The Short Answer
For some, Ireland is the most beautiful country in the world, regardless of its weather. Most return visitors to Ireland say that the friendliness of the Irish people is what made their experience great.
The Forty Shades of Green Answer
There is no doubt that Ireland has beautiful, soul-lifting, scenery. But this scenery comes at a price -- rain, lots of it, keeps the country greener than anywhere on the planet. You won't definitely see rain on your vacation -- Ireland has many fine summer days. But it helps to think of Irish sunshine as a bonus, not the default.
With your raincoat packed then, you will be inspired by the amazing scenery of locations such as:
- The Cliffs of Moher
- The Giant's Causeway
- The Dingle Peninsula
- The Mourne Mountains
- The Burren
- The Aran Islands
- Achill Island
- Glenveagh National Park
... to name but a few of Ireland's scenic places. The scenery of Ireland is calm and relaxing -- and so is the pace of life, particularly in rural areas where you find the most impressive landscapes. If you're not sure what Ireland looks like, think of movies like Braveheart and Lord of the Rings, which were partly filmed in, or inspired by, Irish scenery.
History and Heritage
Inhabited since the stone age, Ireland has a genuinely rich heritage, and much evidence of the past still remains.
- The country has many ancient megalithic sites, many of which are older than Stonehenge or the pyramids, with mysterious inscriptions and symbols
- Ireland also has a rich Celtic history, and examples of this include art and manuscripts, such as the famous Book of Kells
- Around a thousand castles are dotted around the island, many of them in ruins, but some like Bunratty Castle, are preserved in their medieval splendour
- Irish people are famous for how welcoming they are -- Open and engaging , no wonder Ireland has traditionally been known as "the land of a thousand welcomes"
- You will find Irish people helpful if you need tips or assistance, or even if you want to strike up conversation while in a pub (do it! Irish people love to talk to visitors
Irish people like to socialise. In Dublin, and in most other major towns and cities, you will find busy venues on any night of the week, not just week.
- Ireland has become known worldwide for the "Irish pub", but the Irish pub is not just a dispenser of alcohol in Ireland.
- Traditionally, the public house has played an important role at the centre of community life, where individuals would gather, particularly at weekends, to catch up and exchange stories, listen to live music, maybe even dance, and generally enjoy themselves.
- Irish pubs are not as prominent in Irish community life as they once were, but you will still find a huge number of them, and a great variety of them across the country, in every city, town and village.
Things to Do
- Ireland has modernised a lot during the last few decades and, particularly in its major cities like Dublin, has a bright, young, increasingly multicultural population
- In urban areas in particular, you will find no shortage of good restaurants, shopping, cinemas, theatres and other venues
- During the spring and summer months, there are thousands of festivals held throughout the country
- Each village competes with the next to showcase its offerings and attract both locals and tourists
- In the larger towns and cities, specialist events such as food festivals or literary festivals are held
So if don't like soul-soothing scenery, friendly people who make you feel at home, good night-life great pubs, free live traditional music, and non-stop summer festivals (and I didn't even mention the castles!) ... then you probably won't like Ireland. But if the chance of wind and rain and wind will spoil your holiday, try Hawaii ... that reminds me: you can surf in Ireland too!