Beyond the national celebrations and the wetting of the shamrock, St. Patrick’s Day traditionally also marks the launch of the new tourism season in Ireland — so what better time to dream of a few staycation plans? Our 2023 bucket list features exciting new openings across the island as well as some iconic favourites, fun-filled festivals and off-the-beaten track surprises to enjoy in every county.
May 26-29; dolphinhotel.ie
Rathlin Island is not only spectacular for its cliffs, lighthouses and dolphins sightings but it’s also home to an outstanding RSPB sanctuary where a colony of these colourful birds gather every spring/summer. Get there via the puffin bus from the main pier.
Voted the best place in the world to celebrate Halloween, Derry, with its annual festival, is establishing itself as the capital of Halloween. This year, it takes place Oct 28 to 31 meaning now is a great time to book a hotel before those rates get too spooky.
Achill Island’s staying firmly in the spotlight this year with its second international film festival taking place on the island, May 11-13. Expect a movie buff’s dream of domestic and foreign films with lively panel discussions.
From €165; thedean.ie
Winding up the Shannon towards the ancient site of Clonmacnoise is one of the most incredible experiences you can enjoy in Ireland.
Make the dream come to life with operators such as Silvercraft who hire out cruisers from Banagher.
- For more staycation inspiration, see discoverireland.ie and discovernorthernireland.com