Ireland is an island with an abundance of charm, and without a doubt all parts of the Emerald Isle have been blessed with ample natural beauty and historic appeal. Like most destinations, you’ll find that different areas hold different types of allure, and appeal to different interests. The bustling and historic Dublin contrasts sharply with the genteel castles amidst rolling green parklands of the central counties, which are a world apart from the dramatic seacoast cliffs and surf.
For me, one of the areas that holds the most allure, a region that draws me back time after time is the magical, delightful southwest. County Kerry and the western half of County Cork comprise what I feel is one of the best balances of Irish heritage, culture, and scenery.
Irish heritage and culture is at its best here, with Irish as the official language, not English. You’ll see Irish on many signs and hear Irish spoken in the pubs and on the street. The people of this region are fiercely proud of the fact that they are the storehouse of Irish culture, and have become the nucleus of a renaissance in Irish heritage and traditions.
And the scenery?
Inland you’ll find a diversity and abundance of beauty that’s nothing short of breathtaking. Dominating the southwestern skyline are Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountains in Ireland, nestled next to some of the loveliest lakes to be found in Europe, the Lakes of Killarney, surrounded by forests and rolling green hills. The coastline is outlined by a series of large peninsulas that extend like fingers of a hand into the sea. The sea meets the land here in an endless progression of stone cliffs and pounding surf. Occasional sandy bays allow the local fishing fleets to ply their trade and contribute their wares to the native cuisine. As you move inland from the misty Irish Sea, you’ll travel amongst stone walls outlining green pastures, flocks of sheep dotting the coastal slopes, and pastel villages clustered around quaint squares, all seemingly from another age.
Travelers that are planning a visit to the Ireland isle should not miss this grand region. Visit the historic streets of Dublin, for sure. See the more touristed sites and kiss the Blarney Stone in the East. But make sure to leave enough time to wander in the enchanting area tucked away in the far southwest of the Emerald Isle.