Plan a dream Ireland vacation with Tourlane. Nicknamed the “Emerald Isle,” this charming and welcoming land is roughly the size of Alabama. It’s home to rolling hills, gorgeous coastline, and medieval cities. There’s always a new shade of green to discover while traveling around this lush country. On the west coast, you’ll find the Connemara and Giant’s Causeway. Start or wind up your Ireland vacation on the eastern side, for oysters on the lively streets of Dublin. Below are some sample itineraries - your Tourlane Travel Expert will help you craft your perfect tailor-made trip, based on your tastes and preferences.
Timezone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
How much does an Ireland vacation cost? Speak to your own Tourlane Travel Expert, free of charge
Currency: Euro (€)
Official languages: English, Irish
Airports with direct flights to the USA: Dublin (DUB), Shannon (SNN)
Do I need a visa for Ireland? Not required. More information from the U.S. Travel Advisory here
Start your Ireland trip in its cozy capital city, which has an elegant Georgian flair. Dublin hugs the east coast where the River Liffey meets the Irish Sea. Of course, you’ll want to see Dublin’s most popular attractions like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Book of Kells, and the Jameson Distillery. If you enjoy music, find one of the many local pubs that offers live performances in the evening. Ask your Tourlane Travel Expert for insider recommendations.
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones and enjoy an outdoor adventure, then follow Shepherd’s Steps up the basalt columns of Giant’s Causeway for spectacular views of the Atlantic horizon. Legend has it that the 40,000 basalt columns of Giant’s Causeway are the remains of a bridge connecting Ireland and Scotland, built by warring giants of yesteryear. This natural wonder is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is well worth a day trip.
During your Ireland vacation, journey along the west coast to County Clare and the legendary Cliffs of Moher - especially if you’re interested in nature and geology. Peer down from the rocky outcrop and you’ll see the swelling waters of the Atlantic Ocean 509 feet below. Over twenty bird species make their home here, so keep an eye out for puffins and peregrine falcons. As part of a UNESCO Global Park. One way to explore the area is on horseback - your Tourlane Travel Expert will organize this for you if you so desire.
The beautifully preserved 15th-century castle is world-famous for a single stone. Local folklore states that the Blarney Stone gives the gift of eloquence to anyone brave enough to kiss it—to reach it, all you have to do is hang upside down from the ramparts. Be sure to include this spectacular medieval castle in your Ireland vacation.
Situated in the west of Ireland in County Galway, the Connemara National Park is the epitome of Irish wilderness and is perfect for nature lovers. Spanning more than 2,000 hectares, visitors will see bogs, heath, and woodlands, not to mention the mighty peaks of Benbaun and Muckanaght. Explore this romantic backcountry by foot or car, keeping an eye out for grazing Connemara Ponies. Consider spending two to three days in this beautiful area of Ireland.
The capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast is well worth a visit while on vacation in Ireland. Visit the evocative docklands by day, and clap along to a traditional session of Irish music and dance by night. Foodies should stop by the Victorian St George’s Market, which contains a range of interesting vendors.
The best time to visit Ireland is from April through June, and September through October, with temperatures in the 50s and fewer tourists. July and August is the warmest time of year, with temperatures in the 60s, but it’s also the busiest time of year with international visitors. The winter is cold and wet, and many tourist attractions are closed at this time.
Located at the eastern edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland is one of the wettest countries in Europe, so it’s essential that you remember this when packing! Be sure to pack a decent rain jacket, waterproof clothing, at least one umbrella, and at least one spare pair of shoes (in case your first pair get wet!). It is also good to pack warm clothing, especially for the evenings when temperatures really dip (even during spring and fall, things get frosty). A hat, scarf, and gloves are all sensible. If you’re visiting during the warmer summer months, remember to pack a swimsuit, as you may find yourself wanting to cool off in the ocean, or in your hotel swimming pool. Sunscreen is also advisable during the hotter summer months.
It’s true what they say - Guinness tastes better in Ireland. You’ll find this dark and distinctive beer in every establishment across the country. A popular local dish in Dublin that the locals won’t let you leave without trying is coddle—a sausage and potato bake. Irish stew is another national favorite, traditionally featuring lamb, onions, potato, and stock. Another Irish classic is colcannon, which combines mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, with butter and spring onions.
The most famous annual event in Ireland is St. Patrick’s Day, which is now celebrated in many countries around the world. If you wish to visit Ireland for this popular festival, it takes place every year in March. The Galway Arts Festival is one of Europe’s best festivals of its kind. If you’re interested in books, consider timing your trip to Ireland to coincide with the West Cork Literary Festival in Ireland’s second city. Speak to your Tourlane Travel Expert for more advice about the best events to check out during your Ireland vacation.
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