We are sliding quite well into the New Year, which means new opportunities and chances to make more memories, and get it right. It might feel a tad bit early to start making travel plans (considering most of us are still settling in after the holidays), but (sorry to disappoint), it’s never too early. Actually, it’s the best time to plan your holidays and trips for this year, instead of waiting for last minute preparations (unlike some of us who up and go at the drop of a hat). And with so many places to choose from and numerous activities on the bucket list, why not visit Ireland, which is known as an all-embracing destination that offers something for everyone? Not to mention, it’s one of the must-visit destinations of 2018!
If you make that jump and visit Ireland, among other things, you’ll find enchanting scenery, captivating culture, and people who will give you a welcome that will warm your heart. Simply said, the island of Ireland has a unique appeal, with incredible escapes and exuberant activities just waiting for you.
Here are some of the reasons to visit Ireland
Embark on an Epic Adventure
A rugged coastline shaped by time and pounding waves, the Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s epic 1,500 mile/2,500km coastal touring route. Stretching from Donegal to Cork, here is where you’ll find the real Ireland. Wave-riding thrill-seekers and sensitive souls alike will lose their hearts to the Surf Coast, where pounding waves and poetic silence exist side-by-side.
Lights, Camera, Action
There is a good reason why Ireland is a star of the screen. From romantic castles to the mysterious beauty of the landscape, the island has a cinematic sense of style. Take a chance and step into the stunning Atlantic island of Skellig Michael off the coast of Kerry, which featured as Luke Skywalker’s hide-out in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And featuring more Seven Kingdoms locations than anywhere else in the world, Northern Ireland is a dream come true for Game of Thrones fans who visit Ireland. Showcasing bewitched forests, mysterious caves, and otherworldly backdrops, a visit to these filming locations is sure to blow your mind.
When it comes to food in Ireland, start at the very beginning. Savor Irish flavor with simple natural products that include artisanal cheese, fresh seafood, and exceptional beef and lamb (not to mention the black stuff). The Irish food scene is currently exploding with innovative restaurant concepts led by boundary-pushing chefs. Dublin’s culinary sensation Heron & Grey is one such Michelin-starred restaurant that creates one of the most innovative menus in the country and is updated seasonally. Book weeks in advance before you visit Ireland to experience the incredible flavors at this exceptional foodie’s paradise.
Sporting Fiesta – From Tracks to the Fairways
A golfer’s delight, Ireland is blessed with world-class courses in some of the most spectacular locations in the world. From epic links to phenomenal championship courses, Ireland’s golfing credentials are sky-high. Follow in champion golfer Rory McIlroy’s footsteps at Royal Portrush in Antrim that is slated to host The Open in 2019. Also, you can attend the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown Racecourse which features nearly AED 7.5m worth of prize money and will set the pulse racing with top quality races over two days. Not just a racing meet, the event will combine the best of Dublin’s culture, music, fashion, food and jump racing for a jubilant celebration of Dublin.
Finally, step into the past at the newest luxury hotel, Titanic Hotel Belfast. Situated in the heart of Titanic Quarter, the former Harland & Wolff headquarters and Drawing Offices, has become the world’s most authentic Titanic hotel. While there, feel free to step inside ‘Titanic Belfast’ – a state-of-the-art interactive exhibition that uncovers the true story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and subsequent place in history.
How to get there?
If you’re already intrigued by these few reasons to visit Ireland (there are many more) and are wondering how you can get to the island, then don’t worry, because both Etihad and Emirates offer double-daily flights to Dublin from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, respectively.