Supplier: Brendan Vacations
Dublin enjoys one of the loveliest natural settings in Europe. Dublin attracts visitors from around the world with its old world charm and friendly atmosphere. Most of the architecture dates from the 18th century, when Dublin enjoyed great prominence and prosperity. Also of interest are stately Georgian houses which front Merrion Square. O'Connell Street is considered the commercial center of Dublin. Perhaps the most memorable feature of Dublin is the traditional pub, where visitors can enjoy conversation over fine Irish brew. The city also offers many fine parks, including St. Stephen's Green and Phoenix Park. National Gallery's renowned collection includes works by such famous masters as Rembrandt and Monet. Trinity College's Old Library is home to the most cherished treasure, the Book of Kells, a manuscript of the Gospels. Admire Christ Church Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Enjoy the exhibits in impressive National Museum. Self-guided walking tours include Old City Trail, Georgian Heritage Trail and the Cultural Trail.
Nestled in southeast Ireland, Waterford combines low farmland and sandy coastlines with rugged landscape typical of County Cork. The town is an ancient Viking settlement whose roots go back to the 8th century. Even today there is a medieval feel about Waterford with its ancient fortifications, 18th century cathedrals, and fine Georgian houses, particularly around The Mall, George's Street and O'Connell Street. While the town is charming, it regained world recognition with the re-opening of the crystal factory offering once again the famous, exquisite glassware of the town's name. Take a walking tour of Historic Waterford to get an understanding of Waterford's complex history. The 70-foot Reginald's Tower was built in the 11th century. Climb the stone spiral staircase for a great view of the city. The ruins of French Church are part of a Dominican monastery built in 1240 AD given to Huguenot refugees in the 17th century. The Theater Royal and City Hall are considered architectural masterpieces by John Roberts.
No matter which direction the area of North Kerry is approached, the great central spine of mountains draws the eye of the traveller like a great symphony draws an audience to a fitting climax. The relatively high mountains and narrow peninsula conjure weather patterns which change the face of the mountains, the surface of the water and the texture of the landscape by the minute. The fretted coastline and deep bays created by the mighty Atlantic play tricks with the light and produce a magical quality which intoxicates the senses.
Galway is a city, a county, and an experience to be savoured and remembered. The historic city of the tribes dances to a beat uniquely it's own. There is a certain chemistry and vibrancy to this friendly university city, which many delight in, and few forget. Music, festivals, horse racing, pubs, restaurants, shops, theatres and most of all -Galway people, combine to create this atmospheric medieval city of culture. From this pulsating heart the rest of the county flows.
Galway Bay, immortalised in song, its beauty unchanging. Scenic Gaeltacht areas including the Aran Islands. Connemara, with the picturesque town of Clifden as its capital. Mountains, castles and stone walls, banks of turf, long sandy beaches, clear lakes, joyful leaping streams and flowing rivers. The mighty Shannon, delightful countryside punctuated by pretty villages, traditional pubs.
Photo used with permission
from Joe Desbonnet, www.galway.net
Limerick City is magnificently sited on one of Europe's finest rivers, the River Shannon. One can only imagine the 9th century scenes, when fleets of Viking vessels sailed up the river to plunder and terrorise the monastic midlands. In later centuries these Norsemen settled and founded the trading port of Limerick.
To-day Limerick is a proud, progressive and thriving City with a charter older than that of London. Its castles, ancient walls and museums are testament to its dramatic past. Particularly worth viewing is Limerick's Emblem 'the Treaty Stone" and King John's Castle in its Heritage precinct as well as the magnificent Hunt Museum in Limerick's Custom House. This museum houses an internationally important collection of some 2,000 original works including pieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Renoir and Picasso.
Limerick City is the Capital of the Shannon Region and is an excellent centre for shopping. It is also rapidly building a reputation for dining and the City has its own 'Good Food Circle' of restaurants. The City is also considered to be the sporting capital of Ireland with excellent facilities and passionate followers of all sporting activities. Limerick is an excellent holiday base, is just 30 minutes from Shannon Airport, and less than 20 minutes from attractions such as world-famous Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.
Sligo is the capital of the North West region and one of Ireland's largest towns. It accounts for one third of the population of Sligo County with some 20,000 residents. However, because of its regional status as a regional growth centre and gateway to the North West, its daily population expands to over 42,000. Sligo town is situated on the Garavogue River and is a thriving tourist, commercial and administrative regional centre.
Sligo is a beautiful county with a long Atlantic coastline, unspoilt countryside, mountains, lakes and countless other natural attributes to be seen. One of the world's most famous poets, and Sligo's adopted literary son, W.B. Yeats was inspired by the breathtaking landscape that abounds around Sligo, which prompted much of his poetry and his famous refrain - "Sligo, land of heart's desire".
The Regional Arts Centre houses a collection of J.B.Yeats paintings (brother of W.B Yeats) among other works of interest. Sligo hosts the International Yeats Summer School, an International Choral Festival, and a comtempary music festival to name but a few.
Sligo offers an excellent quality of life, with a wide range of sport and recreational facilities available. The Regional Sports Centre offers various pitches, indoor basketball courts, badminton, tennis, indoor soccer, a gymnasium and weights room, and a superb swimming pool. Championship golf courses compliment Sligo's extraordinary array of out door amenities. For the more energetic there are well developed GAA, Soccer and Rugby complexes. Other pursuits within the greater Sligo area include water-skiing, world class surfing, sailing, scuba-diving, sea and fresh water fishing, canoeing and mountaineering. Sligo Airport also hosts one of Ireland's most active flying clubs.
Sligo boasts a very vibrant nightlife, with a selection of nightclubs, live entertainment theatres and cultural attractions that offer variety and opportunity to meet all tastes.
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