Plan an amazing trip to Ireland
Welcome to the land of green meadows, leprechauns, pubs and Guinness ! I'm talking about Ireland of course ! Nicknamed the Emerald Isle, Ireland is home to a number of natural wonders including the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park and the famous Connemara region. Ireland's true wealth lies within its people who are known for their warm welcome and friendly advice. The country's cities such as Cork, Galway and Dublin are among some of the nicest places in the country to go sightseeing. While you're there, head up to Northern Ireland and discover a natural beauty that will blow you away!
Best time to go to Ireland
Admittedly, Ireland is not the top choice in terms of sunny weather. The climate is generally mild all year round. The weather tends to be unpredictable but you can count on rainy spells, even in the summer. The best time to visit is from May to June with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C. Just don't forget your raincoat and umbrella if you're heading to the coast.
What to see and what to do in Ireland
Answers to your most frequently asked questions
Ireland, also known as « Eire » or « Erin », boasts lush green vegetation surrounding a large central plain. The countryside is home to stunning landscapes and 6 natural parks, all unique in different ways: With dozens of lakes and towering mountains, the Connemara National Park is a great choice for hikers of all levels. Killarney National Park is the largest in the country. On weekends, Dubliners head to the Wicklow Mountains National Park where it's possible to go canoeing, kayaking, climbing and mountain biking.
Ireland is the perfect place to rent a car and go off on an adventure. It doesn't take long to get around the island, allowing you plenty of time to explore countless cities and beaches.
Here are some of the best-known itineraries:
The Sky Road: Possibly one of the prettiest routes in the country, the small, winding roads will lead you past mountains and viewpoints for over 6 miles.
The Wild Coast or Wild Atlantic Way is over 1500 miles long, making it one of the longest coastal roads in the world. Along the way, stop and admire some of the country's natural marvels, including the cliffs of Moher, Michael Skellig, Old Head of Kinsale and Killary Harbour.
Ireland is a great choice for a family trip. The impressive landscapes and natural parks will impress kids but if that's not enough there are plenty of activities to try out. Whether it's horse riding, hiking or kayaking, there's something suitable for everyone! Children can learn about the fascinating stories of Irish folklore while visiting old castles and hidden ruins. Music and cinema are also a big part of Irish culture. In fact, the ghost island of Skellig Michael is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site but was also a backdrop for the 7th episode of the Star Wars saga.
While you're in Ireland you must order a seafood platter, traditionally served with brown bread and a knob of butter. This also comes with a pint of Guinness, the world-class double-hoped lager. Meat in Ireland is particularly good, so it's definitely worth trying a traditional lamb stew. Most local restaurants will have « Fish & Chips » on the menu, French fries and fresh breaded cod. As for drinks, expect mostly beer and whiskey. Warm up with a traditional Irish coffee: a long coffee, Irish whiskey and delicious whipped cream!
Irish pubs are a place where family, friends and colleagues gather after work. You generally need to be at least 18 or older to enter a pub however a few bars and clubs require proof of ID and a minimum age of 21. Bars and pubs close quite early, at around 2am in big cities and 12.30am in smaller towns. Don't forget that you cannot buy alcohol in supermarkets after 10pm.
Staying overnight in a Bed and Breakfast is the best way to feel the Irish magic. Both city and countryside have plenty to choose from and they are usually cheaper than hotels. The idea is simple: spend the night with locals and enjoy fresh breakfast in the morning. A perfect opportunity to ask for advice and tips about the different places you visit. You'll be delighted to find that Irish people are more than happy to share their history, culture and cuisine with travellers.
Saint Patrick's Day is the most famous public holiday of the year. It is celebrated each year on March 17 to commemorate the arrival of Christianity. Local tradition requires you to wear a green outfit and dancing shoes, and of course to drink plenty of beer! This event is extremely popular and is celebrated across the country in every pub, street and family home. Samhain, otherwise known as Halloween, is also a popular festival. Originating from Celtic religion, Samhain celebrates the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter. Locals light huge bonfires to ward off bad luck. Ireland is a Catholic country and Irish people enjoy celebrating Christmas. Festivities usually last all throughout December.
Most people will agree that a good bottle of Irish Whiskey is the best souvenir to take home. In fact, you can purchase one straight from the distillery if you're visiting the Old Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland or the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin. Smoked salmon from Ireland is an absolute treat but remember to have it vacuum packed for your return flight. You will also find good quality garments made from tweed or wool. There are plenty of souvenir shops that sell all sorts of trinkets and gadgets to take back for family and friends: magnets, leprechauns, beer mugs or Guinness goodies.
- Dublin's cultural heritage
- The friendliness of Irish people
- The natural beauty and well-preserved landscapes
- The cool climate and damp weather all year round.