Learn More About Ireland Tours
Ireland may occupy a relatively small space in the world (it's about the same geographic size as the state of Indiana), but it's a giant when it comes to splendid scenery, rich heritage, magnificent castles and fascinating folklore. The island is politically divided into two countries: the sovereign Republic of Ireland (which is typically known as simply "Ireland") and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.
An Ireland tour usually includes at least one overnight in the capital city of Dublin, where its many important sights include St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Trinity College, and O'Connell Street, one of the widest thoroughfares in Europe. Beer aficionados won't want to miss a visit to the Guinness Storehouse at St. James Gate, where the dark brew was created more than 250 years ago.
Magnificent vistas of green mountains, lakes, valleys, harbors, and cliffs unfold once you leave the cosmopolitan city of Dublin. For example, on the western coast near Killarney, you'll find the Lakes of Killarney and a popular lookout called "Ladies View." This is where Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting stopped during a royal visit in 1861. The ladies were so enraptured with the vistas, the spot was named after them.
Further north, also on the west coast of the island are the Cliffs of Moher, rising nearly 700 feet from the Atlantic Ocean and a magnificent spot to visit on your Ireland vacation. From here it's a gorgeous panorama down the Clare Coast. Watch your step as you walk along the cliff's edge--there are few guardrails here!
Shoppers will want to stop in the southeastern coastal town of Waterford to visit the world-famous Waterford Crystal Factory. And there are plenty of other places in the country's out-of-the-way villages and larger cities to browse for traditional Irish handicrafts, pottery and woolen goods to bring home as souvenirs from your destination tour of Ireland.