Traveling to Ireland for a vacation of a few days, a week, a few weeks or more is an experience everyone will enjoy. And why not? The overnight flight to either Dublin or Shannon Airports will deliver you to a Magical Island where you'll discover a natural haunting beauty, endless winding roads and friendly people – you'll question why you didn't travel there sooner.
What Time of Year is Best to Vacation in Ireland ?
While many opt for the warm, sunny days of summer for their Ireland vacations, spring, fall and winter feature their own special charms and are bargain times to travel. The vistas in varying shades of emerald green, rust and mustard are still spectacular; the people are still friendly (and perhaps more so, as the hassle of the tourist deluge is gone); and few things are more rewarding than the camaraderie found in a welcoming Irish pub, especially to chase away the chill of a late fall night.
The most popular season in Ireland, from mid-June through mid-September, is the busiest time for travel. The weather is warm without being hot and sticky, skies are sunny and tourists flock to the small country from continental Europe, the UK, the US and afar. Prices are highest, both for airfare and accommodations. As the weather starts to change, with cooler temperatures and many cloudy days, most of the tourists return to their homes and the prices go down.
The "shoulder season" for Irish 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 Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean passes along the coast of Ireland, temperatures in winter are more moderate than other countries at the same 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 goes below freezing and usually stays around a relatively mild 45 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the winter's wind can be quite strong, and rainfall – required to keep the Emerald Island a stunning and vibrant green – is more frequent in winter and fall.
Pricing and crowds of tourists decrease proportionately the farther you travel from the popular summer months. Airfare savings can be 50 percent or more in low season; hotels and guest houses offer off-season packages to help keep the costs reasonable. In addition to the potential savings, however, the best reasons to travel to Ireland in the "shoulder" or "low" seasons are the great experiences. It is so much more enjoyable to wander through historic ruins, contemplate the mystical landscapes, stroll through formal gardens – and find a seat in the local pub! – without long lines and crowds of tourists. You may even find yourself lost in seemingly endless conversations in shops, hotels and pubs as the locals will be more relaxed and have more time.
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