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irish castles: Point of Interest Map
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irish castles

Cities and Counties Known for Their Castles

With over 1000 years of history, Dublin has experienced many changes and is a place where old meets new. Dublin Castle dates from the 13th century, and imposing St Patrick`s Cathedral was founded in 1191. Dublin is a walk through time and also a glimpse of some of the pieces that must eventually fit together with progress.

Some of the most important historic sites and monuments are located within County Meath and virtually every important aspect of Irish history from prehistoric times is associated with the county. Less than 30 miles north of Dublin along Ireland`s east coast, County Meath holds reminders of Ireland`s ancient past.

The largest county in Ireland, County Cork, nicknamed the Rebel County, offers something for everyone! Castles and manor houses dot the countryside, each with its own story to tell. The world famous Blarney Castle, allegedly the source of the Irish ability to charm in conversation, is located here.

Midway up the west coast of Ireland is County Galway, the second-largest county in Ireland and one of Ireland`s most popular and vibrant destinations. It is divided into two areas, the rocky mountain area of Connemara called the Twelve Bens, and the plain to the east called Lough Corrib.

County Kerry`s mountains, lakes and coasts have been the picture-postcard image of Ireland overseas! Known as `The Kingdom`, its breathtaking scenery, small villages, mountainous landscape and dramatic seacoast has attracted people to this county since Victorian times.

County Mayo, Ireland`s third-largest, is the Ireland of your imagination, a beautiful region with breathtaking landscapes, many lakes, green and peaceful valleys, and an exciting blend of rugged mountain trails and beautiful beaches set in the Western coastline.
Regions of Ireland
Western Ireland
There is so much to see and do in Western Ireland, comprised of Counties Clare, Galway and Mayo. You will find a winning combination of rugged sea cliffs and sheltered sandy beaches, a myriad of ancient castles, medieval friaries, pre-historic burial sites and traditional Irish music!
South West Ireland
Southwest Ireland stretches from the Ring of Kerry in the south, the Dingle Peninsula in the west, through Killarney and north to Adare, and Limerick City, offering sea and mountain scenery, interspersed with lively small towns and villages plus medieval castles and archaeological sites going back 5,000 years.
South East Ireland
South East Ireland is comprised of Counties Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow, and Wexford. This region has been settled by Vikings and Normans in the past, and is well-known for its beautiful, sunny weather amidst a backdrop of mountains rolling into lush Nore and Suir river valleys.
County Donegal
County Donegal offers some of the most spectacular scenery and stark beauty in Ireland. It offers tortuous country roads skirt stark mountains, rugged sea cliffs, craggy peninsulas, remote Gaeltacht communities, sheep-studded pastures, pristine strands, icy streams and horizons carpeted with bog and heather.
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, comprises the northeastern sixth of the island of Ireland. Torn apart during `The Troubles`, Northern Ireland has emerged to become one of the largest cultural and economic hubs in the British Isles.
More to Explore

The 111-mile-long Ring of Kerry (Iveragh Peninsula) is a part of the mystical and unspoiled region of Ireland that has attracted visitors for hundreds of years. It provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland and a landscape carved out of rock by the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago.

The island of Ireland is thought to have been inhabited from around 6000 BCE. Many sites from ancient times are still in existence, such as the collection of art at the Rock of Cashel; the Hill of Tara, the seat of power of Ireland`s kings; and the megalith Newgrange which is even older than Stonehenge in England.

The Heritage Towns of Ireland are towns and villages that offer unique character provided by a combination of architectural styles, often spanning many centuries, which gives them a special feeling for the past.
Experiences & Adventures
Irish Gardens
The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have some of the most beautiful public and private gardens in the world. Whether you`re in Dublin or the Gaeltacht, we recommend that you take time to `stop and smell the roses` during your journey.
Irish Music
Explore the enthralling countryside by day and enjoy traditional Irish music sessions in local pubs by night. Traditional Irish music is the melody of the community, handed down from one generation to another. Traditional Irish music includes many different types of songs, and instrumental music from Irish history.
Irish Cuisine
Irish cuisine is delicious, a favorite of many visitors, and in recent decades has become more and more innovative. Food in Ireland comes in two general forms, traditional and modern. Traditional Irish food is what most people often think of, and there is no shortage of it in the Republic or in Northern Ireland.
Cities in Ireland
Ireland and Beyond
IRISH CASTLES

Ireland`s countryside is dotted with castles that range from romantic castles and towers that are in ruins to stately `chieftain castles` and Irish castle hotels. They are all filled with character and history. Many of these castles are medieval, dating from the 11th to the 15th century; they were built as fortified homes for chieftains or Anglo Norman settlers and designed for defense. Then there are also the castles built during the flamboyant Georgian era and the neo-Gothic revival of the Victorian age.

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SUGGESTED ITINERARIES:
Verdant Ireland (Self Drive)
10 nights from $2,548*
Irish Crossing (Self Drive)
8 nights from $2,117*

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