Top 10 Irish Vacation Ideas
Ireland, home to just over 6 million people, is a popular European destination. The third-largest European island, Ireland features mountains, central plains, and thick woodlands, and is home to a variety of festivals and sporting events that tourists will love. We'll count down ten of the most popular things to do whilst in Ireland:
Dublin Festival Season
There is a festival every year in Dublin. It is on a par with the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland except for its Irishness. It has fashion shows, contemporary art exhibitions, performances by renowned Irish and other players and actors, food festivals, fringe areas, and a Dublin style Oktoberfest.
One of the most celebrated exports of this small but not insignificant country is the commodity known locally as Liffey Water, that is to say Guinness. It is therefore of small surprise to find a Beer Festival here. Ireland has other alcoholic products as well; Irish Whiskey, for example.
The Ceilidh (pronounced kayley)
Every place in Ireland has one of these. It is a sing-a-long, dance-along, drink along high quality entertainment time. There used to be a really good one of these at the Central Hotel in Dublin every Wednesday evening at 8 o’clock.
There is a National Ceilidh competition and the ceilidh is highlighted at the Dublin Festival every year.
Ceilidhs are really good fun and are an essential part of the fabric of the modern Irish Republic just as they were part of the other manifestations of Ireland in centuries gone by. Go and see for yourself. You will have a really good time and find out just how friendly the Irish can be.
Kissing the Blarney Stone
If you have kissed the Blarney Stone, you have the “gift of the gab”; you can talk your way out of any bad situation and, of course, you can have your way with members of the opposite sex.
The stone is located in the southern part of Ireland and you really need a car to get there. The price of petrol (gasoline ) is extremely high in the Irish Republic so you need to be parsimonious about using rent-cars if you are on a budget. Overall, Ireland is a high cost country any way.
Kissing the Blarnry Stonr is not as simple as it sounds, but I will tell you it requires bodily contortions of a quite prodigious nature.
This is an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is also cold, wet and windy. It is in the far west of the country and you need a car. (See petrol price caveat). There are guest houses available, but they are expensive too.
The area is home to many, many species of birds and small mammals. Take a camera, some binoculars, and small flask of Irish whiskey. Seek advice from a “twitcher” (avid bird watcher) before you go. Bird watching is not as simple as a lot of people believe it to be and a little help goes a long way.
Go and “watch the sun go down on Galway Bay.”
It seems that more songs have been written about places in Ireland than any other place in the world, and this place particularly deserves it.
The views (and the sunset) are spectacular and well worth a visit.
One of the first technology companies (Digital Equipment Corporation) set-up in Galway to make a machine called the PDP-8. Jokes abounded about it, but the country’s reputation as a safe haven for quality manufacturing was born here and the people in Cork have reason to feel grateful as news of this spread and Cork reaped a lot of the rewards.
Cork is the Republic’s second city and it can be reached directly by ferry from Swansea in Wales, or by “Nifty 50” (An Aer Lingus Dornier 50 regional airliner) from Heathrow Airport, London. This is a very leisurely way to go and the Aer Lingus cabin crews are not stingy with the Gin and Tonics.
Many of the new technology companies are in Cork. The Irish Government was quick to hand out subsidies. This kind of industry does not pollute and brings upscale workers to the local businesses.
The local scenery is magnificent and the people are a joy to be around.
This sport looks like Australian Rules Football (See “Australia”). The Thai kick boxing content is just as prevalent. Once again the joy of attendance is audience watching rather than the sport itself. The sport is quite exciting though, and there is the added hazard of sticks.
Refereeing this game looks rather dangerous as the poor old ref. has to be right in the thick of things so as to enforce whatever rules there are. The local hospitals probably have a few wxtra customers on days when there are fixtures, but I have not herd of anything life threatening happening.
Jamison Whiskey Distillery Tour
This is a tour of a restored distillery and can be had in in the Smithfield of Dublin. It comes along with lunch, entertainment, and free gifts. The tour itself is free but lunch etc. has an additional cost.
You can find out how Jamison's is made and explore the history of the first whiskey makers. There is a wonderful thing (so they say) called a “Jemmie” You canfind out just what this is. I do not know. They did not tell me when I was there! Cheated, but I don't drink much whiskey anyway. It gives me a headache. Seriously.
Wicklow is fairly close to Dublin so you won't have to bust your travel budget getting there.
All manner of things are available here. You can walk, cycle, play golf, and ride horses. There are festivals and special events. The Wicklow website is updated regularly as many events are added to the seemingly endless list.
You can stay in just about any kind of accommodation you wish, but as I warned before, Ireland is a high cost place to be and the norms do not necessarily apply. A farmhouse or guesthouse may be more expensive than a hotel, for example.