Dingle is a small, kooky town in Kerry on the Atlantic coast with beautiful sandy beaches and fresh seafood.
Brandon Bay is a stunning, secluded beach close to Dingle and is overlooked by Mount Brandon. According to my brother Diarmuid it is one of Irelands best kept secrets for "absolute solitude, mountains and watersports"....you heard it here first!
Killarney is another beautiful town in Kerry, which is the county that borders Cork. It’s a stop on the famous Ring of Kerry drive and has many walks and scenic lakes in the National Park along with traditional Irish bars and restaurants.
Things to see include Muckross House and Gardens and The Gap of Dunloe
Waterville is another stop on the Ring of Kerry with two beautiful golf course in the vicinity, Waterville Links and the Hogs Head.
Things to do
Things to see include: UCC grounds, the English Market, The Crawford Gallery and Blarney Castle and Gardens.
Restaurants include: Jacques, Farmgate Cafe, The Glass Curtain, Paradiso (for famous vegetarian), Good Day Deli, Cask and Cornstore (steaks for the carnivores!)
Bars include: Sin É or An Spailpín Fánach for traditional Irish music, Tom Barrys & The Franciscan Well Brewery.
Kinsale is a beautiful sea-side town just 30 minutes outside Cork City. It is renowned for its fresh sea-food and beautiful local beaches including The Dock and Garretstown Beach (for surfing).
Restaurants/bars to visit include The Bullman, Man Friday and Fishy Fishy.
Things to see and do include Charles Fort, Kinsale Harbour Cruises and just wandering through Kinsale town visiting the many cafes and local shops!
West Cork & wider Cork
There are lots of beautiful towns, villages, beaches and walks in West Cork including Skibbereen (where Michas' paternal grandmother grew up), Glandore, Schull and Baltimore and Gougane Barra (a famous walk).
Ballycotton is a pretty town close to Cork City with a lovely sea walk.