A rare cloud-free view of Ireland, Great Britain and northern France, pictured from the Envisat satellite, on 11 January 2013. Image © ESA
To the west, thousands of lakes speckle the island of Ireland, made up of the Republic of Ireland (covering the majority of the island to the south) and Northern Ireland (top eastern corner). The largest lake in the region is Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland.
Brown rugged cliffs along the island’s west coast frame its plush green interior.
Ireland enjoys a mild climate, which is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean (to the left) and the presence of the Gulf Stream. Southwesterly winds from the Atlantic result in high rainfall figures in the northwest, west and southwest of the country.