Dublin enjoys one of the loveliest natural settings in Europe. Dublin attracts visitors from around the world with its old world charm and friendly atmosphere. Most of the architecture dates from the 18th century, when Dublin enjoyed great prominence and prosperity. Also of interest are stately Georgian houses which front Merrion Square. O'Connell Street is considered the commercial center of Dublin. Perhaps the most memorable feature of Dublin is the traditional pub, where visitors can enjoy conversation over fine Irish brew. The city also offers many fine parks, including St. Stephen's Green and Phoenix Park. National Gallery's renowned collection includes works by such famous masters as Rembrandt and Monet. Trinity College's Old Library is home to the most cherished treasure, the Book of Kells, a manuscript of the Gospels. Admire Christ Church Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Enjoy the exhibits in impressive National Museum. Self-guided walking tours include Old City Trail, Georgian Heritage Trail and the Cultural Trail.
Nestled in southeast Ireland, Waterford combines low farmland and sandy coastlines with rugged landscape typical of County Cork. The town is an ancient Viking settlement whose roots go back to the 8th century. Even today there is a medieval feel about Waterford with its ancient fortifications, 18th century cathedrals, and fine Georgian houses, particularly around The Mall, George's Street and O'Connell Street. While the town is charming, it regained world recognition with the re-opening of the crystal factory offering once again the famous, exquisite glassware of the town's name. Take a walking tour of Historic Waterford to get an understanding of Waterford's complex history. The 70-foot Reginald's Tower was built in the 11th century. Climb the stone spiral staircase for a great view of the city. The ruins of French Church are part of a Dominican monastery built in 1240 AD given to Huguenot refugees in the 17th century. The Theater Royal and City Hall are considered architectural masterpieces by John Roberts.
Belfast is popular with travelers who come to discover the city’s physical beauty and renewed tranquility. Enjoy performances at the Grand Opera House, shopping along trendy Donegall Place and visiting numerous pubs along The Golden Mile. St. Anne’s Cathedral, also known as Belfast Cathedral, is the principal church of the Anglican Church of Ireland and contains stones from every county in Ireland. Located next to Europa Hotel, the Grand Opera House boasts an impressive mix of large productions of opera, ballet, musicals and drama. Known as the Big Ben of Belfast, the Albert Memorial Clock Tower was built in 1869 to commemorate the Prince Consort. Built in 1849 as one of Queen Victoria’s colleges, Queens University is one of the foremost universities in the British Isles. The classical-style building of Stormont, erected in 1928-32 to house the Parliament of Northern Ireland, stands 3.5 miles outside the city. The Prince of Wales Avenue is exactly one mile long and is bordered by rose beds containing 600 of the famous Korona roses noted for their scarlet blooms.
Developed by Lord Kenmare as a tourist town in the 18th century, Killarney is now the major tourist centre and accommodation base in Kerry. It is the centre for the Ring of Kerry tour, the focal point for the Killarney National Park and the Kerry Way Walking Trail.
Galway is a city, a county, and an experience to be savoured and remembered. The historic city of the tribes dances to a beat uniquely it's own. There is a certain chemistry and vibrancy to this friendly university city, which many delight in, and few forget. Music, festivals, horse racing, pubs, restaurants, shops, theatres and most of all -Galway people, combine to create this atmospheric medieval city of culture. From this pulsating heart the rest of the county flows.
Galway Bay, immortalised in song, its beauty unchanging. Scenic Gaeltacht areas including the Aran Islands. Connemara, with the picturesque town of Clifden as its capital. Mountains, castles and stone walls, banks of turf, long sandy beaches, clear lakes, joyful leaping streams and flowing rivers. The mighty Shannon, delightful countryside punctuated by pretty villages, traditional pubs.
Photo used with permission
from Joe Desbonnet, www.galway.net
The county of Donegal contains breathtaking views of landscapes and seascapes set against a backdrop of mountains and moors, with evidence everywhere of traditional Irish Celtic culture. Its vast rugged coastline is mixed with beautiful beaches with golden sand and crystal clear waters. In addition to Donegal’s spectacular vistas, other major attractions include Glenveagh National Park and Castle, Glebe House and Gallery, Tory Island, Abbey Mill Wheels, Fort Dunree Military Museum, Colmcille Heritage Center and many interesting Celtic ruins.