The fabled Emerald Isle is a land steeped in myth and legend. It rises from the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean with rock-ribbed shorelines that come washed with waves. The towns enchant with foot-stomping Gaelic taverns and ice-cream-coloured fishing homes. Meanwhile, the backcountry is cut by grykes and peppered with haunting relics of pre-historic peoples. Use this guide to pinpoint cottages in Ireland that are perfect for you.

Go into the Irish mountains

There's a real getaway waiting to be had in the Irish backcountry. Away from the bucolic farms and bustling villages, you find soaring peaks of shale and stone. They hide mysterious historic sites and miles of hiking trails, not to mention cottages in Ireland for those really looking to escape civilisation.

A cottage in handsome Killarney

Although it's possible you'll be caught up with the crumbly 15th-century Ross Castle and adventure days on the Killarney Lakes, bagging a cottage here will mean staying just a whisker away from Ireland's highest summits. They crash to the clouds with Macgillycuddy's Reeks, soaring to over 1,038 meters at Carrauntoohil.

Irish cottages in County Tipperary

For complete seclusion, the region surrounding County Tipperary's largest town, Clonmel, could be spot on. There are stone-faced cottages here that overlook the steep-sided ridges of the Comeragh Mountains. They are a fine choice if you like to have the hiking trails all to yourself.

Cottages in Dublin area near the Wicklow Mountains

It definitely won't be hard to pinpoint a stay in the shadow of the Wicklow Mountains – you have the pick of most cottages in Dublin, because the Irish capital is just a little to the north. Now a designated national park, these ranges host the idyllic Powerscourt Waterfall and the historical Glendalough Monastic Site that dates back to the 6th century.

Choose to be close to Ireland's cities

Heading to stay in a cottage in Ireland doesn't limit you to the backcountry. Even the cities of the Emerald Isle come with cobbled lanes and quaint styles. You should find it easy to discover a cosy Gaelic bolthole near their rollicking pubs and castles.

Choose cottages in Dublin

There's a chance that your Irish trip could take a turn for the Guinness-soaked, what with a range of cottages in Dublin on the menu. They might not have the same rustic character as other stays across the island, but they do put you close to the taverns of Temple Bar and the creative James Joyce Centre.

Find cottages in Ireland's Cork

The cottages of Cork tend to pepper the green clifftops just south of Ireland's second city. That means you can have one foot firmly on the sands of Barleycove and another between the ancient Viking settlements that still cling to the River Lee.

Get festive in Galway

The enticing town of Galway might be a muse to many lyric writers but it's also a lively hub of Irish festivals and fairs. The Galway Arts Festival takes over in July, seeing the cobbled streets and theatres fill with entertainers and dance troupes. Then comes the September Oyster Festival, which is one for the foodies.

Coastal holiday cottages in Ireland

Being an island, Ireland certainly isn't short of destinations by the sea. Whether you opt for the rugged and wild Atlantic shores in the west or the puffin-inhabited coastline in the east, there's shore to be an Irish cottage that suits.

West Coast cottages in Ireland

The Irish West Coast is hard to resist. Urban hubs like Westport ooze Georgian elegance, while the salt-washed Aran Islands are plugs of Gaelic culture and language. The whole length of the shore is connected by the Wild Atlantic Way, which should make it easy to hop from cottage to cottage.

County Kerry has plenty of Irish cottages

County Kerry is an obvious choice for lovers of the sea. The whole region is splintered by 3 headlands. The most famous of the lot is the Iveragh Peninsula, which hosts the bucket-list-busting Ring of Kerry driving route. Hit the tarmac there and you'll be rewarded with panoramas of crumpled coastal mountains and pine-spotted bays.

Choose Wexford for sandy beaches

Cottages in Ireland are plentiful in the county town of Wexford. They're a gateway to the heartlands of the east coast, which come fringed with Curracloe Strand Beach – a long arc of golden sand where you can find that happy routine of sunbathing, strolling and sandcastle building come summer.