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Best Time to Visit Ireland

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Rainbow over the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

Rainbow over the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

The best time to visit Ireland is in April, May, September, or October.

Ireland is lively and authentic, scenic and inviting, with a rich heritage influenced by the land, the sea, and the shifting seasons. The mild but distinctive changes in weather throughout the year feel more dramatic depending on the region, from windswept winter cliffs to soothing summer rain, with each new day providing a new opportunity to explore and experience the landscape.

The Irish coast and fairytale villages welcome travelers year-round, with the best time to visit Ireland is guided by what you wish to see and do when exploring the treasures of Ireland.

Best Time for Sightseeing

Belfast Castle in Northern Ireland

Belfast Castle in Northern Ireland

Best Months: April | May | September | October

The spring and the fall give you the best opportunity to explore Ireland's culture, cities, and scenery away from the crowds. Between April and May or September to October, the weather is lovely, and the crowds are significantly lighter. The spring and the fall great times to visit for comfortable temperatures, blooming wildflowers, and pockets of authentic Irish culture reaching out of sporadic towns around the island.

Best Time for Golf

Clubhouse at Mahony's Point.  Photo courtesy of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club

Clubhouse at Mahony's Point. Photo courtesy of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club

Best Months: May | June | August | September

Golf is one of the most enjoyable activities to experience in Ireland, especially in the spring and summer. Between May and September, the sunrise can start as early as five in the morning, and then not set until ten at night. The longer day gives you plenty of opportunity for more tee times at any number of the island’s more than 300 courses. You can easily divide Ireland’s golf courses into four regions around the country to take full advantage of your time and schedule during your tour, even with the extended daylight of spring and summer.

Best Time for Irish Music

Fiddle on the table in a pub in Ireland.

Pints and music in an Irish Pub

Best Months:  March | April | May | September | October | November

Traditional music is part of the landscape in Ireland and can be enjoyed throughout the year.  It is, however, best experienced in the spring and the fall. From March to May and again from September to November, outdoor festivals and events allow for an authentic connection to the stories, instruments, and shared culture most often performed in traditional pubs. The sounds often create a dynamic, welcoming, and cozy atmosphere, whether in a large city or quiet town.

Best Time for the Wild Atlantic Way

Fanad Head lighthouse in County Donegal, Ireland

Fanad Head lighthouse in County Donegal, Ireland

Best Months: April | May | September | October

The best time to travel Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is in spring or fall, particularly in April and May, or in September to October. The mild weather and smaller crowds during the shoulder travel seasons give you a better opportunity to enjoy the untamed countryside that snakes approximately 1,600 miles along the island’s western edge. The dramatic vistas, remarkable historic sites, and charming villages offer you captivating scenic drives that put you in touch with Ireland’s famous culture and terrain.

Best Time for Food

Sea bass dish at a gastro pub in Brickens, Ireland

Sea bass dish at a gastro pub in Brickens, Ireland

Best Months: April | May | October | November

When the seasons change, so does the food in Ireland making spring and fall, specifically April to May and September to October, a highlight. Delicious foods are crafted from local and seasonal ingredients, including robust vegetables and sweet fruits. Fertile pastures and active dairy herds bring the flavors of spring and fall to life, with ripe pumpkin or comforting rhubarb, delectable asparagus to aromatic parsnips abounding. The shifting seasons are not only exemplified on land but also in the seasonal seafood reflected in the coastal villages edging Ireland.

Best Time for Surfing

Family surfing at Garretstown Beach in Ireland.  Photo courtesy of Brian Morrison / Tourism Ireland

Family surfing at Garretstown Beach in Ireland. Photo courtesy of Brian Morrison / Tourism Ireland

Best Months: April | May | September | October

Summer and fall are the best seasons to surf in Ireland with the months of April to May and September to October offering plenty of powerful swells. No matter the time of year, you can expect cold water in the Northern Atlantic, but the breaks are much more consistent. As long as you properly prepare for the cold water, you will be pleasantly surprised by considerable waves around the country with some breaks reaching over 20 feet tall. These waves are a source of pride for locals and require considerable skill to even attempt to ride.

Best Time for Hiking

Hiking Three Castle Head in County Cork, Ireland

Hiking Three Castle Head in County Cork, Ireland

Best Months: April | May | September | October

Spring and fall are the best times for hiking in Ireland, with April to May and September to October giving you the most consistent and temporal weather. The days are still long, the fields are green, and the flowers are beautiful. It is easy to get swept up in the inspiring scenery and serene heritage villages colored by the green terrain and wild waves of the coastline.

Best Time for Cycling

Cycling in Ireland. Photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland

Cycling in Ireland. Photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland

Best Months: April | May | September | October

The Irish spring and fall will give you the best weather for cycling, especially between April and May or September and October, when the summer heat has passed. Spring and fall are generally when you will find the most locals on cycling trips across the country before or after the summer crowds set in. The shoulder seasons also ensure that you can avoid the snow or ice in the mountains, as well as the whipping winds along the coastline that most often occur in the winter, early spring, and late fall.

Best Time with Family Travel

Sheep's Head Peninsula, County Cork, Ireland

Sheep's Head Peninsula, County Cork, Ireland

Best Months: April | May | September | October

Ireland is a fantastic family destination all year round, but visiting in spring and fall will give you a more relaxing and still adventurous trip, mainly from April to May or September to October. The summer crowds can make it challenging to ensure your family can get the accommodations you want on your schedule while the winter may require you to bring more luggage to accommodate for the colder weather. Spring and fall give you mild temperatures, fewer crowds, and easy access to the national parks, ancient buildings, and authentic traditions from Dublin to Cork, Ashford to the Inishowen Peninsula.

Best Time for Couples

Ashford Castle, Ireland

Ashford Castle, Ireland

Ireland is cozy and traditional, charming and dramatic for the perfect couple’s trip in spring and fall, from April to May or September to October. Ireland’s romantic spirit and spirited ambiance should come as no surprise with passionate getaways stretching from aristocratic castles to quiet country houses, quaint coastal villages to alluring mountain panoramas. Spring shimmers with fresh blossoms, and fall creates a dreamy contrast between the lush hills and colorful leaves, allowing you to embrace how the culture, heritage, and scenery connects in Ireland.

Spring and Summer Activities

Ancient Castle in Killarney National Park during early morning, Ring of Kerry, Ireland

Ancient Castle in Killarney National Park during early morning, Ring of Kerry, Ireland

Best Months: April | May | June | July

Ireland practically hums in spring and summer with rising temperatures and growing crowds crowned by long daylight hours. The vibrancy of Irish life brings the music, stories, and cuisine outdoors to reveal the spectacular beauty of the hills, mountains, coastline, and woodlands. Each month offers something special, whether with elegant displays of history, prestigious dining opportunities, or active adventures that will make your Ireland trip unique.

Hiking | Cycling | Surfing | Horseback Riding | Food Tours

Fall and Winter Activities

Autumn sunset over Lough Tay in the Wicklow mountains, Ireland

Autumn sunset over Lough Tay in the Wicklow mountains, Ireland

Best Months: October | November | December | January

While Ireland offers you a slice of the traditional, there is undoubtedly nothing typical about Ireland, particularly when you visit in fall or winter from October to November or December to January. The late fall and early winter have shorter days, but the authentic Irish spirit brings laughter and music into the pubs with celebrations moving into the streets with seasonal festivals and events. The landscape feels a bit more foreboding, which only enhances the dramatic ruins and secluded coastal villages for a stunning perspective of Ireland’s legendary comforts.

Stargazing | Winter Solstice | Traditional Music | Scenic Walks | Canal Boats

More Travel Information & Tips

Town of Cobh in Cork's city harbour, Ireland

Town of Cobh in Cork's city harbour, Ireland

Ireland is not famous for its weather but the island actually has mild seasons where you can enjoy colorful scenery and the historic cities’ shifting atmospheres. With so many exciting things to do, you can narrow down the possibilities by knowing the type of experiences you want, from driving the Dingle Peninsula to visiting the prehistoric burial grounds. Zicasso’s Ireland Travel Guide can give you more information on how to craft your perfect trip. You can also speak with an Ireland travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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