World renowned for great craic, smooth Guinness and lucky shamrocks, the Emerald Isle is very much a place for good times; something we all look for in a short break. From century old castles and greener than green scenery to cultural festivals and folklore traditions, Ireland is an adventure waiting to happen!
With St Patrick’s Day on the horizon, there’s truly no better time to explore Ireland’s vibrant culture and fascinating heritage. Working our way around the beautiful isle from Belfast to Dublin, we discover what exciting sights are on offer in Paddyland.
Make Memorable Moments in Belfast
As the capital city of Northern Ireland, Belfast is a popular choice for many curious travellers, and let’s be honest, who could blame them? On the historic Harland and Wolff Shipyard you can see the birthplace of Titanic at the Titanic Belfast Exhibition, or discover the 28 acres of beautiful Botanic Gardens in the Queen’s Quarter. The Ulster Museum offers visitors a fascinating insight into Northern Ireland’s history with FREE admission for everyone – brilliant news, but if you’re a fan of all creatures great and small, then a trip to Belfast Zoo might be more your cup of tea.
Stepping a little outside of the city and heading up north, you can explore the wondrous sight that is The Giant’s Causeway. The ancient basalt columns, dramatic cliffs and wild North Atlantic Sea have inspired visitors from around the globe for centuries making it an Irish coastline not to be missed.
Get Cultural in Derry~Londonderry
Moving over to Derry~Londonderry in the North West of Ireland you can discover the UK’s City of Culture 2013. Mixing its vibrant and contemporary atmosphere with a wealth of history and heritage, this 17th century walled city offers you the very best of Irish culture. Annual events such as the world’s largest Irish folk music festival, Fleadh Cheoil and the spectacular Walled City Tattoo are wonderful celebrations of Ireland’s colourful and treasured traditions.
Here at Superbreak, we’re no strangers when it comes to Ireland’s rural North West landscapes. A cheeky trip to the Wild Atlantic Way last year opened our eyes to the beauty of County Donegal and Sligo. With breathtaking scenery at the Sliabh Liag Cliffs, a guided tour through 15th century Donegal villages and horse riding on Sligo beaches (yep, people actually do that), the North West is a pretty exciting place for an Irish adventure.
Explore Galway on the Wild West Coast
Heading down to the South West, the wonderful city of Galway offers plenty of exciting sightseeing opportunities at The Collegiate Church, Lynches Window, Eyre Square and much, much more. But to explore some more rural treats on Ireland’s west coast, why not take a tour of The Cliffs of Moher? With spectacular (albeit slightly windy) panoramic cliff-top views, magical coastal landscapes and visits to surrounding picturesque villages, this exhilarating day trip – complete with genuine Irish wit – packs everything in!
Visit Cork to Kiss the Blarney Stone
Journeying on to the South, you’ll hit upon the colourful and cheerful city of Cork. Situated on the River Lee, the city centre is made up of beautiful weaving waterways and proudly regarded as having the best foodie scene in all of Ireland.
No visit to Cork is complete without a trip to one of Ireland’s greatest landmarks, Blarney Castle. Millions flock to this 600-year-old castle each year to see the magnificent historic structure and to kiss the Blarney Stone. Legend has it; those who kiss the stone will forever have the gift of the gab – more politely known as the gift of eloquence.
Discover Dublin with a Pint of Guinness
Travelling east towards Dublin, you’ll find yourself back in the countryside at Co. Wicklow. Home to striking mountain scenery, breathtaking valleys and charming lakes, Wicklow is a truly mesmerising place and a wonderfully Irish rural treat! A day tour of Wicklow Mountains will lead you on a scenic trail to the 10th century monastery at Glendalough, as well as a visit to the pretty village of Avoca, home to the oldest weaving mill in Ireland.
Last but not least, the city of Dublin offers a host of incredible things to see and do. Walking along the River Liffey Quays you can discover the famous Dublin bridges as well as making your way to nearby sights at Temple Bar, the Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Castle and Trinity College.
For lovers of beer, a trip to the Guinness Storehouse is a must! Here you can learn about the magic behind the stout, and enjoy a pint at the Gravity Bar, complete with 360-degree views of Dublin.
To make the most of your time in the capital of Ireland, we recommend a super handy Dublin Pass. With special offers, discounts, FREE airport transport, skip-the-line passes and a complimentary guidebook, exploring Dublin couldn’t be easier.
Celebrate St Paddy’s with a Minicruise Party
Ireland is a truly wonderful place to enjoy a short break any time of the year, but if you’re looking for something a little different this St Paddy’s Day, why not embark on a minicruise adventure to…Amsterdam (stay with us, it will all make sense soon). With live entertainment from the incredible Irish folk group, The Beckett Band and traditional Celtics tunes from Accordionist Colette O’Leary, you can enjoy your very own taste of Ireland onboard the St Patrick’s Day Minicruise Party! Be merry by night with authentic Irish entertainment, and explore by day the wonderful sights of Amsterdam.
How do you plan on celebrating St Patrick’s Day 2014? Are you heading overseas to the Emerald Isle or staying close to home with an alternative celebration? Let us know using the comments box below!