3. Dalkey Island, County Dublin
On Dalkey Island, the hustle and bustle of Dublin feels a million miles away. Pick up some supplies in the gorgeous town of Dalkey, before you take the boat from Coliemore Harbour to the island, in the capable hands of enigmatic ferryman, Ken. The island itself has a history that stretches back over 6,000 years – there's evidence of settlers here from 4,500 BC. It's served as a Viking slave camp, become a principal port for Dublin in medieval times, and has a Martello tower (one of many lining this shoreline). This tranquil island retreat is perfect for a little offshore exploration, with stunning views of the "mainland".