The Best Stargazing Spots in Ireland

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What better way to spend the summer than by stargazing? Astro Tourism is the latest travel trend to dominate 2024 and, to help tourists find the perfect locations for a stargazing holiday, new data from travel booking site, Omio, has revealed the top locations in Europe – with the best of them all in Ireland. 

Assessing a number of factors of 1,400 worldwide locations, including Bortle Scale, light pollution rating and transparency rating, Omio ranked the best spots in Europe for stargazing and found Ireland to be the clear winner, with 7 out of the top 10 places in Europe all being located there! So, here are the top stargazing spots in Ireland.

1. Ballinskelligs Beach

Located in County Kerry, Ballinskelligs Beach is known for its dark skies, as it is part of the International Dark Sky Reserve in the Kerry region.

This beach offers some of the darkest skies in Europe. The lack of artificial light pollution makes it an ideal spot for observing the Milky Way, shooting stars, and various constellations.

2. White Cliffs of Ashleam

The White Cliffs of Ashleam, situated on Achill Island in County Mayo, provide a dramatic setting for stargazing. The cliffs offer a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean, and the remote location ensures minimal light interference. The cliffs’ white limestone composition reflects the starlight. On clear nights, the stars blend into the ocean!

3. Clare Island – Tormore

Clare Island, off the coast of County Mayo, offers an unobstructed 360-degree view of the night sky. The island’s isolation from mainland light pollution provides an ideal environment for stargazing.

Visitors can enjoy the sight of constellations, planets, and even meteor showers with great clarity.

4. Glosh Bay Beach

Glosh Bay Beach, also on Achill Island, is another prime location for stargazing. This secluded beach is particularly popular for viewing the Milky Way and the occasional aurora borealis. The beach’s remoteness ensures that stargazers can enjoy a quiet, undisturbed night under the sky!

5. Silver Strand

Silver Strand, located in County Mayo, is famed for its stunning views!

The natural amphitheater formed by the surrounding landscape makes the night sky appear even more clearly against the dark backdrop of the mountains. Silver Strand is a perfect spot for both amateur and experienced astronomers to enjoy stargazing.

6. Robert Lloyd Praeger Centre

The Robert Lloyd Praeger Centre, part of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark in County Clare is dedicated to the study and appreciation of the natural world, including astronomy. The surrounding area has some of the darkest skies in Ireland, providing excellent conditions for stargazing. The center often hosts astronomy events and workshops, making it a great place to learn more about the night sky while enjoying the views.

7. St Finian’s Bay

St. Finian’s Bay, located in County Kerry, is another gem in the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve. This bay offers gorgeous views of the night sky over the Atlantic Ocean, with minimal light pollution. The bay is also close to the famous Skellig Michael, making it the perfect place for a mix of history and astronomy!

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Julia Labedz
Julia Labedz
Julia has several years of experience as a writer and editor, working with independent clients as well as larger organizations. Prior to working for ITTN she was a marketing executive. She has both a BA and MFA in English with Creative Writing, with an extensive professional and creative portfolio. In her free time, Julia works on her novel.

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