You may be thinking that it would be foolish to approach Ireland outside of the summer months, but while it does start getting chilly and wet around this time of year, there are a few reasons to consider a fall trip to the Emerald Isle -- and why we consider this time of year Ireland's Sweet Spot.
For starters, Ireland's festival calendar is full of interesting events: from the Cork Folk Festival (October 10th to 13th); to the Wexford Fringe Festival (October 18th to November 3rd ) and Opera Festival (October 23rd to November 3rd), and the Dublin Marathon on October 28th. And then there's the final few months of events to celebrate The Gathering 2013, too.
If that's not quite enough to convince you to hop across the pond, how about some great deals that will make a visit to Ireland very affordable? And, remember the Dollar-Euro exchange rate is quite favorable now, too.
Grab a Flight Deal
What is often the priciest part of your vacation is taken care of with some great flight deals from Aer Lingus -- but you'll have to make your decisions and book quickly.
Until September 30th, the Irish airline is offering flights from New York City to Dublin for as low as $537 round-trip. Other offers include Boston to Shannon from $663 round-trip, and Chicago to Dublin for $699 round-trip. The fares are valid on travel between the first week of November 2013 and February 28th 2014.
Take Advantage of Lower Hotel Rates
Outside of peak season, with less tourists vying for rooms, it can be a lot easier to find good hotel deals.
Bono-owned The Clarence, in the heart of Dublin's Temple Bar district, offers four-star, bed-and-breakfast accommodations in mid-October for as low as €149 ($201) a night. Even more affordable is the Ariel House located in Dublin's leafy, Victorian Ballsbridge neighborhood. Mid-October bed and breakfast accommodations start at €89 ($119).
In Limerick, No. 1 Pery Square occupies a restored mid-19th century townhouse and offers an on-site spa, and mid-October rates from €125 ($168); while the modern Absolute Hotel in the Medieval Quarter has rates for as low as €62 ($83). In Ballyvaughan, in the west of Ireland, you can stay in a 250-year-old manor house at the luxury Gregans Castle Hotel for €139 ($188); while at the River Lee Hotel in Cork, you can stay in far more contemporary accommodations and enjoy the on-site spa for €180 ($242). An more affordable Cork option would be the Gresham Metropole Cork, where mid-October rates start at €65 ($87).
Book a Package
If organizing flights, hotels, and car rental all sounds like a little too much work, you can always let someone else handle it for you by booking a package deal.
Great Value Vacations are offering a seven-night city and country getaway for $799 per person. The package includes round-trip airfare between New York City and Dublin (other U.S. cities are available); five nights in a three-bedroom villa at the five-star Adare Manor in Co. Limerick; two nights at the four-star Maldron Hotel Cardiff Lane in Dublin, and car rental for the whole trip. The package saves you 35 percent (or $450) on booking each component separately, and you can add on two extra nights for just $100 more.
The package must be booked before September 27th and is valid for travel on select dates between December 1st 2013 - February 6th 2014.