Let’s take a trip back to where it all began for Ireland, County Waterford, home of the country’s oldest city. Founded by Vikings in AD 914, this county offers history, picturesque views and renowned, handmade crystal-work for all to enjoy. You will find here below our five most popular activities and sights to visit while in Waterford:
Waterford Crystal factory
The Waterford Crystal Factory should be a mandatory stop during your trip to this county. Stop by at their manufacturing facility, which also serves as a visitor center, and let yourself take in the beauty of the crystal-making process. It’s no wonder that Waterford is called the ‘’land of crystals’’. Meet and greet the crystal makers and glassblowers and watch the big furnaces that are used to melt approximately 826 tons of crystal per year! Visit their gift shop to become the proud owner of one of these renowned crystal gems.
There are many towers to visit across Ireland, but none have traits like Reginald’s Tower. Being the oldest civic building of the city, Reginald’s Tower was named after a Viking invader who ruled Waterford in the 10th century, which is out of the ordinary and makes it the only monument in the country named that way. This tower, unlike others, has also been in continuous use throughout its existence, for over 800 years. Nowadays, you can visit an exhibition on Vikings held in the tower to learn more about the city’s past.
Ireland is a country of idyllic landscapes and each county has its own gems. For County Waterford, the Comeragh Mountains are one of the most beautiful spots to visit and in true fashion holds a legend in its midst. It was said that in the 18th century, a highwayman named William Crotty buried treasures in these mountains. Believe it or not, some schoolchildren in 2015 discovered some gold that was worth a huge sum of euros, millions worth. Locals still say that parts of the treasure remain hidden in the mountains. Maybe you will be the next lucky one to find it?
The Copper Coast spans from the town of Tramore all the way to Dungarvan. This UNESCO Global Geopark is one of the most popular scenic drives in Ireland, offering breathtaking views of the rolling hills, cliffs and landscapes that’ll make you want to stop for a photo op at every turn.
No trip is complete without trying the county’s delicacies and Waterford doesn’t disappoint. Stop by the Barron’s Bakery, a county staple since 1887, which sells Blaa. Blaa offers up a unique bread experience and was a way back in the 17th century to salvage scraps of dough. This bread is baked in Scotch Brick Ovens which is the original way it was baked back in olden times. Barron’s Bakery is most probably the last bakery in Ireland to still use these ovens. This stop is for the bread lovers!County Waterford boasts history in every corner of its land, from the food to the architecture and the landscapes. If you get enthralled during the driving portion of your trip and end up in another County accidentally, make sure to check out our other blogs on the top things to see and visit in Ireland’s Counties.