The glorious Glen of Aherlow has beaten off great competition from over 1,400 entries from all over Ireland to make the final five in The Irish Times Best Place to Holiday in Ireland competition. The other finalists still in the running to be named Ireland’s favourite holiday spot are Derry city; Inishbofin, Co Galway; Loop Head peninsula, Co Clare; and Killarney, Co Kerry. The winning place will be announced in The Irish Times on Monday, May 27.
The entry for Glen of Aherlow was submitted by Frank Kelly who said of the area: “The Glen of Aherlow is a gem of a holiday destination, thankfully largely undiscovered, which will make a wonderful holiday experience for you, your family and friends. Whether you need a solo break, a get-away with a friend or partner, your family or a group of friends, The Glen of Aherlow is the ideal value-for-money choice for your holiday. A great holiday experience is really about that mix of good company, pleasant accommodation options from camping, farm guesthouses, quality hotels and an amazing 16th century castle, plenty of activities in a pleasant green environment, local guides and quality food experience, all provided at great value.”
Speaking about the shortlist, Conor Goodman, features editor of The Irish Times and chairperson of the judging panel, said: “It’s no easy task to pick the top five best places to holiday in Ireland. There is such an array of beautiful destinations across our 32 counties. We have tried to highlight hidden gems, to offer the Irish public new information about places that might not be familiar to them, yet present great holiday opportunities. If you thought Killarney was just for foreign tourists, think again. If you don’t usually holiday north of the border, check out Derry in its City of Culture year. If you hear ‘island’ but always think of the most visited ones, consider Inishbofin instead. Ireland’s midlands have great holiday potential. Have you been to the Glen of Aherlow? Go. And if you want a seaside holiday with a difference, with everything from dolphin-watching to eco-camping in an unspoilt natural environment, get yourself to the Loop Head peninsula west Clare. Go and experience these five great escapes for yourself.”
The competition is being judged by a panel of four national experts from different walks of life comprising Eamon Ryan, leader of the Green Party, tourism entrepreneur and former minister; Margaret Jeffares, founder of the Good Food Ireland initiative and tourism entrepreneur; Rosita Boland, Irish Times journalist and author of A Secret Map of Ireland and Steve McPhilemy, Derry-based hostel owner and tour guide with Paddywagon Tours.
The winning holiday destination will be named The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland on May 27 in The Irish Times. The winning destination will then be featured in full in the newspaper on Saturday June 1, with photos and interviews with the people and businesses that make the place an ideal destination to visit. In addition, The Irish Times will host a celebration party in the winning holiday spot.
The Irish Times ‘Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’ competition is supported by DiscoverIreland.ie
To view video clips of all the shortlisted places, visit www.irishtimes.com/bestplace.