Ireland has been voted one of the most beautiful countries in the world by readers of the Rough Guides, travel books.
Whether you want stunning scenery, deserted sandy beaches, vibrant city life or a lively traditional culture, Ireland has something for you according to Rough Guides.
Their readers voted Ireland as the 18th most beautiful country in the world, narrowly ahead of Vietnam and Croatia.
In awarding Ireland a top slot among the world’s top holiday destinations, Rough Guides says: “If you haven’t been to Ireland you could be forgiven for thinking that its oft-raved-about landscapes are overrated. Yet you’d be wrong.
“Among the romantic preconceptions visitors bring to Ireland, it is their expectations of the landscape that are most likely to be fulfilled.”
“Green fields and moss-covered walls that seem impossibly vibrant, quiet lakes and hilltop walks that will clear the cobwebs from the foggiest mind, Ireland has outdoor appeal in spades – just remember to bring a raincoat!
“Locally owned businesses in towns like Sligo make for a charming high street wander, while these days Dublin can compete with the best European cities.
The guide says that when planning a holiday, tourists should consider the wide variety of experiences that Ireland has to offer, from the majesty of the Wild Atlantic Way, to a foodie tour of the southwest, discovering a city reborn in Belfast or the historic east coast with the excitement of city life in the capital Dublin.
Ireland didn’t have it all its own way in the poll however. Next door neighbours Scotland got the number spot as the world’s most beautiful country.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling