I had heard that Ireland is a beautiful country for years, but there’s nothing quite like seeing it to drive the point home:
We went on one of the CIE “Taste of Ireland” tours. It lasted about a week. It’s a fantastic way to get a very wide ranging overview of what Ireland is like, but like most tours, you will (If you’re like me anyway) find yourself wishing you had more time virtually everywhere. My wife and I want to come back sometime on our own, rent a car, and visit all the places we were escorted past or only allowed to photograph from a distance.
On the up side, our tour guide was witty and very entertaining, as well as being immensely knowledgeable about not just the broad facts but about virtually every detail he was asked about.
While tourist-y, the Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking and not to be missed. Also, the buggy ride through Kilarney National Forest is a lot of fun and very beautiful. It also includes a brief stop to explore Ross Castle, which is intact enough that you can climb the ramparts and take a look around inside.
Dublin is a very accessible city. The public transit is pretty good, and the open roofed double decker buses that offer ‘hop on hop off’ tours of the city are a great way to see the sights and putter around at your own pace.
Ruins dot the countryside, which makes for some very interesting pictures. In fact, there’s a cemetary out behind our hotel in Bunratty with the ruins of a church / crypt and a mixture of very old and very new stones.
Go see it for yourselves :)