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Experience the Celtic magic of Ireland, one of the most enchanting destinations.   From dreamlike countryside to warmhearted music, the Emerald Isle conjures up wonders!

Ireland should be on every traveler’s short list: There’s nothing like experiencing its charming atmosphere firsthand. Exploring its famously green landscapes, your eyes sweep from pastoral hills and coastal cliffs to standing stones of incredible antiquity. Ireland’s human history does indeed stretch back thousands of years, but even while you’re appreciating stunning landmarks such as Dublin Castle and Donegal Abbey, you’ll be drawn in by the country’s irresistible, alive-and-well culture and verve. After all, there’s amazing traditional music, dancing, and Gaelic games enlivening the natural splendor and medieval monuments! Handsome cities like Dublin, Cork, alway, Limerick, and Kilkenny offer the best of historical and modern Ireland, while scenic treasures such as the Giant’s Causeway and the Aran Islands embody the country’s natural majesty.

Culture

Ireland has made huge literary contributions to the English language! This is the land of William Butler Yeats, Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. A truly fun way to learn about Irish writers is to go on the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, which takes participants onto the campus of Trinity College as well as to pubs that were either frequented by some of the country’s best-loved writers or that served as the settings in novels such as Joyce’s Ulysses. Other interesting literary sites to include on your itinerary to Ireland include St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Yeats-related sites in County Sligo and the Dublin Writers Museum.

And despite the fact that all these writers wrote in English, this is not to suggest that the Irish, Gaelic culture isn’t alive and well in Ireland. It is true that the Irish language was prohibited for many centuries by the British Crown. Additionally, the native Irish speakers lost much of their population due to plague, famine and emigration. However, there are still areas of western Ireland where Gaelic (or Irish) is still the primarily-spoken language. Officially called Gaeltacht districts, schools there are still taught in Irish and many families still speak it in the home. If you want to visit a Gaelic-speaking area of Ireland on your vacation, consider researching the Gaeltacht districts in County Galway (including Connemara and the Aran Islands), County Donegal, County Mayo, or the western half of the beautiful Dingle Peninsula.

Food and Drink

Geography

The Republic of Ireland accounts for approximately 80% of the island of Ireland. Its only land neighbor, Northern Ireland, lies in the northeastern corner of the island. Northern Ireland is a separate country sometimes called “region” or “province” that forms part of the United Kingdom along with England, Scotland and Wales.

And if you’re an avid gardener, Ireland is also home to some of Europe’s most beautiful gardens. Consider paying a visit to the Irish National Stud’s Japanese Gardens, the Powerscourt Gardens, or Ilnacullin on Garinish Island.

Largest cities: Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford





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08/12/2017

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