South West Ireland encompasses the region called Munster, and there are many towns worth a visit here.While recently visiting Ireland, I ventured to the South West of the country for the first time.

The stunning natural beauty and fascinating history of this region ensured that I had a wonderful trip! Lakes, mountains and cliffs facing the ocean, it is all there in this part of Ireland.

A bit about the past of South West Ireland

The region’s past has been dotted with tales of outlaws and rebels trying to seize control. Forts and other installations depicting the battle for control bear witness to this fact. South West Ireland’s strategic location also provided a back door into the interiors of the country. There are also lots of churches built in lovely locations, beginning right from the time of Gaelic rule in the country during the Middle Ages.

Must see places in South West Ireland

When visiting South West Ireland, you must definitely see the attractions that I managed to pack in. Kilkenny, a city in the region, has an impressive medieval city centre which should not be missed. Here you can see the splendid St. Canice’s Cathedral, built during the 8th century.

Kilkenny Castle, with its dark grey exteriors, also attracts thousands of visitors. After Kilkenny, visit the famous Rock of Cashel. This is located in a town called Cashel, and is supposed to be the site where St. Patrick converted the King of Munster to Christianity in the 5th century. The Rock has since then been an area of breathtaking medieval architecture in the form of castles, forts and churches. The Cathedral on the Rock is surreal, and its aisle-less interiors are extraordinary.

Once I visited these places, I headed for West Cork. West Cork was just wonderful, with its jagged peninsular cliffs jutting out into the Atlantic. In West Cork, I cycled up to Sheep’s Head and Mizen Head. The view from these cliffs was simply fabulous.

To soak up more nature, I cycled around the Ring of Kerry. This spectacular route has views of the coastline from Kenmare to Killorglin, two small towns in South West Ireland. You can even rent a car and enjoy this view, while cruising on the road. Wrap up your visit to the South-West by going to the town of Killarney. Killarney has the distinction of being Ireland’s tidiest town. More than that, it is also home to lovely abbeys and castles.

With so much to do in the South West, give yourself plenty of time to explore this dynamic region!

Rory, London