The Republic of Ireland is a stunning country which sits right off the coast of Wales. To the north of Ireland, Northern Ireland is still part of the United Kingdom and uses the British Pound as opposed to the Euro in Ireland. There is no passport border at present between the two countries and many of our customers chose to extend their UK tour into Ireland because, well, why wouldn't you?
Western Ireland (Connaught)
Connaught (also spelled 'Connacht') is one of the five ancient kingdoms or provinces of Ireland, lying in the western and north-western areas of the island. This region has some of the most beautiful and unspoilt countryside to be found in Ireland, including the spectacular mountainous landscape of Connemara. You will truly enjoy this part of the country, with its numerous bays, seascapes, mountains, lakes, rivers, festivals and events.
Explore this region and enjoy their spectacular scenery, wildlife and the great outdoors. Don't miss the beautiful Aran Islands near Galway or the peace and tranquillity of Roscommon's waterways.
Originally a small fishing village then a walled town later on in the 13th century, Galway is now one of the most relaxed and easy-going spots in Western Europe, and despite being a city, it feels like a big town in County Galway with its easy attitude and warm and friendly people.
Connemara National Park
Connemara National Park, long regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the world, covers nearly 3000 hectares with rugged mountains, bogs, grasslands and spectacular wildlife. It is the perfect spot from long nature walks up ancient mountains and Gleann Mor to short self-guided walks up to Diamond Hill. In this enchanted place, you will see traces of ancient settlements such as megalithic tombs, ruined houses and ancient walls and Tobar Mweelin.
Beaches and Coastline
The coastline around western Ireland is like much of Ireland, simply stunning. Sligo is home to some stunning beaches, much of which is family friendly blue flag certified and the golden sand stretches for miles. Galway has some stunning fishing coastline and Achill Island in Mayo must be seen to be believed.
Eastern Ireland (Leinster)
Leinster Province on the east coast of Ireland is home to the world famous Irish capital Dublin, but there is more to see and do than you can imagine around the stunning and historic eastern corner of Ireland.
Leinster offers a plethora of ancient monuments, attractions and lovely scenery which is not to be missed and make it a perfect destination for a first time visit to Ireland. Whether you want to enjoy the historic and cultural city of Dublin or find a place to get away from the crowds travelling into the Wicklow Mountains, pausing to admire the lovely Powerscourt Gardens or wandering amongst the ancient monastic ruins of Glendalough. It would be easy to spend a full holiday in Leinster alone with activities including as contrasting elements as scuba diving, high-brow cultural pursuits, mountaineering, rock concerts and enjoying haute cuisine.
Dublin, the capital city of the Republic of Ireland is the number one destination not to be missed whether it is to spend a day or a full week! Dublin has kept its authenticity and uniqueness and is also a very young city as it boasts three of Ireland's largest universities in town. The capital has plenty of attractions to keep you entertained, from the famous Guinness Storehouse to St Patrick's Cathedral and the world-famous Temple Bar where you’ll meet street artists and enjoy international cuisine and bustling pubs.
Situated on the west hand side of Leinster, Kilkenny was once the capital of Ireland. It is today a thriving, modern capital that protected its precious heritage while evolving as one of the most vibrant and enjoyable cities. Its narrow slipways, side streets and preserved buildings are matched by its reputation for fine dining, great shopping and entertainment.
Ireland is well-known for its numerous ancient sites and the province of Leinster is a brilliant example of how fascinating Irish history is. If you're based near Dublin, there are plenty of sites that you can reach within less than an hour such as Bru na Boinne in the Boyne Valley, not just a single site but a historic landscape on the banks of the Boyne, Kells, the small town between Navan and Cavan Mostly known for the "Book of Kells" (actually kept in Trinity College for centuries) which is well worth a visit, the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland and the town of Trim and its castle which was an important pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages. Down South you'll find the looming Wicklow Mountains and plenty of other stunning sites.
The province of Leinster is enriched with wonderful and timeless Monastic Sites. You'll have the opportunity to see Glendalough, the perfect place for a great day out on a stunning site in a wooded valley between two lakes. Make sure you visit the impressive site of Monasterboice: it includes a round tower, two churches from the 13th century and a medieval sundial. Hidden in a peaceful remote valley, Mellifont Abbey is a total contrast to Glendalough and Monasterboice - mainly because this was the first monastery run by non-native monks. If you go near the small town of Oldcastle a string of hills dividing the Meath plain from the Cavan drumlins and lakes, you'll be able to find on top of these hills Ireland's second largest megalithic cemetery: Loughcrew Megalithic Cemetery.
Southern Ireland (Munster)
Munster, situated in the South, is Ireland's largest province and home to some of the country's most breath-taking scenery. This is a land of extremes, from rich rolling fields, brooding, isolated mountains to wild seascapes and craggy shorelines. Apart from the large towns of Cork, Waterford and Limerick, in the 19th century Munster was still a predominantly rural region which explains why it has some of Ireland's softest and greenest countryside which makes it the most lush province of Ireland. So if you want to enjoy great coastal tour routes and well-marked walking trails across the lowlands or higher mountain passes, picturesque historic places or heritage towns from the rolling hills of County Clare to beautiful coastline of West Cork, your trip in Ireland must include this wonderful part of the country!
A region of diversity
From beautiful caverns like Mitchelstown Cave or Aillwee Cave, bridged chasms, to waterfalls including the famous Torc Waterfall, and to dramatic rugged coastline, Munster is a province full of diversity. Above all, the coastal trail of the Ring of Kerry provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland. Munster doesn't fail to offer a great array of landscapes full of history and myths! Simply let the road guide you from the modern city of Cork or towns such as Killarney or Tralee to the quieter towns of West Cork or the Dingle Peninsula. Wherever you go you will find welcoming places to stay where the food is delicious and made from the best of local produce. Spend some time in Munster and take the time to savour the variety and subtlety of the South West!
Ring of Kerry
Driving along the Ring of Kerry is the best way to visit some of the best places of interest of the region. This circular route is undoubtedly one of Ireland's most scenic drives; it is a trail of about 180 kilometres with dramatic scenery, coastlines, colourful towns and villages as well as ancient archaeological remains.
Cork City, Ireland's second city
The port City of Cork, distinguished by its skyline of spires and limestone buildings, is both capital city of the County of Cork and the province of Munster. With its strong sense of tradition, alongside its flourishing cultural scene, it's no wonder why it is often referred by locals as "the real capital of Ireland". Nestled along the banks of the River Lee, Cork city boasts a stunning natural harbour and indeed one of Ireland's most important and historical seaports. Steep streets wind away from the water's edge, creating a city of great charm and character.
By Ruth Lancey
Date: 2018-01-17 15:00:50