The peak months of the tourist season are July and August, so consider visiting in May, June or September if you can. The weather is likely to be at least as good and hotels are less busy. Spring flowers are at their best in April and May, and October offers many arts festivals. Winter days have their own sort of atmosphere but darkness falls early, and many sites and attractions are closed, as are a lot of the hotels in holiday areas. You can have magnificent beaches like Rosses Point near Sligo Town all to yourself, but it may be too cold to swim.
In the path of moist Atlantic air and the moderating effect of the Gulf Stream, Ireland is rarely hot or very cold. You might be lucky enough to encounter a warm dry spell in summer, but showers and bright intervals are far more likely. Take raincoats and umbrellas and be prepared for what the locals call ‘soft’ days, which are warm with fine misty rain that goes on for hours, keeping the Emerald Isle green. The west, where it rains on at least half the da ys of the year, tends to be wetter than the south east. Don’t be fooled by bright mornings – the sun may not last. On the other hand, don’t despair if you wake up to pouring rain. The sky could q uite possibly be cloudless by midday. In winter, Ireland rarely sees snow, as winters here are usually mild. In the mountains, snow is not uncommon. Summers in Ireland are not extreme either. It is unusual for the temperature to rise above 20 or 25 °C. June and July are the warmest and sunniest months. The average rainfall total for Ireland is about 800mm annually. Visit www.met.ie for extensive information.