Ireland was Created for Outdoor Adventure
Our guest post comes from Dan McKernan. In 1994, Dan McKernan set out across the United States covering 26 states in two months. It was during this epic trip that Dan realized he was destined to tell his stories of adventure and bring the world of travel to life. Since then, Dan has traveled throughout North America and parts of Europe seeking the key ingredients of each destination from mom & pop shops to luxurious state-of-the-art hotels. Dan is a travel industry professional who has been introducing people to beautiful Big Bear Lake, California since 2004. Dan’s favorite subjects to write about are within the wide spectrum of outdoor recreation including fishing, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking and snowboarding. Dan is an artist, has a culinary background and he has been involved with various aspects in the entertainment industry, all of which provide valuable knowledge for restaurant, museum and entertainment reviews. Dan understands the importance of travel, and he wants share with others his passion for the finer things in life.
It’s difficult to stay inside while on vacation in Ireland. The magnetic force of Ireland’s greenery and scenic wonders leads couples to exploration, discovery and adventure. Every corner of the Emerald Isle is blinding with natural beauty, and couples can’t resist the great outdoors vortex that sucks them in.
Couples that enjoy the outdoors together will find a variety of engaging activities that dot the spectacular countryside terrain to freshwater loughs (lakes) and the vast Atlantic Ocean. Recreational choices in Ireland are like a fine restaurant’s wine list. Even though there are many great choices for outdoor activities. One must select an activity that best fits the vacation. It is similar to pairing wine with a dinner entrée.
Daytime activities are plentiful throughout the country. Some of the more notable activities include trail walking, kayaking, kite-surfing, scuba diving, sea angling, caving, cycling, and golfing.
There are plenty of opportunities to venture off alone such as a hike at one of Ireland’s National Parks, a historic-site excursion in the Burren, or a round of golf at a world-class golf course. Travelers that are experienced with a certain activity but choose not to lug around gear will find equipment rentals readily available for most recreational sports from rock climbing to surfing. However, a guide service for most activities is highly recommended no matter what the skill level.
The hospitality and top-of-the-line service provided by Irish guides is second to none. They offer expertise of the activity, come highly skilled, have great knowledge of the area, and always put safety first. In Ireland it seems like Irish wit is part of a guide’s job description, too. Don’t be surprised to find a guide tell a humorous story with comical undertones for a good belly laugh.
A guide service that comes highly recommend for a solid kayak adventure is Kayakmór in Galway. Jim Morrisey, owner and operator of Kayakmór, is an expert paddler and kayak racer with a special knack to comfort. His attention to detail and safety procedures goes well beyond the call of duty.
One of Jim’s specialties is his ability to create and maintain a fun atmosphere throughout the tour. Kayakmór is open year round, and offers half and full day kayak trips on both Galway Bay and Lough Corrib (the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland, with its widest point at eight miles wide). Lough Corrib is a peaceful and serene lake surrounded by beautiful landscapes. There are a variety of waterfowl and other wildlife to provide sidekick entertainment along the way.
Kayakmór offers various options to explore the east end of the lake for all skill levels from beginners who want to learn the basics to advanced paddlers looking to hone in on their skills. All kayak trips include proper fitting with all necessary gear for an outing including overalls, paddling jacket, life vest, kayak skirt, paddle and of course a kayak. Guests follow Jim’s lead throughout including the “Geronimo” stroke to get past reeds and other foliage along the lake. Lough Corrib is such a vast lake that it is not surprising to think you are 50 miles away from Galway, when in reality the tour is just three miles from shore. For more information or to book a kayaking trip log onto www.kayakmor.com or call +353 (0) 93 36097.
Couples that enjoy nature walks should make plans to hike Connemara National Park located in West Ireland in County Galway. The park expands over 2,000 acres of undulating terrain complete with bogs, heaths, creeks, grasslands and woodlands. A wide range of flora and fauna delights hikers. Some of the most common plants in the park are purple moor-grass, ling, cross-leaved heath, black current and bell heather. The area is teeming with birdlife including meadow pipits, skylarks, stonechats, chaffinches and wrens. Land creatures that roam the area include rabbits, foxes, pine marten, badgers, stoats and shrews.
There are three main loops to choose from including 30-minute, one-hour and two and a half hour walk. The highlight of the park is the scenic beauty that outstretches for miles upon miles as far as the eye can see. To the west lays Barnaderg Bay an ideal setting to capture the essence of Ireland with a camera. Connemara National Park is just 48 miles from Galway making it an easy daytrip for a worthwhile nature trek. To learn more visit www.connemaranationalpark.ie.
Road cycling is an activity that might look intimidating at first considering the roads in Ireland are narrow and riding the other side of the road takes some getting used. However, waymarked cycle hub routes and loops have been developed by local authorities with the help of Ireland’s Tourism Council to ensure cycling safety and to increase enjoyment of the sport. There are countless quiet country roads that barely see any motor vehicles that are ideal for road cycling. One of the best ways to discover road cycling is to connect with a local club.
One notable club worth mentioning is The Burren Cycling Club. They are willing to show people from another country, grand rides, in the Burren region. Clubs like the Burren Cycling Club are welcoming, and assure guests a genuine, safe ride. There are various spots to rent bikes for hourly, daily and weekly rates. One of the more convenient locations to rent in the Burren region is at the Rainbow Hostel in Doolin. To learn more abut cycling in Ireland or for route details in the Republic of Ireland visit www.irishtrails.ie or for Northern Ireland log onto www.cycleni.com.
These are just a few samples of the glorious outdoor recreation offered in Ireland. Of course Ireland is renowned for its fishing. Couples that like to catch fish can choose from four different genres including sea angling (blue shark, pollack, ling, cod), game angling (salmon, sea trout), coarse angling (carp, chubb), pike angling (pike).
Golf is another countrywide sport that attracts both men and women to Ireland’s world-class links. For many folks just stepping onto an Irish golf course is a dream come true, but to actually play a round of 18 holes is nirvana.
Whether its golf, trail walking, kayaking, cycling couples will find the outdoors is a great way live it up in Ireland. The best source to gather information about the myriad of activities is at www.discoverireland.com.