What is the terrain and geography like in Ireland?
The island of Ireland ("Ã‰ire" in the Irish language) is divided politically into two parts: Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ireland (formally referred to as the "Republic of Ireland") contains 26 of the island's 32 counties. Northern Ireland contains the six counties in the northeast and has been administered as a part of the U.K. since partition in 1922.
The 26 counties cover 27,136 square miles, with the greatest length from north to south being 302 miles and the greatest width 171 miles. Ireland is separated from Britain by the Irish Sea, ranging 60-120 miles across.
The central limestone lowland of the island is ringed by a series of coastal mountains. The central plain is primarily devoted to family farming and is also notable for its bogs and lakes. The highest peak is Carrantuohill in Kerry at 3,414 feet. Newcomers are immediately impressed with the beauty and charm of the countryside, which is dotted with historic landmarks and alternating rolling hills and pastures, mountain lake country, and stark sea cliffs.