11 things you should know before your trip to Ireland

There are many fascinating facts and stories that make Ireland special. Today we have selected just a few of them to get you inspired.

Here are 11 things we think you should definitely know before your trip to Ireland, are you ready?

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1-Drivers to the left

Whether you are driving, walking or cycling remember drivers keep to the left. If you are cycling the Wild Atlantic Way for instance you will need to follow the rules of the road so always keep left. Please note, this rule is widely ignore by sheep, roaming freely in the West of Ireland. Just slow down and ring the bell. They are friendly and nosey creatures!

2-Irish or Gaeilge

Irish is the country’s official language, as well as English, but not many people use it every day, unless you are in a ‘Gaeltacht’.

3-‘Gaeltacht’ is an Irish-speaking region.

However, many Irish words mix in with English. If someone is asking you ‘what’s the craic?’ they are asking ‘what’s happening?’. Craic meaning ‘fun’ in Irish.

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4-Dublin

Dublin is the capital, the country’s biggest city and home to roughly a quarter of the whole population of Ireland which is just under 5 million.

5-Gaelic Games

Hurling, a Gaelic Game, is one of Ireland’s favourite team sports. Each county has its hurling team, made of non professional players produly representing their county.

If you are travelling in Ireland in the Summer months, you will spot flags and bunting displayed across the country, each county proudly sporting their colours. Red for Cork, Black and Gold for Kilkenny, maroon and hite for Galway…

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6-Snake-free country

There are no snakes in Ireland. Legend has it St Patrick kicked them all out. Whether is true or not, thank you St Patrick!

7-Up for a session?

If someone invites you to ‘a session’, expect plenty of music, dancing, pints and the famous Irish ‘craic’.

8-The sacred cup of tea

A good cup of tea can solve nearly every problem. It is the ultimate comfort food/drink to the Irish. The country is divided however, as to which tea brand is better: Lyon’s or Barry’s. You will be asked to pick sides and once you’ve done so there is no going back.

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9-Weather

The unpredictability of Irish weather shouldn’t come as a surprise, since we are a green island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It rains but it always stops and when the sun is out, it is simply glorious. The sense of excitement in good weather is palpable. Having said that, there are no extremes so the weather is perfect for walking. Prepare for any weather, dress in layers and enjoy! Remember a bit of rain is needed to keep the country this green and beautiful.

10-Long Summer days

Summer days in Ireland are really long, which means you will have plenty of time for your hike and to make the most of the trail if you are walking or cycling. Sun rises as early as 5am in Jun and sets at 10pm.

On the other hand, winter days are quite short, that’s why we recommend walking from Spring to Autumn.

11-Friendly people

The famous Irish hospitality is not a myth or legend but very much part of the country’s idiosyncrasy. Hellos are said and hands are waved whether you are a local or a visitor. If you walk into a country pub on your own, someone will always engage in conversation.

There are many other reasons why you will love your trip to Ireland but these are just a few! Feel free to share your own.

For more information about our fantastic cycling and walking in Ireland tours, contact our travel specialists

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