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More for Less – Ireland Vacations

Vacationing in Ireland for a few days, a week, a few weeks or even longer is an adventure everyone will enjoy.  And why not?  The overnight flight to either Dublin or Shannon Airports can deliver you to a Magical Island where you'll be enchanted with warm and friendly people, untraveled roads, and hauntingly beautiful natural scenery – you'll wonder why you didn't visit sooner.

What Time of Year is Best to Travel to Ireland ?

While many people opt for the pleasant days of summer for their Ireland vacations, fall, winter, and spring offer their own magical charms and are much more affordable times to travel. The landscape in varying shades of emerald green, rust and mustard is still breathtaking; the people are still friendly (and possibly more so, now that the urgency of the tourist deluge has passed); and little is better than the camaraderie found in a welcoming Irish pub, especially to dispel the chill of a winter's night.  

The most popular season, from mid-June through mid-September, is the prime time for Irish vacations. The weather is warm without being miserably sticky and hot, skies are sunny and travelers flock to the small country from the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the United States and afar.  Prices are highest, both for accommodations and airfare.  As the weather starts to change, with cooler temperatures and many cloudy days, many vacationers return to their homes and pricing begins to decrease.  

The "shoulder season" for Ireland vacations is April, May, early June, mid to late September and October.  "Low season," when the weather has a distinct chill and some shops, small hotels and B&Bs close, is the winter months from November through March.

Because the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean runs along the coast of Ireland, temperatures in winter are more moderate than other countries at a similar latitude.  Ireland's winter weather is much more temperate than in the northern regions of the United States, and even warmer than in most of continental Europe. Ireland's average winter temperature rarely goes below freezing and typically hovers around a relatively mild 45 degrees Fahrenheit.  However, the wind in winter can be  quite strong, and rainfall – a must for keeping the Emerald Island a a vibrant and stunning green – is more prevalent in winter and fall.

Pricing and crowds of tourists decrease proportionately the farther you travel from the popular summer months. Savings on airfares can be 50 percent or more in low season; B&Bs and hotels offer low season packages to help keep your costs down.  Over and above the potential savings, however, the best reasons to travel to Ireland in the "shoulder" or "low" seasons are the enriching experiences.  It is so much easier to wander through historic ruins, contemplate the mystical landscapes, stroll through formal gardens – and find a seat in the local pub! – when there are no long lines and crowds of tourists.  You may even find yourself lost in seemingly endless conversations in pubs, shops and guest houses as people have more time and are more relaxed.

What to do in Ireland in Winter, Spring and Fall

The possibilities for new discoveries are unlimited on Ireland vacations.  Although the country seems small, you'll learn that each turn of the road uncovers new scenes or small villages to explore.  Exploring myriad Celtic architecture and ruins, and countless museums, galleries and castles could take forever – especially as frequent stops in local pubs and shops are necessary for chatting with the locals, warming your spirits and engaging in Ireland's magic.

Take an assortment of layers – from a waterproof jacket and heavy Irish sweater, to a bit of thermal underwear to chase away the chill – and set off into the countryside.  You will find that many of the well known attractions are in the open:  the brightly colored buildings, shores and cliffs, castles, cathedrals and pre-historic ruins are accessible throughout the year.  

Why delay? Discover more for less with Ireland vacations and pack up a neat sweater, scarf and gloves for your next adventure.