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Ireland is a popular travel destination known for its picturesque landscapes, friendly locals, and rich cultural heritage.
The country offers a wide range of activities and attractions for tourists, including exploring medieval castles, learning about its history and folklore, enjoying traditional Irish music and dance, and taking in the stunning natural scenery along the Wild Atlantic Way and other scenic routes.
Ireland is often called the Emerald Isle because of the powerful greenness of its countryside.
Ireland is a land of mountains, lakes, and rolling farmland, with an ancient history and world-famous literary tradition.
Ireland is a part of the British Isles geographically.
Politically, the island is divided into Northern Ireland, a constituent part of the United Kingdom; and the independent state of Ireland (Eire, in Irish).
The Republic of Ireland
Ruled by England for more than 400 years, the republic gained independence in 1922, after a long and violent struggle.
The term 'Republic of Ireland' is a description of the State of Ireland, as outlined in the Republic of Ireland Act 1948; often used to distinguish the state from the island of Ireland as a whole.
The Irish state comprises 26 of the 32 counties on the island of Ireland; including part of the province of Ulster.
Northern Ireland is the remaining six counties of Ulster, in the north-eastern part of the island.
From the cities to the countryside to the coast, Northern Ireland offers stunning four and five star accommodation - each redefining luxury in its own way with outdoor activities, shopping, adventure and history around every corner; ideal for a luxury weekend break.
With a rich history, stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and an unique culture, the Republic of Ireland attracts millions of visitors each year.
The capital and largest city of Ireland is Dublin, situated on the eastern coast.
Dublin is a bustling cosmopolitan city with a vibrant nightlife, historic landmarks like Dublin Castle and Trinity College, and cultural attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse and Temple Bar.
Other notable cities in Ireland include Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Belfast (in Northern Ireland).
Irish culture is known for its warmth, friendliness, and love for music, literature, and storytelling.
Traditional Irish music, often featuring instruments like the fiddle, flute, and bodhrán, is popular both domestically and internationally.
Irish literature has produced renowned writers like James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, and Samuel Beckett.
The Irish language, Gaelic, is also an important part of Irish culture, although English is the dominant language spoken in Ireland.
Ireland has a mixed economy that has undergone significant growth and transformation in recent decades.
Ireland is known for its strong technology sector and is home to many multinational companies, particularly in the fields of technology, pharmaceuticals, and finance.
Agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing are also important sectors.
Ireland is known for its picturesque landscapes, including rolling green hills, rugged coastlines, and beautiful lakes.
The country is often referred to as the 'Emerald Isle' due to its lush vegetation.
Some notable geographical features include the Cliffs of Moher, the Giant's Causeway, the Ring of Kerry, and the Wicklow Mountains.
Ireland has a rich and complex history.
It was inhabited by Celtic tribes before being invaded by the Vikings in the 8th century.
Later, it was colonised by the Normans and experienced English rule for several centuries.
The country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1922, except for Northern Ireland, which remained part of the UK.
The struggle for independence and the Irish Civil War have had a profound impact on Irish history and culture.
The majority of people in Ireland identify as Roman Catholic, with Catholicism playing a significant role in the country's history and culture.
However, Ireland has become increasingly diverse in recent decades, with a growing population of people with different religious beliefs or no religious affiliation at all.
Ireland is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its natural beauty, historic sites, and cultural heritage.
Tourists often explore attractions like the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, the Blarney Castle, the Giant's Causeway, and the vibrant cities of Dublin and Galway.
The warm hospitality of the Irish people and the traditional music and pub culture also contribute to its appeal.
Ireland's unique blend of stunning landscapes, rich history, vibrant cities, and warm culture make it a captivating destination for travellers from around the world.
Ireland's scenic attractions include the romantic Lakes of Killarney; the lush Wicklow Mountains; and the Cliffs of Moher, that rise from the sea in a five-mile wall.
As the National Tourism Development Authority, Fáilte Ireland supports the long-term sustainable growth in the economic, social, cultural and environmental contribution of tourism to Ireland.
When you holiday in Ireland, it's good to know that the stunning views and gorgeous coastlines are not the only things you can enjoy for free.
Ireland is a city break, adventure holiday and detoxing retreat all wrapped up in an epic road trip. Just mix and match for your perfect holiday.
Discover amazing museums, spectacular landscapes and insightful visitor centres.
There's no end to the exciting things to do in Dublin and fantastic places to go in Ireland.
Ireland is relatively small but there is a vast choice of interesting places to visit, so make sure to plan your trip to take in as much of the country and culture as possible.
Enjoy Ireland at it's best by staying in a traditional farmhouse and driving around the countryside.
Ireland has many Farmstay homes around the country, where you can experience life on a working farm first-hand.
Visiting Ireland is a fantastic choice.
Whether you're interested in exploring vibrant cities, immersing yourself in breathtaking landscapes, or delving into the country's rich history and culture, Ireland has something for everyone.
Remember to try traditional Irish dishes like Irish stew, soda bread, and seafood chowder, and to immerse yourself in the warm hospitality and lively pub culture that Ireland is famous for.
Explore Ireland's Ancient East, a region filled with historical sites, ancient ruins, and cultural treasures.
Visit the ancient monastic site of Glendalough, the medieval city of Kilkenny with its castle and cathedrals, and the prehistoric monument of Newgrange; older than the Egyptian pyramids.
Head west to County Clare and experience the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher.
These towering cliffs offer panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding coastline.
Take a walk along the cliff-top trails and visit the visitor centre to learn about the geology and wildlife of the area.
Most people start their visit to Ireland in Dublin, the country's capital city.
Explore historic sites like Dublin Castle, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Trinity College, where you can see the Book of Kells.
Take a stroll along the lively streets of Temple Bar, known for its pubs and live music.
Don't forget to visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn about Ireland's most famous beer.
Explore the lively city of Galway on the west coast.
Known for its vibrant arts scene, Galway hosts numerous festivals throughout the year.
Stroll through the charming streets of the Latin Quarter, visit Galway Cathedral, and enjoy traditional music in one of the city's many pubs.
Don't miss a trip to the nearby Aran Islands for a taste of traditional Irish island life.
If you have the opportunity, venture up to Northern Ireland and visit the Giant's Causeway.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a geological wonder, with over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that form a unique landscape.
Take a walk along the scenic coastal paths and learn about the legendary tales associated with this natural wonder.
Embark on a scenic drive along the Ring of Kerry, a 179-kilometre (111-mile) circular route in County Kerry.
Enjoy stunning views of mountains, lakes, and coastal cliffs.
Visit charming towns like Killarney, Waterville, and Kenmare along the way.
Keep an eye out for ancient stone forts, castles, and breathtaking viewpoints.
Plan a trip to the native Irish speaking islands off the west coast, they are rugged and beautiful.
Head west to Galway Bay and explore the rugged beauty of the Aran Islands, where the limestone walls, golden beaches and jagged sea cliffs transport you to another world.
Killarney is a great place to use as a base yourself to explore the natural beauty of the area.
Visit Killarney in March or April as it is less crowded, doesn't rain as much and most plants are in full bloom.
Otherwise, come in October during the deer rutting season.
Cobbled streets filled with medieval charm, ancient caves, an abundance of local craft and plenty of craic – it’s easy to see why a visit to Kilkenny makes for a brilliant break.
Wild Atlantic Way
In Ireland, get to the west as quickly as possible. It's wetter, wilder and a whole lot more fun.
Galway, Clare, Kerry and Donegal are all worthwhile place to visit with plenty of country pubs, local atmosphere and exciting scenery.
Embark on a road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2,500-kilometre (1,553-mile) coastal route that stretches from Donegal to County Cork.
EExperience dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches, charming fishing villages, and picturesque landscapes along the spectacular coastline with white sands and glittering waves.
Head along the coast to uncover amazing Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Points, where the views are breathtaking and local stories are told.
Planning your journey along the coast and discovering hidden gems is all part of the fun of a drive along the Wild Atlantic Way.
15 Signature Discovery Points lead visitors to the very best parts of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Travel to Ireland
Shannon International Airport is 22 km from Limerick.
US immigration pre-clearance is available to passengers travelling to the USA from Ireland at Dublin or Shannon airports.
Airlines and Airports:
Flights to Dublin from England are cheap, especially if you use the charters from Manchester or Luton.
Spanish registered company, IAG (International Airlines Group) is the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.
Hop on board modern coaches for safe, reliable, convenient journeys around Ireland at good value prices.
If you're travelling to Dublin from England by boat, the ferry terminal is at Dun Laoghaire; 10 km to the south of the capital. Trains and buses connect the terminal with Dublin.
The train to Cork is one of the most popular routes on Irish Railways (Larnrod Eireann).
The association offers more than 10,000 cars and vans in Ireland at more than 22 locations nationwide.
According to legend, if you kiss the stone in the tower of the castle you'll receive the gift of the gab - witty speech that sounds both flattering and convincing.
The Cork County Council Heritage Section has developed a series of Historic Town Maps for 13 towns and villages in Cork County.
A maritime history spanning over a thousand years, set in a beautiful soft coastal environment where land, the people and their culture will allow you to discover a quirky way to stimulate your senses.
Cork is the biggest county in Ireland and is part of both the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East.
With over 1,000km of coastline there's a mesmerising amount of experiences to be had in Cork County.
The capital of the Republic of Ireland is known as the Town of the Ford of the Hurdles, in Gaelic - Baile Atha Cliath.
Dublin faces the Irish Sea, on the coast of eastern- central Ireland. The River Liffey runs through the city.
Dublin was the European City of Culture in 1991, but its status as a seat of culture is permanent.
An annual theatre festival is held in Dublin every autumn, and the city also hosts an international film festival and opera season in the spring. The major concert venue is the National Concert Hall.
Dublin's historic area is south of the Liffey.
Dublin Castle was where the city started. Built in the early 1200s, the castle has been rebuilt and added to over the centuries.
The castle was the seat of the British viceroy of Ireland until 1922, when it was handed over to the newly formed Irish Free State, and is now used for ceremonial functions, and the inauguration of the country's president.
Numerous churches and public buildings are also in the old city.
Dublin's Phoenix Park, in the western suburbs of the city, is one of Europe's largest city parks.
Once a royal hunting ground the park now contains Dublin Zoo and the residence of the president of the Irish Republic.
Situated near Phoenix Park is the 100-m-long Hole-In-The-Wall public house; believed to be Europe's longest.
Dublin has become the centre of the Europe's computer software industry, and the money generated has rejuvenated the city and its entertainment sector.
The Irish capital is an extremely compact city, so you can see loads and have an awful lot of fun in a short space of time.
Temple Bar is Dublin's bustling cultural, residential and small business district.
Comprising twenty-eight acres, this area is brimming with arts, culture and entertainment along with some of Dublin's top restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels and shops.
Limerick is situated at the head of the estuary of the River Shannon, in the south-west of the Republic of Ireland.
English Town, on King's Island, was founded by William de Burgh; who built the Castle of King John to defend it.
Irish Town, the oldest part of the city, dates from the 9th century.
Newtown-Pery, to the south of Irish Town, dates from 1769.
With a host of hidden gems and exciting experiences for families, couples and friends alike, a holiday in Limerick has something for everyone to enjoy.
Situated on the West Coast of Ireland, County Clare offers golden beaches, dramatic cliffs, pleasure lakes, islands, the River Shannon, the Burren GeoPark, and plenty of fun activities.
Clare's Atlantic ocean, rivers, lakes and mountains provide the backdrop for great leisure or adrenaline-rushing pursuits, from trail walks to windsurfing.
County Clare has a living Gaelic tradition, which can be heard and seen in its music and arts.
With the recent upsurge of interest in all things Irish, Clare's cultural heritage is proving to be very popular with visitors.
Named after the town of Donegal, County Donegal is a part of the province of Ulster.
County Donegal is the most mountainous in Ulster, consisting of two ranges of low mountains; the Derryveagh Mountains in the north and the Bluestack Mountains in the south.
Explore Donegal's hidden treasures along its six fabulous touring routes; experiencing Irish Culture at its best along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Inishowen boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland.
Be sure to venture on the Inishowen 100 scenic driving route, to appreciate the natural scenic beauty and historical gems the Donegal peninsula has to offer.
Galway is in the west of Ireland, on Galway Bay; famous for its horse racing festival.
Galway is one of the brightest and most intriguing jewels of the West of Ireland. It marks the halfway point on the Wild Atlantic Way and is the only city on the entire 2,500km route.
The old town has a Spanish influence; until the 17th century Galway was a major trading partner with Spain.
Galway City is itself a vibrant place with many things to see and do.
Like County Clare, Galway County has some of Ireland's most spectacular scenery, especially Connemara and the nearby Aran Islands.
Galway East is famous for its rich heritage, variety of activities, and local and international festivals. It is also conveniently located for easy day trips to Connemara, The Burren, Aran Islands and Westport.
With a wealth of historic castles, houses and monuments, Galway East resounds to the echoes of the past.
The official tourism website for Galway East provides details on accommodation, holiday packages, activities and visitor attractions in the region.
Kenmare has been described as the Jewel in the Crown of the Kingdom, a Gourmet Town, a Five Star Location and a designated Heritage Town.
It is the winner of numerous Tidy Town Gold Medals, and its pretty streetscape, dating back to 1670, together with the magnificent location on Kenmare Bay at the foot of the Cork and Kerry mountains draws visitors back year after year.
With its bric-a-brac, open fires and wooden beams, the bar exudes old world charm, has fine food and drinks and a great atmosphere which makes O'Donnabhain's popular with the locals and visitors alike.
Armagh is built on numerous hills and has been the seat of the Catholic primacy of all Ireland since the days of St Patrick, who built his first church there.
There are two important churches on the hills of Armagh: St Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral stands on the site of the cathedral built by St Patrick; and St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral, with its twin spires, raises from another hill.
Self-catering holiday cottages in Ireland.
Older than Stonehenge, the giant megalithic tomb of Newgrange was probably erected about 3,200 BC (in calendar years). It is one of a group of 40 passage tombs including Knowth and Dowth, that are enclosed on three sides by the river Boyne.
Irish Language and Culture
The official languages of Ireland are Irish and English. Although attempts have been made to popularise Gaelic as the national tongue, most of the people continue to use English. Irish is mostly spoken in the western rural areas.
There must be something in the water used in the beer. Ireland has produced many famous writers, poets, and dramatists - not all of them habitual boozers.
The national day of Ireland is celebrated on March 17th. The Legend is as murky as an empty glass of Guinness, but it's a good excuse for the Irish to party.
What's making the news in Northern Ireland.
Vagabond Tours of
Four wheel-drive adventures in Ireland - departing from Dublin to the west and south - for four of five days of breathtaking scenery, relaxing exercise, local culture and cosy accommodation.
Ireland Maps and Travel Guides
Weather in Europe:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Europe.
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