Castles, Caves & The Copper Coaston the Emerald Isle | Natural Retreats

Castles, Caves & The Copper Coast
on the Emerald Isle

Steeped with fascinating stories and intrigue, Ireland’s Ancient East Coast is framed by lush, green lands, that run the whole breadth of the spectacular Celtic coast. Whether conquering castles, stumbling upon hidden beaches, reliving Viking adventures or in search of unforgettable moments, you’ll find it all here. So take a leap, and wander through 5,000 years of history on an Irish escape...

Designated a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2004, the breathtaking Copper Coast is a stretch of the southern coast of Ireland in Co. Waterford. This geologically diverse area contains records of Palaeozoic volcanism and the last ice age, allowing visitors to step back in time and place themselves right at the heart of this fascinating history.

To explore this stretch of stunning coastline, we thoroughly recommend embarking on one of the audio walking trails, where a wonderful podcast will guide you through the rich heritage and culture of the region. Expect heart-racing cliffs, hidden beaches and the perfect spot to surf or kayak in this epic outdoor museum.

On stepping into the 600 year old Blarney Castle, there are a myriad of adventures to be had amongst these beautiful grounds. From navigating your way through Rock Close along the magical board-walk where fairies and witches lurk, to exploring the poison garden, badger's cave and the dungeons, there is a story to be found for every age.

However, the main attraction at this fantastic family day out, has to be scaling the battlements and kissing the infamous Blarney Stone. Lying on your back and taking a leap of faith whilst you recline your head, this ancient stone is said to give the gift of eloquence for those who place their lips upon it. Rumour has it that the stone has roots with prophets, was once named the 'Stone of Destiny' or was a reminder of the long forgotten crusades. Either way, the views are incredible and your visit, unforgettable!

For a subterranean journey that is hailed as "one of Europe's major show caves", Mitchelstown Cave (on the Cork border) is a world where visitors almost feel like an intruder, stumbling on a forgotten age where nature reigns supreme.

The knowledgeable guides will lead you on a tour of three massive caverns in which you are surrounded by stunning formations, stalactites and stalagmites. Creeping amongst elegant natural curtains, crystals and huge columns, the magic and mystery of this dark and beautiful world becomes apparent very quickly. Perfect for those who like an adventure off the beaten track, this descent beneath the Irish hills is one to remember.

Gorgeous greenery as far as the eye can see, an award-winning golf course, an on-site luxury spa and indoor heated swimming pool and within driving distance of all of the natural adventures found above. Natural Retreats Castlemartyr goes hand-in-hand with both relaxation and adventure, with a wealth of activities just moments from your doorstep. To help you make the most of your visit, our Xplore Experts have outlined a sample 3-day itinerary for you to enjoy...

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