Ireland more than deserves its reputation as a wild, green land full of sensational scenery, majestic mountains, and beautiful beaches. All of this makes Ireland an adventurer’s dream, and it’s why Overland’s Zest Tours of Ireland are packed with adventure activities — mixed in with cultural experiences as well. Young or old there’s no specific kind of person that tends to come on our Zest Tours; the only thing they all have in common is a thirst for adventure! This travel guide isn’t a comprehensive list of all the places adventurous travellers should visit in Ireland, as that list would be hundreds of pages long! Instead, it’s Overland’s pared-down, achievable bucket list of our favourite spots and we hope this list inspires you to add one or two of the activities and locations below to your next Irish adventure!
Cycle Around Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park is one of Ireland’s most impressive green spaces. As Ireland’s first ever national park, Killarney is considered one of Ireland’s greatest natural treasures. With 25,425 acres of rich, biodiverse wilderness to explore, this is the best place in Ireland for people who want to experience Ireland’s wilder side. With 141 different bird species and Ireland’s only herd population of red deer (around 900 of the beautiful creatures), Killarney National Park is ideal for nature enthusiasts who want to discover what Ireland is like once you get away from the streetlights, the museums, and the pubs. Hiking is a great way to explore Killarney National Park, but cycling the park’s paths opens up so much more and allows you to get a feel for the park’s space, changing landscapes, and animal life.
Climb Ireland’s Holiest Mountain
You don’t have to be Catholic to see the appeal of climbing Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holiest mountain. Also referred to as ‘Reek,’ this 764m mountain is no Mt Everest — in fact, it’s only about three quarters as tall as Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. But this is a mountain of significance — a holy pilgrimage for many Irish each year who climb it barefoot on Reek Sunday (the last Sunday in July) to honour Saint Patrick who was said to spend 40 days fasting on the mountain in 441AD. You don’t need to climb Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday, and we’d recommend against doing it in bare feet, but it really is worth it, if just for the views alone!
Hike the Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher more than earn their acclaim as the most popular tourist attraction in Ireland. These majestic cliffs on the southwest of the Burren in County Clare are worth visiting even if you don’t intend to hike. Just turn up with a digital camera, 1 terabyte of memory cards, and take as many pictures as you can. There is just so much to see here that we feel a hike is the best way to experience the Cliffs of Moher, so we highly recommend you do the same!
Go Sea Kayaking in Dingle Bay
Dingle Bay is one of the most special parts of Ireland’s world-famous coastline. Nestled in between the Dingle Peninsula and the Iveragh Peninsula, the waters are often as calm as the Atlantic Ocean is likely to get, making it the perfect for sea kayaking! Overland Ireland has great contacts all around Ireland, making it easy for us to arrange adventure activities like this. While there are so many places to kayak around Ireland, we think Dingle Bay is the best. Paddle with the Overland group with the reassurance that your trained Overland guide will keep you safe. Explore the beauty of Dingle Bay, seeing a side of Ireland not many are lucky enough to see. And if you’re very lucky, you might even see the most famous local resident in the water: Fungie the dolphin.
Go Surfing on Inch Beach in Dingle Bay
Surfing is another great thing to do in Dingle Bay! Ireland has some of the best surfing in Europe, and the surf at Inch Beach is perfect. This blue flag beach is framed by the stunning Kerry Mountains, making for a dramatic setting to get your surf on! At different points over the years, Inch Beach has been voted the best beach in Ireland by TripAdvisor’s users, so you can trust us when we say that it’s gorgeous. The waves are consistently good here, but roughly a dozen times a year you’ll find epic waves that can carry you for 300m! Your Overland surf instructor will give you any help you need, regardless of your surfing level.
All of the activities on this bucket list are included as part of our Great Atlantic Adventure 7-Day Tour. It’s our zestiest Zest Tour and we have dozens of happy adventurers to prove it! If you’re interested in booking this tour, or if you have any questions for us whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always up for a chat, and we’re even happy to teach you a little Irish before you visit!