Ireland is located in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean in Western Europe and is separated from the United Kingdom by a stretch of water called the Irish Sea. The country is largely low-lying with the highest mountain being Carrantuohill in County Kerry, measuring 1,041 metres (3,415 feet). The longest river is the Shannon, which in stretching some 370 km (230 miles) across the country, is actually the longest river in Great Britain and Ireland.
The ancient province of Connaught on the west coast of Ireland contains a rich diversity of stunning landscapes and coastal views, including the spectacular spots of Connemara, Mayo and Sligo. The coastline consists of thousands of wildly shaped bays, inlets and islands that are ripe for discovery.
Galway City is the capital of the West, and has a laid-back boho feel with its easy mix of ultra-modern culture and proud Gaelic traditions. Other beautiful towns that will make an impression are Westport and Sligo.
Leinster is the most fought-over and colonized part of Ireland and this is reflected in the region's historical heritage. A mixture of beautiful countryside and modern towns, well over half the population of the Republic now lives in Leinster.
Leinster includes Newgrange, Europe's greatest and most stunning Neolithic monument, the vibrant capital city of Dublin, the luxurious verdant countryside of Wicklow, and Kilkenny with its rich Norman architecture and lively atmosphere.
Munster is the most lush of the four provinces, and home to some of Ireland's most breathtaking scenery. Munster's winding roads snake intricately over mountain passes descending to magnificent sea inlets. The area is rich in archaeological remains, not least of which are the mysterious stone circles that dot the landscape.
Throughout the region are many traces of plantation towns as well as numerous coastal and harbor towns, such as Kinsale and Clonakilty. Munster is also home to Cork City, the second city of the Republic of Ireland, and Limerick City, which is a historical gem with its 13th-century castle fortress and old town.
The northern part of Ireland – the great and majestic Ulster – offers a different and quite unique experience. The interwoven influences of several different cultures – the Ulster Scots, the Gaelic, the Normans and the Anglo-Normans have sculpted and colored the landscape in a particularly unique way.
The geographical location of Ulster, as the most northern part of Ireland surrounded by ocean on three sides, has formed a breathtakingly beautiful coast of dramatic cliffscapes, sweeping strands and tumbling mountain. The tranquil rural landscapes of Southern Ulster bounded by Lough Neagh in the east, Lough Erne in the west and the Lakelands of Fermanagh, Cavan and Monaghan in the south, offer a superb and almost continuous countryside.
What is undoubtedly the most impressive aspect of Ulster is its spectacular coastline, from the wild reaches of Donegal, along the northern shoreline from Londonderry to Bushmills, and down the Antrim coast to Larne, north of Belfast.