Many tourists regard Ireland as one of their favorite destinations and it is not hard to see why the reach that conclusion, with beautiful natural scenery and a friendly welcome from the locals wherever you go in the country.
If that is not enough of a reason to search for vacations to Ireland and plan your next trip, there is also a stack of festivals, horse racing meetings and plenty of other activities going on throughout the year, so you will be able to join in the fun when you visit the Emerald Isle.
Go Horse Racing
The Irish love their sport and horse racing is a passion and a way of life for so many people in the country.
This enthusiasm and strong equine connection means that many of the race meetings are well attended and create a great atmosphere, which makes for a great day out even if you don’t know much about horse racing.
You can check the goracing.ie fixture calendar to look for a meeting that you might want to go to while you are enjoying a holiday in Ireland and there are some famous racing festivals to look out for that are hugely popular and just have to be experienced if you get the chance.
The Galway Summer Festival is seven days of top class racing at the end of July and if you are looking for a colloquial track that sums up Ireland, the Bellewstown Summer 3-day festival meeting at the beginning of July is something you will definitely remember from your trip for years to come.
Check out the calendar and try to catch a sport that is the lifeblood of many communities in Ireland.
Cat Laughs Comedy Festival
If you are looking for some guaranteed laughs, the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival would be a good one to attend.
Running from the 28th May, this 5-day festival has become a firm fixture in the calendar since 1994 and takes place on the June bank holiday weekend. It enjoys international acclaim as a venue for showcasing exciting new talent entering the world of comedy as well as featured established stars, providing the 30, 000 visitors with five days of fun and no shortage of laughter.
Cork Jazz Festival
The jazz festival has become one of Ireland’s flagship arts and cultural events and it enjoys a reputation as one of the best jazz festivals anywhere in Europe.
The list of acts who have appeared previously at the Cork Jazz Festival reads like hall of fame for jazz stars and the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock and Dizzy Gillespie have all graced the stage at this festival.
There are over 90 different venues as part of this festival, so if you are in Ireland in late October, head over to the picturesque southern capital of Cork and prepare for some foot-tapping fun.
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival
This unique festival which runs for the entire month of September sums up everything about the Irish and their love of life, as you can expect dancing, music, love, racing and basically a good time in every way possible.
The Matchmaking Festival attracts big crowds and started out as a matchmaking tradition where unattached farmers came to Lisdoonvarna at the end of the harvest, in search of love and a wife to share their life with.
The festival is definitely not all about looking for a spouse, although it is an event that attracts singles, but even if you are not looking for love, you can soak up the truly unique atmosphere and enjoy the singing and dancing that goes on into the night.
Whichever festival you decide to go to when you visit Ireland, do remember that this is a country where the weather seems to have its own rules.
You should prepare for all eventualities and bring sunscreen and rain gear. Wellies are a much-used item of clothing in case you are standing in mud and a backpack is always a good idea so that you have everything you might need for the day out without having to leave your chosen spot.
Festivals and having a good time go together just nicely in Ireland, and even if the weather might be a bit unpredictable, that is actually part of the fun of it and probably why so many Irish people offer you a warm and carefree invitation to share a bit of their culture with them when you pay a visit to the Emerald Isle that is Ireland.
Lisa Rodwell is a travel consultant. She loves to write about destinations around the globe. Her articles can be found on many travel and tourism websites.