Region Highlights: The Sunny Southeast
The picturesque south is known for its relaxed pace, natural beauty, and sun! With rolling hillsides and idyllic farms, you will find a peaceful and beautiful countryside. Here you will find medieval castles and manor houses oozing with history. Explore the wild and rugged mountains and frolic on the sandy beaches that sprawl across the coastline. The South offers endless opportunities for exceptional landscapes and mouthwatering gourmet delights, with food as fresh as the clear south air!
Including the counties of Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, and Wexford the region promises a wealth of variety whether you want to enjoy delectable local dishes, tee off at some of the best links courses or take some precious pampering time in a world-renowned spa.
The south has gained a fabulous reputation for being one of Ireland’s top gourmet spot. You can enjoy farmer’s markets throughout this region, where you will find foods that have a well-deserved reputation for excellence, such as soda bread, smokehouse specialties, mouthwatering cheeses and an abundance of fresh fish and seafood!
Each county offers up its own special magic! Take Carlow for example, where the pace of life is unhurried in its countryside towns and villages, or the vibrant city of Kilkenny where visitors can enjoy contemporary art in its many galleries, sample good food and experience Irish music in its traditional pubs. Tipperary, a tranquil and unspoiled countryside, perfect for walking and fishing holidays. From there, you can continue on to the lively destination of Waterford, the maritime county where the coast is noted for shore fishing and sunny beaches. And Wexford, a heritage town, prides itself on its award-winning quay front. The quay is also center stage for all of the towns’ festive activities.
With ancient heritage, endless festivals, cracking pubs and peaceful river ways – you can’t go wrong with the Sunny Southeast. You will be thrilled with endless opportunities for sightseeing, exceptional landscapes, great shopping, and some real gourmet delights, of course!
County Wexford offers cozy coastal villages, sunny seashores with numerous beaches which are tranquil and inviting such as Courtown, Curracloe, Duncannon, and Rosslare. Famous for the range and extent of bird life, it also features bird watch reserves, the most significant being that of North Slob, Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. You can even turn back the clock and explore the county's unique history, culture and heritage attractions through its open-air museum of ramparts and castles, abbeys, manor houses and one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world, the Hook Lighthouse, or visit the Irish National Heritage Park, which will bring you through 9000 years of history.
If you are a gardens lover, you will thoroughly enjoy the very famous John F. Kennedy Park and Arboretum celebrating the connection US President Kennedy has with the town of New Ross where you will also find Ireland's newest attraction, the Dunbrody Heritage Ship which is an accurate, full size, ocean-going recreation of the actual timber-built ship which played a leading part in 19th century emigration to the USA. Waterford City is the capital of the so-called ‘Sunny Southeast’ of Ireland. Waterford City is Ireland’s oldest tourist destination and was established by Vikings in 914AD.
Today it still delivers a great medieval flare and bustling riverside. The City is the home of the world-famous Waterford Crystal, which can be seen at the House of Waterford. The House of Waterford comprises an actual living and breathing crystal factory tour, fascinating visitor center and opulent retail store housing the largest collection of Waterford Crystal in the world. Waterford County offers an impressive coastline, beautiful river valleys and two dramatic ranges of very accessible mountains. The Comeragh Mountain and Nire Valley Drives embrace the scenery and splendor of the mountains which form the spine of County Waterford.
Waterford is a natural playground for arts, golf, water sports, equestrian, walking, angling and cycling enthusiasts, Waterford City and County offer the complete holiday experience.
Kilkenny is the creative heart of Ireland, with heritage, history, arts, crafts and a spirit of excellence. With a medieval capital at its heart, Kilkenny city makes an excellent hub for touring Ireland. Take some time to visit Dunmore Cave, Jerpoint Abbey, Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice’s Cathedral or embark on the Made in Kilkenny trail of arts, crafts and more.
Tipperary is a scenic county, fashioned by the Galtee Mountains, adorned by romantic and mysterious Slievenamon and everywhere a lush, multi-hued green landscape. Tipperary is particularly rich in archaeological sites of interest including the Rock of Cashel in Cashel Heritage Town and Cahir Castle in picturesque Cahir Heritage Town.
These traditional attractions are now complemented by the new Excel Centre in Tipperary Town which boasts an interpretative center depicting Tipperary's past. In Clonmel Town, the South Tipperary County Museum takes the visitor through the fascinating history of the county, from prehistoric to modern times. Walkers and outdoor enthusiasts are well serviced in this county of hills and vales.
Some great Tipperary attractions include the Brú Ború Cultural Centre, Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, Carrick-On-Suir Heritage Centre, Cashel Folk Village, Mitchelstown Cave, Ormonde Castle, South Tipperary County Museum and the Tipperary Excel Centre.
A county of contrasts - high hills and verdant valleys and everywhere, just as in ancient Ireland, in Tipperary the visitor is king. Include one of the many great areas as another “hub” in your vacation and you are sure to create the perfect Ireland vacation.