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5 Top Reasons to Visit Ireland this Year - CIE Tours

Ireland

Tours 2018/2019

  • 28 trips through Ireland Destinations

Top Five Reasons to Visit Ireland

Ireland is a wonderful place to visit: It’s got an unrivaled reputation for friendliness, a rich store of music and lore, and a fascinating cultural heritage arising out of its turbulent history. There are so many reasons to explore – and love– this magical island.

  1. SPECTACULAR SCENERY

Ireland is a stunningly beautiful country, with its green fields, stone walls, rolling mountains and rugged coastlines. A few of our top places to visit include:

  • The Cliffs of Moher

    These awe-inspiring cliffs soar 700 feet above the Atlantic, to form one of Ireland’s most iconic and recognizable views – visit there and you’ll feel the mist on  your face, taste the salt in the air, and hear the howling wind and the waves crashing below you.

  • Ring of Kerry

    Follow the narrow winding roads along Ireland’s southwestern coast, and you’ll be rewarded with glorious scenic views – the sweeping views of lakes, ocean, mountains and charming villages have been admired by visitors since Victorian times.

  • Giant’s Causeway

    Legend says these hexagonal rock formations rising dramatically out of the sea were built by the giant Finn MacCool. Visit this UNESCO Heritage Site and it will capture your imagination.

  1. THE PUBS

Whether you’re a whiskey connoisseur or a teetotaler, there’s no better way to have a laugh with the locals, hear a few tunes, and experience Irish nightlife than a visit to one of Ireland’s many pubs. Some of our favorites:

  • Sean’s Bar in Athlone

    The oldest pub in Ireland (and possibly the world!), Sean’s bar has been around since 900 AD. Located in the very heart of Ireland, next a 12th -century Norman castle, there’s sawdust on the floor, turf burning in the fireplace, and music in the evenings.

  • John B. Keane’s in Listowel, Co Kerry

    John B. Keane was one of Ireland’s most popular playwrights, and his family pub, now owned by his son, remains a social and literary hub in this cultured town.

  • South Pole Inn in Annascaul, Co Kerry

    A visit the South Pole Inn will give you insight into the fascinating life of former owner Tom Crean – a celebrated early 20th -century Irish explorer who toured the Antarctic with Shackleton. Enjoy a drink and browse the memorabilia on display.

  1. ANCIENT HERITAGE

While the scenery is gorgeous, there is also a wealth of cultural richness built into the landscape. Some of the most impressive are:

  • Clonmacnoise

    This ancient monastic site is set on the banks of the River Shannon. Wander among the preserved ruins of seven churches, two round towers, three high crosses and a cathedral, and you’ll get a sense of the lives of the monks who first settled the site in 545 AD.

  • Glendalough

    This lovely glacial valley in County Wicklow was the setting for a monastery founded by St Kevin in the 6th century. You’ll be charmed by the surviving buildings, which mostly date to the 10th – 12th centuries: a beautiful round tower, the remnants of a cathedral, and a romantic little church called “St Kevin’s Kitchen”.

  • Brú na Bóinne

    Ireland’s Stone-Age inhabitants left behind several intriguing structures that remain largely mysterious to this day: Newgrange and Knowth are burial tombs that were built to precisely align with the sun and the winter solstice and the equinoxes. The Brú na Bóinne visitor center tells the story of the Neolithic people who built these structures 5000 years ago.

  1. CASTLES

Castles dot the landscape in Ireland, offering their glimpses into the past and Ireland’s complicated history. Here are a few to visit:

  • Dublin Castle

    One of the most important buildings in all of Irish history, this sprawling complex was the seat of English and later British power in Ireland from 1204 until 1922. Built atop the remains of an earlier Viking settlement, Dublin Castle today is a historic attraction and also a setting for many ceremonies of the Irish state.

  • Bunratty Castle

    Experience a medieval banquet in this 15th – century castle – Sip your mead, listen to medieval tunes played by a piper, enjoy a trip back in time as you experience

  • Blarney Castle

    This 15th – century castle is the home of the world-famous Blarney Stone. Legend says that if you kiss the stone, you’ll magically earn the gift of the gab – and many visitors to Ireland still make the climb up steep steps to perform this fun ritual.

  1. THE UNEXPECTED

Ireland has so many surprises in store. A few of our top picks for some more unexpected places to visit:

  • Titanic Belfast

    This fascinating exhibition exaplores the history of the ill-fated ocean liner, in the city where it all began. In this interactive exhibition, you’ll explore the shipyards, travel to the depths of the ocean and uncover the true legend of Titanic.

  • Glasnevin Cemetery Museum

    Does a visit to a cemetery on your vacation sound too morbid to contemplate? Think again. It might sound strange, but this burial ground is one of Dublin’s top tourist attractions – it offers fascinating insight into Ireland’s turbulent history.

  • Irish National Stud

    This working stud farm, owned by the Irish people, is home of some of the world’s most magnificent thoroughbreds – and a fascinating place to visit. The grounds are stunning, with a Japanese garden regarded as the finest in Europe and St Fiachra’s Garden, which pays tribute to Ireland’s natural beauty and monastic heritage.

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Based on 74 Independent User Reviews

CIE TOURS RATINGS

CIE TOURS RATING

4.4/5

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CIE tours made everything extremely easy. We booked online and had them arrange our flights and transportation to and from the airport. When we finally met up with the tour group a day late, due to bad weather and flight delays, we found out that we had the best guide and driver, Colm Clarke. He was AMAZING- very accommodating and cheerful throughout the whole tour. He kept us informed and entertained all at the same time. I've taken several tours and he surpassed any guides I've dealt with by far. The stops and sights planned are excellent and truly give you a taste of Ireland and Scotland. I found the hotels to be comfortable with good service. I cannot stress how much I enjoyed this tour and how hard I;m working to get back to Ireland as soon as possible. Of course, I'll be booking with CIE again and requesting Colm (Seriously, he is the BEST).
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I had a great travel agent that organised everything
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Friendly and informative tour guides, nice accomodations, we saw so much while we were there!

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