South & Southwest
The South of Ireland for our purposes includes southern Co. Tipperary, western Co. Waterford, the eastern part of Co. Cork and southeastern Co. Limerick. It takes in most of the Golden Vale, almost the entire Munster Blackwater River Valley and Avondhu region, much of the River Lee valley, and the “Southern Riviera“, Cork Harbour and the regional metropolis (!), plus the coastline westwards as far as Kinsale.
It is explored by part of ByRoute 1 and stretches of ByRoute 4, ByRoute 5, ByRoute 6, ByRoute 7 and the tail end of ByRoute 8, with Special Pages on Cashel & Environs, Clonmel & Environs, the Lower Blackwater Valley Region and Cork City & Environs.
The Southwest can safely be defined as Co. Kerry, the western (including northwestern) areas of Co. Cork and much of Co. Limerick south and west of the the unfortunate city for which it is named. Indented with long narrow fjord-like bays and taking in Ireland’s highest mountains, this is widely regarded as the most scenic Irish region. While Atlantic rainclouds carried by the prevailing southwesterly wind make this the wettest part of the country, the Gulf Stream flowing across the ocean from Mexico tempers the climate and adds to the lush greens of the landscape with exotic semi-tropical plants such as palm trees, fuschia and bouganvilla.
It is also explored by further streches of ByRoute 1, ByRoute 4, ByRoute 5, ByRoute 6 and ByRoute 7, with Special Pages onSherkin Island, Cape Clear Island and Fastnet; the Mizen Peninsula, Sheep’s Head Peninsula; the Beara Peninsula; Bere Island & Dursey Island, the Iveragh Peninsula, the Skelligs, the Dingle Peninsula, Valentia Island, the Blasket Islands, Tralee & Environs and Killarney.