If you ask anyone in Ireland who has the best weather, many will tell you it’s to be found in the sunny southeast.
This region includes the counties of Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, and Wexford.
The land in this part of the country is fertile and over the centuries has attracted the Celts, Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and the Normans, whose mark on the region is still visible today.
This small county is easily accessible from Dublin but it is often forgotten for more popular attractions in Kilkenny and neighboring Tipperary.
Some that are worth visiting include Duckett's Grove, a Gothic Revival-style ruin that was once the home of the Duckett family, who were at one time the largest landowners in all of County Carlow.
Built between 1815 and 1850, the derelict house, complete with towers and turrets, has attracted paranormal seekers for years.
In 2011, it was featured on Syfy’s “Destination Truth,” a weekly paranormal reality TV series.
The gardens are worth exploring and contain a variety of plants and flowers, including shrub roses, a collection of Chinese and Japanese peonies, azaleas, rhododendrons, and more.
Free guided tours are available at this attraction that is free to visit.
If you are interested in seeking out Carlow's ancient attractions, the Brownshill Dolmen won't disappoint.
It is the heaviest Megalithic monument in Europe, made up of two portal stones and a gate stone that supports a massive 150-ton granite capstone.
It is believed to have been built between 4,000 and 3,000 B.C., with some saying it served as the tomb of a local chieftain and was possibly the site where human sacrifices took place.
Kilkenny has long been known as Ireland’s medieval capital and rightly so.
Kilkenny Castle is the centerpiece of the town and boasts a complex structure of many different architectural styles.
Its most famous residents were the powerful Anglo-Norman Butler family who ruled from the castle for almost 600 years.
Their reign began with the 3rd Earl of Ormond who purchased it in 1391 and ended with Arthur, the 6th Marquess of Ormonde, who died in 1971 after selling the castle to the town for 50 Irish pounds.
You can take a self-guided tour of the castle or book a guided tour of the castle's period rooms.
Other attractions in Kilkenny that are not to be missed include The Medieval Mile Museum, which offers guided tours also and delves into 800 years of Kilkenny history.
A walking tour is also available on what is known as The Medieval Mile Trail, where the storytellers will take you through the streets and laneways of this popular walled city.
If you are interested in art, be sure to visit Kilkenny's Butler Gallery.
Tipperary's most famous attraction is the Rock of Cashel.
Irish mythology tells us that the rock originated in the Devil’s Bit, a mountain about 20 miles north of Cashel when Saint Patrick banished Satan from a cave, which resulted in the rock landing in Cashel.
It is also known as the site where the King of Munster was converted to Christianity in the 5th century by Ireland’s patron saint.
The site, which has a commanding view over the surrounding countryside, served as the seat for the Kings of Munster prior to the Norman invasion in 1169.
Other noteworthy attractions in County Tipperary include Hore Abbey, one of Ireland’s last medieval Cistercian monasteries.
It was founded in 1272 and colonized by monks from Mellifont Abbey.
Some of its more interesting remaining features include its cruciform church, tower, square cloister, and living quarters.
The region stretches for about 25 km (15 miles) between Kilfarrasy to Stradbally, an area that includes picturesque seaside villages where stunning cliffside views, beautiful beaches and secluded coves are the norm.
It is named after the copper mines that operated in the area during the 19th century and today is part of a UNESCO Global Geopark.
While in Waterford, be sure to stop by the Waterford Crystal Factory for a tour.
North of Waterford and also in the sunny southeast is the county of Wexford with its own equally beautiful coastline.
It's there that you'll discover The Hook Peninsula, which boasts a number of beaches, fishing villages and opportunities for deep sea angling, snorkeling and swimming.
A notable attraction on the peninsula is the Hook Head Lighthouse, the second-oldest operating lighthouse in the world.
If you're interested in exploring Ireland's ancient history, a visit to the Irish National Heritage Park in Wexford is worthwhile.
The park's heritage trail contains 16 archaeological and historical reconstructions that will give you an insight into the rich Viking history in this area.
Artifacts from other periods of Irish history are also on display.
You’ll see full-scale reconstructions of ancient houses, such as crannogs, as well as forts and tombs and the reconstruction of an early Christian monastery.