By Jeff Game
Ireland. Gaze at the green, lush hills – feel the cool, crisp air along the highway as you pass by one amazing sight after another – sit down and break bread with some of the friendliest and good-natured people on the planet. With the beginning of the New Year right around the corner, travel experts, including Lonely Planet have picked the island of Ireland as one of the top hot spots to visit in 2015. If you want travel where all the cool kids are traveling next year, jump into Ireland in 2015.
As a travel writer, each New Year brings new trips, new articles to share with my readers and new places to discover. Ireland is one of my long time lovers and is usually on my yearly list of place to go, explore and write about.
Even so, my wife and I jumped at the chance to attend a great event in Beverly Hills recently, thrown by the Tourism Ireland Visitor Board and featuring all that the entire country has to offer. Kicking off the night of green, shamrocks and shillelagh’s, Executive Vice President of Visit Ireland, Allison Metcalfe declared, “Ireland, it’s the real deal.”
After all, that is a perfect way to describe a country with such a rich cultural history, great music and performing arts, a booming culinary scene and of course those stunning views, no matter where you travel in the emerald isle.
I have been all over Ireland; however I still have so much more I want to discover and explore. My travel partner wife has yet to step foot on the shores of my ancestors (ok, I’m partly Irish, but that still counts) and we are both planning on new adventures in Ireland in this coming year. Writing and filming our experiences and sharing all the cool places we discover with our readers, so you too can jump into Ireland in 2015.
Some highlights that intrigued us for the coming 2015 travel year in Ireland are these Irish gems:
The Wild Atlantic Way: A newly opened motorway stretching along the West Coast of Ireland, from Donegal in the North to Cork in the South and covering some 2,400 kilometers of breathtaking scenery between.
Adams & Butler: How about hiring a local expert to plan your excursions around the island of Ireland and maybe even snag a driver guide to drive on that wrong side of the road they have over there for you? Adams & Butler will give any traveler this kind personal touch to your adventure.
Ballynahinch and Ashford Castle: You cannot go to Ireland without staying in a castle for a night or two or maybe your whole stay in Ireland. With such swank accommodations at Ballynahinch and Ashford Castle, you may feel as if you were Irish royalty – even if the monarchy is long gone, you get my point.
Secret Ireland Escapes: As world travelers, we all love secret places that are not on the beaten path of belly bag wearing tourists. If you are a seasoned traveler, you will want Secret Ireland Escapes help you find those hidden gems.
Fermanagh Lakelands: I have still yet to travel and explore any part of Northern Ireland, I am hoping to check this off my list in 2015. If exploring the great Irish outdoors is your kind thing, Fermanagh Lakelands seems like it may be right up your alley.
Ode To Family
Ireland is a country that welcomes and embraces travelers like a warm and inviting Irish Grandmother. You don’t need to be Irish or have it in your blood or have what some may deem as unhealthy, long-standing love affair with a country. Everywhere you travel in the country, you will become Irish for this trip of a lifetime and discover that Ireland has changed you and that is what we all yearn to experience when we travel.
My Mixed Tape – Ireland
I love Irish music of all kinds; whether celtic classic standards or classics in my book, I have a ton of Irish music in my iTunes library. You may feel as if there is a catchy Irish jig soundtrack in your head while traveling all over Ireland. Here is my Ireland Mixed Tape.
If I Should Fall from the Grace of God -The Pogues
When the Ship Comes In – The Chieftains w/the Decemberists
Beggerman’s Jig – The High Kings
Irish Heartbeat – Van Morrison w/the Chieftains
Toss the Feathers – The Corrs