Dreaming of standing on the cliffs, seeing vast, luscious shades of green expanding over many miles, feeling the wind from the Atlantic blow through your hair, and experiencing such beauty that you thought only existed in a fairy tale? According to World of Wanderlust, a reputable travel blog, Ireland ranked number two out of 15 destinations in the world to travel to in 2015–and for many good reasons!
Like every other destination, Ireland also experiences a high season, low season and shoulder seasons. But one thing that doesn’t change is the weather. One of Ireland’s most famous sayings goes: “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change.” It couldn’t be more true, due to the fact that the weather is so unpredictable and you can experience all four seasons in one day. Ireland is on the same latitude of Washington, USA and the weather is very comparable to Seattle, especially with the amount of rainfall. But don’t let the weather be a reason to not visit this beautiful, enchanting island, because it will be an experience like no other.
Generally starting the last two weeks of June because the days are long (6 a.m. sunrises and 10 p.m. sunsets–doesn’t that sound great?!) and lasts until August. You can expect the costs of airfares, hotels and car rentals to be sky high because this is the major time for tourists to flock to Ireland. Crowds will be very intense at the major attractions, such as Giants Causeway (pictured below) or, for example, the Cliffs of Moher get up to one million visitors a year! If you’re planning a trip during peak tourist season, make sure to book way in advance, because every B & B, guest house or hotel will be reserved. Destinations like Dublin, Killarney, Galway and Cork are only some of the few major stops along the way for tourists!
The weather during the summer, like mentioned earlier can be unpredictable. July and August are the warmest months, but they’re not scorching hot. The Irish consider anything over 20 degree Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) to be ‘roasting.’ You can expect to have nice sunny days with rain showers sporadically. It can also be chilly any time of the year in Ireland, so when you pack, think layers! That way, if you get warm you can take a layer off, or vice versa.
November to March is considered the low season, where tourist traffic is at its lowest, and airfares and hotels are at their cheapest. But, the wind will really blow, some of the rural sites will be closed (or have winter hours), and a good amount of B & B’s will also be closed. Keep in mind there are holidays that will affect attraction closures, such as: Christmas (Dec. 25), St. Stephen Day/Boxing Day (Dec. 26), New Years Day (Jan. 1) and St. Patrick’s Day (March 17).
The downside to visiting in the winter is the days are shorter and the weather ranges from cool to cold. Strong winds will blow from the Atlantic, and gales are common. The Irish consider anything below 1 degree Celsius (34 degrees Fahrenheit) to be freezing during the winter months. Wintertime to most means snow, but not in Ireland. Though they do get snow in the northern region it rarely sticks, and the island mostly gets frost. But there is an upside to visiting during the winter! Not only will you get great deals to save on the overall cost of your trip, but major attractions won’t be crowded with tourists, so you can take your time. Just make sure to pack comfortable shoes, a warm jacket, layers of clothes and an umbrella!
April-May and September-October are considered Ireland’s shoulder seasons mostly because they’re not in the high or low seasons. The weather isn’t winter-like, or summer-like, but rather mild. The springtime is a great time to go because students are still in school, and family travel isn’t as prominent, plus you get to see everything in bloom! During the fall you’ll see the colors change, and students are back in school.
The shoulder seasons are a great time visit especially if you want to escape the crowds from the summer, but don’t want to experience the winter time in Ireland. This way, you’ll have a more relaxed atmosphere, without all the hustle and bustle to worry about.
Overall, whether you plan to visit during the high, low or shoulder season, your experience will be one in a lifetime. Ireland is a unique destination, it’s a place where you can have tropical climates in the south west and see lots of exotic plants and flowers, but you can also expect to see rare flora and fauna in the north where you won’t see anywhere else in Ireland. There’s a reason why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle, why not experience the rolling hills, greenery, and natural beauty first hand?
Written by STEPHANIE JELLETT
Stephanie Jellett is interning as a travel writer and social media manager at AAV Travel. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stefanie Pichonnat is the Ireland Specialist at AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm specialized in creating and customizing personalized travel itineraries. Having personally traveled to Ireland she can help you create a wonderful experience. You can contact her at email@example.com