Ireland is the ultimate vacation destination for those who want an active outdoor experience in beautiful scenery. From its breathtaking landscapes to the vast array of activities on offer, the real challenge will be where to start your cycling and hiking holiday in Ireland!
In today’s post, the outdoor adventure experts from Wilderness Ireland are throwing the spotlight on Ireland’s scenery – as well as tips for finding the best walking and cycling routes – to help you make the most of the holidays.
Ireland is brimming with beauty. From its weird and wonderful wildlife to its miles of uncovered landscape, this picturesque part of the world has something to offer everyone – and below, you’ll find a hand-picked list of essential destinations for your trip.
Mizen Head, Co. Cork
With its dramatic sea cliffs and the iconic signal station, Mizen Head is steeped in rich history. Stop off for lunch and drink in the stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean – and if you’re brave enough to cross the bridge, you might even catch a glimpse of the playful seals.
Kylemore Abbey, Co. Galway
Tucked away in Connemara in County Galway is the majestic Kylemore Abbey. Set against a picture-postcard backdrop, you’ll definitely want your camera on hand when you visit the 19th century abbey.
Fanad Head, Co. Donegal
If you’re heading to County Donegal, don’t miss out on a trip to Fanad Head. Spend the day climbing the cliffs and dining in one of the peninsula’s restaurants. As night falls, wind down from your day by watching as the setting sun temporarily illuminates the lighthouse.
If you can’t bear to be parted from your wheels, don’t worry! Ireland is brimming with bike routes – so whether you’re new to riding or most at home on a cycle trail, there’s something for you.
Mourne Mountains, Co. Down
Northern Ireland’s highest mountain range, Mourne Mountains are not for the faint hearted. With its intricate network of walking routes, the mountains are a cyclist’s paradise – and thanks to a range of local bike shops, you don’t have to worry about bringing your wheels with you!
As one of Ireland’s biggest cities, Cork has plenty to offer both amateur and professional cyclists. From the sandy beach in Owenahincha to the market town of Clonakilty, the real hardship will be trying to fit it into your trip.
Coast to coast
If you’re up for the challenge, the coast to coast tour will take you across a variety of difficult terrain – weaving your way around numerous landmarks. When you’re ready to recharge your batteries, you won’t need to look far to find some refreshing beers or delicious pub grub. For cyclists and lovers of the great outdoors, the coast to coast is a must.
If you feel comfortable with both feet on the ground, there are walking routes aplenty in Ireland. Whether you want to explore the elusive valleys or dare to take on the heights of the hills, the stunning views will be worth the climb.
The Mountains of Kerry
From imposing summits to hidden ridges, the Mountains of Kerry are not to be messed with. Popular with enthusiastic hikers, the white sand beaches and breathtaking views are just part of its appeal. If you’re feeling energetic, bring your bike and take on the Ring of Kerry cycle route – and keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife!
The Northern Rim
If you want to leave your bike behind, you can start off exploring the Mournes range on foot. Marvel at some of the scenes made famous by Game of Thrones before stopping off for a rest by the coast.
Croagh Patrick, Co. Mayo
If you’re up for an afternoon of hiking, head for Croagh Patrick. There’s suitable climbing equipment on-site and you’ll want to make sure you’re carrying plenty of water – it takes around 4 hours for a round trip!
If you’re a cyclist looking to take your love of the great outdoors somewhere different, a trip to Ireland won’t let you down!
This Guest Post is by Howard Jeffs. Howard loves to be active and outside, and has a passion for designing, making and fixing things – with the result that he is often covered in engine oil!
Not a lot of people know that Howard was born in Liverpool during the height of the “BEATLES” era and was known as “Scouse” during his early career as a Marine Engineer in the Royal Air Force!
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