Welcome to the “People’s Republic of Cork” - Ireland’s southernmost city. It’s a spirited, independent place, cosmopolitan and creative too. Cork is an ancient maritime port that’s spent centuries trading with – and being influenced by – the wider world. Whatever time of the year you visit you are guaranteed fun and craic.
IrelandCenturies of ancient stories surround the third largest island of Europe, Ireland. Historic mementos can be found everywhere, from prehistoric monuments to castles, ruins and the cities of Belfast and Dublin that are steeped in history. Ireland’s landscape offers a diversity that is matched by no other: from green rolling hills to majestic mountains and a dramatic coastline, this island has it all. If you are lucky, you might even be able to catch some Northern Lights in the Northern Headlands. Head down to a pub and enjoy a cold beer with the locals, as there is no better way to get to know the true soul of Ireland than a chat with its inhabitants.
A windswept emerald scenery lined with rugged limestone cliffs—Donegal's breathtaking landscape is filled with thousand-year-old history, the finest of tweed garments, and sublime marine cuisine, accompanied by a creamy Guinness and warm Gaelic hospitality.
Dublin is a city that everyone raves about. Displaced locals get all misty-eyed about the pubs, the hilarious, friendly people they left behind. It is a modern, hard-working, affluent centre of commerce and industry as well as a cultural capital and it is home to some of Europe's most renowned artists. It is a city that deserves to be taken seriously. And, for those who do, it is a richly rewarding, fascinating place with its incredible beautifully preserved mansions and castles, meticulously curated museums, churches, cathedrals, and parks.
As a remarkable county with a truly unique atmosphere, Galway – in the West of Ireland – gets under your skin like no other place in the world: it is dramatic, haunting and utterly wild, while the craggy countryside at times looks unforgiving, yet rich with a burst of colours. Galway has got great beaches, soaring mountains, lovely villages, fabulous pubs and some of the friendliest people in Ireland. The Gaeltacht area of County Galway offers an authentic insight into life through the Irish language, and the Aran Islands have a breathtaking beauty of their own.
Ireland doesn't stop at its coastline or waterfront. In fact, the ends of the land are only the beginning of an adventure – the springboard from which you can cross the Atlantic Ocean to reach some of the country’s best-kept secrets. There’s nothing quite like standing on an Irish island, gazing out into the Atlantic blueness, feeling the sea breeze on your cheeks and soaking up its magical atmosphere. A visit to these outposts is bound to be an enlivening experience.
Right out on the edge of Europe, where Ireland’s highest mountains dip down into the wild Atlantic Ocean, is the ancient Kingdom of Kerry. This is the furthest west you can go in Ireland. “Next parish, Manhattan” they say here. And it’s partly this far-flung feel – away from the rest of the world in Ireland’s beautiful South West corner – that makes it so appealing. There’s good food, fine pubs, easy banter and live music to be found right across Kerry in lively towns and tiny settlements.
Kilkenny – a beautiful and ancient country where history, modern living and rich culture fuse together across an unspoiled landscape. The ancient medieval city of Kilkenny has protected its precious heritage whilst evolving as one of Ireland’s most vibrant and enjoyable cities in which to stay. Its narrow slipways, side streets and preserved buildings, are matched only by its reputation for fine dining, great shopping, entertainment and accommodation.
Limerick, sitting on the banks of the River Shannon, is Ireland’s first ever City of Culture. This is where Frank McCourt set his novel, Angela’s Ashes. It’s a city peppered with galleries, lorded over by King John’s Castle, and awash with elegantly crumbling Georgian architecture. The city of rugby also awaits with a thriving street art scene, a lively festival schedule, and a mouth-watering foodie crossroads in the Milk Market.
The Lakelands are a very pretty watery link of 12 counties— Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim, Longford, Roscommon, Westmeath, Offaly, Tipperary, Galway, Clare, Limerick and Kerry — that all get connected by the 380 or so kilometres of River Shannon. With its winding curves, which eventually meet Fermanagh’s Lough Erne in Northern Ireland, this performance is quite not bad for only just one river.
Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland, is the perfect blend of ancient and modern. Gourmet restaurants and traditional pubs co-exist with medieval city walls, quaintly cobbled streets, and historic buildings still standing proud after more than a thousand years. And as you leave the medieval strongholds behind, you'll find yourself amid a scenery that is well worth an extended Wild Atlantic road trip.
The Wild Atlantic Way, along the untamed west coast of Ireland, is the world's longest coastal driving route. Explore its diverse and stunning landscape, exploring the wonders of its coves and islands, beaches and bays, cliffs and villages. If wilderness, water and a willingness to step off the traditional tourist trails is your thing, then the Wild Atlantic Way is the only way.