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If you’re in search of the elusive sun in Ireland, your best bet is to head to the “sunny southeast,” and one of the best places to stay when you get there is Dungarvan. The harbour town is a great base for exploring seaside resorts along this picturesque corner of Ireland - with or without sunshine.
Ring is an official Gaeltacht area around Dungarvan, with much of the signage in Irish. Even if you don’t speak Irish, you will appreciate the magnificent views over Dungarvan Bay and the Comeragh Mountains, as well as the great fishing and cliff top walking trails. The best views are at the Helvick Head (Ceann Helbhic).
Nestled among rosy sandstone cliffs and tranquil coves, Dunmore East is a delight. Less than an hour’s drive from Dungarvan, it offers superb views of Hook Head lighthouse and a picturesque main street of thatched cottages. The best beaches are the south-facing Counsellor’s Beach and Ladies Cove in the village.
This unassuming seaside village is where St. Declan introduced Christianity to Ireland, long before St. Patrick arrived. A popular resort, it’s a great place to clear the head on a cliff walk. It’s also home to a perfectly preserved 12th-century round tower.
With its kitschy seafront, glorious 5km beach, and 30m sand dunes, Tramore is the most popular of County Waterford’s seaside resorts. Beloved by surfers, it is being marketed as an ecotourism resort by local activities companies eager to alleviate the impact of beach-loving crowds.
The Copper Coast European Geopark stretches from Fenor in east Waterford to Stradbally in the west and Dunhill in the north. This region is defined by 19th-century copper mines and 25 km of dramatic coastline. A European and UNESCO Global Geopark, it contains evidence of Palaeozoic volcanoes and the last ice age.
A celebration of local food producers, restaurants, and retailers, West Waterford Festival of Food turns Dungarvan into a foodie paradise. The weekend is a magnet for Michelin star chefs such as Ross Lewis of Chapter One , Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain, and Dutch chef Martijn Kajuiter of the Cliff House in Ardmore.
A five-day festival in September, Storytelling Southeast focuses on contemporary storytelling, with an emphasis on the narrative. With 70 events to choose from, people of all ages will enjoy this rich, cultural feast.
Housed in the old Town Hall on St. Augustine Street, the Waterford County Museum is a recently refurbished shrine to the history and heritage of County Waterford. Exhibits include military memorabilia, old cameras and a coin collection, with displays on themes including the Famine, sport, The Big House, and the world wars.
Dungarvan’s 12th-century castle is home to a two-storey military barracks from the early 1700s, which has been recently restored. It features a fascinating exhibition on the castle’s history and offers an insightful glimpse of barracks life.
For a leisurely excursion, take a picnic to the base of Mahon Falls and admire the scenery. If you’re feeling more energetic, cross the river above the falls and walk uphill over a wide plateau, where you will be treated to some exceptional views of Knockaunapeebra, the Waterford coastline, and Dungarvan bay.
1.3km from Dungarvan
For the finest accommodation in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, stay at a superbly designed, comfortable, and stylish self catering lodge perfect for all the family. The 4-bedroom lodges provide superior self catering on the grounds of a hotel and leisure centre and are 2 minutes' walk from the 1st tee on the adjoining golf course.
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2.8km from Dungarvan
This cluster of beautiful semi-detached cottages is located on the edge of Dungarvan Bay, 5.5 km from Dungarvan Town in County Waterford. Set within the grounds of a hotel and leisure centre, the cottages have easy access to the playground, leisure centre, pub, and restaurant. Each of the 16 properties faces a central area equipped with playground equipment and plenty of grass for kicking a ball around, making this the perfect location for families with small children.
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