Visiting Ireland: An adventure awaits

With St. Patrick’s Day parties having come and gone, March is the month of leprechauns, four leaf clovers and pots of gold; but besides March 17’s green donuts and shamrock shakes, there are plenty of reasons to consider visiting Ireland. Between its lush countryside, medieval castles and a downtown with more pubs than potatoes, Ireland has solidified itself as a one-stop shop for travelers looking for adventure. For all the modern day explorers, it’s time to book a flight.

 

Step inside a storybook with the castles of real life fairytales. Hundreds of castles, some dating to as far back as the 11th century, can be found across Ireland. While a few of these ancient homes remain as museums for tourists like the popular Blarney and Dublin Castle, some including the Wilton Castle have been renovated to include hotel rooms. They certainly take treating guests like royalty to the next level.

blarneycastle

Visitors to the Blarney Castle ascend its stairs to kiss the Blarney Stone in hopes of receiving the legendary “gift of gab.” (brianfagan/Flickr)

 

While the kings and queens of Ireland enjoyed their secluded palaces, they were surrounded by miles of beauty that sightseers can still enjoy today. Standing 702 feet tall and offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic coast and distant mountains, the Cliffs of Moher top the list of attractions to visit in Ireland. The Wicklow Mountains, Connemara and Glenveagh National Parks provide equally stunning views. There are plenty of charming villages and island trails to explore, so it’s nearly a guarantee that you’ll be able to burn off the calories gained from the soda bread and Guinness pints.

cliffs

The Cliffs of Moher stretch for five miles along the Atlantic coast in western Ireland. (Sean MacEntee/Flickr)

 

To truly experience the Irish culture, tourists will certainly want to go to Dublin, the New York City of Ireland. Besides the classic churches, galleries and museums, visitors can see traditional Irish dancers with Celtic Nights. Perhaps the most widely known Dublin attraction is the Guinness Storehouse, which provides an interactive tour and tasting experience for all guests. For travelers looking to be fully immersed into Ireland’s drinking culture, The Cobblestone is known in town as the most famous of traditional Irish music pubs.

guiness

The Guinness Storehouse serves more than a million customers and tourists each year. (Kacper Gunia/Flickr)

 

So if you find yourself with a longing for adventure, consider a journey to the Emerald Isle.

 

This post was written by Gabrielle Cowand. Follow her on Twitter @gabriellecowand.

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