Holidays in the Emerald Isle will leave your heart full of happiness – and possibly your belly full of Guinness – thanks to Ireland’s famous friendly welcome and stunning scenery.
When Irish natives proclaim their country to be one of the most beautiful and welcoming in the world, many who have had the pleasure would find it difficult to argue.
Rolling hills, captivating coastlines, enchanting history and bustling cities, Ireland has the lot. Well, they’ve always said great things come in small packages. And this is a small package that packs a mighty punch.
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We’ll begin our tour with a Guinness in Dublin, as all good holidays in Ireland should. The Black Stuff is the country’s most famous export, and they are rightly proud of it. If you’ve tried it elsewhere and not seen the fuss, don’t miss out on the chance to taste an authentic pint in the capital city, where the Guinness Storehouse welcomes more than 1.7million visitors per year.
If you enjoy your tour there, you may also enjoy Teeling Whiskey Distillery and Jameson Whiskey Distillery, while for a great bit of Irish atmosphere, head to Temple Bar – the most famous area of the capital.
Though, if you happen to visit all of those in a day, we don’t want to be held responsible for your head the next morning!
Of course, while they may play a big part depending on your tastes, Ireland holidays aren’t solely about Guinness and whiskey. The Emerald Isle is also a haven for foodies, where you can tuck into traditional boxty, colcannon and Irish stew, to name but a few of the local delights.
Those looking for something a little more cultured will enjoy learning about the author of Ulysses and his influence on literature at the James Joyce Centre, visiting the famous Book of Kells in Trinity College, and Kilmainham Gaol, which has featured in films such as The Italian Job and Paddington 2.
Just outside of the city, there’s also rugged Howth, a fishing village with staggering scenery, medieval ruins and, naturally, delicious seafood dishes to sample, not least Irish seafood chowder.
Venture beyond the capital’s reaches, however, and there is a wealth of stunning sights to bask in. Diamond Hill in Galway will take your breath away, but it faces stiff competition from the likes of Valentina Island in County Kerry, the Blarney Stone in County Cork, and even whale watching off the coast of West Cork.
Keen golfers will find their home from home in Ireland too. Wherever you go, you’ll find world-class golf courses to tee-off on. Royal Portrush in County Antrim and Royal County Down, just south of Belfast, are two of Northern Ireland’s finest, while in the Republic of Ireland, Portmarnock in Malahide, just outside of Dublin, and Old Head of Kinsale, just south of Cork are among the jewels in the country’s golfing crown.
Couples, families and friends will fall in love with beautiful Ireland, and you may even return with the ‘gift of the gab’ – if you can find the right monument to plant a kiss on…
North of the border in Northern Ireland, Belfast, Londonderry and Giant’s Causeway – with its 40,000 basalt columns – perfectly complement the offerings from their southern counterparts.
Your eyes can feast on further natural beauty with a trip to Mourne Mountains in County Down, which provide a fantastic backdrop for hikes and bike rides in the great outdoors, while Dark Hedges – of Game of Thrones fame – is rapidly becoming one of the most popular sights in the country.
Rolling hills, captivating coastlines, enchanting history, Ireland has the lot, including the “Black Stuff”
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