Never mind Love Island. Ireland is a much more romantic island. While tropical islands have a certain appeal, especially in January and February, Ireland has its own unique and irresistible take on love and romance.
With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we have the evidence that really, Ireland is an incredibly romantic place and always has been
This wee island is wild and rugged and dreamy all at the same time. Irish romance is earthy and unpretentious. It’s walking hand in hand along a rocky coastline battered by waves and wind, then going in to warm up in front of a roaring turf fire. Enjoying a picnic in the shade of a ruined tower is the perfect chance to daydream about the romance of Irish legends such as Diarmuid and Grainne.
If the incredible landscape doesn’t convince you that Ireland is the most romantic place on earth, then here’s some more evidence.
5 Reasons Ireland Is the Most Romantic Country
These are only five of many reasons Ireland can lay claim to being one of the most romantic places on earth. How many countries can boast this much red-blooded romance in their cultural heart?
- The Claddagh: How many nations can say one of their most widely loved cultural symbols is a wedding and engagement ring? The heart, hands and crown symbolizing love, friendship and loyalty says it all.
- Sexiest Accent: Polls consistently list the Irish accent as one of the most alluring in the world. Last year, it topped a survey by OnePoll and earned third place in a poll of Big Seven Travel’s readers.
- Songs & Poems: So if the average Irish person has an accent that would sound sexy reading the phone directory, just imagine those lilting tones reading or singing the nation’s treasury of love songs and poems.
- St. Valentine: Not only does the spirit of the patron saint of marriage live on in Ireland, but one of his relics is kept in Whitefriar Church in Dublin City. Yes, the capital of Ireland is the resting place of a piece of St. Valentine.
- Handfasting: We’ve always been romantics. Long before the familiar church wedding, the ancient Irish had handfasting rituals as weddings where the couple’s hands were symbolically bound together.
The Roots of Irish Romance
Even the origin story of the modern Irish republic includes a love story. One of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Uprising, Joseph Plunkett, was engaged when he was captured by the British. Sentenced to death, he and his beloved Grace Gifford wed in Kilmainham Gaol hours before he was executed. Plunkett, like many in the Uprising, was a poet. How could a nation whose foundations were built by poets be anything but romantic?
If you need further proof that this is a nation of hopeless romantics who love love, consider the enduring popularity of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. For the last 160 years, hopeful singles have descended on the charming village in County Clare. They go to the dances, flirt, laugh and keep an eye out for someone who might turn out to be the one. With approximately 40,000 people participating, it’s Europe’s biggest matchmaking festival.