Located on the east coast at the mouth of the River Liffey, Dublin is the capital and largest city in Ireland. Dublin is a friendly, laid back city. Visitors can find Europe’s largest public park, the Phoenix Park, beautiful Georgian Squares, Grafton Street with its multicolored doors, and impressive monuments such as Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin Castle, St Patrick’s, the General Post Office, and the Custom House. Visit Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College. Its well-known library contains over 20,000 manuscripts and the Book of Kells from the 9th century. Do not miss a visit to the Guinness Storehouse to learn about the stout and maybe have a pint.
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher is the most visited tourist attraction in Ireland and for good reason – they are majestic. The Cliffs are part of the UNESCO Global Geopark, located in County Clare and facing the Atlantic Ocean. The Cliffs of Moher spread out 5 miles and are over 700 feet at their highest point. On a clear day, you can see the Aran Islands to the north and the Connemara Mountains.
Galway is on the Atlantic coast in the west of Ireland. The city has attracted a bohemian crowd of musicians and artists which has added so much to the character of the city. Galway’s food scene includes cafes, bistros, and fine dining. There is a lively pub scene in Galway including many with traditional live music. Every summer, this city comes alive with festivals. For those looking for Galway history and heritage, visit the Galway City Museum. The Galway Cathedral is one of the largest and most impressive buildings.
Connemara located in the west coast of Ireland is one of the most scenic regions in Ireland. It is a land of lakes, rivers, bogs, mountains, and small villages where Gaelic is still the spoken language. It is without doubt the wildest & most romantic part of Ireland. In this region, visit Connemara National Park. The park encompasses 2,957 hectares of rugged quartzite & schist terrain of north Connemara from sea level at Letterfrack to some of the peaks of the Twelve Bens Mountains. Visit Kylemore Abbey, built in 1868 by Mitchell Henry. Its most well-known feature is the miniature Cathedral. It has been home to the Irish order of Benedictine nuns since 1920.
Limerick is on the Shannon River. It is Ireland’s oldest city, founded by the Vikings in the 9th century. Its many museums such as the Hunt Museum and the Limerick City Gallery of Art are some of the reasons Limerick is known as Ireland’s first City of Culture. Wander through the Georgian Quarter to see townhouses dating back 200 years. Visit one of Ireland’s most intact medieval castles, 800-year old King John’s Castle with its amazing views of the River Shannon.
Located in the southwest Ireland, Cork is the second largest city. The small city center is on an island in the River Lee and the rest of the city is on both banks. This lively, cosmopolitan city has cafes, restaurants, art galleries, museums, and lots of pubs. It is said that in Cork you will find the best foodie scene in Ireland.
Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry (or the Iveragh Peninsula) is a popular tourist route in County Kerry in southwest Ireland. The circular route is 111 miles long in an unspoilt region of Ireland. Start and end in Killarney and gaze in wonder at the spectacular scenery such as mountains, peat bogs, lakes, and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Blarney is a town located northwest of Cork. Its most popular attraction is the Blarney Castle. The Castle was built about 600 years ago by chieftain Cormac MacCarthy. While at Blarney Castle, visit the Stone of Eloquence. Legend has it that if you kiss the stone, you will never again be at a loss for words.
Another big attraction is the Blarney Woollen Mills. Years ago, the Woollen Mills employed many local workers which shielded Blarney from the worst effects of the famine. In 1976 Chris Kelleher, one of the mill workers, bought the old mill property. Within a short period of time Chris & his family transformed the mill into what is perhaps the largest quality craft shop in Ireland.
The Northern most county in Ireland is Donegal. It is filled with incredible landscapes, towering peaks, shimmering lakes, rugged coastline, and beautiful beaches. Fresh seafood is offered in many restaurants. There are numerous national parks for an outdoor adventure. Two sites worth visiting are Donegal Castle and Glenveagh Castle.