Discover the hidden treasures of the Emerald Isle , a blog by Catherine Lees

We would like to thank Catherine Lees at “www.worldgettingsmaller.com ” for this superb blog………..https://plus.google.com/u/0/115774882291504030932/posts

 

Ireland may be a small island but its people are among the friendliest in the world, particularly when it comes to welcoming visitors from overseas. The expanses of green rolling hills and meadows that characterise the interior of the country have given rise to the name “the Emerald Isle” and Ireland is a wonderful holiday destination for all. It has some outstanding landmarks and great facilities so there is a lot to see and do for those travelling with family or friends. Also a popular honeymoon destination, Ireland is just as perfect for couples seeking a romantic break.

 

Getting to Ireland and seeing the sights

Most visitors that opt to fly arrive at Dublin, Cork or Shannon – the country’s three largest airports. Last year Dublin Airport handled 19.1 million passengers and served 169 routes with 55 different airlines. For example, as well as flying from Dublin to Paris and London, Air France provides flights to and from New York and Atlanta in North America. People in the UK, the Isle of Man and France also have the option of a ferry crossing.

As far as Dublin city itself is concerned, many visitors enjoy a trip to the Guinness Storehouse. This is an unusual and architecturally stunning building constructed at its core to look like a giant pint

glass. From the top floor the impressive cityscape stretches out below. The story of the history of Guinness stout is revealed as guests tour the museum and a free pint is offered in the bar at the end as part of the experience. The historic Book of Kells can be viewed in the Long Room at Trinity College Dublin, while other city attractions include St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the home of Ireland’s national sports, Gaelic football and hurling, which is at Croke Park.

The best way to see Ireland is to take a tour of its principal sights – the castles are a particularly popular option for those interested in history and heritage, and there are fishing tours and golf tours for keen sports enthusiasts. If hill walking is preferred to city strolling then the stunning scenery of the Mountains of Mourne and the Silent Valley is a must, as is a visit to Downpatrick where Saint Patrick is said to be buried.

 

Coastal delights

Being an island, Ireland has over 3,000 kilometres (1,970 miles) of varied coastline and many beautiful, deserted sandy Blue Flag beaches as well as impressive cliffs. Families, groups and couples interested in seeing the spectacular scenery will enjoy a coastal tour that takes in, for example, the Ring of Kerry and the Gap of Dunloe. Another circular route, Slea Head Drive, starts and ends at Dingle and incorporates a selection of stunning views, including of the Blasket Islands and South Kerry. Generally, the eastern coast is more sheltered than the western coast, the shores of which are washed by the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Truly, Ireland is a delightful country to explore and the Irish language, music and culture thrives in the present day and is reflected in the genuinely warm way in which the Irish people welcome visitors to their shores.