This idyllic isle off the coast of Britain is known for its rolling green hills, friendly faces, and rich history. Ireland offers a wide variety of outdoor adventures. Experience limitless winding roads through hauntingly beautiful natural scenery and warm, welcoming people on Ireland vacations. Fall, spring and winter are less congested and discount times to travel. You’ll find the vistas are still spectacular; the people are still friendly and little is better than the friendship found in a welcoming Irish pub to dispel the brisk wind from a late fall night. Grab an assortment of warm layers and venture off on a vacation to Ireland to discover this magical island.
Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is mostly rural in nature and remains seemingly untouched by modern man outside of the city centers. The official language of the Irish Republic is Gaelic, the purest of all the Celtic languages. Gaelige is taught in most schools but is rarely spoken, being eschewed for English in most common life. No matter what your taste in life, there’s something for you to do in Ireland.
Ireland is known as a large draw for those that prefer life outdoors. Beyond its infamous green hills and beautiful mountains, Ireland offers a wide variety of outdoor adventures. Over 400 golf courses welcome everyone from the greenest amateur to the fiercest competitor. Equestrian trails dot the landscape, allowing people to experience the joy of being on a horse in addition to the magnificent beauty of the landscape. The Esker Riada route is one of the most infamous in all of cycling, and the mountains offer trails for those who yearn to do some vertical mountain biking. And angling throughout Ireland is superb, both freshwater and saltwater.
The history of Ireland is vast, and many historical sites remain today. Irish Castles dot the landscape, beautiful testaments to early building with wood and earthen materials. Blarney Castle, the original home to the infamous Blarney Stone, stands witness to the beauty of its time. Large homes of the aristocracy, like Castletown in County Kildaire, show the art of the architects of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Religious sites, both Pagan and Christian, can awe in both their simplicity and majesty. Pagan and Celtic stone structures stand testament to the beliefs of early Irishmen, and some even pre-date the infamous Stone Henge. The Catholic and Protestant cathedrals of modern times are large and awe-inspiring, while the abbeys and monasteries from St. Patrick’s time show the beauty of early Christianity in Ireland. Jerpoint Abbey is one of the most popular, and is believed by many to be one of the most beautiful.
For those who love food, Irish food is a treat to behold. It’s both delectable and simplistic at the same time. Irish Stew, comprised of beef, vegetables, and potatoes, can be found in almost any pub with a pint of Guinness. Butlers , the most infamous chocolates in Ireland, has opened Butlers Chocolate Cafes throughout Dublin and Cork City. These cafes showcase the finest Irish sweets and coffees, a treat for those who enjoy a bit of chocolate to start or cap off their day.
Whether you prefer to spend your time exploring the splendor of nature or the history of man, Ireland offers many treats for your senses. The smell of clover, the sight of the beautiful countryside, the silence of a quiet glen, and the taste of corned beef & cabbage followed by a Butlers chocolate await you in Ireland.
Taking a trip to Ireland for a few days, a week, a few weeks or more is an adventure everyone will enjoy. And why not? The short flight to either Shannon or Dublin Airports will take you to a magical island where you’ll discover limitless winding roads through hauntingly beautiful natural scenery and warm, welcoming people – you’ll question why you didn’t travel there sooner.
When is the Best Time to Travel to Ireland ?
While many opt for the warm, sunny days of summer for their Ireland vacations, fall, spring and winter have their own special charms and are bargain times to travel. The scenery in varying shades of emerald green, rust and mustard is still breathtaking; the people are still friendly (and maybe more so, because the stress of the tourist deluge is gone); and few things are more rewarding than the spirit found in a welcoming Irish pub, especially to chase away the chill of a late fall night.
The “high” season in Ireland, from mid-June through mid-September, is the prime time for travel. The weather is warm without being hot and sticky, skies are sunny and visitors converge on the small country from the US, mainland Europe and afar. Pricing is at its highest, both for airfare and accommodations. As the weather starts to change, with cooler temperatures and more cloudy days, most of the tourists return to their homes and costs decrease.
The “shoulder season” for Ireland vacations is mid-September through October, April, May and early June. “Low season,” when the temperature has a distinct chill and some small guest houses, hotels and shops close, is the winter months from November through March.
Since the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream passes along the coast of Ireland, winter temperatures are more moderate than other countries at a similar latitude. Ireland’s winter weather is much more temperate than in the northern regions of the United States, and even warmer than in much of continental Europe. Ireland’s average winter temperature rarely reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit and typically stays around a relatively mild 45 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the wind in winter is frequently quite strong, and rainfall – required to keep the Emerald Island a breathtaking and vivid green – is more frequent in winter and fall.
Pricing and crowds of visitors proportionally decrease the farther you travel from the popular summer months. Airfare savings can be 50 percent or more in low season; B&Bs and hotels offer reduced cost packages to help keep the costs reasonable. Aside from the potential savings, however, the best reasons to travel to Ireland in the “low” or “shoulder” seasons are the great experiences. It is so much more enjoyable to absorb the haunting scenery, wander through the historic sites, stroll along the many woodland paths and streams – and find a seat in the local pub! – without long lines and crowds of tourists. You may even find yourself dawdling in pubs, shops and guest houses to chat as the locals will have more time and be more relaxed.
Discovering Ireland in Fall, Winter and Spring
The choices for new discoveries are virtually endless on an Irish vacation. You may think the country seems small, but you’ll find that each turn of the road uncovers a charming village or spectacular vista to explore. Uncovering myriad Celtic ruins and architecture, and countless museums, galleries and castles could take forever – especially as frequent stops in local pubs and shops are required for warming your spirits, engaging the locals and absorbing Ireland’s splendor.
Take an assortment of layers – from a waterproof jacket and heavy Irish sweater, to a bit of thermal underwear to chase away the chill – and venture off into the countryside. You will find that many of the best known attractions are outdoors: the shores and cliffs, sheltered harbors, cathedrals, castles and ancient stone circles are accessible throughout the year.
Why are you waiting? Discover more for less with Ireland vacations and take advantage of the off-season Ireland travel deals for your next trip.