IF you’re looking for a short break, touring holiday or thinking about where to go this summer, Ireland is a fantastic destination.
With up to eight ferry departures a day across the Irish Sea from the UK, there is plenty of choice when it comes to taking your car to Ireland.
As well as cruise ferries Ulysses, Isle of Inishmore and the ferry Epsilon, Irish Ferries operates the only high-speed vessel on the Irish Sea, the Dublin Swift, which zips between Holyhead and Dublin in under two hours.
From gastronomy to gardens
Food and drink is an obvious theme in Ireland, which has so much to offer year-round.
Think of seafood from the wild Atlantic, rich butter and artisan cheeses, grass-fed beef and seasonal lamb. Irish ale, stout and whiskey are all celebrated in turn.
Two of the most popular foodie events worth planning your trip around are the Galway Oyster Festival and Savour Kilkenny.
Culture vultures can follow the W.B Yeats trail in Sligo on the 130th anniversary of his most famous poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree, or revisit Dublin in the steps of James Joyce.
Summer sees a celebration of Irish language and music at festivals across the Gaeltacht, and autumn brings the Cork Jazz Festival.
Gardeners, meanwhile, will delight in the sub-tropical paradise of Bantry Bay, stately Powerscourt and Kildare’s serene Japanese Gardens, while nature-lovers will also want to discover ‘wild’ Ireland from the blanket bogs of the west to the extraordinary formations of the Burren.
Great value when you book ferry and accommodation together
A holiday with Irish Ferries won’t break the bank. There are special prices when you book a self-drive package that combines ferry crossings with hotels or cottages.
Enjoy a heartfelt Céad Míle Fáilte
When it comes to hotels, there’s plenty of choice in Dublin such as the popular Mespil, Sandymount and Bonnington hotels, as well as the Croke Park Hotel just across the road from the stadium.
In the west, the Galway Bay Hotel is a great stop along the Wild Atlantic Way. Other coastal hotels include the Garryvoe and Macdonald Kinsale hotels in Co. Cork, while the Fitzpatrick Castle overlooking Dublin Bay makes for a great ‘last night’ before catching the ferry home.
Ask Irish Ferries Holidays which hotels have ‘free night’ offers and stay for three or four nights. Many hotels also let kids under 12 stay free when they share their parents’ room.
Take a trip with tradition
If you’re after something more traditional, there are plenty of smart holiday homes for idyllic summer stays or a short break.
Did you know cottages are available for five night stays outside peak season?
Children travel and stay free and at certain times of the year you can even enjoy two weeks at your cottage for the price of one.
There’s even better news if you book a cottage holiday before 26 March. Irish Ferries will reduce the price of the package by 10% - even on peak summer holidays!
For more information about holidays in Ireland, visit www.irishferries.com/cottages or call 08717 300 400
All holiday prices or fares quoted are subject to availability at the time of booking. Child age on ferry is under 16 years. Club Class facilities carry a supplement.
EU Pet Passport rules apply to dogs and other animals travelling to Ireland. Terms and Conditions apply.