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50 best self-catering stays in Ireland - here's a holiday home for every price point

Everybody wants a self-catering break these days, but finding one is another story. Our travel experts have done the searching to get you started...

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Elfin, Doolin, Co Clare

Elfin, Doolin, Co Clare

'Sienna' in Kenmare, by Unique Homestays

'Sienna' in Kenmare, by Unique Homestays

A self-catering eco-cabin at Ard Nahoo, Co Leitrim

A self-catering eco-cabin at Ard Nahoo, Co Leitrim

Inside 'The Hide', Co Donegal. Photo: Under The Thatch

Inside 'The Hide', Co Donegal. Photo: Under The Thatch

Galway Coast Cottages

Galway Coast Cottages

Inish Beg boathouse

Inish Beg boathouse

Old stable mews

Old stable mews

Photography by Ashley Morrison.

Fuchsia Lane, Co Tipperary

Fuchsia Lane, Co Tipperary

Milk Harbour, Co Sligo

Milk Harbour, Co Sligo

Inside Elfin, Co Clare

Inside Elfin, Co Clare

Evelyn McNamara's Nissen Hut, Co Waterford

Evelyn McNamara's Nissen Hut, Co Waterford

Cnoc Suain in Connemara

Cnoc Suain in Connemara

Cliff Cottage, Ardmore

Cliff Cottage, Ardmore

Clifford House, Co Wexford

Clifford House, Co Wexford

Inchiquin, Co Clare

Inchiquin, Co Clare

Inside the 'glampotel' at River Valley Holiday Park

Inside the 'glampotel' at River Valley Holiday Park

The island lodges at Waterford Castle

The island lodges at Waterford Castle

Captain Lysley's Retreat, Co Limerick

Captain Lysley's Retreat, Co Limerick

Mount Falcon's Woodlands Lodge, Co Mayo

Mount Falcon's Woodlands Lodge, Co Mayo

Ballydougan cottage

Ballydougan cottage

Stable Mews at Castle Leslie Estate.

Stable Mews at Castle Leslie Estate.

Photography by Ashley Morrison.

Merrion Mews, Dublin

Merrion Mews, Dublin

Ballyportry Castle. Photo: HiddenIreland.com

Ballyportry Castle. Photo: HiddenIreland.com

Killyhevlin's cabins

Killyhevlin's cabins

Elizabeth Fort, Cork

Elizabeth Fort, Cork

Malone Lodge, Belfast

Malone Lodge, Belfast

Coach House, Douglas, Cork

Coach House, Douglas, Cork

Corralea's Eco-Spa

Corralea's Eco-Spa

Ballyhoura Mountain Lodges

Ballyhoura Mountain Lodges

The Mews, Limerick

The Mews, Limerick

Horseshoe Cottage, Co Down

Horseshoe Cottage, Co Down

Owenmore Cottage, Ballynahinch

Owenmore Cottage, Ballynahinch

Dining al fresco at Parknasilla

Dining al fresco at Parknasilla

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Elfin, Doolin, Co Clare

If staycations were the story of summer, self-catering was the story of our staycations.

Even before lockdowns lifted, we were Googling Covid's hottest properties - self-contained houses and apartments where we could chill out, cook-in and control the comings and goings in our own space. Ireland's 5,000 or so holiday homes turned out to be the real 'travel bubbles' of 2020 - with business briskest for coastal properties and well-known hotels with houses.

There were gripes about prices (some justified, others not so much), but expect rates to drop as we head into autumn - with basic, three-bed houses costing from around €500 a week. Value isn't about the price tag alone, of course. If you want great locations, chic design, more space in which to sprawl and spoil-yourself features like standalone baths and picture windows, prepare to pay more.