Homely but magical. Small but with so much to see. Ancient and solemn, but full of the friendliest people you could ever hope to meet. Ireland is waiting to enchant you. Discover a landscape most marked by its contrasts on an unforgettable holiday to Ireland.
Follow the route of the Ring of Kerry around the spectacular Iveragh Peninsula. Gaze in awe at the Giant’s Causeway and wander the streets of cities like Dublin, Galway, Sligo and Cork in search of fine food, first-class entertainment and the inspiration (liquid or otherwise) that filled the souls of Yeats, Wilde, Shaw and Joyce.
Travel with Newmarket Holidays, head to the towering basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland, or to the rocky karst landscape of the Burren, and you might find it hard to believe that your awesome, rugged surroundings share a landmass with the rolling green pastures, and crystal lakes and bays, that you’ll find around Skibereen, beside Lough Gill, or on the Cliffs of Moher and the Beara Peninsula.
Ireland is also a country with a long, rich history. Everywhere you turn you’ll find its echoes, from the Neolithic tombs picturesque castles, and monuments of the Boyne River Valley and the cliff-top remains of the monastery at Skellig Michael (which doubled as Luke Skywalker’s new home in the 2017 instalment of Star Wars) to the sectarian murals of Belfast and Derry.
Irish art, music and literature has enchanted and inspired many. And every evening, in almost every village, town and city across Ireland, the sound of fiddles, pennywhistles and bodhrans drifts into the evening air from the open doors of pubs and bars. Pencil in a trip to the Dublin Writer's Museum, or take the chance to the kiss the Blarney Stone at famous Blarney Castle in Cork, which legend says will bestow the gift of eloquence upon those who do.
Packed with a majestic history, vibrant culture and raw beauty, every destination you head to on your holiday to Ireland will captivate, surprise, and inspire you.
Things to see and places to visit on your Ireland holiday.
Ready to shamrock the night away? Here are our five favourite places to celebrate March 17.
This great city of culture, once home to literary legends like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift, is one of Europe's most engaging and interesting capitals.
Holidays to Ireland offer no end of opportunities to experience and enjoy something unique, special and spectacular. Here are just a few examples:
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.
Every family seems to have its own recipe for soda bread, and no breakfast would be complete without a delicious slice or two of white pudding (a grain and pork sausage very similar to the black pudding it almost always accompanies). But hidden behind those world famous Irish flavours you’ll also find a host of regional delicacies.
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 are some food so closely tied to Ireland that they’ve shaped the world’s view of the country. Guinness, whiskey, colcannon, boiled bacon and Irish stew in particular are five flavours inseparable from the idea of Irishness. No trip to Dublin is complete without a taste of ‘the black stuff’, so visit the Guinness Storehouse.
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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