Valerie's Travels

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Ireland visits


52 States

Taking on the World, One Excursion at a Time

Ireland is the land of breathtaking landscapes, friendly people, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Our vacations to Ireland help you experience the real Emerald Isle, whether you’re raising a pint with new Irish friends at a lively pub, following in the footsteps of your ancestors among the rolling hills and picturesque castles, or enjoying the best of Irish culture through tastings and authentic experiences. You’ll see Ireland in a whole new light.

#1 The island of Ireland is located in the North Atlantic, West of Great Britain. Together (and with all the smaller ones), they form the British Isles.

#2 Politically, the island is divided into the Republic of Ireland in the south, occupying 5/6 of the island, and Northern Ireland, which covers the rest. Northern Ireland is often referred to as Ulster because it roughly occupies the Ulster region of Ireland.

#3 The Republic of Ireland is mainly catholic, while Northern Ireland is mostly divided between Catholics (41%) and Protestants (41,5%). This caused a very tumultuous 20th century in Ireland, with civil wars, terrorist attacks, and many many people killed.

Almost everything in Ireland’s history comes back to the tension between Catholics and Protestants, and if you are attentive, you’ll still see it, more or less hidden.

The peace wall in Belfast, Northern Ireland

#4 Nowadays, things in Northern Ireland are much more peaceful, and it’s perfectly safe to travel around. One can still see monuments and street art referring to those times, but that’s it. This is particularly obvious in Derry, where we can visit the free derry corner and the Bloody Sunday memorial in the Bogside.

Things to know before traveling to Ireland





Free Derry sign

#5 Ireland has less population today (6.5M) than it had in 1841 (8M). This is extremely rare, if not unique, among developed countries. So, what happened?

Between 1845 and 1849, the potato crop failed due to a late blight which destroyed both the leaves and the edible roots of the plant. Ireland was so heavily dependent on potatoes that more than 1M people died of starvation and disease, and up to 1.5M migrated (mainly to the US). This is usually called the great famine, or the Irish Potato Famine.

#6 How’s the climate in Ireland? It rains… a lot (between 150 and 220 days a year),  although the temperature is much warmer than one would expect in such a northern country due to the warm North Atlantic current.

The profound impact of the Atlantic means that Ireland lacks extreme temperatures, with weather rarely going over 30º and lower than -2º/-3º. Usually, Ireland receives cool summers and mild and wetter winters.

What does this mean to you as a traveler? It’s much better to travel in Summer than in Winter! It’s warmer and rains less, however, everyone knows it, and everything is much more crowded.

Blarney Castle, Ireland








Blarney Castle

#7 Furthermore, you should consider that in winter, the daylight hours are also very reduced, which makes traveling in winter more difficult.

So, what’s the best time to visit Ireland? We believe that May is the best month to go to Ireland! Sunshine and daylight hours are big, it doesn’t rain as much as in Wintertime, and the huge crowds of tourists aren’t there yet.

#8 Ireland has two official languages, English and Irish. While Irish is considered the first and national language, only about one-third of the population can speak it, on the other hand, English is spoken by virtually everyone.

Note that Irish people have a noticeably strong accent… to the point of being very difficult to understand at times. Though, after getting used to it, it becomes easier.

Planning The Perfect Trip!

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