Brimming with inspiring influence of ancient cultures, lush, green landscapes, and their unique hospitality, Ireland captivates the hearts of world travelers and explorers. Ireland rests in the waters of the North Atlantic where prevailing winds carry cyclical rainfall and the Gulf Stream crafts mild winters.  Its temperate climate nourishes the large sweeping expanse of green, earning the famous epithet as the Emerald Isle.

When Mark Walker went to Europe in June, he learned what makes Ireland a top destination for travel. Through his experiences, it’s clear to see that this Atlantic European Island possesses the enchanting and alluring history that has inspired world culture for so long.

Mark’s stay began at the O’Callaghan Alexander Hotel in the capital city of the Irish Republic, Dublin. The largest city of the island, Dublin is the heart of Irish culture providing exquisite architecture, delectable cuisine, and traditional art and expressions. From what might seem an old world trapped in time truly is a global giant of finance, industry, innovation, and creativity. Dublin showcases its rich and dramatic history with the long-standing presence of old buildings and castles throughout the region. The campus grounds of Trinity College are a destination of choice for many visitors and just walking distance from the hotel’s front steps. A research university established in 1592, and one of the ancient universities of the British Empire, Trinity is an experience like no other.  Popular shopping districts, vibrant nightlife, and endless entertainment options bring you back to modern times after a day of historical intrigue in the ancient city.

Next on the itinerary, Mark ventured west to the unspoiled beauty and spectacular coastlines of County Clare for a stay at the famous 5-star Dromoland Castle. Thriving in green mosaic landscapes across the Wild Atlantic Way are indigenous plants and animals that accentuate the wonder and awe in this Gaelic paradise. Charming cottages, home to hospitable residents, run abundant in the area.  Over 13,000 years ago, the Ice Age glaciers transformed these Irish lands making a fertile bed for Ireland’s modern day isolated mountains, ancient woodlands, and secluded waterways. The tranquil and stunning Cliffs of Moher are the most famous landmark of the Irish coastline drawing hundreds to its fascinating edge. Breathtaking views and meditative sounds of Clare secure an unforgettable moment captured in the Irish mystique.

South of County Clare is the town of Killarney, part of County Kerry and home to St. Mary’s Cathedral, Ross Castle, Muckross House and Abbey, Purple Mountain, Mangerton Mountain, the Gap of Dunloe and Torc Waterfall. Mark described this region as a unique adventure in sport. Killarney, and its landscape, offer the most beautiful cycling trails, lakes for water sports, golf greens, and many grounds for traditional Gaelic games. The Europe Hotel is an experience on its own. The hotel overlooks the gorgeous Lakes of Killarney that reflects the wilderness of Kerry’s magnificent McGillycuddy Reeks Mountain range in the scenic South West of Ireland.

Of the world’s more desirable travel destinations, Ireland is at the top of the list. During Mark’s time he found that a traveler can approach the country in many different ways. Quickly touring through the island, one is capable of seeing all of Ireland in a short amount of time.  There’s also great value in choosing just a few destinations to spend more time in to get to know the landscape and experience the region more intimately. Either approach offers fantastic and unforgettable experiences of the Emerald Isle. Céad Mile Fáilte–A hundred thousand welcomes.