This year for St. Patrick’s Day, we’re celebrating some of the greenest places around the globe– including Ireland, of course, to get you in the celebratory mood.
There’s no end to the number of beautiful places to visit, but we’ve scoured the world to find the creme de la creme in the color green. These 10 spots get our vote for the lushest hues and the most spectacular vistas anywhere.
1. Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
The protected Tortuguero National Park is famous for sea turtle nesting areas along the coastline, but the surrounding jungles, with their extraordinary biodiversity is a must-visit for the earth loving travelers among us. Guides are inexpensive and plentiful – you’ll want to hire someone to show you the best nesting sites.
2. Tenorio Volacano National Park, Costa Rica
Yes, it’s another entry from Costa Rica. We couldn’t resist – Costa Rica is simply one of the most green places to visit on the planet. Tenorio is found in northern Costa Rica, part of the Arenal Tilaran Conservation Area. The Rio Celeste (Light Blue River) gets its name from the volcanic sulpher emissions and calcium carbonate.
3. Black Forest, Germany
If the words Black Forest make you think of a decadent dessert cake and not this verdant region in Germany, have we got a treat for you! Nestled in southwest Germany, the bucolic towns of the Black Forest are known to be inspiration for the settings of many Brothers’ Grimm fairytales. Germans love their physical activity, so once you finish up your kayaking, hiking, and/or cycling holiday, you can ease those aching muscles at one of the many spas this region is known for.
4. Mitre Peak, New Zealand
Mitre Peak juts straight up off the coast of New Zealand’s south island at Milford Sound. The mountain is about 6,000 feet tall and is notoriously difficult to climb. Mitre Peak is technically a fjord – if you’re down Milford Sound way, don’t miss this stunning vision hulking over the peaceable waters of the Sound.
5. Fjadrargljufur Canyon, Iceland
The magic of Fjadrargljufur Canyon is available to anyone willing to travel just off the beaten path a bit. In a country rife with spectacular sights, it’s somewhat strange that Fjadrargljufur doesn’t get much attention. But this is a bonus for intrepid travelers – you can hike to the bottom of the canyon and walk along it’s mossy bottom if you so desire. Or just take some selfies on the strangely beautiful canyon floor. It’s a not terribly strenuous walk found in southeast Iceland.
6. Bainbridge Island, Washington
Bainbridge Island is a youngish island (relatively speaking), formed during the last ice age only about 15,000 years ago. You can get to the lovely 5 miles wide/10 miles long spot by taking a short ferry (30 minutes) from Seattle into Puget Sound. Because the citizens on Bainbridge take green space seriously, development is at a standstill and there are miles and miles of forest to explore.
7. YenBai, Vietnam
YenBai is largely an agricultural province in the People’s Republic of Vietnam inhabited by Hmong rice and corn farmers. The harvest season in mid-September is a popular and vibrant time to visit and experience a unique culture.
8. Isle of Skye, Scotland
We’re gonna let you in on a secret. Though Ireland is known as the “Green Isle” there are parts of Scotland that put this moniker to shame. To whit – the Isle of Skye. The Isle is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago. Potree is a great base for exploring the island’s many treasures. Whether you like village life, hiking, or bird and whale watching. Don’t take our word for it – just go there. You will not be disappointed.
9. Galtymore, Ireland
With so many “green” places to visit in Ireland, we decided to go for a deep cut and throw in one spot not as widely visited. Galtymore is part of the Galtee Mountain range and sits midway between Limerick and Tipperary. Galtymore is not a difficult mountain to climb and the summit is large and flat, so you can even hang out up there and picnic or nap for a while if you like. Start at the “Black Road” outside of the village of Skeheenarinky (R639 Road) if you’re planning a climb.
10. Kanjanaburi Thailand
Previous generations may remember Thailand’s most famous WWII destination as the location of “The Bridge Over the River Kwai,” the fictionalized story of the Japanese army’s mission to use allied POW’s as slave labor and ASian conscripts to build a road to Myanmar. The backdrop is the stunning jungle landscape around Kanjanaburi. There are many historic monuments in the area, but you can spend your time in history mode or just soaking in the landscape. We recommend a little of each.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone. Be safe out there, don’t drink and drive and get to planning your next best adventure!
As always, happy travels!