Ireland has mild temperatures and plenty of rain, no matter when you choose to visit. Summer is warmest, with long days perfect for road trips and village-to-village walks. Spring wildflowers burst through cracks in glacial limestone, and fall bedecks the national parks in dazzling foliage. Chilly, quiet winters offer fewer options, though travelers will love the cheerful holiday festivities in Dublin. Read on and choose the season that's right for you.
Ireland Travel Insights
Ireland is a wild corner of Europe, with many ways to explore. Long-distance trails make the country perfect for village-to-village walks, with terrain for every fitness level. The quiet roads are great for cycling, and a rugged Atlantic coastline lends itself particularly well to kayaking. Ireland's magical scenery will appeal to adrenaline junkies everywhere—here are some ideas for your active trip.
Ireland is full of kid-friendly outdoor adventures, fun ways to interact with ancient history, and cultural activities from falconry to farming. Chase the leprechaun legend in Carlingford, hang out with Ireland's favorite dolphin off the Dingle coast, or learn to surf on beginner-friendly beaches. The best part? Driving distances are short, with plenty of ways to keep little ones engaged along the way.
One of the best ways to experience Ireland's remote corners is with a multi-day walk through the heather-covered hills, stretches of unspoiled coast, and sheer cliffs that the Emerald Isle is famous for. Many routes are suitable for novices, and walkers spend their evenings getting a dose of culture (and a good night's sleep) in countryside towns and villages. Learn about the ten best multi-day walks in Ireland with this comprehensive guide.
Besides the stunning green hills, seaside cliffs, and wild Atlantic coast, Ireland is most known for its culture. Music, literature, history—all of these conspired to create a truly unique and attractive legacy. For travelers who'd like to get to the heart of this country, here are some of the most authentic cultural experiences in Ireland.
Ireland's unique collection of places to stay aptly reflects the charming idiosyncrasies of the country. Stay the night in a lighthouse, reenact Medieval life in a ring fort, get cozy in a hobbit home, or rent out the "pub with no beer"—find the perfect spot for your trip to Ireland with this list.
From Dublin to the Giant's Causeway, what most newcomers know of Ireland—and what's actually possible here—are two different things. With a bit of curiosity, it's possible to enjoy the highlights of Ireland in a wholly unique way. Experience Ireland's best-loved cities and sights differently with these ideas, including a "black taxi" tour of Belfast and midnight kayaking on a bioluminescent lake.
The Dingle Way is a village-to-village hiking trail tracing more than 100 miles around the Dingle Peninsula, a wildly remote section of western Ireland. With enchanting coastal and mountain scenery, not to mention a glut of archaeological sites, the trail takes you along some of Ireland's best stretches of shoreline to the westernmost point in mainland Ireland.
Combine Ireland's energetic capital city with a few days walking in Wicklow National Park on this 6-day itinerary, ideal for those who want to experience both the city and countryside. You'll start with two nights in the city taking in its historical tours, followed by four nights traversing the mountain passes and glacial valleys of the Wicklow Way through expansive views and cozy villages.
Hike around the Ring of Kerry at your own pace with this 11-day self-guided itinerary. You'll follow the trail between some of Ireland's most charming towns, crossing sites like Killarney National Park, Kenmare Bay, the Beara Peninsula, and Skelling Islands across a variety of the terrain.
Ireland is a study in diversity. From the gentle slopes of the Mourne Mountains to the looming Cliffs of Moher, from the patchwork fields to the pebble beaches, and from the kinetic energy of Dublin's streets to the reconciled northern metropolis of Belfast, no two regions are exactly alike. That makes Ireland a veritable treasure trove of culture, sights, and activities perfect for newcomers.
Explore the southwest corner of Ireland at your own pace on this 8-day waking itinerary of the Kerry Peninsula. This popular driving route is even better on foot as you cover the countryside from cliffs to beaches across rolling pastures, peat bogs, and mountain ranges. Start in Killarney, walking through Kenmare, Sneem, and Caherdaniel. Veer west through Waterville and Cahersiveen to your final village in Glenbeigh.
Circle both the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula, 2 of Ireland's most popular regions, on this combination 8-day itinerary. Explore expansive grass hillsides crisscrossed by ancient trading paths, mountainous coasts, stone ruins, and quaint fishing villages as you hike the Skellig coast, Slea Head, and more, all accompanied by your expert guides.
Take a 10-day tour through some of the highlights of Ireland with travelers of all ages on this itinerary. Start in Dublin before heading down the coast to County Cork, where you'll bike through a medieval city and hear the haunted and natural history of Killarney. Experience a classical manor in Limerick, followed by the landscapes of the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, and Aran Islands before you return to Dublin for 1 more full day of urban exploring.
Take travelers of all ages around the Emerald Isle with this week-long itinerary. You'll spend 7 days experiencing the highlights of Ireland from the seaside town of Kinsale to the Killarney Lakes, then up to Limerick to live like a lord of the manor and over the Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands off the coast of County Clare.
Explore the islands and peninsulas of Ireland's southwest side on this 7-day itinerary. Start out in the former smuggler's landing port at the village of Baltimore, then head out for hikes along the coastline, up the stone steps of the island of Skellig Michael, and out on the Blasket Islands. Meet the local puffins and basking sharks along with dairy products and musical pub traditions as you travel along the Cork and Kerry Way.
Traverse the spectrum of the Irish landscape with this 8-day walking excursion. You'll go from the lunar rocks of the Burren to the coastal routes of Connemara and the Cliffs of Moher out to the remote wildlife of the Aran Islands. Whether you're taking in medieval fortresses, waving grasses, or cozy villages, you're sure to find your perfect site to stop and sit a while.
Spend 6 days on Ireland's rugged West Coast with this hiking tour. You'll head down the Dingle Way from the country town of Tralee down to Inch Beach and onward to Dingle town, offering great pubs and traditional music in this Gaeltacht, a majority Irish-speaking area. The trail takes you through a landscape that's been inhabited for 6,000 years, full of history and archaeological monuments alongside the crashing Atlantic Ocean.
Walk the highlights on this trip around two spectacular regions of Ireland's southwest coast: County Kerry and County Cork. This 8-day itinerary will take you along the craggy cliffs and hidden coves formed by the wild Atlantic, to historic islands, and across lush, rolling hills. Enjoy the peaceful, pristine landscapes of this corner of the Emerald Isle.
Explore the Emerald Isle's beauty and historic villages by bicycle on this 8-day trip. Mórchuaird Chiarraí (Ring of Kerry) is a 111-mile circular route on Ireland's southwestern coast, encompassing Muckross, Killarney National Park, and picturesque Kenmare. Discover local treasures as you cycle in and around the eastern part of the Iveragh Peninsula.
Ireland at its best is wild and windswept and absolutely made for hiking. On this 9-day trip, you can go horseback riding on pristine beaches and walk the length of the Cliffs of Moher. Spend the night in cozy pubs and village guesthouses, visit lively Galway, and experience the unsurpassed beauty of the Emerald Isle.