When is the best time to visit Ireland?

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!

cliffs of moher ireland aavtravelLike 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.

Celtic Monastery Ireland aavtravelHigh Season
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!

giant's causeway antrim northern ireland aavexplorationsThe 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.

Christ Church Ireland aavtravelLow Season
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).

Belfast Christmas in Ireland aavtravelThe 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!Dublin Ireland aavtravel

Shoulder Seasons
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.

Connemara Ireland aavtravel 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.

doolough ireland aavexplorationsOverall, 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?

stephanie jellett aavtravel

Written by STEPHANIE JELLETT
Stephanie Jellett is interning as a travel writer and social media manager at AAV Travel. You can contact her at stephanieljellett@gmail.com

 

in conjunction with AAV Travel’s Ireland Expert
stefanie pichonnat aavtravel

STEFANIE PICHONNAT
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 stefanie@aav-travel.com

Cork, Ireland — A Place for Lovers

Situated in the south west of Ireland, Cork is rich with luscious farmlands and rivers. The River Lee flows through two main channels in the city, so you’ll find yourself crossing bridges to get around. Though Cork isn’t a popular honeymoon getaway like Dublin (the capital of Ireland) or Galway, which rests on the Atlantic Ocean and has golden sand beaches, Cork is a true treasure trove for couples in love.

cork ireland aavexplorations

Arriving in Cork you’ll have the option to stay at various modern hotels, cozy up at a charming bed and breakfast, or romance at a historic place, such as the Bantry House pictured below. Either way—you’ll be welcomed with smiling faces anywhere you go. The best way to experience the city is by foot—imagine walking hand-in-hand down the cobblestone walkway through the old city, over the channel, taking in everything it has to offer.

bantry house ireland aavexplorationsCork turns into a different city when the sun sets. The air is filled with laughter coming from comedy clubs, friends tell jokes over a couple of beers in an old Irish bar, and beat of the DJ music can be heard down the street. Experience a wide array of nightclubs with music that ranges from modern popular music to live local music.

If you want to get out of the bustling city for a day, Kinsale is located 15 miles outside of Cork. Originally a medieval fishing village, Kinsale is located on the coast and is one of the most historic towns on the south west coast of Ireland. The picturesque village is full of beautiful buildings, complete with intimate pubs and restaurants. Listen to Irish songs in a pub while enjoying a pint of Guinness. Go horseback riding through the country side. Kinsale is the ideal place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle.

sheep road ireland aavexplorations

Ireland is a very romantic destination full of history and laid back charm. It is a place where you can feel very close to nature. Cork is but one of the many places to be explored and makes for a great stop.

Ireland as well as Northern Ireland are easy to explore on your own. The most challenging part is how to create an itinerary that optimizes the time you have available. If you would like some expert help feel free to contact us at info@aav-travel.com.

 stephanie jellett aavtravel

Written by STEPHANIE JELLETT
Stephanie Jellett is interning as a travel writer and social media manager at AAV Travel. You can contact her at stephanie.jellett@maine.edu

 

in conjunction with AAV Travel’s Ireland Expert
stefanie pichonnat aavtravel

STEFANIE PICHONNAT
Stefanie Pichonnat is the Ireland Specialist at AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm specialized in creating and customizing personalized travel itineraries. You can contact her at stefanie@aav-travel.com