There's a truly special atmosphere about Irish cottages. Found nestled in deep valleys surrounded by Neolithic heritage sites, laced with tales of Gaelic fairies, and intertwined with the legends of Viking invaders, they are undeniably enchanting escapes. Their unique setting is matched only by their unique style, which channels touches of age-old design and mixes it with comfy modern amenities. This guide can help you find the perfect home away from home on the stunning Emerald Isle.

Discover all types of cottages in Ireland

Ireland's cottages are just like Ireland itself – varied. As the country rolls from the green hills of the south to the rugged headlands of the north, from the bald plains of Wicklow to the salty beaches of Cork, so the historic abodes go from farm conversions surrounded by sheep herds to deluxe country manors with big yards and steaming hot tubs.

Find luxury cottages in Ireland

Some Irish cottages really stand out from the crowd. Striking a unique balance between the old and the new, they often fuse a time-stood-still feeling with interiors replete with plush sofas and contemporary kitchens. There are also places with warming log fires and even the occasional swimming pool for added R&R.

A dog-friendly trip to the Emerald Isle

If you're determined to ship the pooch over the Atlantic Ocean to be your compadre as you explore the ancient hills and rivers of Ireland, it's certainly not vacation rentals that will stand in your way. There are plenty of Irish cottages, both big and small, that will welcome four-legged friends. Just be ready to pay a nominal fee on top of the normal rate, usually calculated per pet, per stay.

Your Irish cottage with a hot tub

One type of Irish cottage has just what's needed after a long day of hiking the Wicklow Mountains and hanging upside down to kiss the lucky Blarney Stone – a hot tub. It's normal to find these bubbling pools outside, and sometimes even with sweeping views over the rolling green hills and primeval landscapes of the Emerald Isle.

Get great deals on Irish cottages for rent

Because you're going to need to fork out a little extra for flights to take you across the wide Atlantic Ocean before you even get close to cottages in Ireland, it can always help to know the best ways to reduce the cost of your Gaelic home. Some top hints are below.

Book an Irish cottage for the late winter

There's never a season when Ireland doesn't look amazing. That's a fact worth bearing in mind when the snows douse MacGillycuddy's Reeks and the Atlantic waves start roaring against the west coast, because winter has its own draws, not to mention rental rates that are usually considerably less than in the summertime. Just be sure to avoid dates around Christmas and New Year.

Go for somewhere more off-radar

Ireland's bucket-list locations are well known. The magical runs of the Ring of Kerry, the taverns of foot-stomping Dublin, the artsy hubs of Galway – all these are uber-popular spots to seek out Irish cottages. They aren't necessarily the cheapest, though. That means you could save some cents by looking to Sligo for your beaches, Cork for your culture, and County Donegal for your mountain escapes.

Secure your stay in an Irish cottage nice and early

Bargains in Irish cottages will almost always sell out fast. It turns out that this myth-writhed land of fairies and crumbled castles is a sought-after vacation destination. That means you can give yourself a higher chance of getting somewhere for cheap if you go in search of homes nice and early, before other travelers have snagged the top deals.

Some great places to find your Irish cottages

Get ready to be enraptured by the eye-watering peaks and wave-battered coastlines of Ireland. From north to south, there are landscapes here fit for any fairy tale. And then come the towns, which culminate with rollicking Dublin and meet ancient harbors in Galway.

The Ring of Kerry for amazing coastal cottages in Ireland

As the coast of south-west Ireland cascades down from the serrated tops of MacGillycuddy's Reeks it gives way to one of the most breathtaking stretches of shore in Europe. Cue the Ring of Kerry – a winding driving route that wiggles through enchanting villages like Waterville and Glenbeigh. Whenever it hits the coast, there are usually visions of needle-like rock spires jutting from the Atlantic, or lonely islets topped with mythical medieval monk homes.

A coastal cottage near salt-washed Galway

A cottage in Galway is a ticket to the self-proclaimed cultural hub of Ireland. This is where you can shop for traditional Claddagh Rings and tread the ruined remains of castles once inhabited by the powerful de Burgh family. Oyster-tasting festivals and local artisan markets that brim with Gaelic crafts are also part of the mix.

Your Irish cottage near Dublin

Venture a little away from the Georgian row houses and buzzing banks of the River Liffey and you're sure to find a whole host of Irish cottages that are within reach of the vibrant capital. They are great for combining scenic hikes along the Wicklow Way with rowdy nights of rugby and Guinness drinking in the traditional taverns of the Temple Bar part of town.