Wonderfully weird landscapes
So, you're probably familiar with the image of lush green valleys that appears on countless postcards of Ireland, but what about the weird stuff?
Ireland keeps a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to natural phenomena. Take the Burren in County Clare – a karst limestone plateau that looks like it was beamed down from the moon; in fact, it was formed around 340 million years ago at the bottom of a sea and is home to a wide range of flora, fauna and archaeology, as well as the odd disappearing lake or two.
Folklore legend Fionn mac Cumhaill is said to have created Antrim’s Giant’s Causeway so he could walk over to Scotland to pick a fight with the giant Benandonner. This visual jangle of tightly packed basalt columns runs from the cliffs of the Antrim plateau right down to the sea.
Speaking of sea cliffs, it’s hard not to be impressed by the mighty Cliffs of Moher, the Slieve League Cliffs in County Donegal, the vertigo-inducing Croaghaun Cliffs on Achill Island, and the seabird-studded cliffs of Antrim’s Rathlin Island.
From those dizzy heights, you can head down below and uncover a wonderful world of hidden caves, rich with stalagmites and stalactites. Take a gentle boat ride through Fermanagh and Cavan’s Marble Arch Caves for a peek into 650 million years of history. They are part of a Global Geopark, which means they’re recognised by Unesco for their geological heritage.
If you're fascinated by things that simply can’t be explained, make sure to check out the magic road… nope, we don’t know what’s going on with it either!