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Give the gift of travel this year with Discover Ireland

Sort your Christmas presents early this year with vouchers to great restaurants and hotels in Ireland.

Image: Shutterstock/Lukassek

AS CHRISTMAS DRAWS nearer, we’re getting closer to experiencing the small moments of joy that comes from gifting a present to a friend or loved one.

Gifting a present and seeing the recipient’s eyes light up with excitement, anticipation, and delight as your thoughtfulness shines through, helps remind us of the power we have to bring enjoyment to the lives of those around us. This year, why not give them something a little different?

The gift of travel, of new experiences, and the promise of lasting memories, will be cherished by your loved ones this Christmas. In addition to being a brilliant gift idea, a voucher for a hotel or restaurant is also a great way to support Irish businesses this Christmas.

Looking for some inspiration on where to purchase a voucher for? We’ve compiled some of the finest destinations across Ireland to visit and a number of restaurants and hotels in the area that are a must-visit. 

Mayo

Starting in the west in Mayo, the county’s rugged coastline is a must-see along the Wild Atlantic Way, and there’s plenty more adventures in store across the county. From crossing over to Achill Island with its Blue Flag beach at Keem Bay, to hiking Croagh Patrick or cycling along the greenway, lovers of the outdoors will enjoy their visits here. 

The charming town of Westport boasts a number of pleasant pubs and inviting restaurants, such as Frankie Mallon’s multi-award-winning restaurant An Port Mór. Make the town your base by staying in the family-run Knockranny House Hotel & Spa, which is recognised as one of Ireland’s finest luxury four-star deluxe hotel and destination spa establishments.

westportbridgeincountymayoireland Westport, Co. Mayo. Source: Shutterstock

If you think your loved one would enjoy a more intimate stay, Belleek Castle Hotel is an iconic Irish country house hotel, unique and magical, situated in woodland on the banks of the River Moy in Ballina, County Mayo. The 19th-century castle is home to the Michelin-listed Library Restaurant, giving you an excellent dining and staying option.

For an alternative choice, the four-star Ice House Hotel is perched on the edge of the River Moy in County Mayo. A boutique hotel, it has quirky details, fresh and local food, and a riverside thermal garden. The award-winning Chill Spa is the perfect place to unwind after a day outdoors.

Doolin

Gift someone a trip to County Clare to explore Doolin, a lively village on the Atlantic Coast. Drop by Doolin Cave and see the 7.3 metre high (23 feet) Great Stalactite, the longest free-hanging stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere. Book a surf lesson, try some rock climbing, and make time for a ten-minute drive to the majestic Cliffs of Moher. In the evening, stop by the cosy pubs and enjoy a rousing traditional music session, you’ll never want to leave this magical place.

mohercliffsandatlanticoceaninireland The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare. Source: Shutterstock/Peter Gregorovic

For food, a voucher for Oar Restaurant, a Michelin Guide restaurant that uses local ingredients in its meals, and booking is advised. Helpfully, it doubles up as a hotel as well, with a number of rooms on offer. Elsewhere, Hotel Doolin in the heart of Doolin is Ireland’s first carbon-neutral hotel and a great place to have as your base when visiting the town.

Athlone

In Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, visitors to Athlone can take a walk along the River Shannon through the heart of the town with Athlone Castle in the background. Dine at amazing restaurants and discover more about the history of the area that’s been in use since the Bronze Age.

On the edge of Athlone lies Lough Ree, a hub for fishermen, swimmers, and anyone who enjoys scenic views, while the monastic site of Clonmacnoise lies just a few minutes away.

Hodson Bay Hodson Bay, Roscommon.

For food, treat your friend or family member to a meal at the much-celebrated Thyme Restaurant in the middle of the town. For a luxurious overnight stay, make a voucher for the peaceful Hodson Bay Hotel the priority.

Donegal

With a voucher to a restaurant or hotel in Donegal, you can give the recipient the chance to discover spectacular views at every turn of the road and hit refresh with a visit to one of the most scenic parts of Ireland.

The vast Derryveagh Mountains rule the raw landscape, explore its walking trails and visit the shores of Lough Eske. Find some of Ireland’s best beaches here and make time for the white sand of Portsalon Beach.

If you are shopping for someone into the finer things in life, especially when it comes to food, a voucher for the Red Door Country House in Fahan is a great option, with the fine dining establishment sure to thrill any visitor.

aerialviewofthelakeeskeandharveyspointin Harvey's Point, Co. Donegal. Source: Shutterstock/Lukassek

As an option to stay, four-star luxury hotel Harvey’s Point, with wonderful views of the nearby mountains and lake, is a fantastic hotel for someone looking to pamper themselves in beautiful surroundings. 

Dublin

An excuse to visit bustling Dublin is never needed, with so many activities, sights, and events in the capital city. A visit to the Guinness Storehouse is a must, as is a venture outside of the high street areas with a trip to the seaside at the likes of Howth or Dun Laoghaire. 

With so many restaurants in Dublin, it’s hard to go wrong when looking to spoil someone. Restaurants based around other cuisines such as Pickle or Sprezzatura are a great option for something different, as is Mister S, where the food is cooked over charcoal and wood to create a unique menu.

D5D170AD-C136-4D05-AB6A-8E4557E5E909 Mister S restaurant, Co. Dublin. Source: Mister S

For hotels, a range of options is available in Dublin, located both in the city centre and the surrounding area, giving you plenty of choices when picking somewhere for your gift recipient. 

Clonakilty

Clonakilty is a must-see town in Cork that’s full of charm, colourful shop fronts with masterful, handpainted signs, and warm welcomes. Visit the historic buildings and try the local specialities in the town.

Stop by one of the great cafés before heading off to explore the nearby coast and beaches. As the sun sets on the West Cork coastline you’ll wonder why you didn’t come here sooner.

For those in your life interested in live music, gift them a voucher to De Barra’s, a pub in the town famous for its intimate gigs, with Christy Moore describing it as one of his favourite places to play in the world.

ezgif-3-023b2b2935 Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, Co. Cork.

With a number of hotels located in the town itself, there are plenty of options to choose from when looking at vouchers. Outside the town is the Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, where visitors are guaranteed to leave relaxed and refreshed after a stay.

This Christmas, help your loved ones discover more of Ireland with a thoughtful and tailored gift voucher. Be the catalyst for their visit to the restaurant they’ve been dying to try, city break, or relaxing spa trip with a voucher that also helps Irish businesses. No matter where you are in the country or who you’re buying for, with so much to choose from, there’s something for everyone.

Find more information to plan the next adventure for someone in your life at discoverireland.ie/christmas-gift-ideas.

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