Provinces of Ireland - Munster
Favorite thing: Munster is the most southern and the largest of the provinces, consisting of counties Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford.
All the counties touch the Atlantic except for Tipperary. Cork is the largest county in Ireland and is the second largest city. Other cities in the province include Limerick and Waterford. The major towns are Tralee, Killarney, Ennis and Clonmel.
Munster's name derives from a pre-Christian goddess, Muma. Like the other provinces of Leinster and Ulster, the full English name incorporates the original Gaelic, together with the Norman suffix "-ster", which is related to the modern French terre, meaning "land".
Munster is a tremendously fertile area of Ireland with many major rivers, number of mountain ranges which includes the largest peak in Ireland - Carrauntoohil in Kerrys majestic MacGillycuddy Reeks and some of the oldest Limestone Caves in the world Mitchelstown Caves, Cragg Cave and Aillwee Cave.
Due to its location, near the warm Gulf Stream and straight in the western sea winds, the province of Munster is the warmest province. If you want warm and dry weather you have to go to County Waterford on the east coast.
The peninsulas of West Cork and Kerry is still the home to the strong Irish speaking gaeltacht. Sport is regarded as a religion in Munster. The Gaelic Athletic Association - GAA - was formed in Thurles, Co.Tipperary and all Munsters counties are passionate about their hurling and gaelic football.
Provinces of Ireland - Ulster
Favorite thing: Ulster is the most northerly of the four historic provinces. It consists of counties Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Derry, Donegal, Down, Fermanagh, Monaghan and Tyrone.
But only three of its counties, Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan, are part of the Republic of Ireland.
Ulster has a population of just under 2 million people and its biggest city, Belfast has an urban area of over half a million inhabitants.
Most people in Ulster speak English. Irish is the next most commonly spoken language; some 10% of people in Northern Ireland have "some knowledge of Irish", while the language is taught in all schools in the counties that are part of the Republic.
Ulster has the northernmost of the top ten sights of Ireland - the splendid Giant's Causeway.
And because Northern Ireland is only 5,500 square miles in area you can see most of the main attractions in a week!
A short-list might be:
* The three historic cities of Belfast, Derry and Armagh.
* The Mountains of Mourne and the sea lough of Strangford.
* The Causeway Coast and the Glens of Antrim.
* The Fermanagh Lakeland in the south-west.
* The Sperrin Mountains and the empty moors of western Ulster
Provinces of Ireland - Leinster
Favorite thing: Leinster is the most easterly of the Irish provinces, and includes counties Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, and Wicklow. Its name derives from the Laighin, a Celtic tribe which was part of the earliest wave of Celtic invasions of Ireland, and which ruled the area now covered by counties Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford. The modern province also includes the territory which was part of the ancient fifth province, Míde.
Leinster is the wealthiest and most populated of the four provinces of Ireland, problably bacause it is the home of Nation's Capital - Dublin but also contributes its today glory to neighbouring counties Wicklow and Kildare.
Like the rest of Ireland, Leinster has no shortage of attractions that are well worth a visit. Newgrange and the Hill of Tara are a throw back to prehistoric times in Ireland. Among the other attractions worth visiting are the Wicklow Mountains, Trim Castle and Mellifont Abbey.
Regions of Ireland
Favorite thing: Ireland is divided into four main provinces which house 32 counties (26 of which belong to the Republic of Ireland while the remaining 6 fall under Northern Ireland - the division is formed in the Province of Ulster).
All of them are stated below with Gaelic names in the brackets.
* Galway (Gaillimh)
* Leitrim (Liatroim)
* Mayo (Maigh Eo)
* Roscommon (Ros Comán)
* Sligo (Sligeach)
* Carlow (Ceatharlach)
* Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath)
* Kildare (Cill Dara)
* Kilkenny (Cill Chainnigh)
* Laois (Laois)
* Longford (Longfort)
* Louth (Lú)
* Meath (Mí)
* Offaly (Ua Fáilghe)
* Westmeath (Iarmhí)
* Wexford (Loch Garman)
* Wicklow (Cill Mhantáin)
* Clare (Clár)
* Cork (Corcaigh)
* Kerry (Ciarraí)
* Limerick (Luimneach)
* Tipperary (Tiobraid Arainn)
* Waterford (Port Lairge)
Ulster - Republic of Ireland
* Cavan (Cabhán)
* Donegal (Dún na nGall)
* Monaghan (Muineacháin)
Ulster - Northern Ireland
* Antrim (Aontroim)
* Armagh (Árd Mhacha)
* Down (Dún)
* Fermanagh (Fir Manach)
* Derry (Doire)
* Tyrone (Tir Eoghain)
Although the territorial divisions they embody are very ancient, the Irish provinces have never been used as administrative regions, and for the most part, do not inspire the same kind of allegiance as counties or parishes. Virtually the only area in which they now have everyday significance is sport, particularly Gaelic football and hurling, where the championship are organised first within and then between the provinces.
Favorite thing: l presume you are flying into dublin ,if so and weather permitting "giants causeway "and down to achill island-2 ,straight down the west coast to galway,just outside youve got a town called spiddale and a ferry point at rossaveil which will bring you out to the aran islands,after that through a area called the burren and down to the cliffs of moher,from theree you can also go to the aran islands
day 1-2-giants causeway
day 3-4 cliffs of moher
day 4-5 dublin
hope this gives you some ideas
Fondest memory: sunset at doolin co-clare
Mobile phone sim cards that work in Ireland
Favorite thing: When I got to Ireland, my new Orange sim card did not work at all, and a scan of available networks showed Meteor, O2, and Vodafone. So I went into a phone shop and bought a 10 euro Meteor sim card that included 10 euros of time on it. That lasted me through the 10 days of my trip. I was told at the shop that any sim card I bought in Ireland would only be good there.
B&B Vouchers - Not So Convenient
Favorite thing: B&B vouchers look good on the surface. However, you will find that they are hard to work with in most cases. Many of the B&Bs which accept vouchers will not hesitate to forfeit your rooms if they have a cash paying customer instead. Though it sounds harsh, there is sound reasoning. When a B&B owner accepts vouchers, there are fees that they must pay or which are deducted from the voucher remittance before they are reimbursed.
As to the ten days and what you can see, from where are you arriving and departing? You should look to staying a minimum of two nights in each location. That will allow you to become acquainted with the locals and the area that you are in, as well. Some areas, in my opinion, require three nights, Killarney and Dingle come to mind. Remember that the roads in Ireland are quite different from our roads here. Most are narrow and there is always the chance that you will encounter things that will slow you down, sheep, cattle, farm equipment, tour buses, lorries, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. A good rule of thumb is to figure an average speed of 30 - 35 mph. Rent the smallest vehicle you are comfortable with and pay the extra for an automatic, as it is one less worry. I would suggest that you look at Kemwel or AutoEurope, as either will both price match and allow you to pay off your rental prior to your leaving from home.
If you let me know what your interests are, I can better suggest a solid route and offer up some budget B&Bs. Your most expensive area will the large cities, Cork, Dublin, Galway.
Slan Beo (Take Care),
Fondest memory: What do I miss the most? I miss the friendliness of her people. There is an open warmth that I only seem to encounter in Ireland. Lost? You only need to stop in at the nearest small store and you wil be given clear directions, three different routes, all with great sites to see, and an engaging conversation. Staying long, two or three nights should do the trick, in any town or village? By the second day, if you have done your part and participated in conversations, you will be greeted by name and asked where you are headed this fine day.
What do I miss? I miss the smell of the salt air and the taste of it on your skin as you walk along the Clare coast. I miss the sounds of the boats coming in and out of Kilronan harbour. I miss the soft rains that cleanse you on a morning walk. I miss the smell of peat smoke and the taste of brown bread fresh from the oven.
What do I miss? I miss the sounds of music drifting out of pubs. Voices, in tune and not so much, raised in chorus. I miss the lambs gamboling on the hills and the foals in the paddocks. I miss the ever changing scenery as you round each corner, stealing your breath.
What do I miss most about Ireland? I miss it all and, each night in my dreams, I revisit her shores.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: Inch beach is on the south-western coast of Ireland. It is close the the town of Kilkenny but it is very peaceful. Stretching down the coast for around 3 miles, the walk along the sea is spectacular, especially as the sun goes down. Accomodation is nearby, ranging from hotels to cottages, all with brilliant views over the sea. Just a short drive away is Kilkenny, where the shops and stalls will cater for most needs, restaurants and bars are never too far away. Definitely worth a visit.Related to:
- Family Travel
Ring of Kerry Ghost
Favorite thing: When we took this photo...there was noone standing there. This woman showed up in the snapshot and in a movie film. If you look closely... she has no legs. The image ends at her coat. Don't ask. I don't know. I only tell the story cause Mattcrazy1 of VT was bugging me about ghosts. does this qualify? You really need to enlarge the pic to see how strange this is.
JUST IN: A VT MEMBER HAS INFORMED ME THAT THIS SPOT THAT I PHOTOGRAPHED IS KNOWN AS "LADIES VIEW"....SO NOW I'M CURIOUS TO KNOW THE LEGEND OF THAT NAME. PERHAPS THE WOMAN WHO 'APPEARED' IN THE PHOTOGRAPH IS THE LADY OF THE LEGEND!Related to:
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
Guide and infos
Favorite thing: Thanks to the advanced of the technology. Modern traveller can rely of the information electronically or hard print copies. We do love Lonely Planet book that gives a lot of useful information during our travel (and most of the infos are accurate!!). Since we are drivig our own car, we also find the Ireland Road Map (CHECKED) is very helpful. We found brocchures along our path are also useful, since they gives more infos about the local sightseeing and places of interests. Although, our favorit is chatting with B&B's host where we stay. We have been very lucky to meet lot of informative and friendly people during our journey. And we do enjoy extra information (usually jokes or anecdotes that they usually refer as "typical Irish")Related to:
- Budget Travel
Walking in Ireland
Favorite thing: I do love the fact that beautiful Ireland is a walkable country!! Although you are not a big fan of walking or hiking, but there are a lot of places that will make you prefer walking to enjoy it.
For leisure to serious walker, Ireland has a lot of "walking way". You will see sign here and there such as "Kerry way" or "St Kevin's Way". You can buy walking guide book to describe detail route such as "Walking in Connemara", or "walking in Killerney". Walking route vary from the shortest 15 min walk to days walk. For more serious walk, you may need a detailed map for the areas you are heading. If you are a serious walker, but enjoy comfy bed and hot shower at the end of your day, you may consider to buy a book with B&B nearby your destination. Or, you can also book walking tour that provide guides to accompany your journey.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
B & B's
Favorite thing: You can find easily Bed and Breakfast a.k.a B&B throughout Ireland. Price is usually charged per person starting from 25 Euro per person. You can casually check in to any nearest B&B closer to your travel point, but be extra cautious in the weekend. Places like Kenmare and Killerney (county Kerry), Dingle Peninsula, town and village around Cliff of Moher (county Clare) and many other touristic destnation are usually fully booked and not even any single room left. You can contact tourist office for accommodation booking (such as in Clifden) where they charge around 4 Euro for booking and deposit of 10 Euro.
Since many B&B are run by family, it would be good to check in before 8 pm. Yes, you can check in at 12 am, but don't blame the sour welcome or unfriendly look. This accommodation type is not a hotel though.Related to:
- Budget Travel
i wish some told me.
Favorite thing: 1. Just because a place says the "Whatever INN", it doesn't mean they have rooms. They're just pubs. Don't go in asking for accommodations, it's embarassing.
2. Restaurants in a lot of the smaller towns will shut down around 9pm. Plan your meals accordingly or you'll go to be hungry. and sober.
Slea Head Drive, Killarney, Gap of Dunloe
Favorite thing: Ireland is truly a beautiful country. Don't miss the west coast! We absolutely marveled at the diversity and untarnished natural beauty there.
Fondest memory: We loved the Irish people. Whether we were in the city or countryside, everyone we met was sincerely friendly.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Favorite thing: Irish humour (from Ireland as opposed to about it) is great. A Roman Catholic preist told me this one :
It takes place in county Clare, near the cliffs of Mohar, the tallest cliffs in Europe.
A man wants to buy a horse.
The horsedealer shows him a fine horse but warns him that the horse is 'religious'.
"What the hell do you mean by that ?" says the man. "I'm an atheist anyway"
"Well it will only go when you say Alleliua, and will only stop when you say the last word of the Lord's prayer"
The man buys the horse, and desperately tries to ride it home. He tells it to 'Giddy up', 'go you bugger', 'run', but nothing works. In desperation he takes the horse dealers advice and says 'Alleliua'.
The horse bolts off at break-neak speed across the county, heading straight for the aforementioned cliffs.
'Stop you bastard', 'whao' etc is tried, but nothing works. He remembers what the horse dealer sais and eventually comes up with 'Amen'.
The horse screeches to a halt just inches from the edge of the cliffs.
The man is amazed, looks up to the heavens and says :
"Bloody hell, there is a God, I believe....Alleliua"
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