We just returned from a wonderful trip to Ireland. If you have the chance to go, I recommend it highly. It is an absolutely beautiful place with lots of interesting things to see and do. The people are very friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The hotels were spacious and had all the modern comforts you could hope for (down comforters, lots of pillows, two beds in each room, TV, hair dryers, etc.) The towns have an annual competition for being the most beautiful. And no town may opt out of the competition. It wasn't until I got home that I realized that I hadn't seen one piece of litter the whole week.
We chose a tour operated by CIE Tours called the "8-Day Irish Adventure." We traveled around the whole perimeter of the country, including Northern Ireland. (Relations are good between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. You don't notice when you pass from one to the other.) The price for the trip was $2,500 per person, including hotels, airfare from NYC, breakfasts, dinners, entertainment, and the tour on a sight-seeing bus with comfy seats. Prices vary depending on the time of year.
Ireland is a popular tourist destination for descendants of the 1 million Irish emigrants who moved to the US, Canada, and Australia during the famine in the 1840's. My great-grandmother came to the US from Waterford in the 1890's, and our traveling party was made up of two of her granddaughters and four great-granddaughters. Wouldn't she be surprised to know that we visited Ireland!
The photo above is a walking path near the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland (above).
Here are some more of my photos (below).
The Cliffs of Moher (above).
Cottage in the town of Knock (above).
Part of the church where W. B. Yeats' grave is located (above).
My traveling buddies (l to r): me, Diane, Joan, Eileen, Bonnie and Mary, at the Titanic museum in Belfast.
This is the Library at Trinity College in Dublin (above).
Charming pub in Waterford (above).
There are many castles and castle-like buildings around the country. Some are ruins and some are nice hotels. I'd like to go to Ireland again to explore the castles.