GUIDE TO THE GREAT IRISH VACATION
There is a breathtaking beauty to the island of Ireland and a remarkable diversity to the different parts of this relatively small island. It is due in part to the light, the rainfall, the topography and to the concentration of people or lack of them in certain areas. There is a coastal beauty and ruggedness that makes walking, cycling and slow touring an absolute joy, stopping off at villages, pubs, at crossroads, tea rooms and cafes dotted in most unexpected places. The ideas below are favourites to be explored and enjoyed for a week or a month, a relaxed tour around the island, a glimse of possibilities and meeting people, the friendliness of Ireland and it's people making all the difference.
Flying into Dublin, Shannon or Cork.
With the regularity of flights from Europe and the US any three of Ireland's airports now make a great starting point. Shannon brings you right to the rugged West coast, Cork Airport to the Southern city and the beautiful West Cork. Dublin, the capital,a city break with it's cultural and historic delights and gateway to the relatively undiscovered South East and Ireland's ancient east, away from the maddening crowds.
The Rugged West and Wild Atlantic Way.
Take a trip north to the lovely town of Westport and explore Mayo and Sligo, moving inland from the coast to West Sligo. It's isolated and stunning beauty is seldom explored away from the Wild Atlantic coastline. A coastline perfect for surfing too. Directly to the north and south of Shannon are the counties of Clare and Kerry, not to be missed. The Burren in North Clare is spectacular and a walkers paradise, the county of Kerry full of lakes, mountains and a beautiful coastline. Four to five days are perfect to enjoy castles, walk, cycle or surf and visit Galway, Killarney and Westport too.
Cork and the Magic of West Cork.
Experience the bustle of the 18th century Butter Market in Cork City, taste rare whiskeys at the Jameson Distellery in Middleton, have Gourmet food in the sailing port of Kinsale, play golf at the Old Head and drive West through the sophisticated villages and towns that hug the West Cork coastline. Clonakilty, Schull, Bantry and walk the approach to Sheepshead Bay. Three to four days of breathtaking beauty.
Ireland's Ancient East.
The counties in Ireland's south east are close to Dublin and offer a wonderful variety and very different view of Ireland. Rich with castles at Waterford and Kilkenny, Wexford's sandy beaches, walkways along the rivers Nore and Barrow in addition to Ireland's most beautiful villages at Inistioge, Thomastown, Graigenamanagh and the gardens of Woodstock at Inistioge. Stay, celebrate and relax at the award-winning Ballilogue* Hamlet with it's history, architecture and design in the Kilkenny countryside, Ireland's hidden gem. Three beautiful living spaces, one historic stone hamlet.
For further inspiration visit Four Perfect Days in Ireland here