thebananasandwich
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Ireland

Summer is fast approaching, and even the poorest of students will want to get away somewhere.For many years, everyone seemed to be jetting off to sunny Spain or Lanzarote.But now that we are in the height of the recession, many of us are opting to stay on our fair Island, and see what it’s got to offer.

Our Beautiful Country

Galway:

Even as far back as the 50’s and 60’s, Galway has been a hotspot for Irish tourism.

With its beautiful scenery and laid back, bohemian atmosphere, what isn’t there to like about the “Capital of the West”.

These days, Galway has a thriving social scene. Every year the Galway Arts Festival takes place in July. This year the event will be held from the 11th-24th of July and promises to be an extravaganza as always.

There are many exhibitions and installations taking place, and most of these are either cheap, or free. They show off the many students and artists work that live in Galway.

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, it’s the place the go. The whole week comes to an end with a parade of dancers, acrobats, sculptures and more all through the streets of Galway. The place is illuminated with colour and there is an altogether magical feel about it all.

There are many hostels in the city centre to cater for the student market. Around May you can expect to pay around €25 for a double room in a hostel in the city centre. For more info on accommodation visit www.hostels.com/Galway.

Eyre Square Galway

Of course the county of Galway has a lot more to offer other than just the city it’s self. The world renowned Connemara is just 45 miles away. With its spectacular views, and villages steeped with history, it can’t be missed.

It’s one of the last unspoilt large areas of Ireland, an ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Connemara has a range of flora and fauna not found anywhere else in the world, which makes it individual and beautiful.

If it’s history you’re after, you have come to the right place with around 5000 years to be uncovered. There are megalithic stones, tombs, megalithic tombs, early Christian churches castles both ruined and inhabited, 19th century houses and the Marconi Wireless Station and the landing place of Alcock and Brown.

If you fancy really getting back to nature, there are many campsites available in Connemara to get the true experience. For more info on camping and other accommodation visit www.connemaracaravans.com.

Donegal:

Donegal is situated in the beautiful rugged mountain landscape of Ireland’s North West and is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country. This huge county’s supreme appeal lies in the natural beauty of its coast, with windswept peninsulas, precipitous cliffs and a host of golden beaches that rival any in Europe (if you can tolerate the cold, which it tends to be!)

Donegal

For the music fans out there, The Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival takes place in the town where Ireland’s greatest Rock ‘n Blues Guitarist, Rory Gallagher was born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal. The 4-day programme of events is packed with outdoor music gigs, guitar workshops, exhibitions, nightly theatre concerts, late night gigs beginning at midnight, films, The Story of Rory, Seminar at the Rory Gallagher Theatre, non-stop Rock ‘n Blues Pub gigs.

This year the festival is on 2nd-5th of June and guarantees laughs for all! Tickets go on sale soon. For more info visit http://www.rorygallagher.com.

Cork:

According to Lonely Planet 2010, Cork is one of the best cities to visit in the world.

Its Irelands second largest city, and located in the south west of the county. Cork offers many attractions The English Market off Princes St is one of the oldest of its kind. It opened in 1788.  Nowadays thanks to the heightened emphasis placed on health and nutrition, coupled with the popularity of travelling abroad, the market has developed into a cornucopia of exotic fruits, vegetables and meats; tastes and flavours to cater for a diverse population.

Accommodation  in Cork can be cheap as well. Kinlay House is a hostel in Cork city. During the summer months, a single room costs around €30 a night. A double room with en-suite is as little as €27. Rates vary every day a bit though, so it would be worthwhile to visit http://www.kinlayhousecork.ie/index.html and for more info on other hostels visit http://www.accommodation.ie/cork.htm.

Cork City

Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival 2011 runs from May 26th to 29th. This is an independent festival dedicated to bringing together established and first-time filmmakers in a forum to celebrate the short film. The element of competition is not paramount and while the prizes are significant, it’s the taking part and screening of entrants’ films in a public arena that counts. For a vast array of films that are a bit different, this can’t be missed! http://www.fastnetshortfilmfestival.com/

The Ballydehob Jazz festival takes place on the 29th April -2nd of May this year. This features bars on the street and array of musicians and a great festival atmosphere! There will be street entertainment and a trader’s fair where you can sample good food and fine craftwork whilst enjoying the buzz.

For more info visit http://ballydehobjazzfestival.org/

So you don’t have to leave the country to get away, and do fun and interesting things! There are loads of great places to visit without jetting off over the water, with far less damage to your pockets than foreign travel. For more info on Irish Tourism visit www.discoverireland.ie

Written by: Katie Kelly

Proofed by: Dara O’Conor

Uploaded by: Emma Duggan

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