Ireland is one of the most accessible countries from the UK, with flights from many local airports into Dublin and beyond...
One of the best ways to explore Ireland's many hidden gems is to hire a car. In Ireland car hire can be arranged from many of the country's airports, including Dublin (DUB), Cork (ORK), Waterford (WAT), Kerry (KIR) and Galway (GWY).
There is a small network of motorways and dual carriageways throughout Ireland, but it is the great number of slower local roads which gives car hire in Ireland a real sense of adventure. The roads are easy to navigate and will allow you to discover a wide variety of cultural gems across the country.
There may be a little confusion if you cross the border from Northern Ireland and enter the Republic, as the signs will become bi-lingual and the distances will change from miles to kilometres. As long as you drive on the left you will find car hire is the most liberating transport method you can choose to really explore this fascinating island.
There is so much to see and do once you arrive in Ireland. We round up some of the great places to visit in your rental car...
Visit historic Dublin, the country's capital and largest city. There is some spectacular architecture here, as well as great pubs and restaurants and plenty of shopping opportunities. No wonder Dublin is the fourth most visited city in Europe.
If city life isn't your thing there are plenty of places for a rural retreat. You can take part in some of Ireland's most enduring traditions such as kissing the Blarney Stone near Cork or visit some of the gorgeous rolling hillsides and dramatic coastlines which have been drawing visitors for years. County Donegal has some amazing countryside and beaches and is a wonderful place to retreat to and enjoy the fresh country air.
Other popular places to visit include Limerick, the Boinne and the beautiful Glendalough Monastery in the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
Ireland has so much to offer, from the beautiful countryside to bustling cities and the amazing food and drink. What better way to spend a day than visiting the Guinness factory or sampling local delicacies such as soda bread, seafood and stews, all washed down with some traditional Irish whiskey? There are also traditional activities to enjoy such as dancing an Irish jig in one of the country's many warm and welcoming pubs.