The most representative feature of county Fermanagh is The River Erne, also referred to as Lough Erne, because it expands into two extensive lakes, Upper and Lower Lough Erne. A lot of the county is taken up by these two lakes, that have an impressive number of small islands. Lough Erne is connected to the uppermost reaches of The River Shannon, creating over 200 miles of navigable linked waterways. Thus, most of the people who come to what has been termed "the lakeland of Ulster" are here for pleasure cruising and fishing, as well as for the variety of watersports available, and the wonderful scenery that surrounds the lakes. Many of the islands are ideal places for camping trips, family excursions, picnics, etc.
Boa Island (Inis Boa) is worth a visit even if just for the purpose of seeing its mysterious statues: a unique two-headed Iron Age figure, and, not far from it, a figure said to represent one of the war goddesses of the Celts - called "The Lusty Man" - depicted as being blind in one eye.
The nature enthusiast will most probably take long walks through the native forests of ash, oak, hazelnut, alder or beech, which have survived here since the end of the last Ice Age. The hilly part of Fermanagh, rising to 2,188 feet in Culicagh Mountains, has many places for climbing, as well. Picturesque towns and villages complete the charm of the scenery. Extra-care must be taken, though, in the less wooded areas, as there are plenty of marshes. These areas are very important because they hide many Stone Age and Celtic monuments that may not be even noted on maps. The presence of hundreds of monuments and ruins is perfectly understandable, since the lakes and the islands are a perfect getaway and the early Christians felt protected here from the Vikings and Normans. The county is named after them, in fact: the Irish "Fir Manach" means "the Monastic Men". It was here, too, that the Irish resistance to the Tudors was most active; the abundance of castles in the area shows the efforts of the invading forces to gain control over the land.
West Fermanagh, with its limestone hills, is one of Ireland's most notable areas for speleologists, these hills containing many interesting cave systems. Perhaps the most visited are the Marble Arch Caves, one of Europe's finest showcases, a fascinating natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls and lofty chambers with fragile mineral veils, stalactites and cascades of creamy calcite. Electrically powered boats carry visitors along a subterranean river on 75-minute tours, and there are also spectacular walkways that allow easy access to the powerfully lit caverns.
Perhaps the most visited town is Enniskillen, both because it is the county's capital and because Enniskillen Castle is situated here. Not far from Enniskillen, there's the Ardhowen Theatre, situated in a panoramic lakeview setting, and offering programs of professional drama, classical music, opera, ballet, comedy, variety, children's events, jazz, blues or traditional Irish music and dance.
Belleek, a small village on the western border, may be even more famous than the capital, for reason of the beautiful translucent china manufactured here, prized by collectors and a favourite of the influential people. That has been the case ever since Queen Victoria presented a Belleek tea service to the German royal family, thus sealing the reputation of Belleek pottery.