So, you are traveling through Ireland and you need a guide to the best attractions, sights, and activities, county by county, province by province? Fret no more, here we bring you the links that will take you to the "Best of Ireland," be it in Cork, the Antrim coastline, Donegal, Wexford, Dublin, or Belfast.
Even the best guidebooks to Ireland can be overwhelming. They often lag behind the times, omit things the writer did not like (or see) and are, all in all, static. The long number of sights and attractions to be found on this comparatively small island seems immense. Indeed you cannot throw a pebble without hitting an ancient monument in most areas. Planning an Irish vacation can become a nightmare. But it does not have to be that way.
The first thing to throw overboard is the silly idea that you have to see everything. You can't, at least not on a time-restricted vacation, or even in a year or two. Maybe not in a lifetime. Trust me, I lived here quite a bit. There will always be spots you missed - travelling Ireland is a bit like cleaning the house in this aspect.
And let us stick with the house analogy... as you have favourite spots in your house and the attic where you store stuff that might one day come in handy again (never throw away the Betamax, you know), you will have a list of favourite things to see while driving down the Irish roads, and then a long list of things that might be interesting too.
I have tried to take the pain out of the decision process for you by compiling a few lists that will give you an idea of the most important sights and attractions, conveniently sorted by region or theme.
The Province of Connacht
- The very best places to visit in Connacht
- Galway City - full of students
- County Leitrim - Ireland's least populated county
- County Mayo - visit "The Quiet Man!
- County Sligo - Yeats' old stomping ground
The Province of Leinster
- The top ten sights of Leinster
- County Carlow - more than potatoes
- County Dublin - leave the city for further discoveries
- County Kildare - horses for courses
- County Kilkenny - medieval and modern
- County Laois - all around Stradbally
- County Longford - along the Shannon
- County Louth - Ireland's smallest county packs a punch
- County Meath - "Royal Meath" is full of ancient history
- County Offaly - where Obama hailed from
- County Westmeath - once the middle province
- County Wexford and Wexford Town - coastal adventures and sunshine
- County Wicklow - mountains and monasteries
The Province of Munster
- The most important attractions in Munster
- County Cork and Cork City - the rebels are out in force
- County Kerry - scenic beauty in a ring
- County Limerick - make yourself a rhyme here
- County Tipperary - not such a long way to go
The Province of Ulster
- The top ten visitor attractions in Ulster
- County Armagh - ecclesiastical centre of Ireland
- County Cavan - drumlins and potholes
- County Derry (or Londonderry) - so good they named it twice
- County Donegal - Ireland's real north
- County Down - the Mourne Mountains and Strangford Lough
- County Monaghan - Patrick Kavanagh's county
- Belfast City - more than just a troublespot