A holiday guide this summer
By Geraldine Fitzgerald
Ok, so we’re always playing Russian roulette with the clouds.
Don’t let the threat of soggy weather stop you this summer - there are so many things to do and see on our deliciously verdant island.
Reopening post-Covid-19 has broadened the accommodation offerings with package deals available as the hospitality sector recovers.
Hotels have embraced sanitation protocol and maximised their outdoor services, compiling lists of local interests to keep guests entertained. Or of course there’s shopping now. Everywhere.
A getaway with the girls is fun at any age, and hotels with spas are a singularly good idea for a pamper break, from Clonakilty to Killarney to Mayo. You can get pummelled, filed and buffed, then hang out in your robes with glasses of Prosecco.
Balancing out our dodgy climate is Ireland’s jaw- dropping halo of beaches, where lush fields slope down to the sea in a lurid clash of colour - that's definitely one for the Instagam.
West Cork is an obvious choice and a bit of online scouting or word of mouth will uncover some quiet coves where you can slather on the factor 50 in peace.
Put lakes, forests and castles on the list for a novel day out too.
Wicklow is a nice change of pace. The lakes at Glendalough, Powerscourt House and Gardens are lovely. Wicklow’s National Park was the backdrop for the movie version of 'PS I Love you' and has a variety of hiking trails.
If you still like your partner after 18 months of lockdown and fancy a romantic break, a cruise down the River Shannon provides an ever-changing landscape. There’s also a host of quirky accommodation to be found throughout the country, from lakeside yurts in Athlone to posh treehouses in Donegal.
Camping has taken off in a big way since people discovered spending time with the family is quite good craic. There are many sites with facilities around the country.
We are one of the few countries that allows ‘wild’ camping in some places, like the Beara Peninsula, Glenregan in Offaly or Knockadav in Waterford.
Just make sure everything is waterproof, tidy up after yourself and don’t light any fires.
Ireland has a stunning historical landscape and there are loads of fascinating remnants of times past that are worth a visit. The Rock of Cashel is way better than you remember it from school tour, Cork Gaol is starkly spooky, Newgrange in Meath is a UNESCO World Heritage site and quite extraordinary.
The story of our people and past is darkly unique and infinitely more interesting for kids to see in real life than in the pages of their books.
Plotting a path through some of the forts and castles dotted around the country is an intriguing break to take - allow for overnights and eats between round towers.
People say they see God in the eye of a dolphin. You can spend ages trying to get a staring match offshore with whales, dolphins, seals and sea otters around our coast - book a sail off Ballycotton or anywhere along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Landlubbers might prefer the Birds of Prey Sanctuary next to Aillwee Caves in Clare, and of course the fields of furry fanged beasts at Fota are always good for a David Attenborough moment.
Ireland is gorgeous.
Turn off the screens, pack umbrellas next to the sun cream and head off on an adventure.