Research shows Ireland among world's best for unspoilt landscapes

Research shows Ireland among world's best for unspoilt landscapes

HOLIDAY-MAKERS consider Ireland as being among the world's top countries for unspoilt landscapes, according to new research.

Walking holiday experts Inghams analysed 104,000 Instagram posts to discover the places around the globe most often described as 'unspoilt'.

After the research was collated, Ireland came third in the rankings with an Unspoilt Post Rate of 8.50.

Iceland topped the rankings with a score of 13.15, with Australia second on 10.90.

Glenveagh National Park in Co. Donegal (Image: Chris Hill / Tourism Ireland)

According to the research, Donegal has the highest percentage of 'unspoilt' posts on the Emerald Isle.

“In this north-western part of Ireland, explorers will find wild sandy shorelines, expansive mud flats excellent for bird-watching, rich emerald green hills and atmospheric lakes; golden eagles can be spotted in these parts as well as puffins, petrels and guillemots," read an Inghams guide.

According to Inghams, some of the Donegal locations most often cited by social media users include the island of Arranmore, Glenveagh National Park, Killahoey Beach, Slieve League mountain and the Horn Head peninsula.

"The next most frequently seen #unspoilt location in Ireland is Ulster," added the guide.

"Whether its unblemished views of the Atlantic Ocean, the epic Sperrin Mountains and Strangford Lough, a (nearly) inland sea, Ulster is brimming with examples of untouched and beautiful wild landscapes."

The Sperrin Mountains (Image: Richard Watson / Tourism Ireland)

Cyprus (5.42) and Costa Rica (4.19) completed the top 5, while Tanzania, New Zealand, Peru, Greece and Georgia occupied the next five spots.

You can check out the full top 20 by clicking here.

"Anyone who loves spending time in nature knows how disappointing it can be when your favourite natural spots get tarnished by tourists or other human interference," said Anne Williams of Inghams.

"One of the best things about a walking holiday is being able to explore the world's most beautiful unspoilt landscapes — from quiet rolling green hills, to sparkling blue lakes."

Rolling hills around Strangford Lough (Image: Bernie Brown / Tourism Ireland)

She added: "If we can all treat the outdoors as if it were our own homes, we'll be able to leave behind some beautiful, untouched landscapes for future generations to enjoy too."

Inghams analysed 54,000 Instagram posts that included the hashtags #unspoilt, #unspoiled and #offthebeatenpath, which were then compared to a control set of 50,000 Instagram posts to reveal an #Unspoilt Post Rate.

The places with the highest #Unspoilt Post Rate are the places that are posted about as being #unspoilt more than they are posted about in any other context.