Western and Northern Ireland travel highlights include Bunratty Castle re-enactors, the Connemara wild landscapes, Sligo and the statue of poet W. B. Yeats, and the now peaceful Northern Ireland terrain.
A Dublin visitor should consider seeing statues and houses of the great writers, such as James Joyce, a performance at the Abbey Theater, and Trinity College, with its display of the 8th century Book of Kells. The visitor might then drink a pint of Guinness at a pub, see the Georgian Architecture around Merrion Square, and peruse the countryside, perhaps with a visit to Glendalough monastery.
Bicycling the Netherlands is a plausible vacation strategy because Amsterdam and Dutch outlying areas, such as the Hoge Veluwe and Drenthe, have excellent bicycle paths and lanes, bicycle rentals, and bicycle information from the local Go Holland tourism offices.
For the appreciator of cheese, Dutch cheese is one of the gustatory glories of the Netherlands. The place to start is a good cheese store in Amsterdam. Beyond Amsterdam, you can visit the cheese markets at Alkmaar and at Gouda.
A walking tour of Amsterdam can acquaint you with Rembrandt's art in the Rijksmuseum, restored 17th century canal houses, cafe idling on the Leidseplein, and possibly an Indonesian rice table (rijsttafel) meal.
Cheese lovers enjoy Netherlands or Dutch cheeses in Amsterdam at cheese shops, such as Kef's. Then they visit cheese markets in Alkmaar and Gouda, tasting Edam and Gouda. Visit also the Clara Maria farm to see how cheese is made.
The Netherlands boasts three outstanding small museums devoted to single subjects. Two celebrate painters, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem. The third museum, the Cruquius Pump Museum, portrays how the country of the Netherlands was gradually reclaimed from the sea.
Germany's Romantic Road between Augsburg and Wurzburg, including the preserved medieval town of Rothenburg, has an aura of antiquity that delights travelers. Nordlingen and Dinkelsbuhl are further small medieval towns on the route.
A visit to the great vineyards of Burgundy in France starts at Beaune. Be sure to see the Clos de Vougeot, both for its architecture and its wine. Visit the Hotel Dieu, the famous charity hospital, now a monument to the medieval era. Sample wines and meals along the famous Cote d'Or hillsides.
A touring and tasting visit to the Bordeaux Wine Country of France can take you to the Medoc, St. Emilion, and Grave-Sauterne vineyard areas. Start in Bordeaux at the Maison du Vin, House of Wine, and arrange chateau touring appointments.