There is nowhere else on earth with a warmer welcome than Ireland - and now it’s never been easier to get there, thanks to year round service to Dublin with Aer Lingus. Don’t just think of Ireland as a summer destination – Ireland is always in season, and Fall is a particularly lovely time. Did you know that the average temperature in Ireland in September ranges between 10 and 18 degrees? In September there is an average of over 4 hours sunshine per day and less rainfall than in the peak month of August. Compare the mild winter temperatures in Ireland to Canada and it’s a no brainer!
Not only is the weather in the Fall often very pleasant – Ireland is less crowded and better value in the off peak months. It is a good time to enjoy a city break in Dublin or Belfast and Ireland’s excellent restaurants, accommodations and tours are open all year round. It is the closest point in Europe, safe, English-speaking and with great tourism infrastructure that makes it easy to see the sights. And the fabulous history, culture, festivals, stunning scenery - and golf - are waiting for you 12 months of the year.
In Ireland you can discover history that goes back earlier than the pyramids, and marvel at some of the most stunning coastal scenery you will find anywhere.
The Wild Atlantic Way, stretching all the way from the Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal to Kinsale in Co. Cork is amongst the world’s best driving tours. It stretches along 2,500 km of the wildest, most captivating scenery found anywhere - with lots to do and see along the way. Go whale watching and then enjoy an amazing seafood dinner in County Cork; take a walk along the dramatic Cliffs of Moher and stop for homemade ice cream. Or see the Northern Lights along the Donegal coastline.
As well as the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland has more than its fair share of stunning coastal scenery. In Northern Ireland the majestic Causeway Coastal Route, famed for its dramatic landscapes, is counted as one of the world’s great road journeys. Not to be missed is the famous Giant’s Causeway, but there is also a new addition to the coastal experience that allows you to walk along the very edge of the Irish Sea.
The Gobbins coastal path was originally created as a tourist attraction for the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway Company in 1902, with visitors paying 6d to enjoy a ‘perfect marvel of engineering'. Now the path has been reopened to provide an unexpected white-knuckle walk which will thrill those with a sense of adventure and delight those who are looking to experience the coast up close.
Ireland’s Ancient East represents a wonderful opportunity to experience 5,000 years of European history in a compact area. The Ancient East area allows visitors to get off the beaten track to see, hear, touch and feel the imprints made over millennia by the settlers in this beautiful landscape.
Ancient Man, Early Christians, Medieval Lords, Colonial Settlers and their descendants have all been seduced by Ireland’s lush, green and fertile lands. And it’s easy to explore as visitors can go at their own pace to discover tombs older than the pyramids, a Viking settlement or castles and fortresses. And, as everywhere else you go in Ireland, there are stories from the friendly locals who are some of the best story tellers in the world.
Not to be missed is the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Newgrange - a Stone Age monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath. Newgrange was constructed about 3,200 B.C., which makes it older than both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. It is a large circular mound with a stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound is ringed by 97 large kerbstones, some of which are richly decorated with megalithic art.
Setting for Films and TV Series
Much of the Fantasy blockbuster TV series “Game of Thrones” is filmed on location in Northern Ireland. If you are a fan – Northern Ireland is the epicentre of all things Game of Thrones. Aside from the landscapes that evoke true fantasy - there’s a good reason why Northern Ireland was picked by Game of Thrones location scouts. There are castles everywhere; incredible structures that catapult you right to the heart of the mythical land of Westeros.
Northern Ireland offers fans a self-drive tour through scene-stealing locations along the Causeway Coast and Glens. And the Titanic Studios in Belfast are also frequently used for filming.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens sent the global box-office into hyper drive. Since 1977, the record-breaking movie franchise has travelled through more than a few galaxies. This time around the cast and crew jetted into a little town called Portmagee, County Kerry, on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way, to discover a dream filming location. The heart stopping scenery of Skellig Michael was depicted as the hideout of Luke Skywalker in the movie. Skellig Michael, a remote island in Co Kerry, housed a monastery from around the 6th to the 12th century, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In addition the popular TV series “Vikings” on the History Channel is filmed in Co Wicklow. This is a very appropriate setting as Viking heritage runs deep in Ireland’s Ancient East.
There are approx. 70 million people around the world who claim Irish ancestry and close to 5 million of them are right here in Canada - so it’s no surprise many Canadians look to explore their Irish ancestry. There are many resources in place to help explore.
To begin your research here are three useful websites:
A useful first step is the Irish Government website Irish Genealogy: www.irishgenealogy.ie
Early 20th-century census returns can be perused at the National Archives website: www.nationalarchives.ie
The Irish Family History Foundation has a website run on behalf of county-based genealogy centres: www.familysearch.org
Once you get to Ireland there is lots of help is available to trace your roots. Throughout Ireland there are numerous centres for genealogical research. Every county in Ireland has a genealogy centre manned by professional genealogists and many churches have records too. So if you find out which town your ancestors come from, be sure to visit the local parish.
In Dublin, the National Library, National Archives and General Register Office are all key sources, with the National Library and National Archives both providing free advice from trained staff. In Belfast, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland holds a treasure trove of records, returns and registers from the province of Ulster. The General Register Office and Ulster Historical Foundation are also great resources.
An additional option is to commission a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland to help speed things up. They can help find ancestors and living relatives.
It’s no surprise that there are people all around the world with Irish heritage because there has been such a history of emigration from Ireland. And now there is a new attraction in Dublin that charts some of this powerful history. EPIC Ireland is Dublin’s dramatic new visitor attraction, telling the stories of 10 million journeys and the Irish roots of 70 million people. It explains how this small Island has profoundly influenced and changed the world. This world-class exhibition tells the story of the Irish people around the world using state-of-the-art technology with incredible visual stories and lots of interactivity.
As well as the high tech interactive exhibition, Epic Ireland will also offer a state-of-the-art Irish Family History Centre genealogy centre. Here you can sit with a genealogy expert for a 15-minute consultation or purchase a Family Tree DNA Kit. Workstations allow you to sign up to the Irish Family History Centre website and join the online community at www.FindMyPast.ie where you will be able to search through the largest number of Irish family history records such as: Birth, Marriage and Death records, Census records, Parish records, travel and migration records
This year is the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising - an important part of Irish history and a major historical landmark on the road towards Irish independence. There is a new visitor attraction in Dublin to celebrate this. The Post Office in Dublin was the centre of the Easter Rising and now GPO Witness History is a brand new permanent visitor attraction in the iconic GPO building on O’Connell Street, Dublin.
This highly immersive and engaging exhibition puts you right inside the GPO during Easter Week in 1916. History will come to life as you experience events from both sides of the conflict and through the eyes of bystanders caught in the crossfire through electronic touch screens, video, audio visual booths, sound and authentic artefacts – many previously unseen. You’ll be immersed in the action as you compose newspaper reports, examine the original copy of the Proclamation and send Morse code to declare the Irish Republic by radio.
The St Patrick’s Day festivals in Ireland are world renown – but there are numerous festivals that go on year round throughout the country. No matter when you visit you will discover the folk in Ireland having a good time at fantastic, fun, foody, or downright frivolous festivals! Here are just a few of the intriguing and innovative events - check out www.ireland.com for more.
Believe it or not – Ireland is the home of Dracula! Bram Stoker, the author of “Dracula” was an Irishman who was born on in 1847 in Clontarf, on the north side of Dublin. Some historians have suggested that Stoker did not receive the inspiration for his dark and twisted tale of Dracula from the brutal life of Vlad the Impaler, but rather developed his ideas from Irish folklore. Irish fables tell the story of Abhartach, a 5th century chieftain known for his bloodsucking habits. After they killed him he rose from the grave and demanded a bowl of blood from the wrists of his subjects to sustain his energy.
The Irish have embraced the author and his ghoulish creation and also Halloween – which is said to have originated in Ireland from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.
Bram Stoker Festival (28-31 October, 2016)
The festival celebrates the Dublin-man behind Dracula with films, talks, readings, and a scare or three. It takes place every year during Dublin Festival Season (1 September - 31 October), when the city hosts more festivals than any other time of the year.
Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival (27-31 October, 2016)
Towns and cities across Ireland celebrate Halloween, but it's Derry-Londonderry that really does it in style. The Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival is the largest Halloween celebration in Europe, attracting up to 25,000 enthusiasts from across the globe who flock to the city to take part in the festival each October.
The food and craft beer scene alone is a great reason to visit Ireland. It is blossoming right now with new microbreweries, gastro-pubs, craft distilleries and artisan eateries serving the freshest local ingredients. And what better experience than to sit by a turf fire in a traditional pub, where you’ll eat the freshest seafood and hear the Irish language, songs and stories. Plus there are many festivals celebrating Irish cuisine.
The Irish Craft Beer & Cider Festival (8-10 September, 2016)
Ireland's largest and best craft beer festival takes place in Dublin with over 50 Brewers featuring 300+ beers. Cidermakers and Distillers also form part of this festival.
Galway Oyster and Seafood Festival (23-25 September, 2016)
The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival is held on the very last weekend in September to celebrate Galway’s rich annual oyster harvest (in season from September – April). Deemed one of Europe’s longest-running food extravaganzas, the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival was launched in September 1954!
Over the next few months alone there are an incredible variety of exciting festivals.
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival (2 September - 9 October, 2016)
Matchmaking is one of Ireland's oldest traditions and, for the last couple of hundred years; a good deal of it has taken place in Lisdoonvarna during September and early October. The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is one of the world's biggest singles festivals and attracts up to 60,000 people every year. At 160 years old and 5 weeks long, it is one of Ireland's longest and most traditional festivals
Electric Picnic (2-4 September, 2016)
An annual music and arts circus that is big on imagination!
Wexford Festival Opera (26 October - 6 November, 2016)
Since the first ‘Festival of Music and the Arts’ took place in October 1951, Wexford Festival Opera has grown into one of the world’s leading opera festivals. Right from the beginning, the Festival made a name for itself by introducing audiences to unjustly neglected works. For 64 years the Festival has breathed new life into forgotten masterpieces, establishing a reputation for high-quality productions that, every year, bring thousands of opera-lovers flocking to Wexford from all over the world.
New Year’s Eve Festival Dublin (30 December 2016 - 1 January 2017)
A 3 day city wide festival celebrates the best of contemporary Irish talent in Arts, Music, Culture and Live Entertainment. NYF celebrates a multi-platform experience inspired by the diversity and complexity of Ireland’s contemporary culture. NYF showcases the evolution of Ireland's shining talent in music, dance, design, art, and spoken word.
Temple Bar TradFest (25-29 January, 2017)
A festival of mostly free events showcasing the entire spectrum of traditional and folk music in iconic locations around Dublin.
For choice, convenience, a seamless experience and great value – fly Aer Lingus to Ireland! Aer Lingus offers more connections from Canada to Ireland than any other airline with year round service from Toronto to Ireland. Service to Dublin is daily in the summer and there are 4 flights per week in winter with a convenient schedule of overnight flights to Ireland. In recognition of the consistent quality and excellent guest experience, Skytrax World Airline Awards has rated Aer Lingus "4-stars", making it the first and only Irish airline to receive such a prestigious rating.
Aer Lingus can take you beyond Dublin itself with connections from Toronto via Dublin to the following cities around Ireland - Kerry, Donegal and Shannon. Aer Lingus has more flights between Ireland and Great Britain than any other airline with over 150 flights a day. Plus there are seamless onward connections from Canada and the U.S.A. – taking you to over 80 destinations across Ireland, Great Britain, Continental Europe and the U.S.A
In economy class you have the choice of standard, choice or exit seats. There is FREE seat selection for standard seats on transatlantic flights. The superior Aer Lingus experience includes personal seatback screens for entertainment and complimentary headsets. There is a delicious complimentary meal or you can choose from a selection of tempting pre-order meal options. Treat yourself when you ‘dine up’ to a superior meal service by pre-ordering a gourmet meal to be served during your flight. Your taste buds will thank you as you savour the flavour of one of a premium three-course meal created by Irish chef Clodagh McKenna. These meals use only the best Irish ingredients, and represent fresh dining at its finest.
Whether you are travelling on business – or want to hit the ground running for your vacation with the most relaxing flight possible – Aer Lingus has a new business class with lie flat sleeper seats on its route to Dublin. Experience the luxury of flying transatlantic in Aer Lingus’ Business Class and get all this:
Aer Lingus Vacation Store offer vacation packages make it easy for guests to come over and experience the warm Irish welcome for themselves! Aer Lingus Vacation Store will help you with all your vacation needs. They can customize your vacation, they have some great packages and deals and they can help you with all different types of vacation. Whether you are looking for B&Bs, Escorted Tours, Self drive tours, Golf vacations, City breaks or more.
For information and pricing contact Aer Lingus Vacation Store at 800-495-1632 and you can also check out www.aerlingusvacationstore.com. Here are just a few of the wonderful vacation options available:
Ireland’s Ancient East has an engaging authenticity as you visit the local towns and villages. With this 6 or 8 night vacation you can indulge in the local produce in Kilkenny, discover the wealth of history in Waterford and relax in luxury at the 5-star Powerscourt Hotel.
What's Included: Round-trip economy class airfare to Dublin, 6 nights hotel, car rental for duration plus Tours & sightseeing
Discover the heart of Ireland's Ancient East- Kilkenny.
Tour the Waterford Treasures Viking Triangle and discover the city's rich history.
The 5-star Powerscourt Hotel is set in Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland.
Kilkenny Castle is the perfect place to bring a picnic lunch.
What's Included: Round-trip economy class airfare to Dublin, 6 nights hotel, car rental for duration
Visit Clare, Killarney, Cork and Limerick.
Take a day-trip to the Cliffs of Moher, a top natural attraction in Ireland.
Enjoy accommodations in some of the most beautiful areas in Ireland.
Shannon is a great hub for accessing the west coast. You'll be 20 minutes from Limerick.
Visit Bunratty Castle and the Burren.
This 6 or 7 night vacation will take you to the east and west coasts of Ireland with incredible rounds of golf along the way. Enjoy tee times at Lahinch, Druids Glen and Portmarnock.
What's Included: Round-trip economy class airfare to Dublin, manual full size car for duration, 6 nights hotel, 3 rounds of golf.
Discover the beautiful Irish greens from the west coast to the east coast.
The 4-star Old Ground Hotel in Ennis is an 18th century manor house. After 18-holes, you can relax at your lovely accommodations or venture out into the scenic west coast. Take a trip over to the Cliffs of Moher or the Burren National Park!
The 5-star Druids Glen Resort is perfect for golfers. You have two rounds of golf in the east of the country plus you are staying close enough to be able explore Dublin.
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