Our team has been busy at the Wilderness Now cabin working on expanding our guide offering in the Republic of Ireland. It’s not wide or wild enough just yet, so in the meantime, for fun, we thought we would share some travel tips to the wild west side of Ireland. These are some of the amazing activities you can enjoy on the emerald isle.
Ireland is a perfect place to surf, whether you are a beginner looking to start in mild conditions, or if you are an experienced surfer looking for the big one Aileen’s wave. County Mayo located in the West of Ireland has excellent seaside surfing, among which are Bertra, Belmullet and several beaches in Achill Island. Other regions of Ireland that offer excellent surfer beaches are Sligo, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Donegal and some more.
From multi-day tours to short loop routes, mountain biking, off the road and leisurely bicycle tours can be found in Ireland where you can adventure yourself, with family or friends. If it is a matter of pedalling a route where you can enjoy picturesque and beautiful landscapes and maybe a visit to a National Park in the southwest of Ireland, one of our recommendations is Kerry County. There you can plan your own tour depending on the level of expertise; Whether beginner, intermediate or advanced-professional level, this area of the country also offers beaches where you can feel the breeze and towns where you can stop for a drink or some food to recover energy to finish the tour.
The Emerald Isle is full of places with peaks and valleys for those who enjoy short or long walks that can last from hours to weeks: if you want to go up to the highest peak in Ireland we recommend the Cronin’s Yard Loop in Kerry County, which has a moderate level of difficulty and an approximate distance of 8km. If you want to take a walk that demands a high level of difficulty, we recommend you the Famine Walk in Galway County where you will be stunned with the landscapes, lakes and the only fjord in the Republic of Ireland.
The west coast of Ireland has a great diversity of nature and habitat for aquatic species, where the decision lies in whether you want to go fishing to the sea, rivers or lakes. In several areas around the coast, posters listing the different species that can be found in order to know what you can find in the angling hotspots, and as you probably will need a charter boat, these can be rented in different locations such as Newport and Westport in Mayo County, and Roundstone, Clifden and Cleggan in Galway County.
And now that you find yourself venturing into the waters of Wild West Ireland, what do you think about Wild Swimming? These are some of the lakes and beaches we recommend you: If you are in the north-west of the Republic of Ireland: Silver Strand and Malin Beg in Donegal County. In central-west: Coral Beach and Blackrock Beach in Galway County. And if you are in the south-west: Glanmore Lake in Kerry County.
As a security measure, we recommend you always wild-swim with company and never alone.
Climbing sea stacks in Ireland
Ireland has a wide variety of options for traditional climbing in different types of rock, in the cliffs of the sea and in the mountains from where you can appreciate the beautiful landscapes.
If you are attracted to the idea of sea cliff climbing in West Ireland, some of our recommended areas are Ailladie, Dun Seanna Head, South West Donegal, North West Donegal and Falcarragh.
Wilderness Now offers an excellent opportunity for adventurers to practice climb sea stacks in a stunning beach of Falcarragh !! This experience is open to all and does not require previous experience in climbing because the company has an excellent guide that can also provide accommodation in case you need it.
Check out this great trip in Donegal to canoe and wild camp. It will be spectacular.
How to get there?
Getting to West Ireland by plane is easy if you are travelling from many cities and it would take approximately one and a half hours if travelling from the UK. The main airports from north to south in the Republic of Ireland are Donegal, Ireland West Knock, Shannon, Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Dublin (being the two last ones located in East Ireland). Arriving in Northern Ireland and using other alternative transport to get to the West of Ireland is another option from the airports of Derry, Belfast International and George Best Belfast City.
The ferry service from the UK to Ireland is another excellent alternative but you have to bear in mind these arrive on the east coast of Ireland. You can depart from ports in Troon, Cairnryan, Stranraer, Heysham, Fleetwood, Liverpool, Holyhead, Mostyn, Fishguard and Pembroke located in the UK, to reach Larne, Belfast, Dublin, Dun Laoghaire and Rossaire ports in Ireland.
Places to base yourself and moving around
If the activities you plan to do are based in North West Ireland, some of the places to stay that we recommend are Dungloe, Donegal and Sligo. From there you can transport in buses, taxis or you can rent a car if you plan to explore different areas.
Limerick and Galway are two cities located in the central part of the West Ireland, where you can stay for activities in nearby towns. In any of these cities, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the nightlife and explore some of the largest cities in the Republic of Ireland. In terms of mobilization, you can make use of the public transport that these cities have to offer or take a train, taxi, buses, car-rent to move around other places.
In South West Ireland, Cork and Tralee are the biggest cities to stay, but if you decide that you want to stay in an unspoilt region of South West Ireland, the Ring of Kerry is our recommendation this time. The Ring of Kerry is a 179 km circular route in Kerry County that gives the visitor a chance to experience the Irish culture, traditions and genuine Irish hospitality in the hotels and bed & breakfast around the Ring.
Wild Swimming: https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/ireland/wild-swimming-10-of-the-most-amazing-outdoor-swims-in-ireland-34804571.html
Getting around: https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/06/19/getting-around-ireland-transportation-tips/