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Ireland: Nature & Wildlife


  • Baby Sheep
  • Two swans on a calm lake
  • Wild fauna in Phoenix Park
  • The Rock of Cashel
  • Sheep

When one thinks of Ireland, beautiful, green scenery usually comes to mind.  In order to protect such scenery and wildlife, the country has established six national parks located in Co. Kerry, Co. Wicklow, Co. Galway, Co. Donegal, Co. Mayo and Co. Clare.  In addition to the parks are 75 nature reserves.  Each park and reserve contains varying wildlife and unique opportunities for nature lovers.  

Killarney National Park, established in 1932, was the first national park in Ireland.  Since its creation, it has been expanded to cover 102.89 square kilometres and became a Special Area of Conservation and a UNESCO Biosphere in 1981.  The park, located in Co. Kerry, hosts the highest mountain range in Ireland.  It also includes the Lakes of Killarney, many plant species, and most of the native Irish mammal species.  

The smallest national park in Ireland is The Burren, found in Co. Clare.  It became a national park in 1991 and is well known for the rare Irish species that live within the park, many of which can’t be found anywhere else.  This park is popular with adventure sport enthusiasts as the many limestone cliffs, especially the ones at Ailladie, are favourites amongst rock climbers.  Not only is The Burren a nature hotspot, it also has great historical and archaeological significance.  Within this small park are more than 90 megalithic tombs and several portal dolmens.

Ballycroy National Park, located in the Owenduff Nephin mountain area in northwest Co. Mayo, is home to one of the largest expanses of peatland in Europe.  As a result of this, it is a candidate for Special Area of Conservation.  The park was designated in November 1998 and is a spot of both national and international importance when it comes to conservation because of the extensive blanket bog system.  The bogs, as well as the river habitats located in the park, provide temporary habitats for migratory birds. 


 

Ireland Travel Information

At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Ireland.

Learn about the history and culture of Ireland, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Ireland's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Ireland for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Ireland tours today!

 


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