Ireland’s 6 top things to do in summer

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Kinsale, County Cork

Ireland comes to life in summer, promising sparkling surf, one-of-a-kind camping trips, fantastic festivals – and some very merry locals!

Sea Sessions, County Donegal

Go to a festival

Mad about music? Fanatical about food? Crazy for culture?  Ireland has a plethora of festivals livening up the streets year round – but when the sun comes out, we take full advantage! From the Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival (Mayo) and the Sea Sessions Surf and Music Festival (Donegal), to eccentric Dalriada (Antrim) and A Taste of West Cork Food Festival (Cork), we simply love to celebrate just about anything. Don’t believe us? Check out Puck Fair, where we crown a goat king of a village (seriously)!

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

Take a road trip

The beauty of any trip to Ireland is the sheer variety packed into this tiny green dot in the Atlantic! Perhaps the best way to see as much as possible is by renting a car and going your own way: take in the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge on the Causeway Coastal Route; fall in love with 5,000 years of history among the castles and characters of Ireland’s Ancient East; or explore all 2,500km of the world’s longest defined coastal touring route on the Wild Atlantic Way. Trust us: the welcoming smiles of the locals make every village feel like you’re coming home.

Finn Lough Bubble Domes, County Fermanagh

Go camping

Across the island, caravan parks and glamping hubs are hugely popular. As well as being convenient, they offer a happy middle ground between having a roof over your head and pitching a canvas on sticks. There’s nothing quite like waking up on a mountainside with little but a sleeping bag and a zip between you and the open air! For those less enamoured by being at one with nature, check out the Bubble Domes at Finn Lough in County Fermanagh: all the beauty, with none of the bugs!

Surfing Aileen's Wave, Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

Embrace the surf

Without a doubt, the waves of the west coast put the “wild” in Wild Atlantic Way! The special stretch reaching from Donegal Town down through Sligo and to County Mayo beyond, is known as the Surf Coast – and it’s the stuff of dreams for those addicted to the froth and foam of a day spent on the water. Further away, the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare; East Strand, Portrush, County Antrim; or Brittas Bay in County Wicklow are all thrill-filled spots for brave adventurers. Check out one of the many surf schools for the best local tips.

Rathlin Island, County Antrim

Island hop

From saintly Boa and Devenish to rugged Rathlin and the movie star Skelligs, Ireland’s islands are like nowhere else on earth – and summertime creates the perfect conditions for hopping in a boat and bobbing across the waves to visit. Walk along trails hewn by long-departed Blasket Islanders, check out modern island life amidst the dry-stone walls of the lively Aran Islands, or take a trip in Ireland’s only cable car across the water to Dursey Island off the coast of County Cork.

Laytown Races, County Meath

Go horseracing on the beach

Popular in many locations across the island, racing on the flat, golden strands along our coast has been a fun family tradition for generations. Carrowniskey in County Mayo has seen a resurgence in interest after 28 years without a race, so expect something truly special; while the Laytown Races in County Meath are perhaps the most famous and beloved, having hosted pounding hooves and high-spirited visitors since 1868!

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