Ireland’s favourite destination (overseas)
We’ve got a classic rivalry on our hands.
Spain remains Ireland’s most visited holiday location, with an estimated two million trips in 2017 (a record year). But when push came to shove, you voted Italy as Ireland’s favourite overseas holiday destination.
“You cannot have a bad holiday in this fantastic country,” you told us.
“Whether it is Rome, Sorrento’s coastline, Lake Garda or Tuscany (below), and there are still so many more cities and regions left to explore… This country is just so rich in history and landscapes, it has fabulous food — all at reasonable prices — and the people are so great. I love it!”
And so say all of us!
Ireland’s Top 10 holiday destinations
In Italy, readers rhapsodised about “mouthwatering” food and “amazing wine”, zeroing in on destinations ranging from Lake Como to Sicily, the Amalfi Coast, Florence, Cinque Terre, Rimini (“it’s some spot!”) and Venice (“where I can feel I am part of a Canaletto masterpiece”).
But you kept returning to the country’s atmosphere and joie de vivre — “Any part of it. Food, culture, vino… Bellissimo!”
Our judges noted that access to Italy has improved hugely in recent years (the latest addition? Ryanair flights to Napoli).
Few countries offer the kind of diversity you can get here — from skiing the Dolomites to eating cannoli in Sicily — but Irish people also have a deep affinity with Italians.
Locality and family are so important to both, and an increasing number of Irish couples are getting married there.
“You never have to go far to be immersed in Italian culture, magnificent food, cobbled stones, history and ruins from north to south,” you said.
“What more could you want in a holiday!”
“I’m currently pretty much in love with Venice, Italy. The incredible architecture, vibrant islands and mouth-watering aperitivos more than make up for the mass of selfie stick-wielding tourists for me.”