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.
Londonderry (Derry) is a city of contrasts, culture, and heartwarming hospitality. Protective walls erected in 1614 present a good image of what the town’s fortification looked like more than 350 years ago and offer a splendid view over the roofs and buildings. The city’s architectural legacy retains many elegant reminders of fortunes gleaned from trade. Discover the grandeur of Georgian terraces and the ornate facade of the building that once housed the shirt and collar industry. The city offers history and heritage. Major attractions are the 17th-century cathedral and the neo-Gothic guildhall. The town square has been known since the 17th century as the Diamond and lies at the junction of the four principal streets, still following the medieval plan. Derry provides a convenient base for exploring Donegal County, one of the country’s most scenic areas in glorious wilderness. Located outside Londonderry, Dunluce castle is famous as the former residence of the great O’Neills clan. The Grianan of Aileach - which dates back to 1700 B.C., was originally a temple of the sun.
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