July is a sunny and comparatively dry month to visit Ireland. Water temperatures reach their annual maximum, increasing the temptation of activities like kayaking, while the warmest weather of the year makes hiking and cycling very popular now. This is the month when there are school holidays, and is accordingly one of Ireland's busiest periods.

Weather

Ireland is not a large enough country to have distinct regional weather patterns. Generally speaking, July has some of the most appealing weather of the year in Ireland, with the highest average high temperatures of the year, plenty of sunshine and comparatively little rain. Water temperatures are around their highest of the year now, too, although 57.2°F/14°C may not be enough for some!

Killarney & Southwestern Ireland

July vibrantly colors the landscape in flowers, plant life and bird life from city parks to mountain slopes. Those warm temperatures help: this is the warmest weather of the year in Killarney, with average highs of 18°C.  Average rainfall is low, too: July is one of only three months in the Killarney area where monthly rainfall is 2.95 inches/ 75mm or below.

Sea water temperatures are almost at their annual maximum of 60.8°F/16°C. Throughout the month, this region actually becomes marginally cooler than in the north and east of the country.

Dublin & Eastern Ireland

July is hot in this region, by Irish standards: averages of 66.2°F/19°C highs and 53.6°F/12°C lows! Rainfall is as low as it gets at any time of the year: just 1.96 inches/ 50mm are expected to fall in Dublin this month.

Belfast & Northern Ireland

July is a hot month in this region too, with averages of 66.2°F/19°C highs and 51.8°F/11°C lows. Hours of sunshine per day are stable (around 4). But it is by no means the driest month in Belfast, with 2.75 inches/ 70mm of rain expected.

Crowds & Costs

In this month, as with last month and as with next, this is high season in Ireland. Although it does not necessarily coincide with the best weather, it coincides with when most people take their holidays and so costs reach their maximums for the year, where accommodation and some activities are concerned. Many schools have now gone on summer holidays, and so families will travel more in July. Be sure to book your accommodation in advance this month, along with any tours you want to take.

Where to Go

Killarney & Southwestern Ireland

Ireland's fairly dry, sunny July weather coaxes you out to explore the Great Outdoors and in this part of Ireland, the country's most remote, there is plenty that should be on your radar. Co. Kerry is a good start point, with fabulous mountain and coastal hiking on its legendary southwest peninsulas, such as the Kerry Way (Iveragh Peninsula), Dingle Way (Dingle Peninsula) or Beara Way (Beara Peninsula, shared with Co. Cork).

Take a boat trip across to the rocky Skellig Islands near Dingle or, better yet, to the otherworldly and traditional Aran Islands near Galway. See this article for more on the Aran Islands. Make your city stop-off Galway this month, in the throes of a fantastic fortnight-long performing arts festival, or head up the Wild Atlantic Way to Co. Donegal where another brilliant arts festival, the Earagail Arts Festival, is happening. 

Dublin & Eastern Ireland

If festivals are your thing, linger in Dublin for the Longitude Festival at the beginning of the month, and then head out into the countryside. Here, the most obvious choice south of Dublin is the Wicklow Way for some of the most delightful hiking in the whole region and a top drawer selection of the very best things to do.

Gorgeous sandy beaches line the eastern coastline; some, like Loughshinney, are located within Co. Dublin and are within an easy drive of the city while others, like the divine Rosslare Strand, are in sight of where the ferry from Wales arrives.

Historic Kildare throws another of its many festivals this month (see below), and makes this town, a day trip from Dublin, another interesting destination.

Belfast & Northern Ireland

Start exploring this region's phenomenal nature with the essential trip to the Causeway Coast, where the Unesco-listed Giant's Causeway, a swathe of thousands of interconnecting basalt columns, makes for one of the most spectacular coastal attractions you could ever hope to see.

Otherwise, try an exploration of mythical Rathlin Island, where exiled Scottish leader Robert the Bruce once took refuge or experience the country's northernmost point with a hike to Malin Head. For a longer hike, there is nothing more epic than the Ulster Way, a 625-mile loop passing through almost all of Northern Ireland and one of the UK's longest and loveliest hiking routes.

Try the Lough Bradan-Gortin or the Gortin-Moneyneany sections for some of the best vistas of the whole walk, and stretches that go through Northern Ireland's biggest mountains, the Sperrin Mountains. See here for an itinerary taking in Belfast and Northern Ireland, as well as Dublin.

What to Do

Killarney & Southwestern Ireland

All outdoors activities are great in July. For starters, checking out and perhaps swimming at some of the country's very best sandy beaches lacing the many southwestern peninsulas is a wonderful activity: try Keem Bay on Achill Island, Co, Mayo or Coumeenole Beach near Dunquin in Co. Kerry. See here for a tour of Kerry that visits Coumeenole Beach.

Then there's the hiking, with jaw-dropping trails threading around the Iveragh Peninsula (on the Kerry Way) or Dingle Peninsula (on the Dingle Way). Cycling is just as enjoyable as hiking, and you can take in much of the best of this west coastline on the Wild Atlantic Way, focusing on the snaking peninsulas, craggy islands and colorful coastal villages of Co. Mayo. Or try some sea kayaking, with Donegal region widely regarded as one of the best places for this activity in the world.  

Dublin & Eastern Ireland

Perhaps the best thing you could spend your time in this region in July doing is walking on the Wicklow Way which showcases the very finest aspects of Eastern Ireland and kicks off from Dublin's southerly suburbs (Marlin Park, where you could start the hike with the Longitude Festival which takes place in July). Or try a leisurely wander and swim on some of the region's stunning sandy beaches, lacing all of the eastern coast and never better than in the sunny summer weather and warmer summer water temperatures.

Remember that this region is known as 'Ireland's Ancient East' and so, for a great insight into Ireland's prodigious history without spending too much time indoors, visit the Irish National Heritage Park near Wicklow. This walks you through 9000 years of the country's past in a magical open-air setting. Or explore spectacular ancient sites such as the huge circular megalithic tomb of Newgrange, in Co. Meath.

Belfast & Northern Ireland

Hiking in July is the activity that showcases Northern Ireland in all its wild beauty. The Causeway Coast is dramatic, but for all the publicity given to the Giant's Causeway, the hike that reveals this region's fantastic scenery better than any other is the 625-mile Ulster Way, taking the walker to high mountains, wild forests and lonely lakes as well as the breathtaking coastline. See above for the best sections of the Ulster Way to hike.

For a shorter walk, brave the vertiginous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge connecting the wild island of Carrickarede to the mainland. Or spot locations from blockbuster TV series Game of Thrones, with many filming locations scattered through this region.

Sights to check out in summer include the Downhill Strand in Co. Derry, and Tollymore Forest Park, in Co. Down. The seas are warm and quite calm and good for sea kayaking this month, and in this regard Northern Ireland leads the way with its stunning North Coast Sea Kayak Trail between Co. Londonderry and Co. Antrim, passing the Giant's Causeway.

July Events

Longitude Big music festival held in Marlay Park, near Dublin, every July.

Forever Young Festival Ireland's first 1980s music festival, held in the grounds of stately home Palmerstown House in Co. Kildare in the second week of July.

Dún Laoghaire Regatta In Dublin Bay, the country's biggest sailing regatta, in the second week of July.

Dalriada Festival One of Northern Ireland's biggest cultural festivals, with everything from Highland Games-style games competitions to food and handicrafts and live music. It's held in mid-July in the beautiful stately home Glenarm Castle, in Co. Antrim.

Galway International Arts Festival Two weeks of live music, film and theater events in Galway, across the middle of July.

Earagail Arts Festival Theater and film events with the Wild Atlantic Way as a backdrop, with events based in Letterkenny and other places in Co. Donegal. 

Traveling in Ireland in July? Check out these great itineraries. 

Classic Ireland Adventure (7 Days). Over the course of a week, you'll visit both classic icons as well as some off-the-beaten-path sites—paired with beautiful landscapes and gentle walks to breathe in the fresh air of Ireland’s spectacular Wild Atlantic Way. 

Hiking the Wicklow Way (9 Days). This itinerary takes adventurous travelers through ancient forests and glacial valleys of Ireland's Wicklow Mountains. Starting in the picturesque village of Clonegal, you'll hike along Ireland's most popular hiking trail that winds through small towns and country villages where you can experience authentic Irish hospitality. 

More Information

Ireland in June
Ireland in August
Best Time to Visit Ireland
Getting Around Ireland