1.) As you move around the country, the scenery will constantly show you a variety of sights and views to enjoy. From historic peat bogs to picturesque rivers and early morning misty fringed lakes. Pastures filled with both sheep, cows, and horses grazing in fields and hills of emerald green and rocky soil. The rocky shorelines that plunge into the deep blue sea will offer breathtaking views for as far as the eye can see.
2.) Our travels around the country will provide a rich variety of villages, towns, and cities to experience and explore. The larger cities are typical of any urban city – filled with people, parks, churches, stores, businesses, colleges, museums, hotels, and restaurants. It’s the small quaint villages though that will steal your heart. The narrow streets of the small towns are filled with restaurants, pubs, hotels, and shops of all types that are found in historic buildings. Explore the villages and meet the friendly people as the towns bustle with tourists, artists, and musicians giving impromptu shows on sunny days.
3.) Ancient medieval castles with expansive grounds to explore are found in every part of Ireland. Some have been renovated while others are in ruins. These castles date from as early as the 10th century at their oldest and exist in varying state of preservation and renovation across Ireland. Many of these castles are now hotels, and are noted for their beautiful gardens, walking trails, excellent service, terrific food, and warming fireplaces found in the common lounges and pubs.
4.) You will never go hungry while traveling in Ireland. The traditional food is offered in fine restaurants as well as in local pubs. Consider trying their Guinness stew, great tasting burgers, seafood chowder, soups, fish, lamb, beef, potatoes, scones, and soda bread to name just a few. Irish food is hearty, simple, and quite delicious. Bon Appetit!
5.) Everywhere you go on your tour, you will be able to purchase an “Irish” souvenier. From the traditional “tourist” items to the world famous china and crystal (Belleek, Waterford). The excellent craftsmanship of the hand-woven wool blankets and sweaters might just catch your eye. There is an abundance of big chain stores and little shops found throughout the country for your shopping pleasure.
6.) As you drive around Ireland you can’t help but notice the sheep, cows, and horses grazing in the fields or on the sides of rocky mountains. Sheep provide meat as well as wool for the farmers. Every year a census is taken to find out how many sheep roam the land. Since many farmers raise pure dairy and beef cows, the beef you’ll eat is mouth watering and the ice cream is heavenly. There is an old Irish saying: Sell cow, buy sheep, but never be without a horse. Great pride is taken in their horses.
7.) Take a moment to appreciate the magnificent stonework, graceful flying buttresses, architecture, and iron work found in the historic churches of Ireland. You may even be able to walk up narrow stairs and ring the bells in the steeple. Crypts are available to tour in many of the churches and explain much of the history of the country’s religion.
8.) Ah, it sure’ll be grand if you find time to spend in an Irish Pub. Each has a life all their own with plenty of energy, atmosphere and music. In some small town pubs, you’ll often see the crowd break into song as they sing their country’s national anthem at closing time. There is nothing quite like meeting and sharing a pint with the Irish. Slainte! (meaning cheers)
9.) The Irish people are easy to love. They are engaging, polite and interested in what you’ll be doing while on tour. If you are able to take time and enjoy their many tales, you’ll find out that they definitely have the gift of gab and an excellent sense of humor. No one laughs more at themselves than the Irish. It’s refreshing to be with someone who doesn’t take things in life too seriously. They just simply enjoy what they have and it is infectious to say the least.
10.) Traveling abroad to a country where English is spoken is another reason to tour Ireland. Gaelic is the first official language with English being the second. Only about 2% of the population speak “Irish” on a daily basis. English is spoken throughout, though don’t be fooled as with the accent and the different expressions used to describe things, it may seem like you are listening to a foreign language. Everything will be quite “lovely” as you explore the Emerald Isle with your local tour guide. No one will feel like an eejit (idiot) and act loopers (crazy). “You’re going to have a whale of a time” interacting with the local people. As an Irish Proverb says: “Life is like a cup of tea, it’s all in how you make it!”