Ireland

Aptly nicknamed the ‘Emerald Isle’, Ireland is a land of lush, rolling green pastures carved out of craggy hillsides, lending it a unique sort of rugged beauty that’s impossible to deny. Much of that rugged beauty is found along the coast, especially in the famous cliff-lined shores. Many flock to Ireland to see the Cliffs of Moher, which stand a spectacular 750 feet above the coastline. Even more dramatic are the Croaghaun sea cliffs, rising three times as high at 2,250 feet. Such stunning coastline beauty abounds in Ireland and because with an abundance of scenic drives, Ireland has made enjoying its views a breeze. The Wild Atlantic Way, for example, brings visitors through no less than seven counties full of charming coastal towns. Just as enjoyable are the Dingle Peninsula, Sheepshead Peninsula and, of course, the Ring of Kerry.

History buffs will also find much to love in Ireland, starting with the megalithic tombs of Brú na Bóinne that date back more than 5,000 years – further, in fact, than the Egyptian pyramids. Other popular landmarks include Glendalough, where the ruins of a monastic city that operated for more than 900 years once stood, and Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland, one of the most popular highlights on the Causeway Coast Walking Trail. History fans will also be sure to remind you that you must kiss the Blarney Stone in County Cork’s famous Blarney Castle to be blessed with the gift of gab. It may sound like a simple task to earn great reward, but don’t be fooled: to accomplish this feat you must lie on your back while your feet are held as you lean out to reach the stone 37 feet off the ground. Plenty of other castles are waiting to be explored in Ireland besides the popular Blarney Castle, too. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in County Clare is an excellent place for visitors to take a step back in time with a living history experience like no other. Other oft-visited castles include Ross Castle in Killarney, and Norman Castle in Kilkenny.

When you’re ready to blend a bit more modern culture with your historic adventures, head for Limerick where you’ll find King John’s Castle, St. John’s Cathedral and St. Mary’s Cathedral as well as the modern Hunt Museum, housing 2,000 works of art. Limerick is also a great spot for pubs and restaurants. Seeking more sophistication? Dublin is where you’ll want to go next for a busier nightlife and still more tourist options. Trinity College boasts a fantastic library with one of the oldest manuscripts in the world, the Book of Kells, and is one of the most popular sites, as is the tour at the Guinness Storehouse, home of the iconic Irish stout that’s been a part of the country’s history since 1759.

Aptly nicknamed the ‘Emerald Isle’, Ireland is a land of lush, rolling green pastures carved out of craggy hillsides, lending it a unique sort of rugged beauty that’s impossible to deny. Much of that rugged beauty is found along the coast, especially in the famous cliff-lined shores. Many flock to Ireland to see the Cliffs of Moher, which stand a spectacular 750 feet above the coastline. Even more dramatic are the Croaghaun sea cliffs, rising three times as high at 2,250 feet. Such stunning coastline beauty abounds in Ireland and because with an abundance of scenic drives, Ireland has made enjoying its views a breeze. The Wild Atlantic Way, for example, brings visitors through no less than seven counties full of charming coastal towns. Just as enjoyable are the Dingle Peninsula, Sheepshead Peninsula and, of course, the Ring of Kerry.

History buffs will also find much to love in Ireland, starting with the megalithic tombs of Brú na Bóinne that date back more than 5,000 years – further, in fact, than the Egyptian pyramids. Other popular landmarks include Glendalough, where the ruins of a monastic city that operated for more than 900 years once stood, and Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland, one of the most popular highlights on the Causeway Coast Walking Trail. History fans will also be sure to remind you that you must kiss the Blarney Stone in County Cork’s famous Blarney Castle to be blessed with the gift of gab. It may sound like a simple task to earn great reward, but don’t be fooled: to accomplish this feat you must lie on your back while your feet are held as you lean out to reach the stone 37 feet off the ground. Plenty of other castles are waiting to be explored in Ireland besides the popular Blarney Castle, too. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in County Clare is an excellent place for visitors to take a step back in time with a living history experience like no other. Other oft-visited castles include Ross Castle in Killarney, and Norman Castle in Kilkenny.

When you’re ready to blend a bit more modern culture with your historic adventures, head for Limerick where you’ll find King John’s Castle, St. John’s Cathedral and St. Mary’s Cathedral as well as the modern Hunt Museum, housing 2,000 works of art. Limerick is also a great spot for pubs and restaurants. Seeking more sophistication? Dublin is where you’ll want to go next for a busier nightlife and still more tourist options. Trinity College boasts a fantastic library with one of the oldest manuscripts in the world, the Book of Kells, and is one of the most popular sites, as is the tour at the Guinness Storehouse, home of the iconic Irish stout that’s been a part of the country’s history since 1759.

Ireland Travel Specials

Scotland & Ireland (Start Edinburgh, end Dublin)

Great Britain & Ireland (Start London, end London)

25 Days, Imperial Palaces & Regal Wonders