Hidden Gems from Optimum

Top 5 Places Visited By Clients in 2021

Posted on Wed, Jan 5th, 2022

Cliffs of Moher

Positioned on Ireland’s renowned ‘Wild Atlantic Way’, the Cliffs of Moher boast some of the most awe-inspiring backdrops in Ireland. The spectacular sea cliffs are found southwest of the Burren region in County Clare. The cliffs run for an incredible 8.5 miles and ascend over 700 feet. It’s no wonder the Cliffs have become one of Ireland’s most visited tourist attractions. The Cliffs may already seem familiar having appeared in films such as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Leap Year.

There are so many ways to experience the cliffs, with multiple access points available. The Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk is an 11-mile trail where you can experience the entire landscape. The trail starts in Doolin and traces the Cliffs to Hags Head. 

Aran Islands

The Áran Island are one of the world’s top island destinations. Known as ‘the Island of Saints and Scholars’, the Áran Islands can be found just off the coasts of County Galway or Doolin in County Clare. 

The three Aran Islands are situated 40 minutes by boat from Galway, but each has a very distinct flavour.  Inishmore (Irish: Inis Mór) is the largest island and home to the only town, Kilronan. Inishmaan (Inis Meáin) preserves its age-old traditions and evokes a sense of timelessness. Inisheer (Inis Oírr), the smallest island, has a strong traditional music culture. Dún Aonghasa is one of the largest prehistoric stone forts in Europe and stands guard over Inis Mór on the edge of a 100-metre sheer cliff drop.  

Skellig Michael

We have seen a huge interest in the islands ever since it was made infamous in the Star Wars movies Episode VII The Force Awakens and Episode VIII The Last Jedi , If you’re looking for a truly authentic Irish experience, then look no further

This is the perfect destination to explore the magic of Ireland. Located 7.5 miles off the coast of Kerry, the Skellig Islands are comprised of two uninhabited rocky islands, the Great Skellig (otherwise known as Skellig Michael) and the Little Skellig. There are many tour options available. You can take a boat ride around both islands, but there is much to be said about experiencing the Skellig Islands up close and personal by exploring on foot.

Skellig Michael rises to a height of 715 feet; at the top is the monastic settlement that attracts most tourists. Filled with bee-hived shaped stone huts dating back to the times of the St. Fionan Monks. While the huts were built durable to withstand the harsh weather of the Atlantic, the monks believed life would be easier on the mainland and effectively left the islands unpopulated. Skellig Michael was granted World Heritage status in 1996 due to its natural beauty and abundance of wildlife.

The Gap of Dunloe

The Gap of Dunloe is a wild and scenic (and sometimes hairy!) mountain pass – studded with crags and bejewelled with lakes and waterfalls – that lies to the west of Killarney National Park, squeezed between Purple Mountain and the high summits of the Macgillycuddy Reeks (Ireland's highest mountain range). 

Take a pony and trap ride with a local for an authentic experience, or walk the Gap to allow time to take in the majestic views. 


No trip to Ireland would be complete without a visit to Glendalough. Why? It is one of the most beautiful places in the country, and has been recognised for its romantic landscape since the arrival of St Kevin who made a home here in the 5th century. 

During the Middle Ages, when Ireland was known as "the island of saints and scholars", Glendalough became a monastic city catering to thousands of students and teachers. The site is entered through the only surviving monastic gateway in Ireland. Around the monastic site can get congested with visitors, but head away from the crowds and up to the lakes of Glendalough for scenery that will take your breath away.