With Covid-19 restrictions set to progress into the early summer months with a gradual easing, it looks like exotic vacations are off the cards for another summer.

Last year due to heavy international travel restrictions and the rapidly rising rate of Covid-19 infections around the world, the Irish domestic travel industry entered into a ‘boom’ during the summer months of 2021.  

The staycation ‘boom’ of summer 2020 reminded those that live in Ireland, even though the country may not have the tropical climate we all long for, we live on a beautiful island with endless hidden beaches, seaside towns and landscape to explore. 

With the government advising against international travel this summer, it looks like summer 2021 will see a demand in self-catering holiday homes by the sea dramatically rise, as the staycation industry looks set to boom again. 

We may not be able to holiday abroad again just yet, but we all need something to look forward to, so hopefully, staycations are still on the agenda. With 32 beautiful counties to explore and no airplane luggage costs to worry about, here are the top 5 spots to staycation this summer.

1.     Dingle, Kerry. 

Number one on the list is the beautiful town of An Daingean in county Kerry. Dingle town is full of winding and bustling streets, traditional music and creative culture. Explore the cuisine and fresh seafood the town is famous for or take a boat trip out to the Blasket Islands, there is no short supply of places to explore and activities to try in this quaint town that sits on the Atlantic coats. 

2.     Galway city, Galway.

Second on the staycation agenda is Galway city, known for its exciting nightlife, traditional music and vibrant atmosphere. Visit the Galway market for fresh local produce, or if you’re a history buff, take a look at the Galway Museum and explore aspects of the history and heritage of Galway City. To hit the heart of the city, visit Eyre Square, the popular gathering spot for visitors and natives alike and enjoy the bustling life of Galway city. 

3.     Ardara, Donegal.

The small Donegal town of Ardara is the place to be if you want to immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape that Donegal has to offer. Some of the main scenic spots close to the town are the Glengesh Pass, the Maghera Cave and Waterfall, along with the breath-taking views out over the Atlantic from Loughros Point. According to the Adara website, it has titled itself as the ‘best village in Ireland.’ 

4.     Wexford town, Wexford.

Next on the list is Wexford town also known as the Viking town, where you can wander the winding medieval streets and learn the history of Wexford’s Viking roots. The Westgate Tower and St. Iberius Church are just some of the beautiful sites spotted around the town. You can take a walk along the River Slaney and watch the brightly lit town of Wexford light up your staycation. Another scenic bonus for those who enjoy getting active is the renowned Curracloe beach, which is only five miles north of Wexford town. 

5.     Kinsale, Cork.

Finally, last but most certainly not least, is the electric town of Kinsale. Located at the start of the Atlantic Way, Kinsale is famous for its rich history and colourful streets filled with life, food and events. Kinsale is a coastal town that will keep you entertained. You can take part in cultural tours, pottery classes or even take a hike, there is no shortage of activities in Kinsale. 

Author: Shauna Burdis

Image credit: Pixabay