When is the best time to visit Southern Ireland?
The southern part of Ireland is extremely beautiful in every season (so you can't really go wrong) but figuring out the best time to visit this spectacular part of Europe largely depends on what kind of holiday you want to have. Similar to its Northern counterpart, this extraordinary region is full of breathtaking landscapes and quaint villages all waiting to be explored from traipsing along the rugged Ring of Kerry to settling down for a pint or two in one of Cork's historic pubs. By knowing exactly what to expect from each season you can maximise your trip and make sure it's an unforgettable one.
Winter in Southern Ireland
Best for: exploring cities, visiting breweries, castle hopping
If you're looking to fully escape the crowds in Southern Ireland then travelling during the months of December, January, and February is the way to go but you will have to deal with the unpredictable and relatively bad weather, as well as the increased chance of snowfall and shorter days. If all of this doesn't bother you then there are still plenty of memorable experiences to be had in Southern Ireland during winter. While you might find yourself reluctant to head outside (and in 4°C weather we can't really blame you), now's a good time to explore this region's ancient cities and their iconic attractions such as the Blarney Castle in Cork.
If you want to brave the cold, journeying through national parks or making your way to the coast will also promise a peaceful, albeit often wet, adventure as the landscapes remain largely free of fellow travellers. This allows you to connect with the special places you visit and fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this stunning region.
Spring in Southern Ireland
Best for: multi-day walks, exploring beaches and seaside towns, waterfall chasing
The month of May is often considered to be the best time to visit Southern Ireland as you can escape the peak crowds of summer but the weather hasn't reached its winter lows yet. With spring well and truly underway, you'll be treated to lush landscapes and countrysides bursting with wildflowers in full bloom. While you do need to be prepared for a sometimes unexpected light shower (always carry an umbrella with you), May offers generally great weather with sunny days and temperatures averaging around 11°C.
If you can't make it to Southern Ireland in May, the months of March and April also present a fairly good time to travel but be wary of larger crowds in popular destinations and lingering peak season accommodation prices.
Summer in Southern Ireland
Best for: walking through Killarney National Park, exploring the Ring of Kerry, soaking up the sun on various beaches
While you might have to fight for tourist-free photos of iconic landscapes or charming cities, summer is the perfect time to explore the great outdoors in Southern Ireland. With temperatures averaging around 15°C and rainfall only expected once or twice in each month, heading outside should be high on your priority list. Whether you want to visit Blarney Castle to make a wish while walking backwards up the Wishing Steps or kiss the famous Blarney Stone, wander a local market to pick up some fresh produce for a tasty and stomach-filling picnic, or head out on a day trip to Killarney National Park and stumble across the cascading Torc Waterfall that's guaranteed to not only take your breath away but also take up all of the available space in your camera roll, you can't deny that summer and Southern Ireland go hand in hand.
Autumn in Southern Ireland
Best for: hiking, trying local cuisine, autumnal festivals
While travelling to Southern Ireland in September might see some lingering crowds at popular destinations, planning your holiday for either October or November will ensure you have national parks and famous attractions largely to yourself. Like in Spring, Southern Ireland's landscapes really come to life in Autumn with vibrant reds, oranges, and browns littering the countryside. It can rain quite a lot during Autumn so pack your umbrella, a waterproof coat, and a pair of wellies to maximise the time you spend outside. This is another great season for combining outdoor adventures such as autumnal festivals with indoor ones so plan plenty of pub days and make heaps of restaurant reservations so you can both feel Ireland's welcoming hospitality and munch on some pretty delectable local dishes.
Average temperatures in Southern Ireland
March to May
June to August
September to November
December to February