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Vacation in Ireland: Pure Nature on the Emerald Isle

Lush green meadows, rugged rocky coasts, and an exciting capital - Ireland stands for this like no other country. What could be more obvious than spending your next holiday in Ireland? The so-called green island presents a variety of sights and lets you immerse yourself in almost untouched nature. In the evening you can still enjoy an original Guinness in the many pubs and let your holiday in Ireland end perfectly. Find the right offer for you here - cheers!

General Information

Fancy a trip to the land of Guinness? In Ireland, the legendary land of leprechauns and rainbows, you can expect an impressive green landscape with windswept wild coasts. The changeable weather has a lot of good things. Even on a gloomy, cloudy morning, it is said to be a glorious day. The rapid alternation of rain and sun is also responsible for the many rainbows. Of course, a visit to a cozy Irish pub and a Guinness is an absolute must!

Ireland is the only country in the British Isles that is not part of the United Kingdom. The Republic shares an island with Northern Ireland. To the west and south is the Atlantic Ocean, and to the east is the Irish Sea. Ireland has a population of almost five million. During your vacation in Ireland, you can pay with a euro. Ireland is five hours ahead of the US east coast.

The impressive Irish landscape is criss-crossed by beautiful lakes, and long coastlines invite you on extensive road trips. Thanks to the many fields and forests, the name "the green island" has prevailed. In County Kerry, in the south of Ireland, you can enjoy unspoiled nature. The landscape is characterized by many peninsulas, small bays, and offshore islands. Take a rental car, discover the great landscapes, and drive to the "Ring of Kerry" or the "Cliffs of Moher".

How to Get to Ireland

To get to the Irish island, traveling by plane is very uncomplicated. You can book a direct connection to Dublin from Boston, New York, or Washington D.C. Other major airports in the country are in Cork, Shannon, Knock, Donegal, and Kerry. Flights with stopovers in Iceland are also offered.

Cheap Flights to Ireland

With low-cost airline PLAY Air, you can easily fly to Dublin from the east coast for really cheap with a short layover in Iceland. Aer Lingus also offers competitive fares. Check out other flight options to Shannon on the West Coast.

Please consider that for "low-cost" flights, only hand luggage is included in the fare. Since the hand luggage regulations have been relaxed, at least at PLAY Air (1 piece of hand luggage up to 10kg plus a small bag), it would even be possible to get by for a week without checked luggage. Otherwise, of course, you pay extra for it.

What Do I Have to Consider When Entering Ireland?

To enter Ireland, you need a valid passport with more than six months before it is set to expire. You do not require a visa for tourist stays less than 90 days. Although Ireland is one of the EU countries, it is not part of the Schengen area. Meaning immigration laws like in other EU countries such as Germany, Spain, and France don't apply.

Rental Car in Ireland

Of course, you also need the right vehicle for a road trip. Here you can book a cheap rental car.

Please note that the minimum rental age for almost all providers is 25 years. Unfortunately, younger drivers pay significantly more.

Where in Ireland Should You Spend Your Vacation?

Ireland has a lot to offer its holidaymakers. Which part of the island you head for depends on your personal preferences. Are you drawn to the coastal regions of Ireland, do you like the dreamy interior of the island or do you fancy the vibrant capital?

Dublin - Explore the Capital of Ireland

Dublin, the capital, is one of the most popular Irish travel destinations for many travelers. It inspires with a great flair, many sights, and a colorful pub scene. The magnificent River Liffey is spanned by several bridges. The more than 130-foot-long Ha'penny Bridge from 1816 is known far beyond the country's borders. It represents the connection between the Bachelor's Walk and the entertainment district Temple Bar. In the evening the bridge is atmospherically illuminated.

The coast is not far from Dublin. It's a twenty-minute train ride and gets off at Howth. The quaint fishing village not only has delicious fish 'n' chips in a traditional atmosphere ready for you - here you can also take a long walk along the cliffs, on the legendary Howth Cliff Walk. Caution, windy!

Experience the West Coast of Ireland

The west of the island is also very popular with tourists and nature lovers. There, the Wild Atlantic Way meanders along the coast. You will drive on an exciting road trip from the headland of Malin Head to the natural harbor of Kinsale. On the way, you pass deserted bays, romantic beaches, and smaller towns.

The Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry takes you around the Iveragh Peninsula. The route is about 180 kilometers (111 miles) long. The Gulf Stream ensures that the climate here is comparatively pleasant and that a large number of different plants can be found.

The Highlights of Your Vacation in Ireland

Ireland awaits you with numerous sights. This includes, for example, Glendalough. This former monastic settlement is to the south of the capital, Dublin, just west of Wicklow. The landscape stretches into a tranquil valley where two dark lakes can be found. The old tower, which stretches more than 98 feet into the sky, and the small chapel are silent witnesses of the past. The old tombstones in the cemetery create an enchanted atmosphere.

And, of course, you will discover many sights in Dublin. Here, for example, the beautiful Dublin Castle should be mentioned. It's in Dublin's old town. A real classic is a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. There you will learn everything about the production of the popular brewery. You will experience the history of the label up close and you can also take part in a tasting. A real insider tip: the roof bar, which gives you a great view of the city. Trinity College isn't just a popular destination for bookworms. Here you can read about the ornate Book of Celts. Marvel and then take impressive photos for your social media channels while strolling through the impressive Old Library.

The imposing burial mound of Newgrange is in County Meath, Ireland. Since 1993 this counts as 3150 BC. Built from a megalithic structure a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To take part in a guided tour, you must register at the Visitor Center.

Things to do in Dublin

  • Guinness Storehouse

  • St Patrick's Cathedral

  • Trinity College and Library with the "Book of Kells"

  • Temple Bar

  • Dublin Castle

  • Christ Church Cathedral

  • Half Penny Bridge

  • Samuel Beckett Bridge

Dingle Peninsula

  • Hive cells

  • Ogham stones

  • Churches

  • Stone Age fortifications

  • Dolphin Fungie

Must-sees in Cashel

  • Rock of Cashel

  • Cashel City

Highlights of Killarney - Ring of Kerry

  • Dingle Bay

  • Inch beach

  • Slieve Mish Mountains

  • Skellig Rocks

  • Boat trip to the Skelligs

  • Coomakista with great views of Kenmare Bay

  • Ladies View

Killarney - Cliffs of Moher - Galway

  • Shannon estuary

  • Lahinch

  • Cliffs of Moher

Attractions in Galway, Salthill

  • Galway Cathedral

  • Eyre Square

  • Spanish Arch

  • Galway Museum

Killarney and Surroundings

  • Killarney and Surroundings

  • Muckross House, Gardens & Farms

  • Torc waterfall

  • Gap of Dunloe

The Culture of the Country

If you want to immerse yourself in the culture of Ireland, you should visit a pub. In these cozy bars, you will experience Ireland from its most direct side. The Irish are very sociable and extremely hospitable and it never takes long to start a conversation with the locals. And what do you order in an Irish pub? Exactly, the classic Pint of Guinness. Among the most popular pubs in Ireland are among others.

  • The Celt on Talbot Street

  • Sean's Bar in Athlone on the east of the island

  • Crosskeys Inn in County Antrim

  • Probably the best-known pub is The Temple Bar in the district of the same name in Dublin.

Irish whiskey, Irish soul, Irish songs

Another Irish cultural asset that should not be missing in any pub is Irish whiskey. During production, the manufacturers rely on unmalted barley. As a result, Irish whiskey has a less smoky note than its Scottish cousin.

Sporting events are often broadcast on multiple televisions in pubs. There are also many pubs where live music is played. Small bands or individual artists perform here, often with Irish traditions and classic folk songs in their repertoire.

Popular pub songs that you absolutely have to sing along to later in the night include:

  • "Whiskey In The Jar"

  • "The Wild Rover"

  • "Seven Drunken Nights"

These are Typical Irish Foods

You shouldn't miss out on the typical Irish dishes during your holiday. This is how you start a leisurely day on holiday with a classic Irish breakfast. This includes, for example, porridge or toast with beans and tomato sauce. The Farmhouse Soda Bread is really Irish. The very brave dare to try a black pudding made from black pudding and grain.

For lunch, casseroles and stews are very popular with the Irish. For example, the popular Irish stew is served. For this dish, lamb, potatoes, carrots, and onions are cooked at low temperatures for several hours and then seasoned with herbs.

The Most Beautiful Palaces and Castles in Ireland

Although Ireland is best known for its picturesque, unspoiled countryside, there are also countless mansions, palaces, and castles to be found here. If you're not quite sure which castles to visit during your holiday in Ireland, we've got the answer right here with our top 5 most beautiful castles in Ireland.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle is probably the most important castle in Ireland and can be easily combined with a city trip to beautiful Cork. But not only the castle is extremely interesting, but also the legend of the "Blarneystein": It is said that kissing the stone gives you the gift of eloquence, i.e. expressing yourself well in the language. However, you have to lean over the parapet to do so, so only for the brave among you.

Dublin Castle

You can also visit a very impressive property in Ireland's capital, Dublin Castle. Parts of the castle were built in the 10th century, but most of what you can see here today dates from the 18th and 19th centuries. You can visit the beautiful castle, which is now one of Ireland's landmarks, from 9:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. on Dame Street, in the middle of Dublin's old town.

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle has been voted one of the most beautiful castles in Europe and with good reason, as this castle is more like a palace! Ashford Castle was built in the 13th century and later taken over by the famous Guinness family in the 19th century. However, they sold it on to Noel Huggard, which could perhaps benefit you, because Huggard turned the beautiful property into a luxurious castle hotel ... now you only need the necessary change to live here like the nobility.

Cahir Castle

Cahir Castle is one of the largest castles in Ireland and although construction began in 1142 it is very well preserved to this day. This is probably one of the reasons why the imposing castle has often served as a location for films and series. Cahir Castle is located in the center of the town of Cahir which is approximately 40 miles from Limerick and just under 50 miles from Cork. You should plan about 1.5 hours for the visit. However, art exhibitions often take place here, for which you should take a little extra time.

Trim Castle

The area of ​​Trim Castle, which was built in the 12th century, used to be the largest castle in Europe. This would still be the case today if it had not lost some of its sizes. Today you will only find ruins of the former castle here. Nevertheless, a visit to the Trim Castle is always worthwhile, after all, it was not without reason that it served as the backdrop for the successful film Braveheart with Mel Gibson.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Ireland?

Accommodation in Ireland

You spend your vacation in Ireland in a classic way in a hotel. Especially in the tourist regions on the coasts, but also in the big cities you will find offers in all price ranges. In addition, small vacation homes in the romantic nature of the island are in demand. Accommodation in your own vacation home is popular with families - after all, you spend your holiday here regardless of meal times and disturbances from the cleaning staff. Bed & Breakfast offers are mostly presented by private providers. You stay in a guest room and can look forward to breakfast in the morning. These accommodations and campsites are a suitable choice if you want to take a road trip around the island.

Wherever you stay on your vacation in Ireland, you are spending your time in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Migratory birds take long walks through the rough nature, amateur photographers succeed in taking breathtaking snapshots in the coastal regions, and shopping fans get their money's worth in the city's shopping streets. Ireland has something to offer for everyone.

Weather, Climate, Best Travel Time for Vacation in Ireland

Hot temperatures and bright sunshine are rare in Ireland. But you can definitely look forward to a balanced climate - the Gulf Stream ensures that. In summer temperatures of 65 degrees are reached, in the winter months the climate average is 35 degrees. Freezing winters are not to be feared. The green island is known for its changeable weather. Even a wonderfully blue sky can sometimes be quickly replaced by rain showers. If you want to take the warmest temperatures with you, then the best time to travel is between May and September. The warmest month in Ireland is July. Fall is also a good time for vacations in Ireland: Then the temperatures are still mild and the vacation destinations are pleasantly empty.

Our pirate tip: If you want to experience a boisterous party and parades all in green, book your Ireland vacation in the spring: St. Patrick's Day is celebrated every year on March 17th, the commemoration of Ireland's patron saint.

Road Trip Ireland: Routes & Tips for the Emerald Isle

We've been tinkering and doing puzzles again to show you that a round trip through Ireland doesn't have to cost nearly as much money as the tour operators would like to charge you. Book your road trip across the Emerald Isle and check out the most important sights and highlights that make a visit to Ireland so exciting.

Of course, the road trip suggestions should only serve as inspiration for your own ideas and wishes. Simply adjust the route according to your needs, let yourself drift, enjoy the unique landscape and create your own dream trip through Ireland. As always, you can get all the information and tips for your trip here from us pirates.

First Suggested Route for Your Trip to Ireland

1st Stop: Dublin

Our trip starts in the Irish capital Dublin, where you will probably stop by the Guinness Storehouse in addition to the cultural highlights of Trinity College and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Once there, you grab the cheap rental car, so you are flexible on the days and can look at the unique nature, the coasts, and national parks in peace. Please note that traffic drives on the left in Ireland. You should end the evening in a typical Dublin pub.

2nd Stop: Dublin to Cork

Your journey then continues to the beautiful university city of Cork. We recommend you drive via Wicklow, Wexford, and Waterford, there are very beautiful beaches that you have to see. If you have a little more time, why not visit the Wicklow Mountains National Park. During your stay in Cork, we recommend a visit to Killerney National Park combined with a drive on the Ring of Kerry (a 111-mile scenic coastal road in County Kerry in South West Ireland). You can also visit the park and drive along the coast road by continuing to Galway connect. If you're looking for a little more solitude, you can also explore the lesser-known but equally delightful Ring of Dingle. Under no circumstances should you miss the cliffs around the Cliffs of Moher. Absolute must-do!

3rd Stop: Cork to Galway

Now you make your way to Galway. If you haven't had time to check out Killerny National Park, then make the most of the drive to Galway to visit. Entry is free. The Ring of Kerry then takes you up to the Cliffs of Moher in Liscannor, Ireland's most famous cliffs. The cliffs rise almost vertically out of the Atlantic Ocean in many places and stretch over nearly five miles. If the visibility is good, you can see the Aran Islands and sometimes Galway Bay from there. Galway is Ireland's youngest city, so who is looking for a lively nightlife and pubs and bars are found in the student city.

4th Stop: Galway to Dublin

Afterward you make your way to Dublin with your rental car and a few unforgettable impressions. Take some time to enjoy the landscape and make a few photo stops. You can easily plan a stop at the Rock of Cashel or in the Wicklow Mountains, as the flights usually only go in the evening. Please include the return of the rental car at the airport and the check-in in your travel time. Depending on how much time you have for your Ireland tour, you can also plan some time in the beautiful city of Dublin.

Ireland Road Trip Suggested Itinerary 2

1st Stop: Start of the Road Trip in Dublin

This route also starts in Dublin again. For all those who already know their way around here and want to start the round trip directly, you can of course start directly and take Motorway number 7. Then you can already see your fill of the green landscape and the approximately 8 million sheep on the first day. ;) But of course, you can also take it easy and enjoy the cult atmosphere in Dublin.

2nd Stop: Road Trip on the Ring of Kerry

On the second day, a scenic highlight awaits you, the Ring or Kerry. A scenic road that takes you around the Iveragh Peninsula. We recommend that you drive the circular route clockwise, as the coaches are only allowed to drive counter-clockwise and it is difficult to overtake them. Of course, you can also ride comfortably behind them.

3rd Stop: Cliffs of Moher

Today you make a small detour in the direction of the famous Cliffs of Moher, true to the motto: the journey is the reward. The steep cliffs, some of which are vertical, rise several kilometers out of the Atlantic and are in places more than 656 feet high. If you want to experience them from a completely different perspective, we recommend a one-hour boat trip from the village of Doolin. The fishing village itself is definitely worth a visit.

4th Stop: Sky Road & Galway

You're still on the wild west coast. You now have enough time to discover the wonderful surroundings. The best thing to do is to rent a bicycle or e-bike and ride the 9 miles of panoramic "Sky Road" along the rocky and rugged coastline, from where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the small offshore islands in the Atlantic. When you're exhausted from your tour, hop in your car and drive to Kylemore Abbey, 20 minutes away.

The young, lively city of Galway, which you probably know from the song by Ed Sheeran, is also very close by. The city is known for its time-honored pubs and excellent seafood. The center is very compact and can be explored with a short walk. It is a good idea to make a detour here on your onward journey to Dublin. It is best to plan two days for this part of the tour.

5th Stop: End of the Tour in Dublin

Your round trip ends in the capital Dublin. A free walking tour is ideal for an initial overview. Mostly students give lively tours to the most exciting places in the city and in the end everyone simply pays for what the tour was worth to them. Popular highlights include the Guinness Brewery and the Temple Bar cultural district. Even if it sounds scary at first, we also recommend a visit to Glasnevin Cemetery and Kilmainham Prison. Again, you should plan two days.