Welcome to the Emerald Isle of Ireland and its forty shades of green!
As all our programs are located in towns that have kept their true Irish heritage alive, you will be able to immerse yourself fully into the culture and society of your host town. However, we highly recommend that you discover the rest of our beautiful island during your time off by taking day trips to some of the world’s most stunning places. The Lonely Planet has identified many things to do and see which will prove useful to you. There are numerous online resources for you to read about Ireland’s attractions, and the local tourist offices will have plenty of free guides that you can pick up.
Here we want to give you some tips on other “top things” to do that you won’t find in any guide book:
Go to a Gaelic football match
Gaelic Football, which differs hugely from soccer, is the most popular of the Gaelic games and is played by teams of 15 on a rectangular grass pitch with H-shaped goals at each end. It is played with a round ball and both hands and feet are used to control and pass the ball. To experience a Gaelic football match or any other Gaelic game, check this out.
Go home to a real Irish mammy
A typical Irish mammy spends most of her waking moments with an apron tied around her waist. If you have the good fortune to visit your newfound Irish friend’s mammy, you are sure to get a warm welcome hug. Out will come the tea and scones (yes any problem in Ireland can be solved with a cup of tea…) and you’ll be told endless stories of your friend’s childhood “gallivanting” and how times have changed. Make sure to read this article with some great “Irish mammy” one-liners!
Have a meal in a traditional Irish pub and listen to Irish music for hours on end
Most Irish pubs now serve great quality Irish dinners all day long. Aside from the famous Irish Stew, you can try bacon and cabbage, Cod fish and chips, or some Irish roast lamb. Most people go to Irish pubs not to drink alcohol but more for the conversations, the stories, and of course the traditional Irish music and the “craic.” Here you can find a list of some world famous Irish pubs.
Attend a local festival
Ireland is a small island, but people know how to enjoy themselves, especially come the spring and summer seasons! Whatever the season, there is always something happening for everyone, from local food festivals to music and art festivals, and of course The Rose of Tralee, a renowned International festival. Find out what’s on in your region here.
Go to the bog
Ireland’s bog lands are very special places. Bog lands are areas of peat bogs, and they make up 5% of the Irish landscape. They are home to many rare plants and animals. There are two types of bogs in Ireland and you can learn more here. In the past (and in some rural areas – still today), Irish people heated their homes and cooked their food using turf taken from from the bog as fuel. Turf was cut from the bog by hand, using a two-sided spade called a sleán. Entire families often helped to save the turf on the bog.