Autumn is officially upon us, the annual leaf-peeping pilgrimages have begun, coffee is now pumpkin flavored, and grocery store bins have been overwhelmed with strangely-shaped squash. As festive and sentimental as any of your favorite fall activities may be, why not switch it up this year, and travel to Ireland for the vibrant fall festival circuit?
Ireland has been taking great strides to bolster their tourism interest, from the official opening of the Wild Atlantic Way last year, to the increasingly popular annual Dublin Marathon (which took place today), and these efforts seem to be working. The country has seen a drastic increase in tourist traffic this year. But it doesn't end there - Ireland's fall festival circuit is in full swing, and this year they have knocked it out of the park with a wide variety of events, festivals, and concerts happening in the country throughout the entire season. Not sure where to start? No problem. Here we highlight the major fall festivals in Ireland, so you can plan the perfect vacation to the Emerald Isle.
Guinness Cork Jazz Festival (Oct 23 - Oct 27)
Visitors to Cork, Ireland, should definitely not miss the jazz festival this year. The lineup for the Guinness-sponsored Jazz fest is stacked with legendary talent, including Elvis Costello, and Ginger Baker, among the many other incredible groups performing during the 4-day festival. This festival also extends beyond the stage with city-wide open-mic performances, jam sessions, and master classes taught by famous jazz musicians. Visitors can also follow the "jazz-trail" through many of Cork's classic pubs and bars, for intimate performances from their favorite acts, after each festival day comes to end.
Wexford Festival Opera (Oct 22 - Nov 2)
Fans of melodic story-telling and tragedy ought not to miss the Wexford Festival Opera, celebrating its 63rd year with an all-star opera lineup, featuring, Antoine Mariotte, Antonio Cagnoni, and the Pulitzer prize-winning Kevin Puts. Visitors can attend small lunchtime recitals, laid-back afternoon concerts, and a number of high-profile opera performances around the city of Wexford, Ireland.
Light Moves - International Festival of ScreenDance (Nov 6 - Nov 9)
Travelers visiting Limerick, Ireland, are in for a treat this November, as Light Moves - a festival celebrating dance film-making - makes its debut in "the city of culture." Located in downtown Limerick, the Dance Limerick Space will be transformed into a surround-sound equipped mega-cinema, hosting over 30 films, guest speakers from around the world, and a number of dance related workshops and master-classes.
Whatever your interests may be, a fall trip to Ireland should be on your "To-Do" list. Between the slow-season savings, and Auto Europe's incredible deals on hotels, airfare, and car rentals in Ireland, you can make it to all of these fabulous festivals and more, for a one-of-a-kind autumn vacation.