Articles on Ireland by Kyle the Vagabond:
If asked about my favorite people in Europe, I would definitelyhave to answer in favor of the Irish, thanks to good food, good drink, and a good sense of their good old Craic. A Scot-English word representing fun and enjoyment, a serious sense of merriment is felt while immersed in this beautiful country. Rolling hills dominate the green landscape while crashing surf maintains its endless barrage on the sculpted cliffs of the shoreline. Castles and counties and cathedrals abound, and somewhere stuck between the dramatic landscape and the nonstop revelry, Ireland takes the cake as one of Europe’s most enjoyable destinations.
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When to Go:
Before going to Ireland you must accept one fact: it can rain pretty much out of nowhere at any time. But it has to get green somehow right? Summer days are long (sun ’til 11pm) and generally warm and comfortable, though by no means scorchingly hot. As to be expected in Europe, summer brings the crowds, festivals and higher prices. Spring and autumn are less crowded times to visit, though perhaps prone to wetter weather and shorter days.
Winter is rarely below freezing thanks to the temperate Atlantic climate, and snow is rare, save for in the mountains. Winter brings with it the fog and rain, and Kerry on the western coast can be the wettest of all. Winter also brings with it fewer crowds, mist shrouded mornings, and perhaps a more pure look
at the true Irish spirit.
The Vagabond’s Personal Top Picks:
1. Bike Killarney National Park
Hit the road on a coastal or mountain trail to experience the Ring of Kerry in all its splendor
2. Have a Guinness at Dublin’s Temple Bar or Guinness Museum
Set in Dublin’s hopping downtown, Temple Bar is always packed with some good Craic, while the Guinness Museum offers one of the best views in the city from its top story bar
3. Kiss the Blarney Stone
Pucker up and lean backwards to gain the gift of eloquence near this ancient castle…or at least a massive head rush
4. Take a stroll through Cork
Learn about the separatist mentality of Ireland’s second largest city while strolling the cobble lined downtown streets. Drop in for dinner and drink at Scoozi’s while you’re at it.
5. Go back to the Stone Age on the Aran Islands
4000 year old stone forts dominate the windswept landscape of these Gaelic speaking islands on the wet, West coast.
6. Stroll through the hills of Connemara
This remote corner of western Ireland features stunning lochs and rolling hills that are broken only by simple, seaside hamlets and villages. Simply unbelievable beauty.
7. Spend a night in a castle
Ancient and abundant, many Irish castles have been converted into modern hotels where a regal sense of nobility still exists amongst the mists. For more information check out Celtic Castles.
8. Hike the lochs of the Wicklow Mountains
An easy daytrip from the Dublin city center, Wicklow Mountains National Park is a hikers haven and slice of serenity situated just an hour and half from pulsing Grafton Street.
9. Have a pint in an “old man” pub
Much more traditional than modern day pubs, old man pubs feature traditional Irish music and lots of pints, singing, dancing, and a real good Craic.