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You are here: Croan Cottage Blog » Planning a self catering vacation in Ireland

Planning a self catering vacation in Ireland

What self catering means

A self catering holiday in Ireland allows you the freedom to choose the pace, comfort and convenience of home on your holiday. At Croan, we can offer you private, detached holiday homes which sleep 4 or 6, or a combination of both if you’d like to bring a large party. You can come and go as you please, get up as early or late as you like, stay up as early or late as you like, and arrange your meals at times to suit you. You can even bring your pets!

Self catering is the term most often used to describe self-contained holiday accommodation which has facilities for guests to prepare their own meals. Self catering cottages are more spacious than Hotel or “B and B” accommodation and provide space for sitting and living as well as a kitchen, in addition to bedrooms and bathroom(s).

Self-catering in Ireland differs from serviced accommodation (hotels, guest houses, inns, bed & breakfasts etc) by offering a self-contained ‘home from home’. You have exclusive access to the accommodation (with your own front door).

In the summer is it usual to rent self-catering accommodation by the week (seven nights) from Saturday to Saturday. Our cottages can be hired for short breaks during the rest of the year.

Why choose self-catering accommodation in Ireland?

Self catering holidays offer freedom and fantastic value for money! It is also the ideal way to get to know Ireland at your own pace – to discover its natural beauty, meet friendly Irish people and generally feel ‘at home’ whilst enjoying independence and the ability to come and go as you please.

Self-catering works well for families, as you don’t have to fit in with restaurant meal times or worry about disturbing other guests. It is also ideal for couples, who want to be left alone to enjoy their holiday together. In fact, self-catering suits just about everybody!

What facilities and equipment will we find in our property?

All of our holiday cottages have the following:

  • Bedlinen and towels
  • open fire,
  • cooker with oven and grill,
  • refrigerator/freezer,
  • a selection of cutlery,
  • china and cooking utensils,
  • washer/dryer,
  • dishwasher,
  • microwave oven,
  • colour satellite TV,
  • DVD/CD player
  • WIFI broadband access
  • iron,
  • hair dryer
  • basic drying facilities
  • private patio with furniture
  • BBQ
  • Use of large lawns and gardens

By prior arrangement, we can provide:

  • Infant Cots and Cot linen,
  • High Chairs,
  • Stair Gate
  • prepared meals delivered to your cottage

What is not provided in self catering accommodation?

Your Self catering cottage accommodation at Croan does not provide:

  • ‘room service’.
  • daily maid service.
  • concierge or staffed reception.
  • phone access.
  • bar or restaurant facilities.
  • mini-bar.
  • transportation or courtesy cars.
  • toiletries.

What you need to bring to your self catering cottage:

As the name suggests, Self Catering accommodation requires you to supply all of the supplies which you will consume or use during your stay. These include toiletries, food, drink, sanitary supplies, etc.

When to vacation in Ireland

Croan Cottages are open all year, but there are some factors to take on board when planning your self catering holiday:


Though broadly classed as ‘temperate’ with mild Winters and mild Summers, the Irish weather is notoriously changeable. The epithet ‘land of four seasons in a day’ holds true so plan to bring waterproofs and a warm sweater, even when travelling in the Summer months. Temperatures average 35°-45°F in winter and 65°-75°F in summer. May and June are the sunniest months with an average of over 7 hours of sunshine per day.

Public Holidays in Ireland

  • New Year’s Day (January 1st)
  • St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th)
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • First Monday in May
  • First Monday in June
  • First Monday in August
  • Last Monday in October
  • Christmas Day (December 25th)
  • St. Stephen’s Day (December 26th)

Public (or Bank) Holiday weekends are a very popular time for visitors to book. These periods usually fill up quickly and are charged at high season rates. If your travelling dates are flexible, avoiding Public Holiday weekends and the School holiday periods (July and August, Christmas and Easter) can keep the cost of your trip down.

Currency in Ireland

The currency you will use on your vacation in Ireland is the Euro.


This is an important one to consider, especially if you are travelling from the United States. In Ireland the electricity supply is 220 volts at 60Hz and connection is via a three pin plug.

Simple adapters which just change the shape of your plug may not be sufficient to let you use an American appliance. You will need an adapter which also steps down the voltage from the supply to 110V.

Most laptop and mobile phone chargers can handle 110V or 220V without a voltage adapter.

Eating and Drinking

At Croan Cottages, you’re free to prepare as many of your meals as you’d like, when you like. For those who’d like a little help with the cooking, we can deliver meals ready to heat at your convenience, or ready to serve at a time that suits you. Please see our Cuisine page for further details.

Eating out in Ireland is comparatively expensive, though many restaurants offer ‘early bird’ menus at a reduced rate prior to 7 pm Monday-Thursday. Tipping is expected in return for good service, rather than as mandatory.

Many pubs also offer good quality and value food. Be aware that the legal limit for driving is 50mg alcohol and random breath testing by police is permitted.

Driving in Ireland

Croan Cottages are centrally located for visiting many of Ireland’s top visitor attractions.

The Irish road network has improved greatly in the last 5 years, particularly for travel between the major urban centres. Rural Irish roads remain narrow, winding and often poorly signposted. Be sure to bring a good map/sat nav. Here, we drive on the left and both speed limits and distance signs are listed in km/hr.

Public transport

Though we recommend bringing or hiring a car, there are some public transport options available for guests at Croan Cottages. For Local/National bus services, see www.buseireann.ie, or jjkavanagh.ie (closest pickup/drop off point is Ballyhale). For rail services, see www.irishrail.ie (closest station is Thomastown).

Taking a Self Catering Vacation with Pets

Your pets are welcome at Croan Cottages. After all, they’re part of the family too! We do ask that they’re kept on a lead when outside (as we keep free range chickens and peacocks). Pets are allowed indoors, but are not to be left unattended. We can provide space for your pets to run off the lead and can recommend trails and parks for exercise.