Thursday, February 18, 2021


Italy Flag

“Bel Paese” (Beautiful Country)

Orvieto City, Umbria, Italy. Photo Credit: Valter Cirillo/Pixabay 

Why visit Italy?
One the most visited destinations offers something for everyone to enjoy art, architecture, beaches, carnivals, coastlines, bicycling, culture, festivals, fountains, galleries, gastronomy, hiking, historical sites, lagoons, lakes, markets, monuments, motorsports, mountains, museums, national parks, performing arts, picturesque ruins, shopping, spas, villa rentals, vineyards, volcanos, water sports, wildlife, and world-class skiing.

Italian Riviera Coastline, Cinque Terre. Italy. Photo Credit: Kookay/Pixabay

popular destination for:
  • Amateur & Professional Photographers
  • Bucket List Destination
  • Cruise Embarkation/Debarkation
  • Foodies & Wine Lovers
  • Groups: Family, Friends and Multigenerational
  • Incentive Travel Program
  • Milestones: Anniversary, Birthday, Honeymoon, Proposal, Retirement, Vow Renewal

Venice, Italy. Photo Credit: Gerhard G/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Antiques, ceramics, cheese, dry pasta, designer clothes, embroidery, espresso cups, jewelry, lace, leather goods, limoncello, marble, masks, murano glass, olive oil, pinocchio, good, religious goods, silks, truffles, violins, wine, and wood carvings.
  • Local Cuisine to Try:  Agnolotti (stuffed meat pasta). Bistecca alla Fiorentina (steak). Cannoli (cream pastry). Carasau (bread). Casu Marzu (sheep milk cheese). Castelmagno (cheese). Finocchiona (salamni). Focaccia (flat rosemary bread). Fontina (cheese). Gelato (ice cream). Mozzarella (cheese). Neapolitan Pizza. Orecchiette (pasta dish). Parmigiano-Reggiano (hard cheese). Panettone (cake). Pasta alla Norma  (eggplant and pasta). Pecorino di Filiano (cheese). Pistum (dish). Prosciutto (ham). Risottos (rice). Ragù (pasta dish). Speckknödel (soup). Taralli dolci (snack). Tiramisu (dessert). Zeppola (fried pastry). 
  • Local Drink to Try: Amaro Sicilianos (digestive liquor). Barbaresco (wine). Barbera d'Asti (wine). Bicerin (coffee). Brunello di Montacino (wine). Campari (liquor), Franciacorta (sparkling wine). Frascati (white wine). Grappa (brandy). Limoncello (lemon liquor). Martini (sparkling wine). Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (red wine). Morellino di Scansano (red wine). Piedmontese Barolo (wine). Prosecco (sparkling wine). Tuscan Chianti (wine). Vermouth (forfeited wine).

Tuscany, Italy. Photo Credit: Dagny Walter/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • Laundry is often line dried outdoors.
  • Shaped like a boot with Sardinia Island by the toes.
  • Apennine Mountains run the length of the country.
  • A professional squad of sommeliers are trained to detect fraudulent wines.
  • Number of visitors to see The Last Supper (Milan) is strictly limited with admittance of air quality and humidity level control for its own preservation.
  • Italian Explorers are credited to discovering new routes to the Far East and the New World during the Middle Ages.
  • Holds the world's largest number of World Heritage Sites.
  • Province of Brescia has the largest rock carvings in the world.
  • "Ötzi the Iceman" (mummey) was found in a Similaun glacier.
  • After Mount Vesuvius erupted, Herculaneum and Pompeii were once buried under volcanic ash.
  • From the alps area, Po River flows into the Adriatic Sea.  
  • Home to Europe's largest active volcano, Mount Etna (Sicily). 
  • Lake Garda (north) is their largest lake.
  • Lake Como is Europe's fifth deepest lake.
  • Lake Bolsena is Europe's largest volcanic lake.
  • Has over 1000 lakes throughout the country.
  • Comacchio Valleys (Emilia-Romagna) and the Stagno di Cagliari (Sardinia) are protected natural environments.
  • Of their 14 volcanoes, only four are considered active: Etna (Catania), Stromboli (Stromboli Island), Vesuvius (Campania), and Vulcano (Vulcano Island).
  • First country to benefit from electricity production of geothermal energy.
  • Fourth largest holder of installed solar energy in the world.
  • President is elected for a single service of seven years.
  • Highly ranks in exports and world trade.
  • Manufacturing home of well known luxury cars such as Ferrari (Maranello), Lamborghini (Sant'Agata Bolognese), and Maserati (Bologna).
  • The world's largest wine producer.
  • Education is free and mandatory for youths between 6-16.
  • Rome invented the architecture and concept of the Basilica.
  • The Last Supper painting  (Milan) is the most recognizable painting in the world.
  • Birthplace of a popular children's character, Pinocchio (Pescia).
  • The origin of Ballet Dance during the Renaissance period.
  • Teatro di San Carlo (Naples) is the oldest continuously active opera venue in the world.
  • Birthplace to recognozible jewelers brands of Buccellati, Bvlgari, and Damiani. 
  • Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world. 

 Arno River & Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), Florence, Italy. Photo Credit: Ervin Gjata/Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Campaccio, Carnival of Foiano della Chiana, Trieste Film Festival, Cross della Vallagarina, Festa di Sant’Agnese, Festival of Italian Popular Song, Venice New Year's Concert, (February) Battle of the Oranges, Carnival of Satriano di Lucania, Cinque Mulini, Fiera Milano, Italian Cross Country Championships, Milan Fashion Week, Satriano di Lucania, (March) Carnival of Venice, Festa di San Giuseppe, Macchina di Santa Rosa, Sanremo Music Festival, Trofeo Alasport, (April) Giro di Sicilia, Holy Week, Roma Sana, Scoppio del Carro, (May) Garda Trentino Olympic Week, Giro d'Italia, International Horse Show, Lega Basket All Star Game, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Mille Miglia, Turin International Book Fair, (June) Arena di Verona Opera FestivalBiennale Arte, Boat of Saint Peter, Calcio Storico, Festa dei Gigli, Gioco del Ponte, , Giostra della Quintana, Festa di San Ranieri, Milano Pride, Roman Summers, (July) DeepCon, Disfida, Festa del Redentore, Internazionali Femminili di Palermo, L'ardia Di San Costantino, Madonna Bruna Festival, Palio di Siena, Puccini Festival, Ravello Festival, Umbria Jazz, (August) Il Cinema Ritrovato, Celestinian Forgiveness, Italian Basketball Supercup, La Quintana, Rome Independent Cinema Festival, San Biagio Festival, Varia di Palmi, Venice International Film Festival, (September) Festa di San Gennaro, Milan Furniture Fair, Palio di Asti, Regata Storica, Romaeuropa Festival, Venice International Film Festival, (October) Festival della Scienza, Festival Romics, Genoa International Boat Show, Memorial Peppe Greco, Milan Film Festival, Pordenone Silent Film Festival, Rome Film Festival, Rome Jazz Festival, Torino Jazz Festival, White Night, (November) Flaiano Prizes, Milano City Marathon, Rome Independent Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, (December) BOclassic, Capri Hollywood International Film Festival, and Christmas Blessing of the Pope.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Epiphany, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Liberation Day, Labour Day, Republic Day, Assumption Day, All Saints' Day, Immaculate Conception, Christmas Day, and Saint Stephen's Day.

Dolomites Range, South Tyrol (Alto Adige), Italy. Photo Credit: Elias Obernosterer/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Tuscan Cigars (Lucca) are made from all-natural tobacco.
  • Most active ports are Ancona, Brindisi, Civitavecchia, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Portofino, Salerno, and Venice.
  • Bus and train tickets must be validated prior to boarding.
  • From Ancona or Brindisi you may ride a ferry to Croatia or Greece.
  • During peak tourism season museums are known to be open late night.
  • Best favored coastlines are the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre.
  • Most of the thermal spas are in the northern area.
  • Motor scooters are popular.
  • A traditional breakfast is a cup of cappuccino and a croissant.
  • From December -June opera performances are popular.
  • Every city/region has their own distinctive cuisine specialties.
  • Four restaurant categories: ristorante (most expensive)trattoria (casual), osteria (local speciality), and tavola calda (counter ordering).
  • Citizens usually have a three-hour lunch break (1:30-4:30PM).
  • Most restaurants close at 3PM until dinner.
  • On Sunday it is normal for only cafes and gelaterias to be open.
  • Entry at art galleries, churches, and museums turn off your mobile.
  • Best time to drive along the Amalfi Coast is May thru mid June or mid-September thru mid-October for fewer crowds.
  • Val d'Ossola is a scenic mountain drive.
  • Rail service inexpensively connects most cities.
  • Traffic violations often require cash payment to the police officer to avoid vehicle confiscation.
  • First-class rail tickets are the only assigned seats.
  • Unless, emergency car horns are strictly prohibited while driving through towns and villages.
  • Cameras are known to photograph license plates of illegally driving throughout the city that require a permit. Fines will be forwarded to your home for payment. 
  • Minimum driving age is 18.
  • Intercity buses require reservations in advance.
  • Taxi fares are known to increase on holidays, after 6PM weekdays, and weekends.
  • Public transportation strikes are common.
  • Coast of the Gods offers a scenic view of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
  • Riviera delle Palme (Marche Coast) is a popular tourist location.
  • Riviera del Brenta (Venice) boasts architectural heritage villas built between the 15th and 18th Century.
  • Trabocchi Coast offers coves, fishing, and reefs.
  • Lagoons exist in Grado, Marano, Orbetello, and Venice.
  • Regional cheeses display a "indication certificate" for their authenticity to avoid confusion with low-quality mass-produced cheeses.  
  • Third most visited city in Europe is Rome.
  • Ranked amongst the World's Top 100 Destinations is Florence and Venice.
  • Italian designer brands to shop for include: Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Ferragamo, Gucci, Max Mara, Missoni, Moschino, Prada, Trussardi, Valentino, and Versace.
  • Thieves are known to target tourist impersonate police officers in civil attire asking for your wallet. 

Portofino, Italy. Photo Credit: Domenico Farone/Pixabay

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and two blank pages for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Required Vaccination from select countries. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral), Lombardy, Italy. Photo Credit: Pixabay 

Prone to avalanches, earthquakes, flooding during high tides (especially Venice), humidity, snowstorms, and volcano eruption.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy, Photo Credit: Sung Rae Kim/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: April - June & September - October
  • Coldest Months: December - February
  • Hottest Months: July - September
  • Peak Season: June - August

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy. Photo Credit: Elijah Lovkoff/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli and the San Leucio Complex, Amalfi Coast, Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale, Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia, Archaeological Area of Agrigento, Archaeological Areas of Pompei Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, Archaeological Areas of Pompei Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico) Padua, Castel del Monte, Cathedral Torre Civica and Piazza Grande Modena, Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci, Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia and the Certosa di Padula, City of Verona, City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto, Crespi d'Adda, Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna, Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia, Ferrara City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta, Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli, Historic Centre of Florence, Historic Centre of Naples, Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura, Historic Centre of San Gimignano, Historic Centre of Siena, Historic Centre of the City of Pienza, Historic Centre of Urbino, Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands), Ivrea Industrial City of the 20th Century, Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily), Longobards in Italy Places of the power (568-774 A.D.), Mantua and Sabbioneta, Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany, Monte San Giorgio, Mount Etna, Piazza del Duomo Pisa Portovenere Cinque Terre and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto), Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps, Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe, Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes, Rock Drawings in Valcamonica, Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy, Su Nuraxi di Barumini, Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica, The Dolomites, The Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene ("Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene"), The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera, The Trulli of Alberobello, Val d'Orcia, Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra - western Stato da Mar, Venice and its Lagoon, Villa Adriana (Tivoli), Villa d'Este (Tivoli),  Villa Romana del Casale, Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe - Roero and Monferrato.

Positano, Italy. Photo Credit: David Mark/Pixabay 

Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals

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                                      All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

The Vatican, Italy. Photo Credit: Selim Geçer/Pixabay 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


Israel Flag

"Silicon Valley of the Middle East"

Why visit Israel?
Best known for archaeological digs, beaches, biblical sites, caves, culture, historical sites, markets, museums, religious shrines, spas, and wineries.

popular destination for:
  • Amateur & Professional Photographers
  • Bucket List Destination
  • Ocean Cruises Embarkation/Disembarkation
  • Groups: Family, Friends and Multigenerational 
  • Religious & Spiritual

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Isarel. Ekaterina Vysotina/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Antiques, bathing suits,  diamonds, embroidery, furs, jewelry, leather coats, religious goods, skin-care products, and wine.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Challah (bread). Cholent (stew). Falafel (sandwich). Kubba (beet stew). Malawach (flatbread). Me'orav Yerushalmi (grilled mixed meat). Oznei Haman (filled cookie). Ptitim (toasted pasta). Potato Bourekas (pastry). Sabich (stuffed pita sandwich).
  • Local Drink to Try: Arak (spirit). Goldstar (lager beer). Limonana (lemonade). Maccabi (beer). Sahlab (drinkable pudding).

Jaffa Beach, Tel-Aviv, Isarel. Photo Credit: Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • Jerusalem is considered the holiest city in the world.
  • Has the highest standard of living amongst Middle East countries.
  • Highly ranked of citizens with a education degree and military training.
  • Education is required for children from 3-18 years old.
  • All homes are required to have a reinforced security room for warfare purposes.
  • Warren Edward Buffet, American Billionaire Investor purchased metal cutting company, Iscar LTD for a reported $4 billion.
  • Port of Haifa is their oldest port.
  • The only country in the world where the Hebrew Calendar sets life.
  • Israel Museum (Jerusalem) is home to ancient Jewish religious manuscripts (Dead Sea Scrolls) found. 
  • The salt lake of the Dead Sea is the earth's lowest elevation.

Timna Park, Eilat, Israel. Photo Credit:  Jim Black/Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (March) Eilat Bird Festival, (May) Abu Ghosh Vocal Music Festival, Israel & Jerusalem Festivals of the Performing Arts, (June) Jerusalem Light Festival, Tel Aviv Gay Pride Week, White Nights, (July) Israeli Folkdance Festival, Jerusalem Arts & Crafts Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival, Jerusalem International Film Festival, Jerusalem Summer Culture Festival, Red Sea Jazz Festival, (August) Jerusalem Beer Festival, Karmiel Dance Festival, Opera in the Park Tel Aviv, Safed Klezmer Festival, (September) Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, ltidisciplinary Arts Festival,  Interational Film Festival, Sukkot Festival, (October) Cycle Tel Aviv, Haifa International Film Festival, IndNegev Music Festival, Jerusalem March, Tel Aviv Night Run, (November) Eilat Desert Marathon, Olive Festival, and Jacob’s Ladder Festival.
  • Holidays: Sabbath, New Year, Fast of Gedaliah, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, Simchat Torah/Shmini Atzeret, Rabin Day, Sigd, Ben-Gurion Day, Hanukkah, Tenth of Tevet, Arbor Day, Fast of Esther, Purim, Aliyah Day, Passover, Seventh Day of Passover, Mimouna, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Victory in Europe Day, Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day, Independence Day, Herzl Day, Lag BaOmer, Jerusalem Day, Shavuot, Seventeenth of Tammuz, Jabotinsky Day, and Tisha B'Av.

Caesarea, Israel. Photo Credit: Robert Alvarado/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • The north is green lush and the south area desert.
  • From May - September rain is rare.
  • The left hand is considered dirty, therefore use your right hand to eat, give, and take.
  • Land mines are present in remote areas (Golan Heights).
  • From sunset on Friday and sunset on Saturday do not drive through Mea Shearim Orthodox Jewish Section of Jerusalem due to Jewish Sabbath Rules.
  • The Official day of rest is on Saturday.
  • Men entering a synagogue are required to cover their heads.
  • Public buses do not normally operate on Saturday.
  • Tel Aviv offers spectacular beaches and unbeaten nightlife.
  • Internal checkpoints are known to restrict the movement of individuals.
  • Entry or exit from Gaza or the West Bank area could be denied.
  • HIV/AIDS entry restrictions are imposed.
  • A free three-month tourist VISA is given upon arrival.
  • Avoid the Gaza Strip area.
  • In the event of mortar or rocket fire, a “red alert” will be sounded.
  • High-pressure sales tactics are known to occur in tourist areas.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Swim only at official designated beaches with a lifeguard due to strong rip currents.
  • LGBTI acceptance and tolerance varies throughout the country.
  • Avoid drinking tap water.
  • Cars must use headlights at all times. Drivers are required to carry fluorescent vests and safety triangles.
  • Aggressive driving is common.

Eilat, Israel. Photo Credit: Pixabay 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for under 90 days.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Dead Sea, Israel. Photo Credit: Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: March - April & September - October
  • Coolest Months: October - March
  • Hottest Months: April - October
  • Peak Season: June - September

Wadi Road, Jordan, Israel. Photo Credit: odedloveanat/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and the Western Galilee, Biblical TelsMegiddo Hazor Beer Sheba, Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands as a Microcosm of the Land of the Caves, Incense Route - Desert Cities in the Negev, Masada, Necropolis of Bet She’arim: A Landmark of Jewish Renewal, Old City of Acre, Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot/Wadi el-Mughara Caves, and White City of Tel-Aviv - the Modern Movement.

Golan, Israel. Photo Credit: uric69/Pixabay 

Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals

Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Slack  Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine

                                          All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Ireland Flag

"The Emerald Isle" and "The Land of Saints and Scholars"

Dingle Bay (County Kerry), Western Ireland. Photo Credit: EMersinger/Pixabay 

Why visit Ireland?
For the international traveler seeking the experiences of beer, bicycling, birdwatching, castles, charming towns, coastal cliffs, coves, culture, famous film scenes, festivals, fishing, folklore takes, gastronomy, golf, greyhound racing, green panoramic vistas, historical sites, history, horseback riding, horse races, kayaking, lush green landscape, monuments, mountains, museums, music, nightlife, pristine beaches, pubs, rock climbing, rolling hills, ruins, scuba diving, shopping, stunning scenery, surfing, theatre, traditional dance, walking, water sports, and windsurfing. 

Galley Head Lighthouse, Cork, Ireland. Photo Credit: Roland Mey/Pixabay 

popular destination for:
  • Amateur & Professional Photographers
  • Genealogy Ancestry Discovery
  • Meetings & Reunions
  • Cruises: Debarkation/Embarkation
  • Destination Wedding
  • Movie Buff Fans: Game of Thrones and Star Wars
  • Groups: Family, Friends and Multigenerational
  • Milestones: Anniversary, BabyMoon, Bachelor Party, Bachelorette Party, Birthday, Honeymoon and Retirement

Ring of Kerry, County Kerry (southwestern) IrelandPhoto Credit: Howard Walsh/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: China ware, copper ware, Claddagh, crystal, Gaelic jewelry, handmade sweaters, lace, linens, liquor, peat carvings, poetry books, pottery, walking sticks, whiskey, whistles, and wool goods.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Bacon and Cabbage. Barmbrack (raisin bread). Blaa (bun). Bog Butter. Champ (mashed potatoes). Colcannon (mashed potatoes/kale). Coddle (hearty meal). Crubeens (pigs feet dish). Goody (dessert). Gubbeen Cheese. Irish Stew. Mackerel (fish). Oatcake (biscuit cookie). Skirts and Kidneys (pork stew). Soda Farl (bread). Veda Bread (malted).
  • Local Drink to Try: Baileys Irish Cream (liquor). Cavan Cola (soft drink). Cidona (apple soft drink). Club (soft drink). Guinness (beer). Irish Coffee (cocktail). Irish Mist (whiskey). Irish Whiskey. Magners (cider). Poitín (spirit). Red Lemonade (soft drink). Smithwick (red ale). Tanora (tangerine soft drink).

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare (Burren Region), Ireland. Photo Credit: weareaway/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • In 1912, the Titanic ship was built (Belfast).
  • During World War I (1914-1918) Benedictine Nuns fled Belgium to Galway (Kylemore Abbey monastery).
  • Historically, newlyweds were given fermented honey to toast each other until the next full moon deriving the term "honeymoon".
  • Second largest island of the British Isles
  • The third largest island in Europe.
  • On Reek Sunday the fourth tallest and sacred mountain, Croagh Patrick (County Mayo) is climbed by many.
  • In the churchyard of St Columba’s Church (Village of Drumcliff) a tombstone reads, "Cast a Cold Eye On Life, on Death, Horseman pass by" marking the final rest of  William Butler Yeats, Poet (1865-1939). 
  • Home to three native finest horse breeds.
  • Once upon a time, Ireland's Alcatraz (Cork, Spike Island) was the world's largest prison.
  • Historically built around 1425 the Bunratty Castle (Clare) was a Viking trading camp.
  • Home to the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe.
  • Cliffs of Moher appeared in films Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Leap Year (2010), and The Princess Bride (1987). 
  • Home (Trinity College Dublin) to the Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of four Gospel Book in Latin of the New Testament.
  • Keem Bay (Achill Island) is said to inspire writers Graham Greene and Heinrich Böll.
  • Croaghaun Mountain is one of the world's highest sea cliffs.
  • Former castles converted to hotels include: Ashford Castle, Castle Leslie, and Dromoland Castle.
  • The Longest river is River Shannon.
  • Home to 26 native land mammal species.
  • There are no snakes.
  • Wins more medals in boxing compared to any other Olympic sport.
  • Over 240,000 golfers visitors annually.
  • Largest consumers of potatoes amongst European countries.
  • Produces 90% of the world's supply of whiskey in the world.
  • Irish beef has a worldwide reputation for excellence since cattle are grass fed.
  • Amongst the best smoked salmon in the world.
  • Award-winning artisan producers of black pudding (blood sausage).

Duckett's Grove House, Duckett Grove (County Carlow), Ireland. Photo Credit: Howard Walsh/Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Funderland, Warpcon (February) Audi Dublin International Film Festival, Dublin Tech Summit, Itzacon Eire, Willie Loughman Forest Rally, (March) Galway International Rally, Games Fleadh, Limerick Forest Rally, Mayo Rally, Seachtain na Gaeilge, St Patrick’s Day Parades, St Patrick’s Dublin Festival, West Cork Rally, World Book Day, (April) All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, Castlepalooza, Cúirt International Festival of Literature, Great Ireland Run, Pan Celtic Festival, World Irish Dancing Championships, (May) Bloom Festival, Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, Daily Mirror May Day Races, Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, Galway African Film Festival, International Literature Festival Dublin, Nettlemas, Oxegen, Wicklow Arts Festival, (June) Bloomsday Festival, Cork Midsummer Arts Festival, Cork X Southwest Music & Arts Festival, Donegal International Rally, Earagail Arts Festival, Irish Derby, Taste of Dublin, Women's Mini Marathon Dublin, (July) Battle of the Boyne Commemoration, City Spectacular, Galway International Arts Festival, GAZE International LGBT Film Festival Dublin, Mary From Dungloe International Festival, Reek Sunday, (August) All Ireland Fleadh - Marching Band Competition, Black Pride Ireland, Dublin Feminist Film Festival, Dublin Horse Show, Flat Lake Festival, Fleadh Cheoil, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Lughnasa Fair, National Heritage Week, Puck Fair, Rose of Tralee International Festival, Spraoi, (September) All-Ireland Hurling & Gaelic Football Finals, Arthur's Day, Dublin Theatre Festival, Electric Picnic, Galway Oyster & Seafood Festival, Irish Antique & Fine Art Fair, Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, National Ploughing Championships, (October) Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, Dragon of Shandon, Dublin Marathon, Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, Kinsale Gourmet Festival, Mr Gay Ireland, SSE Airtricity Dublin City Marathon, Wexford Festival Opera, (November) Cork Film Festival, Science Week Ireland, (December) Dublin Docklands Christmas Festival, Killarney Christmas Market, (December) All-Ireland Hurling Final, and Scoil Gheimhridh Frankie Kennedy.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Saint Patrick's Day, Easter Monday, May Day, June Holiday, August Holiday, October Holiday, Christmas Day, and St Stephen's Day.

Killarney, Ireland.  Photo Credit: Christian_Birkholz/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Weather tends to be cool, damp, misty, and rainy.
  • Not all accommodations are deluxe.
  • Pack a quality raincoat and/or umbrella.
  • Use comfort and quality walking shoes.
  • Cycling is best in Clare, Kerry, and Sligo.
  • Remember its Irish Whiskey vs Scottish Whiskey.
  • Potato chips are locally called crisps.
  • Ferry Service connects to France and the United Kingdom.
  • Be patient, when ordering Guinness or Murphy beer as they are required to settle before being served.
  • American Express is not widely accepted. Mastercard and VISA are widely accepted.
  • Northern Ireland currency is Pound Sterling (GBP) while the rest of the island is in Euro's (EUR).
  • All debit and credit cards must have a chip and pin to use for purchases.
  • Travelers Checks is not accepted.
  • Roads are often narrow, uneven, and winding.
  • Be mindful some of our words may have a different meaning there. For example: ATM here but a hole in the wall there. French fries here but chips there. Potato chips here but crisps there.
  • Car rental companies may not permit driving in the northern region as it's a part of the United Kingdom.
  • Most visited attractions include: Abbey Theatre, Achill Island, Aran Islands, Bantry House, Blarney Castle, Book of Kells, Bunratty Castle, Castletown House, Castle Ward, Cliffs of Moher, Clonmacnoise, Connemara, Dingle Peninsula, Glendalough, Glenveagh Castle, Guinness Storehouse, Holy Cross Abbey, Lakes of Killarney, Rock of Cashel,
  • Surfers migrate towards Ballybunion, Bundoran, Donegal Bay, Inishowen, Lahinch, or Portrush. 
  • Scuba Diving is best along the western seaboard. Best ship wreck dives explorations is Malin Head and off the County Cork coast.
  • Broken away from Great Britain after rising sea levels caused by ice melting.
  • Top rated windsurfing is in Brandon Bay, Clew Bay, Lough Erne, and Lough Neagh.
  • Between August - September, water temperatures averages around 60°F.
  • Kingfisher Trail (300 miles) boasts a scenic cycle route to enjoy lakes and mountains.
  • Importing meat and milk products is prohibited.
  • Keep all your shopping receipts. You may apply for a "VAT Refund Form" (portion) to claim a Sales Tax (VAT) Refund with the Republic of Ireland.
  • Rental cars are known theft targets easily identified with rear window sticker decals.
  • Banks will not accept $100US bills.
  • Cars drive on the left side of the road.
  • Has more circular “roundabouts” than stop lights.
  • Majority of rental cars are manual transmissions vs automatic.
  • Turning on a red stoplight is illegal.

Giant's Causeway (Interlocking Basalt Columns), Northern Ireland. Photo Credit: Paul Hampshire/Pixabay 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden, Connemara (County Galway), Ireland. Photo Credit: Hans Hansen/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: May - June & October
  • Coldest Months: January - February
  • Hottest Months: May - September
  • Peak Season: June - September
  • Shoulder Season: April - June & October

Connemara, Western Ireland. Photo Credit: Greg Montani/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Brú na Bóinne: Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne and Skellig Michael.

Dunluce Castle, (County Antrim) Northern Ireland. Photo Credit: NakNakNak/Pixabay 

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Greyhound Race, Kilcohan Park Greyhound Stadium, Waterford, Ireland. Photo Credit: MICHOFF/Pixabay 

                                         All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Travel Tips Aboard

Photo Credit: Steve Buissinne / Pixabay Tourists are often targeted aboard with pickpocketing. Avoid Holding Your Phone in the Air (Makes fo...