Ireland, an extremely beautiful island, is located in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean. On its territory, you can see a variety of landscapes ranging from high mountains and endless sandy beaches to small villages and modern metropolises. This wonderful area has long inspired many poets, writers and artists. Ireland has preserved ancient castles, cathedrals, and impregnable fortresses. Ireland, a country, occupies most part of the island. This majestic country had experienced invasions by the Vikings, had once been part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. All this time striving for independence, Ireland attained it in 1949.
A distinctive feature of Ireland is its nature. Favoured by humid and warm maritime climate, the country is covered with green meadows. Fog and drizzling rain are quite frequent in the country. The countryside is covered with numerous peat bogs and lakes caused by high humidity. The coastline of the island is notable for coves, bays and fjords. Just in the east of the country you can find flat sandy areas suitable for fishing and shipping. The country is washed by the Irish and North Seas, as well as by the Atlantic Ocean. The weather in Ireland is changeable during a day. It can be rainy and cloudy in the morning, but after a few hours sunny, and in the evening again cloudy.
Situated in the north-west of the island, Connemara National Park includes such mounts as Benbrack, Benbaun, Bencullagh, and Muckanaght, as well as many marshes, moors, forests and meadows.
Ireland is famous for its sheep and wool. Great lambswool sweaters are made here. Every Irish family has its own original ornament passed from generation to generation that is used to decorate their woollen products. The Sheep and Wool Museum has been opened in the country in order to keep national traditions.
Native people can’t imagine their life without horses. Across the country, you can find many stud farms, the most famous of which are located in the central part of Ireland. World’s champions are bred in their stables. Ireland is home to about 25 horse racetracks, where you can admire exciting equestrian competitions throughout the year. Dublin Horse Show is one of the biggest international events in Ireland and throughout the world. The show’s history began a few centuries ago. The small town of Ballinasloe hosts Horse Fair, a great local festival to present, purchase and sell magnificent horses. Ireland is famous for other interesting festivals as well. Dublin hosts Pub Music Fest, an international festival, and County Cork offers you to come there in October and visit Jazz Festival, welcoming the world’s best jazz musicians. Dublin Film Festival is annually held in Dublin. In August, the medieval city of Kilkenny welcomes thousands of people to Kilkenny Arts Festival, one of the largest international festivals.
Travelling in Ireland won’t be complete without a walk in Dublin, its capital. This city abounds in architectural and historical monuments that reflect the long history of the country. The River Liffey flows through the centre of Dublin and divides it into two parts. The southern part of the city is the most interesting and beautiful. There are many historic buildings dating back to the 16th century there.
The sights of the capital aren’t the only attractions of Ireland. One of the most beautiful places in the country is considered to be County Clare. The stone Cliffs of Moher stretching on the western coast of Ireland reach a height of over 214 meters. The total length of the cliffs is about five miles, thus occupying almost the entire western coast of the county. You should expect particularly beautiful views of this area from O'Brien, a watchtower, which has been located there since the late 19th century.
Belfast Castle with its fascinating history simply shouldn’t be missed by you as it keeps so many legends. Beautiful gardens with a shining fountain in the centre are laid out around the castle. Looking from above, the fountain resembles a precious emerald and is considered to be a symbol of prosperity and wealth. In the county of Cork, you can admire another magnificent garden, which is located near the noble mansion of Richard Annesley. Every meter of the land in this unusual garden is planted with rare species collected from around the world.
The Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne, one of the Ireland's oldest burial mounds and passage tombs, is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Bend of the Boyne dates back to the Neolithic and it has been still keeping many unsolved mysteries associated with its occurrence. These ancient mounds are older than the world-famous Egyptian pyramids. Visit this ancient site and it will amaze you with its construction. Among various sights of Ireland, you should pay attention to Aillwee Cave, one of the most ancient natural monuments of the country. Here you can see fantastic stalactites of various shapes and sizes. The cave’s temperature is always stable – ten degrees above zero.
National Irish cuisine is simple as the North is. Here, on the green hills, you'll see many grazing cows that give delicious milk. Most of the traditional dishes are cooked with milk, butter or cream. Traditional local stew is made with lamb and potatoes. Rivers and lakes of Ireland are remarkable for their diverse of fish, which is traditionally used in large quantities. In the country, you can taste many types of cakes made of different kinds of flour.
An integral part of the country’s national culture is Irish dance. They are accompanied by the traditional tunes of Celtic origin and require special shoes – without taps on toes, but always with heels. Certain movements are performed at a rapid pace with alternate steps.
The centuries-old Irish traditions, stunning nature, medieval monuments of culture and architecture, and the breathtaking history have long attracted tourists from different countries to Ireland.
Administrative division — Ireland
Dublin Population: 525382