My husband and I are planning to go to Ireland in 2008 for our belated honeymoon, and just saw the tickets for July increase by a large amount. Is the summer the best time of year to visit this country, or is it just as nice in the early spring?
It's absolutely just as nice in early spring! My first trip was in April, and things were blooming and there were new lambs everywhere. There won't be the tourist crush in the spring, either. Spring would be my preference.
The end of April-first part of May can be great,also end of Sept.=October. There are far fewer tourists and the pace of life seems to be less hectic. Also your airline tickets are considerably less costly.
I grew up there and I think the tourist months - June to Aug - are the worst of all. I agree with the previous post about Spring and Autumn being best - keep away from the St. Patrick's days unless you want to be around a lot of tourists.
I frequently go there in February when the days are crisp - its early spring time then and you can explore pretty much on your own with only locals about in restaurants etc. Daytime temps are around 11 Celsius then so warm sweaters are a must.
I've been twice in February and totally agree. The restaurants, museums, and attractions are empty and you have all the time you want to look around. One of my favorite things was going to Glendalough in February. I'm told it is packed with tourists on summer weekends, but I was alone in the museum and almost alone on the grounds. It was wonderful!
We went to Ireland this summer because I wanted my family to experience nice weather, but it rained alot and it was crawling with tourists and tour buses on the little, skinny roads.
I had been there previously in the middle of May and it was gorgeous. One local told me the weather is actually better in the spring or fall.
I would vote for spring.
Spring sounds great. We were there in June and it rained everyday. It looks like I never changed clothes as I was always in my sailing jacket. Had to wear a sweater under that.
First - just keep tracking ticket prices on-line. Sometimes you really get a better deal directly w/Aer Lingus for flight. Even if you do not get a 'low' price for flight they are matched up w/Hertz rental car and you definately get a deal there. If renting car in ireland ALWAYS get automatic. Also, think about doing self-catering apt or cottage.
Second - I have been to Ireland many times & each time the weather was up to chance. I have been there when it has RAINED for 10 days straight, but have also been there when I had SUNNY weaher for 9 days and had a suntan on my legs when I came home. But all joking behind, the best time to go is in the spring before all of the tourist arrive. Last year I went home for 3 wks 1st 3 wks of June - no crowds, great people, beautiful weather & the flowers in Connemara - Burren were fantastic!
PS: Summer 2007 was the wettest summer in 127years in Ireland, so your chances of good weather next year are pretty good.
End of August early September.
Lots of blooming still going on, end of holiday, and back to school for the kids. Good deals on lodging
One drawback. It's the end of tourist season, so the help are somewhat burned out. It only takes a guiness to wake them up though.
We've been in September and in May. One good thing about May is, if you are driving, it stays light very late, and if (when) you get lost, at least it won't be in the dark.
September was wetter than May, for us at least.
Ireland experiences far less seasonal temperature variations than we do in the US. That said, it can occassionally get cold, but on the whole, the weather is mild. The biggest difference is probably the duration of daylight and the number of tourists, both greatly decreased in the winter.
We went for 14 days in may and the flowers were blooming and we didnt have a day of rain.The natives told us that this unheard of.The natives say there is no bad weather only illprepared persons.
We traveled to Ireland in October of last year and had most of the "tourist" places to our selves. The weather was great with only a few "wet" days. Life seems to go back to "normal" after the tourist season is over.
We are going this year in November. Seems like if you want crowds then go in the summer.
I'm seeing lots of responses regarding May as the optimum time - I was thinking more March to the beginning of April... Does that change your opinions on the Spring season?
I don't if you've booked your trip yet, but I would recommend going to Ireland in October. I was in County Clare, Doolin. The weather was beautiful. Most days were cool and sunny, only 2 days of rain. It is the end of the tourist season and a lot of the shop owners are closing up for winter. Everything was half off! Sweaters, pottery, claddagh rings! I even bought a bodhran, a traditional Celtic drum!
The locals are great and the trip was wonderful.
We were in Ireland from October 14 through 28, 2007. Weather was great. Only had a bit of rain two days. Were told that it had rained much during the summer. No crowds. No waits. The days are shorter, but you still have daylight until 6 p.m. or so during Daylight Savings Time.
The majority of Flights operated from Canada to Ireland are mid to late August to the first or second week of October. End of May, June, July and August are a close second. Beyond that, flights are reduced as demand is reduced as well. Charters only fly frequently when it is highly profitable to do so.
So that might give you some idea of when most ppl like to go there, from Canada, at least...The flights I've operated are almost always full during those time periods. Outside of those months, it's not uncommon to operate a Flight less than 65-70% full as opposed to sold out.
Recently flights from YYZ-BFS (Not Ireland but Belfast in Northern Ireland/UK) have been sitting at a Passenger Load Factor of about 60-65% occupancy. Typical for this time of year. It should increase another 15-20% for that route over the next few weeks of Holiday travel. I think most are travelling to visit friends and family back home as opposed to vacationing, though.
I went in May. I checked weather facts for Ireland and found May is the driest month, so planned my trip accordingly. We saw almost no rain during our trip and locals talked about how wet April had just been.
We also went for 14 days in May and my umbrella never came out.The lambs were being born and the crowds were not bad.
I plan to go in 2008 myself! I was there early april in 2006. Weather was GREAT - only 1 day of rain in 14 days. But apparently it rained almost all of march. I am thinking of mid-september to early october. And this time I want to do Northern Ireland. I can't WAIT to go back!