Following several years of intensive investment in its tourism assets and its heritage, Ireland’s oldest city – Waterford is beginning to reap the rewards with a streak of award wins and listings citing it amongst the world’s best destinations for visitors.
Visit Waterford begins 2024 with the launch of ‘Waterford’s Best’ a newly inspired New York Times bucket list itinerary that visitors can plan and pre-book in advance to ensure that they can enjoy the very best of Ireland’s oldest city, rural charm and stunning coastline.
Visitors can step back 1,000 years in the heart of the City at the Viking Triangle and begin their journey with an EPIC guided walking tour immersing themselves in 1,000 years of history all within 1,000 paces. The tour takes in the City’s Medieval and Viking beginnings and Ireland’s oldest civic building Reginald’s Tower. It traverses the route around the new museums in the City centre all within the ancient City Walls. Visitors can then explore a collection of 5 museums within the Viking Triangle from the newest being the Irish Wake Museum, the Bishop’s Palace, the Irish Silver Museum and the Irish Museum of Time to the oldest, the Medieval Museum which sits atop a fascinating series of original 13th-century undercroft tunnels. Along the route, the recently developed digital story trail brings the city’s history to life right before your eyes. If you want to immerse yourself in the experience then a trip to the King of the Vikings virtual reality site is a must. Just across the road sites the House of Waterford, home to the finest crystal craftsmanship in the world.
As the New York Times says, ‘Waterford’s natural riches rival its historical ones’ and a short hop to the coast of County Waterford with its 49 beaches and 147km of coastline is the UNESCO global geopark of the Copper Coast which sits in the middle of the county’s coastline. A 25km stretch of spectacular scalloped beaches and coves buttressed and enclosed by rocky headlands offering an outdoor museum of geological records and a sight of natural beauty to behold.
Connecting the coast and the City is the 46km Waterford Greenway, a cycle and walkway cutting through the centre of the county along a disused railway line and offering stop-offs along the way at pretty villages and areas of idyllic rural charm with sights of the sea on one side and rolling hills toward Waterford’s Comeragh Mountains range on the other. Along the route sits the majestic Mount Congreve Gardens, featuring one of the largest collections of plants in the world and 126km of woodland walking trails through its 70 acres.
In the West of the County, visitors can enjoy the sight of the glorious Lismore Castle with the Blackwater River meandering by and an abundance of water activities on offer. An abundance of walking trails like St. Declan’s Way and a host of historic houses and gardens are also waiting to be discovered alongside a host of hidden gems throughout the county.
The ‘Waterford’s Best’ itinerary can be downloaded with entry tickets for tours and attractions available via www.visitwaterford.com
2024 is set to be the year that Waterford blooms having recently been named by Conde Nast Traveller in their ‘Best Places to Go in 2024’ and The New York Times in their ’52 Places to Go this Year’, winning the European City of Christmas title for later this year; Mount Congreve Gardens winning Best Newcomer at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards; the Waterford Greenway being voted no. 3 in Ireland’s top attractions at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards, Tramore Beach reaching no.8 in top beaches and 360 Cookhouse Dungarvan enjoying second place in the Best Pet-friendly Cafes & Restaurants.