When considering where to buy your Irish holiday home, it’s important to factor in what you dream of using it for. Will you use it as a base for exploring the trails of the Wild Atlantic Way or the Glendalough Loop? Are you looking to spend long weekends by the Irish coast? Do you want to getaway to immerse yourself in Ireland’s live music scene? Or, must you be on the doorstep of the best cycling routes in Ireland?
Embarking on your holiday home journey can be a little daunting when you have a whole, exciting country to consider. To set you off in the right direction, today we’re running through ten of the best places to buy an Irish holiday home.
Rosslare Strand offers everything you need from a seaside town
1 – Rosslare Strand, County Wexford
If proximity to the UK is top of your must-haves – you can’t go wrong with Rosslare – or, ‘the sunny south-east’ as the Irish call it. Rosslare Strand offers everything you need from a seaside town. It is located on a sandy Blue Flag beach, perfect for swimming and sunbathing with your family. There are multiple quality golf courses nearby. Furthermore, there are many a restaurant and pub to while away the evenings of your getaway. This is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist hotspots. Therefore, if you’re hoping to make a little holiday rentals cash, it’s an ideal choice.
Annual hours of sunshine: 1570. That’s 300 more sunshine hours than the average place in Ireland!
Holiday home prices start from €125,000 (£110,000).
Detached houses from €185,000 (£163,000).
Getting here: Catch a ferry from Fishguard in Wales and you’ll be in Rosslare Harbour in three hours and 15 minutes.
2 – Westport, County Mayo
If you want your Irish holiday home destination to be spick and span, look no further than Westport – named Ireland’s Tidiest Town multiple times! Westport is one of Ireland’s few planned towns, designed in the mid-18th century specifically for the gentry. Architecture lovers will enjoy getting to know the town’s quayside, with its beautiful Georgian buildings. There are 50 miles of beach on Westport’s doorstep, so whether you want to sunbathe, stroll or go horseback riding, being at the beach can become part of your every day. Old Head is a popular seaside spot just 20 minutes away, excellent for little ones who enjoy rummaging around a rock pool. Cyclists will delight at being so close to the Great Western Greenway – a 42km cycling trail that takes in views of the Atlantic from the spectacular Currane Peninsula.
Annual hours of sunshine: 1059.
Holiday home prices: €300,000 (£264,000) for a two-bed cottage overlooking an inlet of Clew Bay.
Detached houses from €239,000 (£210,350)
Getting here: Westport is a 48-minute drive from Ireland West Airport.
3 – Dingle, County Kerry
For a ‘quaint but cosmopolitan’ destination (Lonely Planet) for your Irish holiday home Dingle might float your boat. The town is packed full of galleries and artisan shops ideal for relaxed mooching on sunny afternoons. If it’s live music and the craic luring you to Ireland, Dingle is an excellent spot. Not only does it host annual music festival, Dingle Tradfest, but there are also an impressive 50 pubs in town.
The town is located on the 30-mile Dingle Peninsula, so the surrounds are ripe for exploration on foot, or on two or four wheels. On sunnier days, there’s lots of beaches and coves to discover, perfect for a dip or a spot of snorkelling. Dingle Harbour is where much of the magic happens. In particular, Fungie the town’s resident bottlenose dolphin. Additionally, you can snap up bargain catches of the day from local fisherman to grill up on the BBQ for the whole family.
Annual hours of sunshine: 1278 hours of sunshine per year.
Holiday home prices: You can find up an apartment from around €110,000 (£96,800).
Detached houses from €250,000 (£220,000).
Getting here: Kerry Airport is an hour’s drive away.
Cong is located on its own island where several rivers and streams meet
4 – Cong, County Mayo
Cong is a lovely village located on the border between County Mayo and County Galway. Rather uniquely, Cong is located on its own island where several rivers and streams meet. Just perfect if you love nothing more than being on the water! Nearby, you can enjoy the serenity of Lough Mask and Lough Carrib and a host of hiking trails of all levels. Cong Abbey and Ashford Castle are wonderful attractions to explore time and again. Literary lovers will also enjoy walking in the footsteps of Sir William Wilde – the famous Irish playwright, and father of Oscar. Additionally, nearby you’ll find Croagh Patrick – a mountain named after Ireland’s infamous patron saint.
Annual hours of sunshine: 1059.
Holiday home prices: If you wish to build your own Irish holiday home a four-acre plot of land will set you back €50,000 (£44,000). Or, snap up a bungalow for €130,000 (£114,380).
Detached houses from €290,000 (£255,200).
Getting here: Ireland West Airport is an hour away, or you can fly to Shannon and be there in two hours.
5 – Kenmare, County Kerry
Sports fanatics and lovers of the great outdoors will delight in Kenmare’s excellent location at the foothills of the Kerry Mountains. Furthermore, you’ll also be located right where the Iveragh and Beara Peninsula’s meet the mainland. It couldn’t get more scenic! While visiting your Irish holiday home, you’ll be able to explore the Wild Atlantic Way, the Beara Way and the Kerry Way on foot or by bike. There are plenty of scenic drives to enjoy if walking sounds too much like hard work.
Annual hours of sunshine: 1278.
Holiday home prices start from around €125,000 (£110,000) for a three-bedroom apartment.
Detached houses from €295,000 (£260,000).
Getting here: Kerry Airport is a 50-minute car ride away.
6 – Rosses Point, County Sligo
Rosses Point is named after the scenic peninsula on which it sits. The village is just a ten-minute drive into Sligo Town, known for its live music and arts scene. Sligo is something of a mecca for Irish musicians, and those from further afield. Therefore, if music is at the heart of your Irish holiday home purchase, there’s really no better place. In addition, Sligo Yacht Club and County Sligo Golf Course are on your doorstep if you’re looking to take up, or improve, a hobby. You could also try your hand at deep sea fishing or angling. Nearby Strandhill is one of Ireland’s most essential surf breaks and is also popular with kite surfers and wind surfers. If you’re buying your holiday home as a writers or artists retreat, you’ll be in good company – William Butler Yeats (and his artist brother, Jack) were years ahead of you!
Holiday home prices: You can buy a 0.75-acre plot of elevated land for €75,000 (£66,000) or a 7.5-acre plot on the water for £285,550.
Detached houses are available from €190,000 (£167,000).
Getting here: Ireland West Airport is one hour away.
Wherever you choose to buy, getting a good deal on your Irish home is often a question of good planning and research. Read our guide: How to Negotiate Abroad to give yourself a head start.
7 – Kinsale, West Cork
Pop yourself right on the doorstep of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and you’ll never be short of a perfect hike. West Cork has been attracting expats for decades. It boasts an artsy community characterised by galleries, restaurants, pubs and shops. The town has a fascinating maritime heritage and much of the action focuses around the Harbour. There are breweries and 17th century castles to explore. Alternatively, you could try your hand at a craft class taken by one of the local artisans or enjoy a historic tour of the town. Kinsale hosts regular events – giving you the perfect excuse for a visit to your Irish holiday home all times of year. These range from foody events such as the All Ireland Chowder Cook Off and the Taste the Wild Atlantic Way Street Food Festival (both in April), but also the Regatta, Kinsale Literary Weekend and Kinsale Fringe Jazz Festival.
Annual hours of sunshine: 1278.
Holiday home prices: Apartments start from €200,000 (£176,125).
Detached houses from €375,000 (£330,250).
Getting here: Cork Airport is 13 miles from Kinsale. The journey will take 20 minutes.
8 – Leighlinbridge, County Carlow
Step back in time with an Irish holiday home in Leighlinbridge, located on the banks of the River Barrow. This lovely village is known for its winding streets and ancient ruins. There is a 14th century bridge still in perfect working order, and the Leighlinbridge Castle ruins date back to Norman times. The town has won accolades for its floral arrangements and for being generally beautiful. Enjoy leisurely strolls around the Delta Sensory Gardens, Milford Mills or tackle the town’s heritage trail. This takes in Leighlinbridge’s sculpture garden, which honours the town’s three most famous residents, including physicist John Tyndall – the chap who finally explained why the sky is blue.
Annual hours of sunshine: 1314 hours of sunshine.
Holiday home prices: €200,000 (£176,000).
Detached houses from €100,000 (£88,000).
Getting here: Leighlinbridge is an hour and 15-minute drive from Dublin Airport, or just under an hour from Waterford Airport.
If you are ready to buy in Ireland, you’ll have a few financial matters to sort out. For advice on getting the best currency deal download the Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency.
9 – Portmagee, County Kerry
Portmagee, located on the Iveragh Peninsula, is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s prettiest locales. Here you’ll find the Ireland straight from the guide books, namely buildings all colours of the rainbow and cobbled streets decorated with hanging baskets aplenty. You’ll have the Ring of Kerry and all its natural delights right on your doorstep. Join the tourists and enjoy a boat ride out to Skellig Michael. This craggy island once housed a 16th century monastic settlement but has experienced a surge in interest recently since it was featured in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Portmagee is known for its gourmet fare and for being nice and lively. Live music trickles out of doorways no matter the time of year.
Annual hours of sunshine: 1278 hours.
Holiday home prices: Properties with stunning views a short walk from town start from €170,000 (£149,600)
Detached houses from €138,000 (£121,446).
Getting here: Portmagee is 90 minutes from Kerry Airport and 2.5 hours from Cork Airport.
10 – Gweedore, County Donegal
This is the largest town in Ireland that still speaks Gaelic, and as a result, it epitomises Irish culture. While visiting, you can revel in ancient Irish traditions, music and theatre lost elsewhere in the country. Gweedore is located on the slopes of Mount Errigal and along the Atlantic coastline making it particularly picturesque. Explore countless tiny coves and secluded bays. Lap up the views of mountains and the waves, out towards Tory and Gola Islands. Glenveagh National Park and Castle is also right next door. And, this is the birthplace of Enya, an Irish institution!
Annual hours of sunshine: 1278 hours of sunshine.
Holiday home prices: You can find properties with ocean views starting from around €65,000 (£57,160).
Detached houses from €63,000 (£55,400)
Getting here: There are daily flights from Heathrow and Glasgow all year round to Donegal Airport, which is a 17-minute drive from the town.
Walsheslough, Rosslare, Co. Wexford, Ireland
Westport, County Mayo
Dingle, County Kerry
Cong, County Mayo
Kenmare, County Kerry
Rosses Point, County Sligo
Kinsale, West Cork
Leighlinbridge, County Carlow
Portmagee, County Kerry
Gweedore, County Donegal
Top 10 holiday home locations in Ireland