It is a common misnomer that it rains all the time in Ireland, although the country does have slightly more than its fair share of heavy showers. The upside is the brilliant green of the countryside which resulted in its nickname, the Emerald Isle. The climate is strongly affected by the Atlantic Ocean and the offshore Gulf Stream, with regional temperatures varying greatly as a result, especially in the central and eastern areas.

Officially classified as temperate oceanic, the climate in Ireland is mild, with occasionally cold winters and warm to hot summers. Average summer temperatures sit around 68 to 75°F and winter lows rarely fall below 25°F. Late autumn, winter and early spring the wettest times so be sure to pack a raincoat. The southernmost region sees the highest amount of precipitation due to southwesterly winds, and the far northern and western areas are the windiest in all of Europe.

In late autumn, thunderstorms, heavy rain and gales attack the western coast and the mountainous region due to Atlantic low-pressure systems, and high humidity is likely from May to the end of August. Summer sees plenty of sun, but a calm morning can quickly cloud over and become a dull, damp afternoon. In mid-winter, the sun sets by 4:00 p.m., and an umbrella and warm jacket are the best accessories.

Best Time to Visit Ireland

Late spring, summer and early fall are the best times for a trip to Ireland. The height of the season is from June through August, but visitors wishing to avoid the crowds and soaring prices prefer to visit in May or September. Christmas is a great time to be here, with the pubs stringing festive lights everywhere and everyone in good spirits. Off-season bargains are easy to find, although in winter many smaller hotels close.