Irish blogger Liam O Connell is a keen writer about Irish culture , heritage, and travel. Here, he offers us some insights into his thoughts on holidaying in Ireland:
I’m going to have to go with the west of Ireland, and in particular Co. Clare. I’ve spent so much time in this area over the years, and I’ll always keep going back.
Clare has so much of what I see as Ireland’s best qualities – amazing scenery, beautiful towns, and warm, welcoming people.
The Cliffs of Moher are the least overrated attraction ever! You just have to stand on top of those cliffs on a beautiful, clear day at least once in your lifetime. The Burren, of course, is another spectacle that county Clare is blessed with. Bunratty Castle, the Craggaunowen Crannóg, Poulnabrone dolmen, Aillwee cave… I could go on and on.
I guess it depends on what the visitor is looking for. If you’re looking for postcard Ireland then head out west (Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo etc). If it’s museums, nightlife, and a lively scene, then I suppose Dublin is your best bet. My home town of Cork offers so much too. The city may be small by international standards, but there’s always so much going on there. And of course you don’t have to venture too far outside the city to find beautiful coastal scenery and plenty of lively small towns.
I’ve been travelling with my kids for the past few years now, so I usually pack entertainment for them. If the kids aren’t happy, nobody will be! For myself, I never forget my camera, not even when I go for a stroll down some familiar old roads. Ireland is packed with plenty of photo opportunities.
It may sound cliched, but the Irish people truly make a visit to Ireland memorable. If you’ve traveled to other parts of the world, you will most likely agree that the Irish go out of their way to make sure tourists feel welcome. Simple things, like including them in the banter and craic in the pubs, stopping on the street to help with directions, or just taking the time to chat for a while. The welcome you get in other countries just doesn’t compare.
My last 3 breaks away were to Galway, Clare and Dublin. Next time I’m hoping to take a couple of days enjoying some of Wicklow’s finest – Glendalough, the Wicklow National Park and I’ll try to take in some coastal walks too.
Based on how many happy visitors to Ireland I’ve met, I’d have to say yes! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard stories of trips to Ireland from ten, fifteen or even 20+ years ago. People usually bring back fond memories of their trip, and that in itself represents great value. But from a financial standpoint, I suppose some things in Ireland can seem expensive in comparison to other European countries, for example eating out. And depending on where you’re coming from the exchange rate can be unfavourable (e.g. $US to Euro). But if Ireland is your chosen destination and you plan your trip well, then you can do it on almost any budget.
Liam O’Connell passionately portrays Ireland in a positive light by sharing stories and photos about Irish travel and culture on his blog GotIreland.com
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