The Top Five Best Irish Castles to Visit

When it comes to booking Irish luxury tours, you’ll be hard-pressed to run out of breathtaking locations to visit. With over 30,000 castles and ruins dotting the Irish landscape, the biggest problem you’ll encounter is deciding which ones you want to visit! To help make this a bit easier, here are five of the best Irish castles to visit while vacationing on the Emerald Isle.

The Top Five Best Irish Castles to Visit

    1. Birr Castle
      Any Irish luxury tours wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Birr Castle. Currently home to Brendan Parsons, the 7th Earl of Rosse, if you want a guided tour of the castles residential areas try and visit between May and August. This will enable you to view all the gorgeous tapestries, furniture, and other treatures located within the home, as well as a visit to the meticulously kept grounds where Ireland’s Historic Science Centre is located. This area contains the “Great Telescope” that reigned as the world’s largest between 1845 and 1917. The grounds are also home to Ireland’s oldest wrought iron bridge and what is estimated to be the world’s first and oldest darkroom. A tour through the gardens will also allow you to see a wide variety of rare trees, flora, and the world’s tallest box hedges. This castle is well renowned for holding records!
    1. Donegal Castle
      Another must-see on any Irish luxury tours is the ever imposing Donegal Castle. Situated near the River Eske, this castle was originally constructed back in 1474 by the O’Donnell family; one of the most powerful families of the time. Once said to the finest Gaelic castle, it was nearly destroyed during the Nine Years War. However, it was soon rebuilt by the English Captain Sir Basil Brooke in the style that can be seen and explored today.
    1. Ross Castle
      For those interested in both sightseeing and the supernatural, Ross castle provides. Home to many myths and legends, Ross castle is said to be home to numerous ghosts and is often thought of as one of Ireland’s most haunted sites. You can learn more about the castle — and the ghosts — on their official website. When visiting this castle, tours are also offered that take you on boat rides along the Lakes of Killarney and to the beautiful Innisfallen Island. Ross Castle has a little bit of everything to ensure no one in your tour group gets bored.
    1. Ashford Castle
      If you want the ultimate in Irish Luxury tours, Ashford can provide. Constructed in 1228, the castle has been expanded today to offer a five-star luxury hotel destination. Outside the pristine lawns offer fantastic views, while the gold interior is sure to take your breath away. For these reasons, it’s not surprising that Ashford Castle has played host to numerous celebrities and officials. President Reagan, King George V, John Wayne, and John Lennon have all stayed at Ashford, and if you want a true taste of luxury, you can too!
    1. Bunratty Castle
      Built on the site of a Norse trading camp that dates back to 970 AD, this castle was originally open to the public in 1960, and today you can still tour the sight and take in the tapestries, art, and luxurious furniture, most of which dates from the 15th century. If you want a true medieval experience, this site also hosts traditional feats where you can partake in soups, roasted turkey legs, and tankards of delicious mulled mead. For a truly unforgettable experience, step back in time at Bunratty Castle.

And there you have it, five of the best castles to visit when booking Irish luxury tours. While these are in no way the only castles you can visit, they are the best for both first and returning visitors who might have missed them their first time around.