Joyful music, friendly locals, enchanting castles and rolling greens as far as the eye can see – Ireland is a place of hope, dreams, music … and, yes, luck. Each year, people come from all over the world to kiss the Blarney Stone, hoping to be bestowed with the gift of gab.
When people think of Ireland, its beauty pushes to the forefront of their minds, blocking out even the folklore that has enchanted so many through the ages. They think of driving along the Ring of Kerry by seaside villages and verdant rural landscapes. They imagine standing at the Cliffs of Moher on the edge of the Burren part of County Clare. Castles still stand proud on green land that sprawls outstretching over a fascinating, beautiful history and leaves behind humble, kind-hearted people who are proud of their heritage and work hard to preserve it.
Touring the Emerald Isle
Travelers who choose to tour Ireland are truly immersed in its history, culture and, of course, its beauty. Rather than merely looking at the castles across the land, travelers can enjoy an overnight stay on the grounds of one. They can even sit down for a farewell dinner in a castle, depending on the tour. These regal experiences make for once-in-a-lifetime memories.
There are so many ways that Ireland comes alive on tour in a way that delves into its unique heritage and welcomes travelers into daily life. You can listen to folklore and legends with a traditional seanchai (Irish storyteller), learn about Derry’s political history from a local, enjoy a tasting at a whisky distillery or see the sheepdogs in action at a working farm.
Ireland has so many must-see cities and sights that are part of the journey, from exploring Dublin to kissing the Blarney Stone and standing in awe of the stunning 700-foot high Cliffs of Moher. Experience the Ring of Kerry, one of the world’s great coastal roads, or even explore Galway’s culinary scene with a local foodie on a walking tour. Ireland is filled with experiences that are postcard-worthy moments. And these moments are yours for the taking.
Close your eyes and you can see the beauty of this stunning country. Maybe you can even hear the soundtrack; the fiddle, the harp, the mandolin, the flute and the whistle. That lively music can be experienced everywhere – and sometimes there’s even dancing if the atmosphere is right. An Irish jig or step dancing is always a possibility when the music is playing and the warmest locals gather.
Now that your eyes are closed, can you smell the mouth-watering cuisine of Ireland? Can you taste the rich, savory flavors of the hearty food found in pubs, homes and throughout the Emerald Isle? There’s an old Irish proverb that says, “Laughter is brightest where food is best.” It rings truer than ever as Ireland experiences a bit of a foodie revolution.
With millennia of agrarian history under their belts, a new generation of Irish chefs are serving up historic flavors with modern ideas and can’t-miss food experiences. Discover for yourself why the Emerald Isle has become a rising culinary destination worthy of your attention.
Irish fare is often miscast as the culinary “plain Jane” of Europe. But over the past few years, Ireland has seen a food-focused renaissance. Meat and potatoes and hearty stews are making room for gourmet tapas, aperitifs, and sweet chili coconut stir-fries. And for one small town on the southern shore, this revolution of cuisine has been brewing for years. It’s time to eat your way through Kinsale.
The picturesque fishing town of Kinsale in County Cork is rich with history, charming cottages and great food. It was even named the “Top Foodie Town” by the Restaurants Association of Ireland. At the heart of the small town’s lively culinary scene is the Kinsale Good Food Circle, which has rallied restaurants to come together and up their culinary game for over 40 years.
Inside the Irish Farmhouse
Out in the countryside of centuries past, an Irish matriarch would rise early in the morning to collect grains and milk the cows. In the evening, she’d enter her barley-thatched cottage and stand in front of a hot hearth for hours, preparing hearty batches of bread and stew. Fast forward a few hundred years, roofs are no longer made of grains and laboring over the stove after a long day at work is a thing of the past. But even with changing times, Irish farmhouse meals are still a culinary staple loved around the world.
There are endless reasons to visit Ireland, but the thrill of delving into its culture through cuisine is one of the best. Landmarks and historic sites give you a great glimpse into its traditional roots, but there’s something about sitting down and sharing a meal that goes beyond sightseeing. Food is the main ingredient that connects us all.
Plan a tour of Ireland with AAA Travel.