Summer is generally considered Ireland's peak season, and while the extra sunshine is pleasant, don't overlook the value of visiting this magical place in the off-season.

Because of the significantly cheaper airfares and less-crowded attractions, visiting Ireland in the autumn (or even the winter) is a no-brainer for budget-savvy travelers. Sure, it's colder and wetter, but that's why they invented sweaters and raincoats, right? Economical concerns aside, autumn is also one of the most beautiful times of year to explore Ireland.

Due to its wet, mild climate, Ireland tends to stay green year-round, but when autumn rolls around, splotches of warm hues make their way into those postcard-worthy vistas, like this image of the Great Sugarloaf mountain in County Wicklow (above).

Admittedly, Ireland's autumn foliage isn't as widespread as other destinations, such as in the northeastern United States, where almost no green leaves are left untouched. What sets the Irish leaf peeping experience apart from all others is the subtle smattering of vivid reds, oranges and golds, which pop against the seemingly eternal verdant landscape. Even after all the dead leaves finally fall in November, Ireland's scenery remains green throughout the winter (albeit less green than in the summer).

If these photos don't convince you that an off-season trip to Ireland is in order, then maybe it's time to get your eyes checked!

Irish woods and stream Mullinhassig Wood is between the towns of Aghavrin and Shanavagha in County Cork. (Photo: walshphotos/Shutterstock)

cliff side walking path The clifftop trail near Howth offers sweeping views of the sea. (Photo: liseykina/Shutterstock)

Irish landscape fall Even the fields of flowers turn yellow in autumn. (Photo: Gerardo Borbolla/Shutterstock)

Irish house Doesn't this cottage look like it's from a fairytale? (Photo: Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock)

Ireland college fall leaves Even Trinity College in Dublin celebrates autumn. (Photo: liseykina/Shutterstock)

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

Why you should visit Ireland in the fall
There's significantly cheaper airfares and less-crowded attractions, and that's not all!