiday destination. Consisting of Cork, Kerry, Wexford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow and Waterford, there are plenty of counties to stay in – and each offer their own unique charms.
Kerry will probably appeal to you if you simply want to escape day to day stresses and really unwind. The county boasts several top spas, like the one at the five-star resort Aghadoe Heights Hotel. Here, you can pamper yourself with a choice of treatments, or simply make use of the thermal suite where all your stress will simply melt away.
Another option is the Nadur Spa at Ballygarry House, which, once again, is a place that pledges to provide its visitors with peace and calm. Set in landscaped gardens with views of the Kerry Mountains, here you can really escape the rat race. Wherever you choose to get pampered, you'll be able to wrap up such a relaxing day by chilling out at your luxurious cottage with a candlelit dinner and a movie.
The Iveragh Peninsula – or Ring of Kerry as it is also known – is also a popular destination. This is one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland, and not only boasts unspoilt countryside, but also a history rich with myth and legend. Here, you can spend your days rambling or visiting ancient sites like Ogham stones and Iron Age forts.
Neighbouring Cork has its own attractions and is famous for its amazing restaurants, so if you're on a romantic break this is the place to come. While you will want to dine in your self catering accommodation so you can enjoy an intimate meal, it is also worth checking out some of the county's most famous eateries.
There are plenty of great places to visit in Northern Ireland as well and Antrim is an excellent example. Here you can see world-famous landmarks like the Giant's Causeway, or tee-off at an internationally acclaimed golf course.
Royal Portrush Golf Club is one of the most famous courses in Ireland and is the only club in the country to have hosted the Open Championship. Visitors are welcome to this members club all year round to test their skills on one of the two links courses.
If you prefer more natural outdoor attractions, make your way to the Giant's Causeway. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of tens of thousands of columns of basalt that lock together and look like giant stepping stones.
If you were planning the ultimate luxury getaway then shopping, art galleries, fine dining and fancy bars would probably be on your itinerary – and you can enjoy all this and more in Dublin.
The Irish capital has theatres, museums and designer shops – so whatever your interests you'll be kept busy here. With this in mind, you'll be only too happy to spend the evening relaxing in the comfortable surroundings of your holiday cottage.