WATERFORD (Dunmore East)
Visit Ireland's oldest city, and delve deep into the Viking Triangle's immense history, as you explore the endlessly scenic Copper Coast. With so much on offer, you'll want to reach Waterford by hook or by crook. That famous phrase is said to have originated here when King Henry II uttered it while sailing for Waterford, passing Hook Peninsular and the village of Crooke en-route. With wind-swept scenery, ancient monasteries, and Kilkenny's castellated stronghold lying inland, this stunning region of Ireland drips with history and intrigue.
Arriving feels a little like sailing into a living postcard, as Dunmore East's pearly string of white houses, sewn into the emerald Irish coast, welcome you ashore. Come summer, it's dotted with picnicking families and children darting in and out of the calm waters. Wander the high harbour walls, fill up on pub lunches and pints - and fend off squawking gulls hunting ice-creams. Huff fresh sea air, as you follow coastal trails out over secret rocky coves, filled with chattering Kittiwake gulls.
It's a short jaunt from Dunmore East to Waterford, where you can delve into the history of Ireland's oldest city, which was founded in 914 AD. Explore museums telling true-life tales and wander tightknit streets of preserved Viking and Norman history. Reginald's Tower is an icon of Waterford, watching warily out over the waterfront. Look out for the cannonball embedded high up in its stones - left behind from a siege led by Oliver Cromwell. Famous Waterford Crystal adds a little sparkle, and you can explore glittering museums dedicated to Waterford's most precious export.