1. Ireland...the land of Leprechauns and Pots of Gold, the Tuatha D Danann, the fairies and Cuchulainn. It is a land of myth and magic, stories and songs, festivals, celebrations, heroes and great literature. But the "Emerald Isle of Europe" has its secrets as well. T h e M a r i t i m e E x p l o r e r | w w w . t h e m a r i t i m e e x p l o r e r . c a 02
2. T h e M a r i t i m e E x p l o r e r | w w w . t h e m a r i t i m e e x p l o r e r . c a 03 SKELLIG MICHAEL Located in County Kerry, Ireland, Skellig Michael is often regarded as one of the countrys best kept secrets. Only a few hundred visitors are allowed on the island each day, giving you the unique opportunity to explore all on your own. Thousand-year-old stone stepsabout 600 of them - corkscrew in and out of site, towards an abandoned monastery. Christian monks lived and survived on this island from the 6th to the 12th century. One of the most remarkable things about this architecture is that it survived.
3. T h e M a r i t i m e E x p l o r e r | w w w . t h e m a r i t i m e e x p l o r e r . c a 04 THE ARAN ISLANDS Located in County Galway, Ireland, there are a total of three islands. Gaelic is still spoken on the old fashioned islands, and foot, bike, or horse & buggy remain the primary means of transportation. Inis Mor (or Irishmore) is the largest and most popular island, offering many of the conveniences travelers have come to expect. Inis Meain and Inis Oirr are the other two and are less travelled, leaving more uncharted territory to explore.
4. T h e M a r i t i m e E x p l o r e r | w w w . t h e m a r i t i m e e x p l o r e r . c a 05 THE MOURNE MOUNTAINS If fantasy is to your liking, check out the lushious landscape that inspired the setting for the Chronicles of Narnia among others. Fans of HBO's Game of Thrones may be interested to know the show was shot on location here. If there was a part of Ireland where you could expect to see the wee folk or perhaps a leprachaun, the stunning forests, rivers and caves of the Mourne Mountains would be it.
5. T h e M a r i t i m e E x p l o r e r | w w w . t h e m a r i t i m e e x p l o r e r . c a 06 HORE ABBEY Located in County Tipperary, the deserted ruins of Hore Abbey have been known to attract some haunts from time to time. There are no tour guides, entrance fees or crowds, just you and the marvelous collection of medieval architecture. This would be the perfect place for a legend or two to come to life.
6. T h e M a r i t i m e E x p l o r e r | w w w . t h e m a r i t i m e e x p l o r e r . c a 07 DUNMORE EAST Located in County Waterford, Dunmore East is exactly what you would expect a quaint fishing village to be. It is a spot for divers interested in World War One era wrecks. This has been named one of Europe's "Secret Villages".
7. T h e M a r i t i m e E x p l o r e r | w w w . t h e m a r i t i m e e x p l o r e r . c a 08 CARRICK-A-REDE ROPE BRIDGE This 66-foot rope bridge dangles 98 feet over the rocks below in County Antrim of Northern Ireland, and provides spectacular views to those brave enough to cross it. The bridge connects the mainland to the island of Carrickarede. It is infrequently visited and has a limit of 8 persons at a time. Many tourists are unable to brave the bridge and need to leave the island by boat.
8. So while Ireland is a place for tourists, with many things you must see and must do, there is something to be said for venturing to the places less that are less visible. The places where the myths and legends can come alive, where your imagination can take you back in time, to write your own story, in a land of myths, legends and dreams. T h e M a r i t i m e E x p l o r e r | w w w . t h e m a r i t i m e e x p l o r e r . c a 09
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