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Reviewed on 16 May 2022
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The Emerald Isle, as Ireland is known, is a true gem of a destination. This small country packs a big punch with its breathtaking and varied landscapes that are soaked in myth and redolent with history. There are hidden beaches to discover that are widely reputed to be amongst the best in Europe and you can be sure to find a warm welcome and vibrant cultural activities wherever you go. Whether you are looking for romantic days amidst stunning scenery, strenuous walks, thrilling bike rides or just to enjoy the craic in a lively Dublin bar, Ireland will be only too happily to oblige.
Dublin - The lively capital of Ireland, Dublin, boasts splendid Georgian architecture, wonderful shopping opportunities, a very trendy nightlife scene centred on the Temple Bar district and plenty of historical delights such as the Book of Kells. It has not only been home to poets, philosophers, writers and artists but it offers more than its fair share of plays, festivals and events drawing from contemporary cultural figures too. With so much to do it’s no wonder Dublin sits proudly in the top five of the most visited European capitals.
Galway - In the west of Ireland, the least populous region of the country, you will be pleasantly surprised by the lively ‘cultural capital’ of Galway. Located between gorgeous mountains on one side and the idyllic farming valleys on the other, and with the remote Aran Islands beckoning the adventurous traveller just in the distance, Galway sits on a delightful bay and is divided by the tranquil river Corrib. It is justifiably famous for its festivals - during the summer there is not a day that does not offer events based around music, food, Irish language or culture. Get bohemian before you head out into the wild, lush green yonder.
Southwest Ireland (County Cork and County Kerry) - Scenic beauty reigns supreme in the southwest which is home to stunning coastline, secluded beaches and the incredibly popular tour of the Ring of Kerry. If it all seems too remote drop by Cork, the second largest city in the Republic, for good food, pubs and shopping.
Shannon Region (County Clare, County Limerick and County Tipperary) - History and nature take the front stage here as romantic castles unveil their history and the dramatic Cliffs of Moher offer awe-inspiring views and plenty of opportunities for outdoor pursuits accompanied by dramatic backdrops.
Ireland offers many stunning and diverse landscapes to explore: take in the brooding isolation of Connemara, the dramatically wild areas of County Donegal, the lakelands of County Roscommon, the rolling hills of the southeast or the majesty of the Cliffs of Moher. Historic sights are just as common and span everything from the illustrated manuscripts of Dublin’s Book of Kells to the prehistoric monuments at Brú na Bóinne or Slea Head in Kerry.
Sports fans can enjoy some fine golf courses amidst a beautiful natural backdrop or take in Gaelic games and passionate matches of rugby. There is plenty of nightlife, cultural festivals and events to be found in the cities or you can experience a traditional music 'session' in an Irish pub in the less populated west. Hiking, biking, mountain climbing and watersports provide exciting ways to get around whilst those who want the views without the sweat can take road or city tours.