With a fascinating history steeped in pagan rituals, Viking invasion, medieval chivalry and modern liberation, the Emerald Isle is sure to enchant, mesmerize and delight. This is a magical land where leprechauns bless visitors and stones have the ability to give you the gift of the gab. Experience it all with an Ireland vacation.

Twenty-six counties form the Republic of Ireland, with the remaining six belonging to Northern Ireland and part of the United Kingdom. In 1937, the constitution of Ireland formerly came into effect with the British representative, the Governor-General, being replaced with a President. Ireland’s Government sit in the capital, Dublin. In the ultimate gesture of reconciliation, Queen Elizabeth became the first British monarch in a century to step foot on Irish soil in May 2011. Today, the Irish welcome visitors with generously warm hospitality.

While the weather doesn’t particularly deter year round travel, Ireland is generally considered a summer destination. In July the temperature rises to around 66 degrees. While in winter the mercury manages to reach around 41 degrees. If you’re hiking through the countryside, the weather is always unpredictable, so pack appropriately.

Ireland hosts many annual events and festivals including the internationally-renowned Wexford Opera Festival, Cork Jazz Festival and the Smithwick’s Cat Laughs Festival. St Patrick’s Day is a big celebration, with a parade in the capital, Dublin.