IRELAND HAS been named a top 'bucket list' destination for travellers from across the globe.
Prestigious American business magazine Forbes chose our lovely island in its ongoing series exploring the top bucket list destinations for people to visit in their lifetime, and we can't say we're surprised-- not that we're biased or anything.
Author Larry Olmsted chose the Emerald Isle as a must-see, once in a lifetime destination for a number of reasons-- one being that an estimated 80 million people worldwide have Irish roots, and should return to the place of their ancestors.
But there are tons of other reasons, Olmsted points out-- it's easily accessible, has great food and drink, our country is chock-full of castles and ancient history as well as some of the most gorgeous scenery you'll find anywhere in the globe.
Golfers can enjoy some of the world's best golf courses, hikers can explore the mountains and lush greenery, music fans can experience some incredible talent from both emerging talents and traditional artists and with a wide range of accommodation-- from city hotels and countryside castles to cottage B&Bs, you're guaranteed to get the best from your break regardless of the price range.
"And of course, it is so famous for its warm welcome that “Irish hospitality” has become an expression instantly understood around the globe," the author writes.
Anne Scully, President of luxury travel agency McCabe World Travel agrees that the famous Irish hospitality makes Ireland her top choice as a bucket list destination, calling it "the land of 100,000 smiles and welcomes. "
"My husband’s dream was to have a very long trip to Ireland to walk the land of his parents and sadly he never got there," Ms Scully said.
"It still makes me sad that we went everywhere but there together as we thought we had time."
"I want to go again - some of my favourite memories are of my family, and over 40 cousins that live there. To many American visitors it is their ancestral home, and the need to walk the land of their ancestors is so important to them."
The only issue for travellers once they get to Ireland is where to go to first-- Dublin has the Storehouse and GPO, but the Cliffs of Moher, Wild Atlantic Way, Skellig Michael, the Giant's Causeway, Newgrange and the Blarney stone-- just to name a few-- will take you across the entire island.
But wherever you go-- whether it's the southern coastal town of Cobh, the last place the Titanic visited, or up north to Belfast to visit the famous Titanic museum, "one of the best things for visitors to do is to stop into an Irish pub, the best meeting places to enjoy, and have a chat with the locals.
"There will be great food, some great Guinness or Harp, and top it off with some great Irish whiskey. ”
"All of Ireland is a land to experience slowly, enjoying and savouring the joy of its people, the great food of their land and sea and the hospitality of their lodgings."
Unfortunately, Ireland could be disqualified from being named the top bucket list destination for once in a lifetime trips-- because as Scully says:
"One trip is never enough - Ireland is always calling you back for more".