Ireland: Land of adventure


In association with: Tourism Ireland

The island of Ireland’s scenic landscapes make it an idyllic destination for adventurers of all ages and abilities

From dramatic coastlines to rolling hills and green valleys ribboned with waterways, the island of Ireland offers a dizzying selection of soft adventures. Walking, hiking, climbing, cycling and family-friendly activities such as bushcraft provide wonderful opportunities to interact with the landscapes.

And across its rivers, streams and oceans, boating, kayaking and swimming will keep watersports fans happy. Northern Ireland’s rugged vistas offer unforgettable outdoor activities, with sights and experiences that will stay with your clients forever.

Beyond the world-famous and Unesco-listed Giant’s Causeway, there’s much more to discover along the dramatic Causeway Coast. Stroll the Causeway Coast Way from the serene White Park Bay, enjoy an exhilarating walk along the Gobbins Cliff Path and discover all manner of surprising wildlife in the dunes of Portstewart Strand.

Inland, Derry~Londonderry’s location on the mouth of the River Foyle affords unexpected sights and adventures, such as kayak tours of the river and its nearby estuaries. And a rolling landscape stretching right up to the sea at the Glens of Antrim makes the region perfect for hiking.


Natural highs

County Fermanagh in the southwest of Northern Ireland is dotted with lakes and rivers, with ancient trails offering far-reaching views. It’s a pace that can be enjoyed even more on the water, perhaps on an Erne Water Taxi tour, to explore the picturesque Lough Erne. And young explorers will love discovering the art of bushcraft in County Down’s Finnebrogue Woods, or taking out a kayak to explore Strangford Lough.

Not to be outdone and with its own impressive coast, the Wild Atlantic Way takes in some of Ireland’s most striking scenery. In County Donegal, visitors can even walk alpacas along its scenic routes with Wild Alpaca Way. Animal lovers can also see bears, wolves and more at the Wild Ireland animal sanctuary. Visitors to its mountains, beaches and cliffs can climb the peaks of the island of Ireland’s highest range, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, and walk the Burren Way.

Rolling countryside and chocolate-box villages are typical of a region studded with bucolic scenes

The Dingle Peninsula and nearby Kerry Way are two other popular trails, while the country’s highest peak, the Carrauntoohil, is a day-long challenge for all‑comers. The cycling equivalent, the 106 miles of the Ring of Kerry, is deservedly the most-talked‑about biking route in the island.

For clients less keen on such exertions, the picturesque coastal towns and villages between Cahersiveen and Killarney are a winner, as are the landscapes and coastline of Connemara, Galway and Mayo. Seasoned walkers should try the Lough Derg Way in the Hidden Heartlands, where ancient, quaint towns and beautiful lake viewpoints dot the 40-mile route from Limerick.

For some of the best views, step out along a section of the 310-mile Beara-Breifne Way, where rolling countryside and chocolate-box villages are typical of a region studded with bucolic scenes. And those who like to cover ground more quickly can explore on two wheels along the Royal Canal Greenway, a peaceful stretch from Maynooth to Cloondara.


Walk in the wild

From clambering up the Fowley Falls in County Leitrim to strolling along canal paths once graced by barge-pulling horses or canoeing the Shannon Blueway from Carrickon- Shannon to Rooskey, adventure-loving visitors can recharge their batteries at their own pace. Ireland’s Ancient East region is a feast for clients looking to ramble across mountain ranges or cycle along glorious greenways.

If the ethereally beautiful Priestfield walk in Monaghan’s Rossmore Forest Park is a tiny morsel, then the Munster Vales, covering Tipperary, Limerick, Cork and Waterford, are a three‑course meal.

Ireland’s Ancient East region is a feast for clients looking to ramble across mountain ranges or cycle along glorious greenways

Here, the 684 miles of trails offer vistas of lush valleys, waterfalls and rivers stretching away to rugged coastlines. Inland, the mountains are a picture-perfect backdrop for a slow-paced guided horseback tour. The Tipperary Mountain Trekking Centre offers treks for all horseriding abilities through the verdant countryside, followed by an overnight stay in the peaceful surroundings.

Clients based in Dublin can enjoy easy access to all these delights as well as to a new trail, the majestic Wicklow Mountains National Park. Spanning almost 23,000 hectares, the park offers wonderful hillwalking and recreational activities, plus Ireland’s oldest trail, the Wicklow Way.


PICTURES: Tourism Northern Ireland/Rob Durston; Clare County Council/Brian Morrison; James Fennell

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