Wednesday 16 January 2019

Hiking, whiskey and 1916 tours put capital in top 10 places to visit

Hill walking guide Shane O’Doherty, centre, with a group of tourists on Howth Head. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Hill walking guide Shane O’Doherty, centre, with a group of tourists on Howth Head. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

Dublin has been named in the top 10 city destinations in Europe, based on new tourism data.

And on the global stage, Ireland ranked fourth among holidaymakers, narrowly beaten out of the top three by Vietnam, New Zealand and list-topper Costa Rica.

It's the city's cultural experiences that helped the capital place 10th on the list, which is compiled by TripAdvisor and based on travellers' reviews of the city.

Dublin whiskey tours and 1916 Rising walking tours were named as two of the most popular activities for international visitors to the city.

The breathtaking views from Howth also helped Dublin nab a top 10 position, with Howth Peninsula hiking tours in high demand with tourists.

Shane O'Doherty, who leads the hikes in Howth, credits the 8,000 years of history that can be examined and enjoyed in the area by hiking enthusiasts with establishing Dublin as one of Europe's best.

He said people come to Howth from many places around the world, with more Singaporeans than UK citizens joining him for tours.

"We usually have 11 people on a tour. We go for a five or six-hour walk through the various habitats of Howth and through the various eras in history of Ireland and Dublin that haven't been tarmacked over here.

"There has been people here for 8,000 years, and they have left evidence everywhere, and you can wander through that," he said.

Mr O'Doherty started giving tours in March 2016 and works with a group of eight other guides.

Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons welcomed the news of Ireland being ranked so highly.

He said: "The inclusion of Ireland in this list is particularly good news - helping to give us 'stand-out' in a very competitive international marketplace."

Irish Independent

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