Ireland is cherished all over the world as an enchanting land where legends and reality mingle. Here are 10 ways to discover the mystique and charm of Emerald Isle.
10 Magical Reasons To Visit Ireland
Discover the castles
Haunted, Gothic, majestic or imposing, the castles of Ireland radiate the romance of this beautiful country. The castles of Cahir, Kilkenny and Dunguaire all evoke magical visions of damsels, brave kings and frightening dungeons. Blarney Castle in County Cork is one of the most visited in Ireland.
Famous for its Blarney Stone (legend says that if you kiss the blarney stone, you will receive the gift of eternal eloquence), visitors literally bend over to kiss this mythical rock set in the wall of castle. Apart from love acrobatics, this 15th-century castle offers breathtaking views from its ramparts, glittering gardens and mysterious underground caves.
Visit the Guinness warehouse
Raise a mug, or two, to the health of Ireland’s favorite drink. The Guinness Storehouse and its St. James Gate brewery in Dublin welcome more than one million visitors each year to their stout factory, their famous dark beer. Brewing over 3 million tankards a day, the Guinness Storehouse invites you to take a look behind the scenes of their thirst-quenching business. Attend the brewing process, learn how to fill mugs and taste the final product.
The legendary Guinness Storehouse hospitality offers refreshments or traditional Irish meals in their four restaurants. Or treat yourself to a well deserved mug while enjoying breathtaking views of Dublin, 360 degrees, from their very nice bar, the Gravity.
Go on an adventure
Come see the fierce side of Ireland. Discover wild nature and magnificent vistas during daring and thrilling activities. Do one with nature through surfing, sea kayaking, paragliding, climbing, caving, mountain biking and walking. A hike along the green hills of Ireland to the summit of its windswept cliffs is highly recommended. National Geographic has decreed that the Irish walks are the best in the world. Wake up the thrill-seeker who sleeps in you and discover Ireland from a unique angle.
Relive the story on every detour
In a country as old and rich in history as Ireland, visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to sites of historical interest. One of these sites, Brú na Bóinne in County Meath, is older than Stonehenge in England and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. This Neolithic site consists of circular shrines, menhirs and burial chambers built around 3,200 BC. AD is highlighted by several tombs with long corridors: Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange. Highly popular year-round, Brú na Bóinne gets extra attention during the winter solstice. In December, a ray of sunlight pierces through a mysterious opening in the Newgrange tumulus and illuminates the burial chamber for a few short minutes. As a result, many tourists flock to Newgrange to greet the dawn of each solstice and an annual lottery is held to gain the right to access the interior of the tomb.
Embrace breathtaking landscapes
Virgin and beautiful, the landscapes of Ireland are incomparable. West Cork, Dingle, Galway, The Ring of Kerry: The list of places worthy of postcards is endless. One of these picturesque sites is the Rock of Cashel (also known as St. Patrick’s Rock) in Tipperary County. Dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries, this formidable fortress boasts a round tower, a cathedral and a chapel with priceless treasures of Celtic art and medieval architecture. Legend has it that it was here that in the 5th century St. Patrick converted King Aengus of Munster to Christianity.
Follow the festival route
Do you like the party? Ireland too. Soak up the irish spirit and join the collective joy all year long. From the St. Patrick’s Day Festival to the Cork Sailing Festival to the Galway Arts Festival, there are more than 400 appointments on the agenda this year. Music, food, literature, Celtic roots, movies and humor: so many reasons to celebrate and be in the mood. Unsurprisingly, the most awaited and beloved holiday is National Day, the day of St. Patrick’s Day. Parades, expressive costumes, street theater and a lively carnival atmosphere will leave you charmed.
Cities often have the bad reputation of being cold and soulless destinations, but not Dublin. The capital of Ireland is bursting with personality and buzzing with youth. A hectic metropolis full of cultural activities, beautiful museums, beautiful architecture and lively pubs, Dublin has something to offer everyone. Castles, cathedrals, galleries, parks, shops, restaurants, Dublin ensures. Pick up a Dublin Pass and get free access to more than 30 quality attractions, plus discounts for restaurants, shops, theaters, tours and transportation, and the city’s travel guide.
Taste the culture of pubs
If you fancy a mug, a spiritual conversation and a taste of authentic Irish hospitality, look no further than an Irish pub. The successful travel guide, Lonely Planet, is full of praise for Irish pubs and for good reason. Irish pubs have a reputation for delicious lagers and creamy stouts, not to mention friendly tenants. Several Irish pubs offer live music, traditional or modern, as well as hearty dishes, such as beef pie and Guinness. Some pubs raise their menus to new tastes, offering guests fine dining to accompany their beloved mugs.
Delight in Irish folklore
A visit to Ireland is incomplete without the traditional Irish folklore. In a land famous for its fairies, elves and sirens, the mysterious Giant’s Causeway (the only UNESCO World Heritage site in Northern Ireland) is one of its most cherished legends. The epic tells that these remarkable stones were the work of an Irish giant, Fionn mac Cumhail (Finn McCool). He would have built the roadway to keep his feet dry as he walked towards Scotland. Locals believe that the pile of chimneys (or organ) along the Causeway is evidence that McCool lived here, while geologists believe that a volcanic eruption occurred 60 million years ago , created the 40,000 nested basalt columns that still amaze visitors today.
Enjoy Irish cuisine
If you thought that Irish cuisine is based solely on its famous potato, think again. Gourmets have discovered that Ireland is an unmissable gastronomic destination. Traditional dishes such as Irish stew, baking soda bread, farmhouse cheese and colcannon (kale / green cabbage and potatoes) are still on the menu, but the new wave of Irish cuisine relies on fresh ingredients , grown locally and on the catch of the day. Wild Atlantic salmon, fleshy oysters, melting scallops and poached lobster will fill you up, not to mention grilled langoustines, sole and swordfish. The profusion of Irish seafood is so famous (and delicious) that it inspired the annual Galway Oyster and Seafood Festival every September.