One of the things tourists love most about Ireland is how accessible it is. A bus or a car can take you across the country in a day, with time for stops at the major attractions.
But National Geographic, the world’s foremost nature and travel magazine, identifies Ireland as a country to be explored by foot - a perfect mixture of natural beauty with visible history makes for quite the expedition.
As part of their National Geographic Adventures they put together a ten-day historic hiking, biking and kayaking expedition through Ireland’s scenic Wicklow Mountains, Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula and Aran Islands. The group travels from the east to west, following the famously stunning southern borner.
“Follow the Wicklow Way just south of Dublin to beautiful Glendalough, hiking along clear streams that cut through the fresh pine forest. Then travel to County Kerry and spend three days walking and cycling among Ireland’s highest mountains, Macgillycuddy’s Reeks.
“Trace the rocky shores of the Dingle Peninsula past fishing villages and age-old beehive huts, and end your adventure among the surreal limestone flats of the Aran Islands of Inishmore. Discover early Christian monasteries, enigmatic stone circles and Celtic forts, medieval manors, and Ireland’s lively culture along the way,” the trip details read.
The adventure starts in Dublin, where the group can explore the city and learn some of the country’s history from behind museum glass before strapping on the hiking boots.
The next few days include hiking through the lush, pine forests of the Wicklow Mountains, descending on the monastic site of Glendalough, traveling to sites of Irish mythology sites and medieval art and architecture at Rock of Cashel and Killarney and biking through the Gap of Dunloe.
The level of physical difficulty is ‘moderate,’ and there are various ways to explore. In between hiking, biking and kayaking, the adventurers will be able to wander small towns and villages as well for some interactive culture.
Then the group travels to the most idyllic parts of the country to experience the meaning of nicknames like “rolling hills,” “emerald isle” and the like. Explore the ring of Kerry, the entire Dingle peninsula, the “otherworldly” Burren landscape and legendary Aran Islands.
Those who take the 10-day excursion can experience some of the most famously breathtaking landscapes in the world while also delving into rich history by visiting ancient burial sites, forts, monasteries, beehive huts and much more. It’s an “off the beaten path” expedition of nature, culture and history in one.