Ireland is in love with love, so how can we possibly choose the best places to kiss? It’s purely experiential. When you go to Ireland you’ll have your own best places, and we’re guessing a few will intersect with ours.
On the Ferry to the Aran Islands
We like the 90-minute ferry ride from Doolin to Inis Mor, largest of the Aran Islands. There’s nothing fancy here—it’s a real ferry that gives you the true experience of riding the wild Atlantic. (You’re heading to an island that feels a few generations behind ours, and that is a relief.) Let your hair blow in the wind. Hold onto the rail and lift your face to the sky. Now turn your head and lift your face for a kiss. A kiss mixed with mist and expectation. The best.
Waterford Crystal Factory
This might seem like a puzzling choice. But it’s about an element of danger tossed into romance. Danger in this place? Oh, absolutely. The people who work here are lovely, and they’re happy for you to have a kiss in the aisles or anywhere else. But, lose your head and one kiss may send you toppling into a crystal bowl that’s worth a mint. So, yes, this is for adventurers who like to spice their romance with a hint of terror.
The Giant’s Causeway
This is for the kiss that’s a portal to another world. It’s for the kiss that transports you, the kiss that can only happen when you close your eyes. This spectacularly eerie site is comprised of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that march their way down to the ocean where they disappear. This part of Ireland belonged to the ancient Kings of Ulster. You can almost feel their breath on your cheeks. Open your eyes. Oh, good. It’s your sweetheart, right there, next to you.
Dick Mack’s Pub & Brewery, Dingle
To be in Dingle is a little like falling in love. It’s a giddy sensation that’s layered above a hope, whispering, Is this is for real? Dingle is quintessential Ireland, and Dick Mack’s is the place to be. Long tables, memorabilia, a fireside, Guinness and a trendy taphouse. And then local music starts up. Clap your hands, tap your feet, feel the rhythm, raise your voices together. That night enjoy pink-cheeked and flushed Irish kisses.
The Cliffs of Moher
If you thrill over car chases (in the movies, not your own) that roar around the curves, this spot was made for you. Words have not been invented that describe these cliffs—magnificent is just a pale shadow. For once in your life, be cautious, and don’t get too near the edge. Stand together and hold tight—the wind is hungry for foolhardy souls. Now, kiss gently, sweetly, and feel the power. Here, you’re standing in the center of the natural world.
The entire medieval town of Kilkenny is a miracle. You’ll hear stories of witches, past and present, as you make your way to the design center. (Stop. Go inside. The center is housed in Kilkenny Castle’s stable block, and it has a world-renowned reputation for having the best of Ireland’s handcrafts.) Onward to the 12th century castle. It was owned by the same family for hundreds of years and it has been lovingly restored. Wander outside to the original French classical gardens. Terraces open onto a woodland walk with gentle parklands. Go back in time. Believe this is your garden. Perhaps you’ve come here to steal a kiss from an inconvenient lover? It’s your imagination. Let it run wild.
Bunratty Castle Banquet
Bunratty is very close to Shannon airport, but it is 600 years away. Built in 1425, it’s the most complete medieval fortress in Ireland. For pure joy, you must go to the banquet held inside the castle walls. You’ll feast on a four-course meal, and your servers are the talent. Dressed in period costume, they’ll entertain you with music, song, dance, and shenanigans. This is a night to remember. Jump into the mood and be dashing. Kiss with abandon!