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The Best Small Villages in Ireland to Visit

Ireland is a country famed for its stunning scenery, warm hospitality, and charming communities. 

And if visits to picturesque, welcoming villages and small towns are a priority for your trip to the place we call home, this is the travel guide for you!

At Overland Ireland, we have explored every nook and cranny of the Emerald Isle on our tours of Ireland.

With our local insights and knowledge, we can always recommend the very best places to visit.

From off-the-beaten-path Irish villages to popular destinations known far and wide, our picks offer a taste of Ireland’s incredible culture, history, and natural beauty.

Keep scrolling down to learn more about our tips for the best villages and quaint Irish towns to visit on your holiday.

If you have any questions for us in the meantime, please feel free to get in touch.


Kinsale: A Foodie’s Paradise

Nestled on the coast of County Cork, Kinsale is a beautiful seaside town famous for its food scene. It’s also at the southern end of the Wild Atlantic Way. 

With a range of restaurants serving deliciously fresh seafood, Kinsale is a must-visit destination for foodies. 

Don’t miss a visit to the Kinsale Farmers’ Market, which takes place every Wednesday and offers a range of locally produced food and drink. 

After you’ve eaten your fill, take a stroll along the waterfront and admire the colourful houses that line the streets.

If you have the time, nearby Clonakilty is another of the best traditional Irish villages to explore.

Kinsale is a popular stop on many of our tours, including the Ultimate Ireland 10-Day Tour Package and Emerald Explorer 7-Day Ireland Tour.


Clifden: A Gateway to Connemara

Located in the heart of Connemara, Clifden is a vibrant village that’s steeped in history and natural beauty. 

Known as the capital of Connemara, Clifden is a great base for exploring the surrounding countryside.

This includes Connemara National Park and the rugged scenery on the Wild Atlantic Way. 

Back in the village, wander around the traditional shops and cafes, or take a guided tour of Clifden Castle, a ruined nineteenth-century manor house.

Connemara is home to much of the Connacht Irish-speaking Gaeltacht, the biggest Gaeltacht in Ireland.

As a hub of Gaelic identity, culture, and heritage, Clifden is one of the best Irish villages to experience the traditional Irish way of life.

You can visit Doolin with Overland Ireland! This wonderful village is part of our Wild Atlantic Wanderer 6-Day Self-Driving Tour Of Ireland, the Ultimate Ireland 10-Day Tour Package, and more!


Doolin: A Haven for Traditional Irish Music

If you’re looking for small Irish villages with character and adventure, make a beeline for Doolin.

Located on the west coast of Ireland in County Clare, it’s known as the heart of the traditional Irish music scene.

For this reason alone, it draws visitors from all over the world!

Guests love taking a seat in one of the local pubs and enjoying a pint of Guinness while listening to the locals play their instruments. 

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a boat trip to the nearby Aran Islands. Here, you can explore ancient ruins and wild landscapes.

Doolin is also a fantastic base for visiting the iconic Cliffs of Moher — they’re less than a 15-minute drive south.

You can visit Doolin with Overland Ireland! This wonderful village is part of our Wild Atlantic Wanderer 6-Day Self-Driving Tour Of Ireland, the Ultimate Ireland 10-Day Tour Package, and more!


Kenmare: Tranquility, Gourmet Food, and Breathtaking Scenery

Located on the famous Ring of Kerry, Kenmare is one of Ireland’s hidden rural gems.

This small town is one of the best destinations in Ireland for gourmet food.

Much like Kinsale, you can find various restaurants and cafes serving locally sourced produce that foodies of every kind will love.

And when you’re full, take a walk through town and browse the independent boutiques and craft shops.

If you’re feeling active, there are plenty of outdoor activities on offer in the surrounding area, including hiking, cycling, golf, and horse riding.

Does Kenmare sound like a place you’d love to visit? It’s part of our Ireland to Island 7-Day Tour and Emerald Explorer 7-Day Ireland Tour.


Westport: A Picture-Perfect Town

Located on the west coast of Ireland in County Mayo, Westport is charming, full of character, and rich in history. 

With colourful houses and traditional shops, Westport is a picture-perfect destination that’s ideal for a relaxing getaway. 

Amble along the waterfront or explore the nearby countryside, where you’ll find scenic walks and cycling routes.

When it comes to Irish villages for a peaceful getaway, there aren’t many places better than Westport!

And the good news is, you can visit Westport with Overland Ireland! Browse our Great Atlantic Adventure 7-Day Ireland Holiday to discover more!

Sneem Ireland

Sneem: A Village of Colours

Along with Kenmare, Sneem is another popular village stop-off on the Ring of Kerry. 

Take a walk around the village and admire the vibrant, colourful buildings, explore the stunning countryside landscapes, or visit nearby beautiful beaches. 

And make the trip to Staigue Fort, an ancient stone fortress that dates back to the Iron Age.

Sneem is worthy of its place on an itinerary of charming Irish village escapes.

This is why we included it on our list of the best non-touristy things to do in Ireland.

green fields

Dingle: A Hub of Culture and History

Dingle is a vibrant, small port town located on County Kerry’s Dingle Peninsula. 

If you’re looking for the best Irish villages with history and culture, Dingle is renowned as a hub for both. It has a range of attractions and activities to suit all interests. 

You can wander around the town and explore the galleries, cafes, and shops that line the streets. 

A visit to the Dingle Distillery, where you can sample some of the local whiskey, is a great way to spend an afternoon.

For a more active day out, hit the water for a kayaking adventure in the bay!

Dingle is a key stop on some of our carefully planned itineraries, including the Ultimate Ireland 10-Day Tour Package and Magical Southern 5-Day Ireland Tour.

This small group tour along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way has everything we could possibly fit into a 5 day Ireland itinerary.

Our Ireland Tours Bring Dream Holidays to Life!

Picturesque small villages in Ireland are a great addition to your Emerald Isle adventure.

And the good news is, there are even more fun and fascinating places to visit!

Check out our range of tours in Ireland to discover more about what’s waiting for you here.

For more information about our Ireland tours, please get in touch with any questions you may have.

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