Rugged coastline and lush greenery, an ancient culture steeped in folklore, and a very modern capital that has every amenity you could ask for and more: holidays in Ireland truly have something for everyone.
Once on the Emerald Isle you’ll be awed as you walk through the stunning UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Killarney National Park. There’s also plenty of opportunity to learn about the royal rulers and colonial conquerors who built the imposing Irish castles that dot the landscape, or, if you’re feeling up to it, you can try and traverse the 1,600-mile long Wild Atlantic Way. And that’s before we mention the dramatically plunging Cliffs of Moher and the enchanting Dingle Peninsula, each of which are worthy of their own trips. With a Newmarket Holidays tour, you can decide how to spend your days without having to do any of the exhausting logistics.
If you prefer your trips to be a bit more laid back, Ireland holidays have plenty for you too. Take a city break and explore Dublin, Galway, Sligo and Cork each of which are rammed full of friendly locals and enough pubs to satisfy the most curious of drinkers. And if you happen to visit Ireland during a big event, like St Patrick’s Day or St Stephen’s Day, all the better – you’ll get a real taste of the culture. Just make sure you have the will to come back home after, because once you’re in Ireland, you’ll never want to leave.
There are some flavours so closely tied to Ireland that they’ve shaped the world’s view of the country.
Guinness… whiskey… potatoes… in particular are three words inseparable from the idea of Irishness.
Warm up with a simple bowl of Coddle brimming with bacon, potatoes and sausages on a cold day in Dublin. Galway has an annual oyster festival, and salmon from the Burren, Connemara and Haven smokehouses have built quite the foodie following in recent years. Lovers of seafood should head to County Galway, country’s best oysters. Try the quintessential Dublin dish of cockles in the heart of the city. For a hearty meal, try coddle – a true mark of a Dublin tradition.
There’s plenty of good drink to be had in Ireland, but you can’t visit the Emerald Isle without trying a bit of the whiskey. You can head to any of the distilleries for a great experience, but one of the best is definitely Tullamore, who offer a tour alongside tastings.
First holiday to Ireland? Here are a few questions you might have.
To get the best of your Ireland adventure, we recommend the following tours:
If you'd like to see more Ireland tours, check out our website.
Ireland is divided into two parts: in the north, Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, but the southern part – called the Republic of Ireland – is not.
The capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast, whilst the Republic of Ireland’s capital city is Dublin.
Generally speaking, the best time to visit Ireland is between March and May, when it’s not as crowded as it is in peak summer. September to November is also a good time to visit, before the cold of winter, but with fewer crowds.
Although it does rain quite often in Ireland, the country generally enjoys a mild climate, with temperatures around 4–6°C in winter and 16–20°C in summer making it an ideal year-round destination.
In Northern Ireland, they use the pound sterling (£) as they are part of the United Kingdom. In the Republic of Ireland, however, they use the euro (€). For the latest exchange rates, see www.xe.com.
As a relatively lowly populated island that relies heavily on imports, Ireland has a just reputation as being one of Europe’s most expensive countries: according to a 2019 study, was the fourth-most expensive country in the European Union. That being said, it is still possible to visit Ireland on a tighter budget by booking an escorted tour with included meals and accommodation.
Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle thanks to its rolling green hills and countryside, but it is also famous for its historic cities and castles. Dublin and Belfast boast many sites of interest, including the Guinness Storehouse, Temple Bar, Titanic Quarter and Trinity College. Other popular cities in Ireland include Galway, Cork, Londonderry, Waterford and Kilkenny, home of the eponymous famous castle. In terms of Ireland’s numerous natural attractions, highlights include the Giant’s Causeway, a collection of basalt rock columns rising from the sea in Northern Ireland, and Killarney National Park and the King of Kerry in the Republic of Ireland.
Traditional Irish dishes include Irish stew (usually made with beef or lamb), boiled bacon and cabbage, boxty (potato pancakes), and colcannon (mashed potato with kale or cabbage, and butter). Soda bread and smoked salmon are also popular in Ireland. That being said, international cuisine is very popular in Ireland and readily available, especially Chinese, Italian, Thai and Indian.
According to a 2020 scientific study, Guinness tastes better in Ireland than anywhere else. Of all the places in Ireland, the Temple Bar in Dublin has earned a reputation as being the best place in the country for a pint of Guinness, known locally as ‘the black stuff’.
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