Benbulben Mountain in County Sligo.


The Republic of Ireland is home to nearly 4 million people and is not much greater in size than the state of West Virginia. It is overcast for approximately half of the year and has "mild winters" and "cool summers," according to the CIA World Factbook.

Though Ireland, especially Northern Ireland, has been known for its unrest from armed political groups, one of them, the Irish Republican Army agreed to disarmament in September.


If Ireland is not best known for its places, it should be. To the east is the capital city of the republic, Dublin, with its remnants of the civil war this century and other conflicts.

The Hill of Tara and the Hill of Slane date back to the times of the kings, druids and St. Patrick. Castles, including Blarney Castle, also display more advanced history.

Whether it is the many-faceted beauty of the Ring of Kerry, the Giant's Causeway in the north or the sight of the sea from Cobh, the last port visited by the Titanic, Ireland is rich with natural wonders.