Great adventure breaks to delight the bold and the brave

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Ireland, our Adventureland! We may not always be able to count on perfect weather for our stays, but one thing is certain, there is no shortage of adventures.

Dramatic oceans, gently flowing rivers, soaring peaks, cavernous depths or gently rolling landscapes, Ireland has it all for the adventurous spirit.

From Malin to Mizen, these are the best adventure activities for your stay in Ireland 2022.

ULSTER

Donegal

Malin Head, Ireland’s most northerly point, is ideal for stargazers wanting to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Donegal’s rugged coastlines allow adventurous kayakers to explore magnificent sea caves, such as Cathedral Cave, and offer a unique vantage point of the sea stacks that dot the coastline. Ditch the wetsuit and don some walking boots for a guided tour to the top of the Sea Stacks for panoramic views of Ireland’s wild county.

Malin Beg, (Silver Strand), is a hidden beach well worth finding. Virtually hidden from view until you’re at the top, the only way to access the beach is via a steep flight of stairs along the cliff.

Participants in the Irish Masters International Fly Angling Championship at Greenfields, Headford, Co Galway. Photo: Ray Ryan

cavan

Cavan Burren Park is Ireland’s second, and often overlooked, Burren. A short distance from Cavan Burren and across the county borders to Fermanagh, head for the Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail, a 7km trail through Cuilcagh Mountain Park, part of the Marble Arch Geopark in the , and from where you can explore the caves of Marble Arch.

Back in Cavan, have fun like a grown-up on the water at Carafin Lough. Gather a team of five for a game of canoe polo or explore the lake on a Hydrobike. Hire a kayak and paddle to the incredibly romantic castle in the middle of nearby Lough Oughter.

monaghan

Monaghan is home to one of Ireland’s finest equestrian centers nestled within 100 acres of the magnificent Castle Leslie Estate. From lessons and gentle hacks to exhilarating horseback adventures, the center can customize a horseback riding experience just for you.

KNOWLEDGE

Sligo

Country of Yeats, where Benbulbin stands guard. Explore this majestic mountain from easy hikes around the base or head to the top.

There is a rich history of oyster farming on Coney Island where you can visit an oyster farm and spy on the rabbits from which the island takes its name. Far from the serenity of the creeks, go in search of big waves in Mullaghmore. Not for novices, but time well and watch the surfers ride the waves.

Participants in kayak and paddleboard lessons at Mayo Sports Partnership and Ballina Adventure Hub.
Participants in kayak and paddleboard lessons at Mayo Sports Partnership and Ballina Adventure Hub.

mayo

Stand at the edge of the cliffs at Downpatrick Head to see its famous sea stack, at low tide a track leads to the water’s edge of the stacks and the sea caves below.

Wild Nephin – Ballycroy National Park offers opportunities for hiking and trail finding. It is also Ireland’s first international dark sky park with three designated viewpoints. With backdrops such as Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay, the 42km Great Western Greenway is the perfect way to explore the best scenery Mayo has to offer on two wheels from Westport to Achill. The Lost Valley of Uggool in Louisburgh is home to hidden sandy coves and one of Ireland’s best-preserved famine villages. A three-hour guided tour traces the history and culture of Uggool.

If you prefer to cast a line, the East Mayo Anglers Association has 9 premier fishing miles with daily and weekly permits available.

Galway

Learn to dive with a PADI 5-star certified dive school or take the ferry to Inish Mór and dive in the island’s famous Worm Hole sea cave. Sail on the 365 islands of Lough Corrib and dock at Inchagoill Island to visit the monastic site of St Patrick cloistered among the trees.

Head for the hills and help the kids burn off some off-road 4X4 energy in kid-friendly jeeps at Wildlands. Then, test your sheep shearing skills or watch a sheepdog demonstration at Killary Sheep Farm.

Unleash your competitive side on Pure Skill and compete in ten different sports challenges to earn the most points.

Roscommun

A visit to Arigna Mining Experience is to glimpse a piece of Irish history long gone. Tours are led by former miners for real authenticity. It’s also a great experience for children, with a sound and light show to accompany the story. The architecture of the visitor center alone is worth a visit.

Entertaining children in Roscommon is as easy as child’s play at Lough Key Forest Park. The treetop walk, 30 feet above the woodland floor, gives a fascinating perspective on the life of the trees. The forest is also wheelchair friendly and offers wheelchair orienteering.

The Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat in Leitrim, ideal for those looking for a yoga getaway steeped in nature.
The Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat in Leitrim, ideal for those looking for a yoga getaway steeped in nature.

Leitrim

The self-proclaimed ‘slow adventure’ house creates space and time to experience the great outdoors. Try your hand at bushcraft or take part in a slow living workshop or course at the Organic Centre. For those looking for the ultimate in nature-infused yoga getaways, the award-winning Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat is for you.

Stretch your legs along Ireland’s first floating boardwalk at Lake Acres, near the pretty village of Drumshanbo. The 600m walk marks the start of a 6.5km walking and cycling route along the Shannon Blueway.

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