The magical country of Celtic legends and enchanted forests
Ireland is an island located in the North Atlantic and separated from Great Britain by diverse natural elements, like the channel the North Sea and St George's Channel. It is the third largest island in Europe and the second largest of all those that make up the British Isles, surpassed only by the island of Great Britain itself.
Politically, this country is divided into two parts: the Republic of Ireland, an independent state commonly called Ireland or Eire. This occupies five sixths of the island. The other part is called Northern Ireland which is integrated into the United Kingdom and is situates in the northeast. Between both sides there is free movement of people, goods, services and capital across the border.
The Republic of Ireland is currently among the richest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, and in 2015 it was recognized as the sixth most developed nation in the world. In addition, in recent years it has launched a significant commitment to renewable energy, becoming one of the top ten investment markets in clean technology.
Our main ports of embarkation in Ireland
Get to know the terrain and typical nature of Ireland
Ireland is located in northwestern Europe and is flanked by the North Atlantic Ocean in the west and the Celtic Sea in the south. This latter is a body of water that shares importance and location with St. George's Channel and the Bristol Channel. Together with many other nearby small islands, Ireland and Great Britain form the British Isles. However, this term is somewhat controversial among their inhabitants for political reasons, which is why the separate denomination of Great Britain and Ireland is more commonly used as a neutral division for the islands.
As for its geography, there is an extensive ring of coastal mountains that surround the plains of the whole island. The highest mountain in Ireland is Carrauntoohil in the county of Kerry with an altitude of 1,038 meters above sea level. Next to it, Ireland also has the River Shannon, the longest river on the island with a total length of 386 kilometers. Its source is in the county of Cavan and it runs to the city of Limerick.
In addition, Ireland boasts several geological provinces in its territory, such as the Caledonide complex in County Galway which is very similar to the Scottish Highlands, Then there's the area of Devonian rocks located around Bantry Bay, and Macgillicuddy's Reeks mountains. Finally, among many other prominent locations, there are the lead and zinc-on-stone terrains you will be able to visit in the west coast district of Burre around Lisdoonvarna.
The most typical places to visit in the heart of Ireland
Ireland can boast of three specific sites on the island that have been recognized as World Heritage sites: the archaeological complex of Brú na Bóinne, the steep rocky island of Skellig Michael, and the Giants' Causeway. This latter is an amazing area that contains some 40,000 basalt columns resulting from the rapid cooling of the lava in a crater or volcanic caldera. In addition, the country also includes monastic sites that are very important for their history, such as those of Glendalough and Clonmacnoise, which remain as national monuments of the Republic of Ireland.
Dublin is the most visited city in Ireland and houses several of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. These include the Guinness Brewery and the Book of Kells, also known as the Great Evangeliary of St. Columba. This is an illustrated manuscript containing ornamental motifs and made by Celtic monks around the year 800 in Kells, a town in Ireland. In addition, other must-see spots are the Lakes of Killarney and the Dingle Peninsula, in the counties of Killarney and Kerry respectively, as well as the Aran Islands off Galway.
Finally, one of the most striking environments in Ireland is the island of Achill, the largest Irish island and located off the coast of County Mayo. It is a very popular tourist destination for surfing as it has five recognized blue flag beaches and includes one of the highest cliffs in the world, called Croaghaun. In addition, very close to the coastline you can visit several stately homes that were built between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.