Last updated on February 6, 2024
It’s cold there and it rains all the time. They drive on the wrong side of the road, there’s nothing good to eat and it’s not exactly cheap either.
So it’s not a good idea for the coming holiday. You often hear them talking like that…
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For many, the Emerald Isle in the Atlantic is somehow not on the wish list of places one should definitely have seen.
On the other hand, the number of tourists to Ireland is growing steadily every year. If we exclude the two pesky Covid years of 2020-2021….
What years? Yes exactly – just forget about it.
Of course, Ireland is in north-western Europe. In summer, temperatures here are only 20-27 degrees Celsius and it can rain from time to time – just like in northern Germany, actually.
If you like it sunnier and don’t mind 40 degrees Celsius, you can fly to Andalusia or the Algarve in July. I certainly don’t – but you have a choice.
We made our choice several years ago and have our second home in Ireland, where I run a motorbike rental business in the summer (www.eascruiser.tours). We also offer accommodation to travellers (www.the-view-accommodation.ie).
And so that you can make a good choice for your next holiday destination, I’ll list a few good arguments for the Emerald Isle from my completely subjective point of view:
1. Ireland has no mass tourism
Somewhere on the beach of Djerba – one huge all-you-can-eat-all-inclusive hotel box after another.
Every week streams of pale-faced northern Europeans pour out of planes onto the peninsula and every week streams of red-faced tourists are flown home again.
The travel agencies make sure that the flow never dies down. So do the price comparison portals on the internet. A less enjoyable holiday – we will not repeat.
Ireland also has its tourism, which grows briskly every year. About 11 million tourists come to the island every year, which is about twice the population of Ireland.
But these are mostly individual travellers. Dublin, for example, is worth a city trip all year round, even just for a weekend.
Most tourists explore the island by rental car or come with their own vehicle by ferry. Some use public transport for their round trip, go hiking, rent a houseboat or go on a bicycle tour.
Of course, there are also bus tours. As you can see, the flows are varied and well distributed across the island.
By the way, Ireland is also a great destination for motorbike travellers – take a look at our second website: www.easycruiser.tours, we rent motorbikes in Ireland (self-advertisement).
2. Ireland has a pleasant climate
We, my family and I, have been travelling around Ireland for over 20 years and have our second home and motorbike rental business there. Before that we have lived in different places in Northern Germany, and also in Southern Germany. I think we know the weather here very well and like it a lot.
Dublin is geographically about the same height as Osnabrück, so it’s not as far north as many people think. But it is further west. The temperatures in Ireland in summer are also roughly comparable to the temperatures in northern Germany – mostly warm or well warm. It rarely gets hot.
Winters are milder in Ireland. Mostly the temperatures are well above freezing, only sometimes there is a night frost.
Palm trees thrive in our garden and tall fuchsia hedges grow along the roadsides – like everywhere else in the country. They survive the winter without any problems. Ireland owes this to the Gulf Stream, which brings warm sea water to the Irish coasts.
And what about the rain? In the summer months, rain is not a bigger issue in Ireland than in Germany – subjectively and objectively – feel free to look at climate tables on this. In winter, however, it can often be stormy and very wet in Ireland – just like on the North Sea.
3. Ireland is quick and cheap to get to
When I was still working as an employee in Germany, we often went to Ireland for a long weekend to our holiday home on the south-east coast. A short flight of about 2 hours, a short drive and we were in our house on the beach.
If you want to go to the west coast, you should bring a little more time with you, 5-7 days is fine. For the entire Wild Atlantic Way with its 2500km length, you can even allow 10-14 days.
There are cheap flights to Dublin from many airports in Germany. We mostly use the Irish airlines Ryanair or Aerlingus. But Lufthansa and Eurowings also offer flights to Ireland – if they are not on strike again…
Off-season you can fly to Dublin for 20-50 euros (one way). In summer it can be expensive, especially if you book at short notice.
But if you book some time in advance, it’s still under 100€ even in summer. You should also book your rental car and accommodation well in advance in summer.
4. Ireland offers many opportunities for an active holiday.
Surfing, kite surfing, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, hiking, hillwalking, kayaking, trail riding, travelling by horse-drawn carriage, landscape photography, golfing, cycling, bird watching, whale watching, sailing – you get the idea, there’s a lot going on in the Emerald Isle.
Did I mention motorbike tours? (www.easycruiser.tours).
If you have a favourite hobby that you would like to spend time on during your holiday, why not see if you can find it in Ireland – the chances are good!
The Irish love sports and are proud of their beautiful landscapes – the range of outdoor activities is correspondingly good. But there are also many fun things to do indoors.
Be curious and you will be rewarded!
5. Ireland has an interesting culture
For whatever reason – Ireland was constantly invaded! Over the centuries, various peoples passed through here and ruled the island for a while, at least until the next conquerors came.
The Celts, by the way, were not the original inhabitants of Ireland, but probably the first warlike Ursupators who sought and claimed land as part of the migrations.
Later came the Vikings, who not only haunted Ireland but also made it their home, founding towns and trading posts and ruling the Dublin region for over 200 years.
They were followed by the Normans, the Anglo-Saxons and the English.
The English were too much of a good thing. After several futile and bloody attempts, Ireland succeeded in gaining independence from England in 1949. Not bloody this time, because the English were fed up with the ever rebellious Irish.
Sounds like the Gauls Asterix and Obelix? Not by chance, they were also Celts, Breton Celts!
This mix of peoples naturally left its mark on the island, in the form of historical sites, but also as the basis of today’s Irish way of life and culture.
6. Ireland has absolutely spectacular landscapes
Oh my God! I just say Wild Atlantic Way!!! I have been there many times and still haven’t seen many corners. The west coast is over 2500km breathtaking.
Don’t believe it? Don’t believe – try it out!
Rugged cliffs, wild surf, dreamy bays with white – yes white! – sandy beaches. Azure sea, crystal clear bays – a dream.
But the low mountain ranges are also absolutely worth seeing: Killarney National Park, the Connemara mountains, Donegal National Park or Wicklow Mountains National Park at the gates of Dublin are really beautiful.
The highlands here are often peaty, brown moors, quiet and lonely in the winter months, green in the summer from ferns and purple from the heather that covers the mountainsides.
Well, lonely is relative – apart from you, there are a few deer and many sheep in the mountains. A lot of sheep! They graze completely free in the national parks and also like to run around confused on the roads.
7. Ireland is cosy
The pub is the living room of the village people. Really!
In the old days, when people lived in small, draughty cottages in the countryside and farmed a few hectares of arable land laboriously by hand and with a horse-drawn plough, the peat fire did not burn in the parlour all day long. After all, the peat had to be cut by hard work.
So the place was usually cold and there was no Netflix yet, so what to do at the end of a long day’s work?
There was always a fire burning in the pub, the pint loosened the limbs and the tongues and a stew filled the empty stomach. The oral village newspaper was in full swing and there was even music and dancing at weekends. All good!
How long ago was this? Until the middle of the 20th century, it was just a normal scenario! And until today, the Irish love socialising – and hearty food and good drink are definitely part of it!
8. Ireland is friendly to you
There are annual surveys of tourist satisfaction in all sorts of countries. Ireland regularly lands in the top places – mainly because the Irish are described as particularly hospitable.
We can only confirm this from our own experience. If you are standing at a crossroads without a plan, you will almost always be asked if you are lost and if you need help.
If you don’t want to be spoken to, then you’d better concentrate on your smartphone or pretend you’re talking on the phone…
But seriously, the Irish are usually remarkably friendly and helpful. Our motorbike guests emphasise this time and again.
9. Ireland decelerates (you)
It was like that for us back then: Stressed out on the plane, a little calmer on the drive to our holiday home, one look at the sea and the pulse drops into rest mode.
Our guests show this again and again – under pressure from the plane onto the motorbike – and then a week later back again with good colour in their faces in all peace of mind. Broad laughter underlines the holiday experiences that absolutely have to be shared before heading back to the airport.
This is how we like to see our guests and this is how we experience Ireland ourselves. The clocks tick a little slower here – and so do we, when we are here!
“Let’s go to Ireland!”
Have I persuaded you to go on holiday to Ireland now?
I hope not! Only you can decide for yourself.
But if I’ve been able to give you a little inspiration for your holiday planning, then I’m very happy.
And if my favourite island grows on you at some point, then I’m happy for you!
With this in mind – enjoy the Emerald Isle.
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ORGANISING A HOLIDAY TRIP TO IRELAND – THESE PRACTICAL TIPS WILL HELP YOU!
Photo credits cover photo: Beautiful south-west coast of Ireland, photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg (www.easycruiser.tours, www.the-view-accommodation.ie, www.irland-insider.de, www.ireland-insider.com)