“Ireland is small, but it packs a big punch,” says the worlds biggest travel guide publisher.Lonely Planet

Ireland ranked number 5 in the Lonely Planet’s top ten travel countries of 2014, just after Singapore, Namibia, Lithuania and Nicaragua.

The Lonely Planet is the world’s largest travel-guide book publisher. They write an astute summary about what to love about and expect from modern Ireland, with all its misconceptions, life-changing experiences, funny facts and more details.

“Ireland is small, but it packs a big punch,” it says, “thanks to those millions of emigrants who left to earn a crust so they wouldn’t have to subsist on one.”

“There’s a whole lot of love for the old country, which carries a burden of expectation skewed towards the sheep-on-the-road, thatched-roof image – slightly at odds with the modern Ireland of motorways and macchiatos.

Dublin buskers.

Dublin buskers.

“This year is the year of the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2500 km scenic drive that snakes its way round every nook and crook of the western seaboard from Donegal to Cork.”

Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry - on the Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way.

Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry - on the Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way.

The Lonely Planet is keen to have you avoid Ireland’s tourist traps and stereotypes, and guides you on how to see past them:

“Beneath the touristic tomfoolery, though, is the real deal: Ireland is stunningly scenic, its traditions – music, dance, whiskey and beer – firmly intact and the cosmopolitan, contemporary Irish are just as friendly and welcoming as their forebears were known to be.”

Read the rest of their description here.