Ireland Off-Season | Travel Research Online


Ireland Off-Season

Everyone wants to go to Ireland, and it seems that everyone wants to go in the summer. Now don’t get me wrong. There is much good to be said about the warm days of summer on the greenest of islands. However, fall, winter, and spring offer their own special charms, as well as being amazingly affordable times to travel. The scenery is still stunning, the people are still friendly (and maybe more so, relieved of the pressure of so many tourists) and the pub life is especially warm and friendly.

Most destinations have a prime season for travel that coincides with excellent weather. Throughout this “peak season”, the crowds tend to be heavy and the prices high. Ireland’s peak season is the summer months: mid-June through mid-PictureSeptember. When the weather is typically less than balmy, destinations experience a “shoulder season” and a “low season.” Shoulder season in Ireland is April, May, early June and early October. Shoulder season has the distinct advantage of retaining many summer travel perks: longer days, good weather and extended shopping hours. Low season is November through March – the winter-weather months in Ireland.

Rates and crowds lessen proportionally as you travel farther from the warmer months. Airfares are often hundreds of dollars below peak season rates, and hotels offer bargain discounts. But for many, one of the best advantages of traveling in the so-called “off season” is that it’s much easier to enjoy and absorb Ireland’s renowned culture and avoid getting lost in crowds of tourists. Off-season visitors often find that their hosts, hoteliers and shop keepers engage easily in conversation and provide individual attention, increasing the odds for a fascinating and flawless vacation.

Off-peak Ireland is one of the best travel bargains worldwide… short daylight hours and cool weather provide a new, moody perspective on the country. Celtic architecture and cool seascapes fill mornings of exploration, and crisp afternoons call for cozy Irish sweaters and refuge in a warm pub, where visitors mix with the locals.

One of the great attractions of Ireland is that many of its amazing sites are in the wide-open: the cliffs and shores, castles, cathedrals and great stone circles are accessible throughout the year. The countryside, too, holds its famous green, even in the winter when visitors can trace the landscape of long stone walls against a leafless sky and emerald-colored hillsides.

To ensure your comfort while you wander through Ireland, bring heavy sweaters and outdoor clothing and hats. Warm, comfortable (and preferably waterproof) shoes are a must, and pack turtlenecks and windbreakers for goodPicture measure. The good news is that because Ireland is situated on the eastern Atlantic side of the Gulf Stream, temperatures are typically more moderate than in continental Europe. Ireland’s average winter temperature is a relatively mild 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

A good travel agent familiar with Ireland is the best resource for planning your off-season itinerary to ensure that you experience the best aspects of traveling during this time. Travel agents can connect you to highly regarded tour operators who are financially sound and have a reliable history of taking care of the agent’s clients; Ireland can be equally enjoyed through a fully escorted or independent tour, and often at additional savings over already low rates. In addition, an agent is an invaluable source of insider tips and research materials that take the worry and hassle out of planning an enjoyable, quiet, and affordable trip to Ireland.

So pack a sweater and have the Emerald Isle to yourself!

This article is one of TRO’s Voyager Series and is available for Travel Agent use in your newsletters and websites by registering with TRO and following this license agreement.

  6 thoughts on “Ireland Off-Season

  1. Bernie Brosnihan says:

    Thinking about making my first trip to Ireland around Christmas time 2008. Any info you can provide will be appreciated.

  2. Bernie Brosnihan says:

    Correction Christmas 2009

  3. Rita says:

    I’m thinking of going to Dublin next year. I was thinking of early April or mid-September. The only condition to make the choice is: which is cheaper?
    It’s a trip with a group of friends and we have to save as much as we can. Besides, Irlenad sounds like an awesome destination despite the weather or the month.
    Can you help us out?
    Thanks in advance.


  4. Kristen says:

    I went last year with a friend of mine in February, we flew into Shannon airport, visted the whole South, then headed up to Connemara… our two favorite places of the trip were Ventry Beach in Dingle, and the Cliffs of Moher!! We are going again in 2012 and staying in Connemara, and hopefully visting the North this time, I want to see Giant’s Causeway!! Have fun!!

  5. I would like to obtain some travel literature on Ireland and Scotland both. Would you be able to send me some or connect me with a travel agent who might assist? I am looking to travel in the off-seasons for one or both of these countries.

    Thank you!

  6. Rebecca S. Drayton says:


    I visited Scotland, England and Wales in November a couple of years ago. It was a great experience! Discovered frozen fog – never saw that in the states. Shops were decorated for holiday season – very cute! Fun shopping – unique items. Both food and people in all three countries were great!!! If in Scotland, be sure to try Haggis! If you get a chance to visit Wales, be sure to look for “Love Spoons”, created by local artists.

    Very few tourists. Some sights were limited due to less tourists, but there was still a lot to see. Overall, terrific adventure! Off-season weather was similar to the states winter.

    Am now planning winter visit to Ireland. Love traveling off-season!

    Good luck in your travels!

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