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Stunning scenery, friendly locals happy to share the craic, delicious food and wine and cosmopolitan cities are no doubt just some of the reasons that Lonely Planet has named Ireland as one of the best countries in the world to visit in 2015.


Each year the world’s largest travel publisher releases their Best in Travel guide, listing the hottest global trends, destinations and experiences to anticipate in the year ahead. And in 2015, Ireland is a firm favourite, coming in at number five in the ‘must visit’ list.


Long known for its hospitality, the nation’s friendly nature is one of Ireland’s greatest qualities, according to Lonely Planet, as well as the long-held traditions of music and dance, incredible cuisine and a vast range of festivals.

 

Dublin pub scene 

“The cosmopolitan, contemporary Irish are just as friendly and welcoming as their forebears were known to be,” Lonely Planet’s Fionn Davenport said.


But the publisher also singled out the Wild Atlantic Way as a reason to visit Ireland. The 2,500 kilometre route winds its way along the western seaboard from Donegal to Cork with plenty of options along the way to explore Connemara, the Aran Islands, County Clare and County Kerry.

 

Wild Atlantic Way


Said to rival our very own Great Ocean Road and California’s Pacific Coast Highway, the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest defined coastal touring route on the planet, taking in spectacular scenery, a rugged coastline and meandering through countless quaint villages along the way.


Whilst I’m yet to visit Ireland myself, it has long been on my must-visit list. With Lonely Planet now confirming Ireland’s status as one of the best ten countries to visit in 2015, it looks like I’d better get there sooner rather than later.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Tourism Ireland