With an estimated 12,000 lakes (or loughs) in Ireland, the Emerald Isle is the perfect place for a relaxing waterside break.
With so many stunning locations to choose from, you can’t really go wrong when looking for a wonderful waterside break, but you might need a little help finding the perfect one for you.
So here are five of the best lakes and lakeside locations in Ireland. Enjoy!
Lough Tay, County Wicklow
Known as ‘the Guinness Lake’, because it is owned by the family of the same name, Tay is a gorgeous stretch of water surrounded by the Wicklow Mountains. Fans of the History Channel’s series Vikings may recognise the location as the Nordic home of hero Ragnar; everyone else can just admire the view.
Located on private property, the best place to get a view is from the road above. It even looks a little like a pint of the black stuff from up there!
Lough Key, County Roscommon
Located in Ireland’s ‘Hidden Heartlands’, Lough Key provides a wonderful watery escape. More than just a big and beautiful body of water, you will find dozens of islands dotted throughout, with ancient castles and follies rising up over the water.
Families will adore the Lough Key Forest and Activity Park. Here you can wander through woodland, take forest trails and enjoy adventures up in the treetops before enjoying refreshments in the onsite café.
Lough Derg, Counties Clare, Tipperary and Galway
With sparkling blue waters and plenty of hidden gems dotted around its banks, Lough Derg is a real holiday delight. Spanning three of Ireland’s counties, it’s one its largest loughs as well as one of its most beautiful.
Lough Derg is one of Ireland’s best watersport centres. Enjoy canoeing and kayaking, paddle boarding or a relaxing boat ride over the waters. Back on shore you will find lots of brilliant woodland walks and gastropubs.
Lough Corrib, County Galway
Enjoy the best of both worlds along Lough Corrib. At one end of Ireland’s largest lake you have Galway City – connected by the River Corrib. There you will have a whale of a time exploring Ireland’s amazing heritage along with contemporary attractions and activities.
At the other end of Lough Corrib you have the village of Maam. So quintessentially beautiful is this quiet corner of Ireland that it was chosen as a filming location for the John Wayne classic A Quiet Man. Visit the nearby cottage from the film, or take a relaxing wander amongst the green fields and gentle streams – you’ve never had an escape like it.
Lough Leane, Killarney
The largest of Killarney’s three lakes, Lough Leane translates as the ‘Lake of Learning’. Take a boat trip over the waters and soak up the stunning surrounds of Killarney National Park, and the first lesson learnt is simple: you’re in holiday heaven.
Here you will find Ireland’s highest mountain range, amazing waterfalls and woodland. It’s a beautiful natural playground, tailor-made for relaxation.
Find a lakeside retreat in Killarney.