The Best 20 Places to Holiday in Ireland 2022

Monday, July 11, 2022.
The Best 20 Places to Holiday in Ireland 2022

From Achill to Valentia and Tramore to Strangford – here are the 20 Best Places to Holiday in Ireland 2022

  • Mayo, Donegal, Galway and Clare the only counties to have two representatives
  • ‘Best 20’ is made up of 7 towns, 7 regions, 3 islands, 2 cities and one lake
  • Close to 1,200 nominations received from across all 32 counties

What do Kells in Meath, Drumshanbo in Leitrim, Kilkenny City and Enniskillen have in common?

They are all among the Best 20 Places to Holiday in Ireland 2022 and are in the running for the overall title following the publication of the long list of contenders.

Other places to make the long list include Inisbofin in Galway, Valentia in Kerry, Strangford and the Ards Peninsula in Co. Down and Tramore in Co,. Waterford. (See full list below)

The Irish Times ‘Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’ competition, in association with Bord Fáilte, began in late April when members of the public were invited to nominate their favourite holiday destination on the island of Ireland.

Over the last couple of months, close to 1,200 members of the public nominated hundreds of locations in every county in Ireland for the title of ‘The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland 2022’.

The competition last took place in 2013 with the Loop Head Peninsula in County Clare emerging as the eventual winner.

As on that occasion, each of the nominated locations in this year’s competition was considered by a panel of judges on a range of criteria including natural amenities, built environment, sustainability, tourism services, diversity, a welcome for visitors, transport links, accommodation supply, cost and of course the X factor.

This year’s ‘Best 20’ list includes 7 towns, 7 regions, 3 islands, 2 cities and one lake. Four counties, Donegal, Mayo, Clare and Galway have two representatives. The five finalists will be named on Friday the 22nd of July with the overall winner announced a week later on the August Bank Holiday Weekend.

Cork was by some margin the county with the most nominations – 222 – with Donegal next on 133 and Kerry third on 124. The counties with the lowest number of nominations were Armagh – just one – and Roscommon with two.

While the number of nominations was a factor in the selection of the 20 holiday locations, the quality of the place itself was the chief consideration.

The panel of five judges which includes Nadia El Ferdaoussi, travel blogger; Trevor White, director of the Little Museum of Dublin; Cillian Murphy, county councillor from Loop Head, the 2013 winner; and Rosita Boland, Irish Times journalist – spent hours reviewing and debating the entries, before selecting the ‘Best 20’.

The Chair of the Judging Panel, Conor Goodman from The Irish Times said the entries from people all over the island showcased the excellent quality and variety of holiday locations available here.

“While the competition is a celebration of the many great holiday destinations this country has to offer, it also has a serious mission. As well as highlighting areas of natural beauty, we want to see which locations offer the best overall visitor experience, have a wide range of amenities and where care for the environment is a priority. Cost and value are also key considerations in a summer of rising prices and accommodation shortages across Ireland

In all the locations named in the ‘Best 20’ – and indeed in many others unlucky to make the list – our judges found these elements are very much to the fore, as is the desire to create a warm welcome for people of all ages and backgrounds.”

The 20 Best Places to Holiday in Ireland 2022’

Seven towns

  • Carlingford (Co. Louth)
  • Drumshanbo (Co Leitrim)
  • Kells (Co. Meath)
  • Rosscarbery (Co. Cork)
  • Strandhill (Co Sligo)
  • Tramore (Co.Waterford)
  • Westport (Co. Mayo)

Seven regions

  • Ards Peninsula and Strangford (Co Down)
  • Bundoran and Rossnowlagh (Co Donegal)
  • Enniskillen and the Fermanagh Lakelands (Co Fermanagh)
  • Inishowen Peninsula (Co Donegal)
  • Portrush and the Causeway Coast (Co Antrim)
  • St Mullins and the Barrow Way (Co Carlow)
  • The Burren (Co Clare)

Three islands  

  • Achill Island (Co Mayo),
  • Inisbofin Island (Co Galway)
  • Valentia Island (Co Kerry)

Two cities

  • Dublin
  • Kilkenny

One Lake

  • Lough Derg (Cos Clare, Tipperary and Galway).

For information about ‘The Best Places to Holiday in Ireland 2022’ go to Best Place To Holiday – The Irish Times

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