Exploring Southern Ireland is like stepping into a real-life fairytale!
Picture the quaint villages with colourful houses, rolling green hills that seem to go on forever and the warm embrace of Irish hospitality.
There's the stunning Cliffs of Moher – towering cliffs that'll make your jaw drop and give you the best views of the wild Atlantic, nature showing off at its finest. And let's not forget about the Ring of Kerry, a scenic drive that takes you through beautiful landscapes, charming towns, and postcard-perfect lakes. Every twist and turn feels like you're in a living painting.
For history buffs the Rock of Cashel is a must-see. This ancient fortress atop a hill tells tales of Ireland's rich past where you can wander through the ruins and let your imagination run wild with stories of kings and battles.
And of course, you can't talk about Ireland without mentioning the lively city of Cork. The bustling markets, vibrant arts scene and friendly locals make it a perfect spot to soak up the Irish atmosphere. Don't forget to indulge in some traditional Irish cuisine – hearty stews, fresh seafood, and, of course, a pint of the black stuff.
The magic of Ireland isn't just in the sights; it's in the people, the stories and the warmth you'll feel everywhere you go. So, whether you're chasing waterfalls, exploring ancient castles or just enjoying a chat over a cup of tea, Southern Ireland is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered.
So when is the best time to visit Ireland?
Lets first look at the climate in Ireland
Ireland's weather is a bit like a rollercoaster – it can change pretty quickly. Generally speaking, it's a mix of mild temperatures and a fair share of rain. Winters aren't freezing, but you'll want to pack a decent jacket. Summers, on the other hand, are cool rather than scorching. The raincoat is your best buddy because drizzles are practically part of the Irish charm. So, if you're heading to the Emerald Isle, be ready for a blend of clouds, occasional sunshine, and maybe a light shower or two.
Peak season in Ireland – June to August
Ireland's peak season hits its stride during the summer months, roughly from June to August and that is when the weather tends to be at its friendliest. You'll be looking at temperatures ranging from around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). It's not scorching hot, but it's comfortably mild.
Now, let's talk rain – Ireland's got a bit of a reputation for being a bit wet and during the peak season, you can expect some rain showers. It's not a downpour every day, but having an umbrella handy is a smart move and it’s thankful to the rain that the landscape is so beautiful and green. So, pack your raincoat, embrace the Irish charm, and enjoy the vibrant scenery!
Things to do during the peak season in Ireland
When you visit Ireland during the peak season, there are so many wonderful things to explore.
- Explore Dublin's Rich Heritage by visiting Trinity College and the Book of Kells or stroll through Temple Bar for a taste of Dublin's vibrant nightlife.
- Take a scenic drive to the Cliffs of Moher for breathtaking views of the Atlantic.
- Drive or take a tour around the picturesque Ring of Kerry, enjoying the stunning landscapes.
- Take a trip along the Wild Atlantic Way, exploring charming coastal villages and rugged cliffs.
- Visit the artsy Galway, known for its street performances and cultural events.
- Head to Newgrange to see the ancient passage tomb and its fascinating solstice alignment.
- Go to a traditional Irish pub with its traditional Irish music sessions.
- Visit the Aran Islands to get a taste of traditional Irish life and its stunning coastal landscapes.
- If you love golf then try a round at the Lahinch Golf Club which is famous for being particularly hard.
- Try local Irish food, including Irish stew, seafood and freshly baked soda bread.
- Explore the Titanic Belfast museum to learn about the city's maritime history.
Low season in Ireland – November to February
So, in Ireland, the low season typically swings by from November to February and brace yourself as it can get pretty chilly with temperatures hovering around 0 to 10 degrees Celsius (32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) so it's not exactly beach weather. However if you're into misty landscapes, cosy pubs and don't like seeing too many people then this could the best time for you to visit, just make sure to pack a good jacket and maybe an umbrella because rain is known to make a surprise appearance. But those Irish landscapes in the mist have their own kind of magic.
Things to do in Ireland during the low season
Taking a trip to Ireland during the low season will be different experience to a trip during busier times and here are some things that you can do:
- Embrace the warmth of traditional Irish pubs. Have a pint of Guinness and a chat with the locals and hopefully catch a live music session.
- Make the most of the quieter roads and explore the stunning landscapes of the Wild Atlantic Way or the Ring of Kerry, breathtaking without the crowds.
- Explore Dublin Castle, Blarney Castle or the ancient Newgrange.
- Check out any local festivals or events happening during the low season as these provide you with the opportunity to connect with the community.
- Delve into the world of Irish whiskey by visiting distilleries like the Jameson Distillery, have a taste and and learn about the art of whiskey-making.
- Take peaceful walks along the coastline, the Cliffs of Moher is stunning during any season, and you'll have a more intimate experience with nature.
- Ireland has a rich literary history so follow in the footsteps of famous writers like James Joyce or W.B. Yeats by visiting places that inspired their works.
- Explore local markets, sample fresh produce, handmade crafts and interact with local people.
- Rainy days are perfect for getting immersed in Ireland's cultural scene. Try the National Museum of Ireland or the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork.
The low season is a unique opportunity to connect with the essence of Ireland in a more intimate way!
Shoulder season in Ireland – May - June
When it comes to Ireland's shoulder season, we're talking about that sweet spot between the hustle of peak tourist times. Generally, it hits from late spring to early summer, around May and June. The weather? Well, it's a bit of a mixed bag, you might catch some sunny days, but be ready for a sprinkle of rain as it's Ireland, after all – unpredictable but charming! So, pack a light jacket, throw in an umbrella, and you should be good to explore without getting too soaked.
Things to do during the shoulder season in Ireland
Visiting Ireland during the shoulder season is a good choice as there’ll be fewer crowds and the weather should be ok. Things to do are:
- Make the most of the Dublin city's vibrant cultural scene and the National Museum of Ireland or the Chester Beatty Library are great choices. You could also attend a live performance at the Abbey Theatre or catch some traditional Irish music in one of the local pubs.
- The shoulder season means you can drive along the Wild Atlantic Way in relative peace and quiet.
- Go for a hike in the Killarney National Park without the crowds of summer. Walk to the Torc Waterfall or explore the trails around Muckross House and Gardens.
- Go and see the majestic Cliffs of Moher without the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season. Take a cliff walk for a different perspective, and don't forget your camera – the views are spectacular!
- Galway's artistic flair shines during the shoulder season. Stroll through the Latin Quarter, explore the city's street art, and if you go at the right time you can catch a performance at the Galway Arts Festival.
- Rent a bike and explore the Dingle Peninsula – you'll cycle amongst the breathtaking landscapes and picturesque coastal villages.
- The Ring of Kerry is a must-see, and the shoulder season means it’ll be quieter so take a drive along the scenic route and stop at the viewpoints and historical sites along the way.
- The shoulder season has some unique celebrations that offer a glimpse into Irish culture, whether it's a food festival, a traditional music event or a local fair.
When is the cheapest time to fly to Ireland?
Finding the cheapest time to fly to Ireland depends on a few factors.
Generally, the off-peak seasons, like late autumn (October-November) and early spring (March-April), tend to offer more budget-friendly options as these months are outside the peak tourist season, so flight prices and accommodation rates are often more reasonable. Keep an eye on airline promotions and booking in advance, and you might just snag a great deal.
How many days do you need in Ireland?
If you are planning a trip to Ireland then how long you go for will depend on a few things, including what you want to do and the places you want to visit. It’s probably worth visiting for between 7-10 days to get a good feel for the country as this will allow you to visit popular destinations like Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher, Galway, and maybe venture further afield.
What month is the rainy season in Ireland
In Ireland, the rainy season is typically spread throughout the year, but there is a bit wetter in the autumn and winter months so from September to February you can expect more rainfall, with October and November being particularly wet. However, it's Ireland, so a bit of rain is part of the charm! If you're planning a visit, bringing a waterproof jacket and embracing the climate is the best approach to have a great time!
Ireland's mild climate makes it a destination you can visit at any time of the year so whether you're exploring historic sites, trekking through the countryside or just hanging around the towns and cities Ireland will give you a wonderful experience that will stay with you long after your journey ends.