Some suggestions for your clients to get outdoors and experience Ireland's fresh air.
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The only real way to fully appreciate the islands countryside, beaches and waterways is to head outdoors. Here you'll find some suggestions to encourage your clients to breathe in Ireland's fresh air!
Please note: The suggested activities are here to offer suggestions for planning trips and you can contact your local Tourism Ireland representative for further information. Any mention of specific product on this site is meant to be used only as an example and does not represent an endorsement of that product by Tourism Ireland.
Boasting coasts, mountains, forests, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Ireland has scenic walking trails for all levels. The really great thing about walking in Ireland is that after exploring brooding valleys, scenic cliff edges and green pastures, you can relax in one of the island's welcoming towns and villages, where you'll find music pubs and great seafood restaurants.
For a mix of woodland trails, lakelands and peat bogs, take to the Sperrin Mountains in County Tyrone for a variety of walks that let you soak up the unspoilt scenery. With over 40,000 actres, Donegal's Glenveagh National Park has six options for all levels of fitness. To make sure you get on the right track, the Trail Walker Bus takes walkers from the Visitor Centre on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. For something more gentle, the eight looped walks at the Glen of Aherlow in County Tipperary (from 2km to 10km) will take you through the forests and moorland of the beautiful Galtee Mountains.
Weather can change very quickly in Ireland so check the forecast, wear layers and bring a waterproof jacket, hiking boots, sunscreen and plenty of water. For details of walking routes in Ireland, check out walkni.com and irishtrails.ie
The island of Ireland boasts some fantastic, tailor-made trails where you can tackle tough forest climbs, fast descents, twisty narrow tracks and varied survaces. The Ballyhoura Bike Trail Network in County Limerick is the largest of its kind in Ireland with more than 50km of trails and enough thrills to keep off road junkies coming back again and again! The Derroura Mountain Bike Trail in Connemara, with itls long climbs, thrilling descents and stunning views into the Maam valley, the Twelve Pins and Lough Corrib. Castlewellan Forest Park in County Down boasts several mountain bike trails and is a must-visit for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities.
Ziplining - a thrilling, high-wire ride that send you soaring through the treetops. All you need is to follow instructions and be willing to strap yourself into a harness, step off the platform and let gravity do the rest. Try Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, County Roscommon, Loughcrew Estate in County Meath and Todd's Leap Activity Centre in County Tyrone.
Whether you're new to archery or a seasoned professional, you'll find lots of adventure and activity centres around Ireland. Equipment is provided and instructors are on hand to help you perfect your technique - so all you need to do is focus on hitting the target. Get geared up at The Adventure Islands in County Mayo or go for the full Game of Thrones® experience at Winterfell Castle and Demesne in County Down, complete with character costumes and a stern Master-at-Arms.
What can beat the exhileratoin (and stunning views) you get while rock climbing? Ireland is a climber's paradise, with challenges to suit all levels of experience. For beginners, there are gentle climbs where you can learn basic techniques under the guidance of a trained instructor.
More experienced climbers will relish the challenge of towering sea stacks and rugged mountain ranges. Wondering where to go? We recommend Donegal, Kerry, Wicklow and Antrim for a good mix of terrain. Equipment will be provided if you book with a qualified guide or outdoor adventure company.
"In Donegal, you're unlikely to meet anyone else on any of the crags across the county. That's quite a contrast to mountain crags and sea cliffs across the UK, US and Europe, where it's commonplace to sight queues of climbers patiently waiting their turn to climb popular routes"
Ian Miller, Rock Climber, Unique Ascent
Ireland is a world-class surf destination, with spots such as Bundoran in County Donegal and Mullaghmore in County Sligo - named in Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Adventures book - regularly turning heads for its surfing excellence.
Experienced surfers will be thrilled by the prospect of big waves, while beginners can pick up the basics in one of the many surf schools around the island, such as the Alive Surf School in Portrush, County Antrim. Modern wetsuits will give you plenty of protection from the elements so you can surf year-round. Finish off your day in a cosy pub with a post-surf pint and some freshly caught seafood.
"In the summer, our beautifully clear waters attract dolphins and porpoises that regularly pop up to say hello to their neighbours on the boards!"
Ricky Martin, Alive Surf School
Want an activity that gives you a bit of everything? Try coaststeering, a thrilling combination of diving, running, swimming and climbing that will see you scrambling around some of Ireland's most beautiful coastal areas, exploring sea caves, hidden inlets and getting up close and personal with wildlife. Packages include all the equipment you need, as well as an experienced guide. Explore the stunning County Antrim Coast or discover the Wild Atlantic Way as you've never seen it before in Counties Kerry and Mayo.
Kayaking is ideal if you want a relaxing afternoon exploring Ireland's many lakes and rivers (and even citites). But if you want to push yourself a little, you can kick it up a gear on our more turbulent waters. Try urban kayaking in Cork City with Atlantic Sea Kayaking , ideal for beginners, ride the rapids along the River Barrow in County Carlow or discover the Fermanagh Lakelands, a real water wonder land.
Blueways Ireland is a network of multi-activity trails along the Shannon-Erne Waterways and Royal Canals. They're perfect for getting in touch with the great outdoors.
One of the fastest growing watersports around, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun combination of surfing and canoeing where you stand on your board and propel yourself around with a paddle. Your instructor will show you the basics but it's surprisingly easy to get the hang of it, so it's suitable for everyone from beginners to the more experienced. Check out Dublin Bay on a paddle board at Surf Dock or discover the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in County Londonderry with Outdoor NI.
A river cruise is one of the most relaxing ways to soak up the scenery and discover nature, history and landmarks along Ireland's quiet waterways. Moor up for lunch at a waterside restaurant, watch the world go by along the river banks and visit fascinating lake isles. Top off your days with a quiet sunset meal before enjoying the buzz of local villages. You don't need a licence to go cruising, there's no commercial traffic, and, as it's your bed for the night, it's also great value.
The gorgeous Shannon Erne Waterway is ideal for a river cruise, passing through cabin canals and canalised rivers, under stone bridges and past reed banks and teeming hedgerows. The 63km long waterway links the River Shannon with the Erne System and has 16 locks. For food or refreshments, stop off at a village or pub along the way - and don't forget to bring angling equipment, as well as bikes and walking shoes for exploring.
These are suggested activities to offer ideas for planning trips. You can contact your local Tourism Ireland representative here for further informaiton. Please note, any mention of specific product is meant to be used only as an example and does not represent an endorsement of that product by Tourism Ireland.