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Best Time to Visit Ireland

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Late spring, summer, and early fall are the best time to visit Ireland because during these seasons there are the most festivals, the best chance to see wildlife, and the best weather. The spring has fewer crowds, pleasant weather, and the best chance to see whales and birds, making it a great time of year for those who aren’t traveling around school schedules. While the summer months of June, July, and August can be crowded, the long hours of daylight, temperate weather, and a vast range of festivals make this an ideal time to go on an Ireland cruise. During the fall in September and October, it does get cooler and rainier but there are a ton of festivals and it’s extremely likely that you’ll see the Northern Lights during these months.

No matter when you take a trip to Ireland the one constant to be aware of is rain, especially towards the end of the summer into the fall. The spring and early summer months see more sunshine and fewer showers but count on rain on some days before the sun comes out. Despite this, the Emerald Isle’s coast, the Irish culture, and the historic cities bring warmth to the air and are worth the trip. 

April and May- The best time to see wildlife
The Atlantic puffins at the Cliffs of Moher, the purple Rhododendrons that bloom every spring across Glenveagh National Park and the Glenveagh Castle Gardens, and the wildflowers around the Slieve League Cliffs in Donegal are a few of the highlights of the mainland in the spring.

Off the coast, The Skellig Islands are home to the biggest Gannet breeding colony in Northern Europe. Late spring is the best time to see these birds as well as cormorants and orange-billed puffins. The waters off the coast of the Aran Islands bring minke whales to the region during this same time of year, making the spring season the ideal time to spot and interact with these rare animals from a cruise or while trekking through the countryside.

June and July- International Arts Festival and Bloomsday Festival
June and July are the months when daylight lasts until 11 pm, making taking a cruise in Ireland during the summer a unique experience with opportunities for discovering the coastal regions well into the evening. 
Festivals in June include the Bloomsday Festival in Dublin, a tribute to James Joyce that lasts for over a week with literary events, celebrations, and pub crawls across the astounding city.  

The International Arts Festival in Galway takes place in July and brings international visitors to the city for food, theater, art, dance, music, and street performances. 

August, September, and October- Cultural festivals, harvest festivals, and Northern Lights
August and September in Ireland are typically less crowded than June and July. The heavy rains and chill of winter are still at bay and the weather is for the most part pleasant. The sun starts to set earlier during these months and towards the end of the fall, it’s possible to see the Northern Lights from the less populated areas of Ireland. 

The Féile a Phobail Festival in Belfast at the beginning of August is the country’s largest Community Arts Festival with comedy, music, dance, and theater taking place across the city for ten days.
In September, the Harvest Festival in Waterford at the beginning of the month is one of the country’s premier food festivals, bringing vendors from all over Ireland as well as musicians and artists to the oldest city in the country. Towards the end of September, start looking, because you may be able to see the Northern Lights.
In October, the rain starts to pick up, the temperature begins to drop, and the air starts to get a lot crisper but the month of October is the best time to see the Northern Lights which is worth bearing the cooler temperature. October is also an extremely popular time for festivals with the Dublin Theatre Festival from late September to early October and the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival in late October.

For more information about Ireland cruises, tours, and excursions that explore the diversity of the country’s natural attractions, culture, and cities, contact a member of our team. 

Ireland (Dublin)
Month Average temperature °F (℃) Average rainfall in (mm)
January 41.4 (5.2) 2.8 (70)
February 41.2 (5.1) 2.0 (52)
March 43.5 (6.4) 2.1 (53)
April 46.8 (8.2) 2.0 (50)
May 51.3 (10.7) 2.4 (60)
June 56.3 (13.5) 2.2 (55)
July 59.5 (15.3) 2.1 (53)
August 59.2 (15.1) 2.8 (71)
September 56.1 (13.4) 3.0 (75)
October 51.4 (10.8) 3.0 (76)
November 45.0 (7.2) 2.8 (72)
December 42.6 (5.9) 3.1 (80)

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