Picture perfect Ireland just has to be seen to be appreciated. There's more to a holiday in Ireland than pints of Guinness and fiddle players - although this does add to the atmosphere! Discover hidden gems in the picturesque County Kerry and the cosmopolitan, exciting capital of Dublin. Climb the steep hill at St Anne's Church in Cork to have a go at ringing its eight bells and make sure you visit the rugged landscapes of the Wicklow Gap and take a boat trip to the Aran Islands for breathtaking views. In Northern Ireland, Belfast too is emerging as a cultured capital - just right for a city break, and there's also the unforgettable Giant's Causeway.
The Gathering Ireland 2013
2013 hosts a year-round celebration of Ireland's unique culture and its people: The Gathering. All year long you can join in with festivals and events happening across Ireland which offer up the best of Ireland's music, arts and heritage.
Visit The Gathering Ireland website for more information.
With budget airlines Ryanair, Flybe and Aer Lingus offering direct flights to Ireland, competition is fierce - and that means you'll be able to score some great bargains! Check fares against Aer Lingus and British Airways - we always recommend shopping around before you book any tickets.
Dublin Airport is located 10 kilometres north of the capital city. If you're travelling independently the air coach provides a convenient link into many locations in the city. Belfast has two airports, Belfast International which is 13 miles north-west of the city, and George Best Belfast City Airport, three miles east. Both airports are connected by bus services to the city centre.
Buses and trains can be an easy and cost effective way of travelling around Ireland. Search online before you depart as advance bookings can result in huge savings - especially on the railway network.
Renting a car can be a perfect way of seeing the scenic countryside but be aware that car hire in Ireland is cheaper if you book in advance. So instead of grabbing a car when you arrive at the airport, compare prices on dealchecker and book early to get some cheap deals.
There are plenty of international hotel chains offering reliable value accommodation across Ireland, especially in the most visited cities like Belfast and Dublin. Ireland's also rich in independent and unique hotels - you can seek out characterful Georgian townhouses in Dublin, or stay in a welcoming countryside guesthouse. Use dealchecker's search tools to compare rates at all sorts of hotels.
If you own a caravan there are many free sites available throughout the country. However they're not well documented on the Internet so your best bet is to enquire at the local council office when you arrive in a town - they'll soon be able to point you in the right direction!
Well known for its beautiful countryside, Ireland can be best appreciated on foot - the best bit is it doesn't have to cost a penny! Pack your walking boots and take in the setting and local charm by spending hours exploring during your holiday in Ireland.
Updated 11th December 2013
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