When to fly to Ireland
The summer months are peak season. This is when the weather is generally at its best (although rain showers are always a possibility), festivals and cultural events and literary summer schools are in full swing.
Early fall (September and October) and spring (March through May, excluding the peak St. Patrick’s Day on March 17) are good times to take cheap flights to Ireland.
Winter is generally off season especially the weeks after Christmas. January and February can be cold and grey.
The island on the edge of Europe might be small but it’s a big hitter when it comes to music, literature, sport and its people’s ability to find the craic in every situation.
The Celtic Tiger roared through the Republic in the 1990s and brought unprecedented wealth and immigrants on cheap flights to Ireland seeking work. The Ireland of traditional, small farms and industries went high-tech – at least in the cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, but it has not forgotten its roots. Traditional music sessions are a weekly event in many country pubs and Irish dancing is a popular pastime.
Buffeted by the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast and the calmer Irish Sea on the east, there is nowhere in Ireland that is more than 50km from the sea. The rolling hills are made for walking, climbing, biking and horse-riding and the many golf courses are lush and, of course, green.
The seas around Ireland give up plentiful and delicious seafood and its still largely family-run farms produce the meat and vegetables for Ireland’s hearty cuisine.
Summers in Ireland are usually dry with average temperatures of 16 C. Temperatures are a bit cooler in the spring and fall, while winters are rainy and with temperatures around 4 C. It’s coldest in January and February and warmest in July and August, but it rarely gets hot. It rains a lot in Ireland, and the weather can change quickly, so it’s a good idea to dress in layers.
Ryanair and Aer Arann offer intercity flights, Kerry to Dublin or Dublin to Mayo for example.
In the cities (Dublin, Cork and Limerick) there are good public bus networks. There is a rail line that runs along the coast in Dublin called the DART and a light rail system called the LUAS that has two lines. One run east-west through Dublin’s Northside, then crosses the River Liffey and travels south-west to Tallaght, the other in the south side of Dublin.
Iarnród Éireann runs the railroads. Intercity routes cover major cities and towns around the country while Commuter Rail covers commuter routes to Dublin.
The national bus company is Bus Eireann, which connects the cities and towns. There are several private coach companies too.
Renting a car is a great option as the county towns and smaller villages will not have very frequent bus services. All the major car rental companies are represented at the airports.
(prices quotes are from London)