Eight great reasons to see Ireland

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EIGHT GREAT REASONS TO SEE IRELAND ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME

With its scene-stealing natural beauty and multitude of things to see and do, Ireland is a
dream tourist destination. But just in case you
need any further convincing, here are eight
reasons why everyone should explore the
land of saints and scholars at least once. Expert recommendations Global experts on culture and travel recognise the many facets of the Wild Atlantic Way appeal – Donegal was officially named “the coolest place in the world” for 2017 by National Geographic and Ireland was recently nominated as Europe’s Leading Destination for this year in the 2017 World Travel Awards. World’s longest defined coastal driving route Ireland knows how to play to its strength and has worked hard to bolster the profile of tourist trails like the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2,600-kilometre (1,600-mile) stretch along the west coast (plus parts of the north and south) that is the world’s longest defined coastal driving route. World-class accommodation There are some truly amazing places to stay in Ireland: from amazing world-renowned Bed & Breakfasts, to Ashford Castle, voted the Best Hotel in the World. Its more recent troubled history Ireland’s long history is both fascinating and
tragic, particularly in regards to the many
rebellions against British rule, which ultimately resulted in independence for the south of Ireland through the formation of the Irish Republic.

Spike Island Also known as Ireland’s Alcatraz, it has become
major historic attraction. Spike Island recently
won the European Leading Tourist Attraction 2017
in the highly respected World Travel Awards. One of the world’s oldest languages The Irish language is one of the ten oldest languages still spoken today, said to date back to before AD
3–4, when primitive Irish was first inscribed on Ogham stones. Although you’ll probably have to
seek out a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) community
to hear it spoken fluently, it’s worth the effort to
hear the ancient language still in day-to-day use. Guinness As one of the best-selling beers in the world, Guinness is Ireland’s most instantly recognisable export, and a huge amount of people want to see where it’s made – the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin was Ireland’s most visited paid tourist attraction in 2015, bringing in close to 1.5 million visitors. But no need to go to the brewery – the Guinness in Ireland is often said to taste significantly better than elsewhere (even Barack Obama says so). Superb outdoor and adventure activities Expert hikers adore Ireland, and outdoor adventurers even named the summit climb of Croagh Patrick as one of the 15 best hikes in the world. There’s also Croaghaun Mountain on Achill Island – which at 688 metres
(2,257 feet) is the site of the third highest sea cliffs in Europe – and Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s tallest peak. Another plus for adventure junkies – Ireland offers some of the best surfing in the entire planet: Bundoran was chosen as one of the world’s top 20 surf towns by National Geographic, and big wave surfing in County Sligo attracts professionals from across the globe.