Ireland is an island with an area of 84,426km2, comprised of a large central lowland area surrounded by a border of low mountains around the coast, and numerous small offshore islands, mainly along the western seaboard. The mainland is 485km long from North to South and 304km wide at its broadest point, with over 5,631km / 3,000mi of coastline.
Climate & Weather
Although Ireland is at the same northerly latitude as Newfoundland, the Gulf Stream current from Mexico exercises a moderating influence on the climate, which is cool, temperate and wet. In summer, the temperature rarely rises higher than 25ºC, and in winter it only occasionally drops below about 5ºC. It rains all year, usually in the form of drizzle or sporadic showers. The sky is often cloudy or overcast. Warm, sunny days are the norm in summer, but the weather can change a lot during the course of a single day, so it is always advisable to carry raingear.
Ireland is often called “the Emerald Isle”, as there are so many shades of green. The central plain is very fertile; elsewhere, the countryside tends to vary from barren rock and treeless bog to grassy slopes and pastures, flat plains and often waterlogged meadows, to ancient stands of trees, groves, woodlands and forestry plantations, orchards, cultivated farmland and parks and gardens. There are almost no areas of pure wilderness as such; human impact is apparent almost everywhere, albeit often on a puny scale. The moonlike highlands often conceal lush valleys. The western coastal landscape of cliffs, coves and strands is particularly beautiful, as are many of the offshore islands.
The island of Ireland has approximately 5,800,000 human inhabitants.