A friend and I are going to visit Ireland next year. We have no plans where to start or where to go but we will likely rent a car since I don't remember hearing anything about train travel like England has.
We don't want to visit when the are a lot of tourists. Besides us of course! We prefer traveling back roads, visiting with the people who live in the villages, eating the local food, seeing whatever is historically interesting. What is suggested as the best time of year to go.
I always think that may and september are lovely times to visit Ireland and if you don't have a car you will never get to those little villages. I think West Cork is my favorite part of Ireland. Have fun
I agree, before and after the main season is the best time. And you should definitely rent a car, it's easier to get to places. On my personal hitlist are places like the Aran Islands (the smaller ones are less touristy), Donegal, nearly all of the Westcoast really. The Connemara is just spectacular and so is the Burren.
yes - renting a car is the way to go. April, May, June, Sept., October, November. These are the months I have visited Ireland. April and May were my favorites. But really, if you're driving, you can always get to the wild remote countryside where tourist crowds don't wander. The west is my favorite area, and the one I am most familiar with, so ask me anything you want, I'd be happy to give more details.