Steeped in history and known throughout the globe as a country with its own very distinct culture and way of doing things, Ireland is a tourist’s paradise. Although green, rolling countryside; historical sites and incredibly talkative locals are indeed big parts of Ireland, there’s more to the place than these stereotypical features, proving the emerald isle isn’t all about Leprechaun souvenirs and kissing the Blarney Stone, and there’s heaps of things for tourists to see and experience.
Ireland’s natural monuments are truly spectacular. The Cliffs of Moher, rising up 203m above the surly Atlantic, are an amazing sight that perhaps best encapsulates the island’s rugged beauty; make sure you visit at sunset to see one of Ireland’s best views! For those that love to hike and explore, the Connemara Peninsula is a must-visit. Winding, towering inlets that shelter calm coves, sleepy seaside villages and the dramatic Maumturk Mountains; this is an outdoorsman’s place to be.
All manner of exciting sports can be seen in Ireland. The fast-paced, somewhat brutal sport of Hurling, Irish Football and, of course, horse racing are all widespread and played regularly; go catch a fixture to get a true feel of the tenacity that surges through the veins of Irish sportspeople and fans alike! Horse racing is a huge sport in Ireland, with racecourses located in twenty-six towns and cities across the country. Cork Easter and the Punchestown Festival are two great horse racing events for newcomers and fans alike, where all manner of Irish steeds will be running, horses that will be running at the upcoming Cheltenham Festival in the UK. In previous years Irish-trained horses have dominated England’s top racing festival- Lord Windemere, Quevega, Hurricane Fly- and are regularly featured in racing sports publications and in features ran by top bookies such as Coral.
Dublin is, of course, the first port of call for many Ireland-bound travellers. The city is a buzzing hub of fun, arts and sightseeing, so if you visit definitely try to earmark a few days, if not a couple of weeks, to get the most out of the nation’s capital. Visitors can see St. Patrick’s Cathedral, built in 1191 and the largest in the country, and Trinity College, the top university in Ireland. A majestic architectural wonder, take a guided tour around the college and its grounds- expansive libraries, winding corridors and the possibility of watching a game of cricket from the University’s Pavilion bar- you’ll never want to leave!
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However, it is the perfect destination for the budget travellers those who wish to have an unforgettable vacation with some money left in your pocket after it.