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.

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