The South of Ireland has a magic all its own. Medieval ruins, tidal ranges, lush farmland and quaint vistas await the traveler to southeast townships such as Kilkenny, Carlow and Tipperary, while the southwest of the Emerald Isle is a land of enchanting views, internationally known medieval sites and lush greenery. Cork, Limerick and Kerry offer an abundance of attractions to the region's vistors.
Some have called Kilkenny the medieval center of Ireland. The countryside framed by the Barrow and Suir rivers is home to agriculture and a robust people, but the urban areas feature cobbled streets, castles, abbeys and old stone walls and ruins, highlighted by Kilkenny Castle in the city. Carlow is small but not inconsequential with its rich flatlands bearing sugar beets. Small villages tossed about the hills and meadows break up the rustic nature of things. The county at the mouth of the River Slaney, Wexford, isn't known for its vibrant nightlife or cosmopolitan lifestyle; instead, it's an area of temperate climate, quaint ports, beautiful gardens and, for the sun enthusiast, golden beaches. The Vikings established the town for its fishing and it remains a major source of commerce as well as sport for interested travelers. Finally, Tipperary has no coastline, but it does have plenty of topography with Slievenamon mountain, the majesty of the limestone Rock of Cashel, and the Comeragh Mountains, as well as a number of Norman castles and churches.
Head to the southwest to "kiss the Blarney Stone" at Cork, Ireland's largest county; Blarney Castle is part of the county, and there are other sights nearby (Blarney House and Woollen Mills). Limerick, which gave the world the humorous five-line poem, is a region of farming and agriculture covered up with castle ruins that tell of its medieval past. It provides an opportunity for travelers seeking the fortresses and strongholds of a bygone era without the clamor and crowds of modern times. Killarney Lake, Carrantoohill Mountain and MacGillycuddy's Reeks are among the natural jewels of the Emerald Isle, and all are located in Kerry. The rivers of the county—Roughty, Finihy and Sheen—converge at Kenmare, where shops and fine dining are common.
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