Dunguaire Castle, Ireland

The lighthearted song in tribute to Ireland, “When Irish Eyes are smiling,” certainly rings as true today as did when it was written in 1912. Upon your arrival to the Emerald Isle, the ruddy faced Irish, young and old, will welcome you with open arms and never let go!

Ireland with its lush green landscapes and historic cities can be easily explored by car, bicycle, and even horseback. Whichever way you choose to travel, the Emerald Isle is the perfect destination for nature lovers, sports enthusiasts and city dwellers alike, who want to experience authentic Celtic charm!

Even though you can drive the entire length of the Ireland in less than a day, we recommend you experience one area at a time, like the County Wicklow in between the Irish and the Celtic Seas, not far from Dublin, where the winds are fierce and the Irish whisky tastes especially grand. Alternatively, journey to Galway where you can stay in a beautiful castle and at night go listen to the best jazz and blues at the Blue Note, Ireland’s most famous beer hall.

Dublin, Ireland’s notorious capital is a fantastic city, full of history and modernity. Its pubs and taverns are infamous. In addition, literary greats like Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, and Oscar Wilde, have called Dublin home, just to name a few. While in Dublin, don’t miss the Guinness Storehouse, it is every beer lovers Disneyland. Don’t forget the Dublin Castle built in 1204, where one of Dublin’s best museums resides as well, The Chester Beatty Library.

Adare's The Wild Geese Restaurant in Ireland

Ireland is also known for its quiet little towns and villages, where it feels as if time has stopped. Why not visit Kilkenny in the County Clare? It is 400 years old and its medieval castle is astounding. Or in County Limerick, visit the village of Adare, which is widely regarded as being Ireland’s prettiest and most picturesque village. It is the home of three famous monasteries and Desmond Castle.

Throughout Ireland, accommodations are plentiful and diverse, from renovated castles turned into guesthouses in towns like Killarney to five star hotels like the Castlemartyr Luxury Hotel, Spa, and Golf Resort in Cork. The food ranges from the modern New York style cuisine in the larger cities to country style fair at the local pub. The Irish whisky and Guinness will never stop flowing, wherever you settle, enjoyed with great storytelling and laughter.

For golfers, you have more than 300 golf courses to choose from, but first go straight to Ballybunion, in County Kerry, on Ireland’s West Coast, which is undoubtedly Ireland’s most popular golf destination. The majestic aura in this part of Ireland is incomparable to anywhere in the world. Ballybunion’s “Old Course,” built in 1893, is one of the oldest golf courses in Ireland. The golf links sit astride the rugged Atlantic coastline with its windswept dunes, deep bunkers, intense sea breezes, and large undulating greens. It certainly will test your game! If you can spend another day there, play the “Cashen Course” as well, it is only minutes away and really something special.

Cork, Ireland Village

Not very far up the coast of Ireland are to two more extraordinary golf links- Lahinch and Doonbeg, both in County Clare. Lahinch Golf Club like Ballybunion was built in the 19th century, and is called the “St Andrews of Ireland.” The course was designed by Old Tom Morris, to many the ‘Father of Golf’ and comprehensively redesigned by Dr. Alister MacKenzie in 1927. Dr. MacKenzie is widely known in the States as the architect of Augusta National, the home of the Masters. This links style course is a true challenge but breathtakingly beautiful. Next, within the parish of Doonbeg, lies the Doonbeg Golf Links, which sits on land that remains untouched by time. Designed by Greg Norman, in 2001, it is a true links site with soaring, grassy dunes rising almost 100 feet above the crashing shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean. One simple verse written by an unknown Irish author best describes the scene: “You have heard in song and story of the beauties of all lands, Of their hills and dales and mountains, and their rivers, lakes and strands, But of all those wondrous places you can read of, hear and see, There are none of them to rival Old Doonbeg by the sea.”

We guarantee that for those who spend the days exploring Dublin, Ireland, the nights pub hopping into the ‘wee’ hours, or the day trekking the hillsides, sidestepping sheep sauntering on the countryside roads, one thing you can be sure of, the Irish people will always be friendly, warm, and inviting. Ireland is full of history, spectacular landscapes and romantic vistas!  Contact the Luxe Travel team at 1-866-365-8747 or concierge@luxetravel.com.