TOURISM Ireland used its appearance at ATM to promote the ‘Top 10’ things to see and do in Ireland.
Following an astronomic year-on-year rise in visa applications from the region, the GCC is the fastest growing market for inbound tourism to Ireland, with a 52.78 per cent increase in applications in March 2010 over the same month in 2009.
Simon Gregory, director of all markets for Tourism Ireland, attributes the growth to increased connectivity and growing awareness of the breadth of holidays on offer in Ireland.
Tourism Ireland’s Top 10 things to see and do in Ireland:
Visit Dublin for its metropolitan atmosphere, easy charm and countless sights. Combine a visit to the Trinity College Library to see the Book of Kells, dating back to 800 AD, with a spot of shopping on Grafton Street and Temple Bar.
With 345 beautiful green golf courses to choose from, Ireland cannot be beaten for golf.
You will find Irish song, dance and music everywhere you turn in Galway city, and Irish is as widely spoken as English. In recent years it has also become the country’s trendy unofficial arts capital. Watersport enthusiasts also flock to the area for big wave surfing.
The Ritz Carlton Powerscourt
This tranquil country estate can trace its origins back to the 12th century. The historical building now oozes with elegance and glamour, and the ESPA treatments at the spa offer luxurious indulgence.
Having left its turbulent past behind, the capital of Northern Ireland is now infused with vibrancy and optimism. Combine a stay at one of the city’s boutique hotels with a tour of the Antrim coast, lined with natural wonders. Bring a picnic for the beautiful Glens of Antrim, cross the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge if you dare, and be wowed by the Giant’s Causeway, before continuing up to the walled city of Derry.
The Ring of Kerry
This is one of Ireland’s most scenic drives and offers an itinerary of waterfalls, an old abbey and picturesque villages, all within the wilderness of Kerry’s mountain range.
Named one of the top 10 cities in the world by Lonely Planet this year, Cork is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of Europe’s hippest cities.
Cliffs of Moher
One of Ireland’s top attractions, the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare loom 214 m over the Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway bay.
Activity holidays are more popular than ever and Ireland is the perfect destination for horse riding holidays, with its temperate climate and safe terrain.
The magnificent Ashford Castle in County Mayo dates back to the 13th Century and it’s available to rent from Adams & Butler. Renting your own private castle in Ireland is the ultimate in luxury and indulgence.
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