Two incredible Irish destinations have been included on National Geographic’s ‘Cool List’ – a list of the most exciting destinations to visit.
National Geographic Traveller has revealed its ‘Cool List’ for 2024. The list that highlights the world’s 30 most exciting destinations to visit includes two Irish destinations.
The travel publication points to a mixture of tradition and exciting recent additions in these iconic Irish destinations as reasons to visit in 2024.
Belfast – “like a flower that’s managed to grow in difficult soil”
One of the Irish destinations included on National Geographic’s ‘Cool List’ was Belfast. The capital of the north is well known for its turbulent history, which led National Geographic to compare the city to “a flower that’s managed to grow in difficult soil”.
Belfast is also synonymous with the Titanic and the hit HBO TV series Game of Thrones, both of which were instrumental, according to National Geographic, for an “unprecedented rise in the number of visitors” in the 2010s.
Furthermore, the city enjoys renown for its hospitality industry, including hundreds of excellent bars and restaurants and a music scene that has earned it UNESCO City of Music status.
All of this should have led to a 2017 bid to become a European Capital of Culture, but Brexit threw a spanner in the works. However, National Geographic revealed that the work put in for the bid will result in “a year of cultural celebration” in 2024.
The Wild Atlantic Way – home to “some of Ireland’s most memorable experiences”
National Geographic also included the Wild Atlantic Way on its ‘Cool List’. This iconic drive along Ireland’s west coast stretches from Donegal to Cork, taking in the likes of the Slieve League Cliffs, the Cliffs of Moher, and Loop Head along the way.
National Geographic highlights Fanad Head Lighthouse, Galway’s oysters, the Burren’s “lunar-like landscape”, and the beautiful Cork town of Kinsale as “some of Ireland’s most memorable experiences”.
The travel publication also points to recent additions of interest to stops along the Wild Atlantic Way for its inclusion on the ‘Cool List’, including the National Surf Centre in Sligo’s Strandhill and a cable car between the Beara Peninsula and Dursey Island.
National Geographic’s ‘Cool List’ – highlighting the most exciting destinations to visit
National Geographic’s ‘Cool List’ highlights 30 of the most exciting destinations to visit in 2024 and includes locations in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australasia.
The ‘Cool List’ also mentioned the Albanian Alps, Italy’s Emilia-Romagna and Pompeii, Norway’s Nordland, Finland’s Saimaa, Estonia’s Tartu, and Valletta, Malta. Other experiences referenced were the Euros in Germany and travelling around Europe by train.
Across the Americas, National Geographic highlighted natural features such as Chile’s Atacama Desert and Argentina’s Iberá Wetlands. There was also room for cities like Lima, Peru and Miami, USA.
The ‘Cool List’ also includes US states New York and Texas, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and the Caribbean island of Dominica.
African destinations on the ‘Cool List’ included Sierra Leone, Akagera in Rwanda, and Madagascar’s Andrefana Dry Forests.
Meanwhile, across Asia and Australasia, National Geographic highlighted India’s Sikkim, Taiwan’s Tainan, the Chinese city of Xi’an, and Victoria, Australia.