For the nature lovers among you Ireland offers unspoiled terrain, lavish green hills and a rugged landscape. Few locations rival the Emerald Isle when it comes to the great outdoors.
IrishCentral.com have come up the top ten adventure hot spots for the explorer in you.
Caving in the Burren
The Burren is one of Ireland’s premiere cave attractions in Ireland. The word ‘burren’ translates into great rock which is precisely what this area is. It has been described as a limestone desert. There are almost one hundred megalithic tombs in this area, portal dolmens and a Celtic high cross. There are over 35 miles of cave passages here. The Ailiwee cave is the Burren’s most well known cave and is definitely worth a visit. Here visitors can sample great caverns, stalactites and subterranean rivers.
Glendalough which translates into ‘Glen of two lakes’ is one of Ireland’s first Medieval monastic settlements which dates back to the 6th century. Here in the spectacular glacial valley rock climbers can really appreciate the splendor of Mother Nature. Popular climbing sections include the Big Jane; Hobnail Buttress and the East Wing. The climbs vary between one and four pitches.
Whether you want to take a stroll up to Three Rock Mountain in Dublin or you are willing to attempt to conquer Croagh Patrick in Mayo, Ireland has mountains big and small that will satisfy any mountain climber. The views on offer are guaranteed to take your breath away. With over 390 mountains, there is no shortage of places to go.
Kayaking and canoeing
With endless rivers and lakes there is no shortage of water for those of you interested in kayaking or canoeing in Ireland. The watershed provided by the Macgillicuddy Reeks in Co.Kerry is a popular destination for water enthusiasts. Coupled with hundreds of rivers and lakes spread throughout the country you are guaranteed to find several spots for the avid water lover. For those of you who prefer the ocean you should check out Blacksod and Broad Haven and Erris, Mayo.
If you have a competitive streak and want to mix the great outdoors with ducking and diving then paint balling in Ireland should be top of your list. The sport has increased in popularity in recent years with many Irish companies opening extensive adventure courses which include woodland, trenches and swamps all year round. From Actionpak paint balling in Kinsale Co. Cork to in to Elite paintballing in Dungarven Co. Waterford, there are over twenty venues throughout the country dedicated to the team sport.
Paragliding in Ireland is yet another way to sample the spectacular views that the country has on offer. For those of you who have been previously trained in this sport you should contact the the Irish National Association for the Sports of Hang Gliding, Paragliding, for more information on the best spots. They have offers in place for tourists who wish to get involved and also have many annual events to participate in.
Boating on the River Shannon
Ireland’s longest river is the perfect destination for long summer evenings. Not only do you get to sample the beauty of the winding path of Ireland’s rivers but this is also a very cost effective method of seeing the country. Tour operators offer a large variety of boats and guides on the best routes to take. Some operators offer interactive tours where you can pre-plan your desired route. When you dock in the many towns and villages along the way you will be exposed to the true taste of Irish hospitality.
With thousands of acres of woodland and forest Ireland offers some of the most intricate and challenging orienteering routes. There are 21 orienteering clubs throughout the country while many outdoor centers offer orienteering also. This is a great way to get to grips with the Irish landscape as you manoeuvre through the countryside while the clock ticks down.
Scenic walking tours
Few outdoor experiences can rival the simplicity and beauty of a walking tour in Ireland. No matter where your trip to Ireland might take you, whether it’s Dublin City or the Dingle Peninsula, there are long and short walks all around Ireland surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Some of our favorites include The Wicklow way through Glendalough and Slieve Blooms which take in Co. Laois and Offaly.