The long-suffering capital of Northern Ireland has finally shed its gloomy reputation, with the international port emerging as a vibrant center of arts and culture. Whether you’re looking for an alternative to Dublin or just fancy exploring north of the border, these 10 reasons to visit Belfast should help to convince you to add the city to your itinerary.
The laid-back capital of County Galway is well situated for exploring Ireland’s west coast and there are plenty of choices for great day trips from Galway. From rugged coastal walks to cruising remote islands, here are a few of the best.
With its looming mountains shrouded in mist and rolling hills blooming with wildflowers, the romantic landscapes of County Sligo are brought to life in many of W.B.Yeats poems, and it’s easy to see why the region made such a lasting impression on the iconic wordsmith and Nobel Prize winner. Despite being born in Dublin in 1865, William Butler Yeats spent much of his childhood in Ireland’s northwestern county and his later works were so symbolic of the region that it’s now affectionately nicknamed ‘Yeats Country’.
Few vistas are as equally awe-inspiring and hair-raising as peering out over the barrier-less edge of the Cliffs of Moher, watching the waves crash onto the rocks 214 meters below. It’s the vastness as well as the height of the near-vertical cliffs that make them so striking, stretching for 8km along the coast of County Clare in west Ireland. Few visitors to Ireland would miss out on a chance to visit the landmark Cliffs of Moher, but the best way to experience the natural wonder is to hike their length.
2013 was the year of The Gathering in Ireland, a series of events and festivals held throughout the year, paying homage to Irish culture and heritage, and what better way to finish it off than with the ultimate celebration. New Year’s Eve in Ireland is the biggest party of the year and all around the country fireworks displays, torchlight procession, live music concerts and special nightclub events will be marking the countdown to 2014.
With over 140 films from around the world being shown, including a selection of Irish, European and World premieres, the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF) is Ireland’s number one feature film festival. For 10 days each February, the city of Dublin takes the spotlight drawing huge crowds of film fans, film industry professionals and big-name actors to the capital.