8 Adventures in Ireland that will change your life!

Sea Stack, County Donegal

Trekking with alpacas, skydiving over fields of green and whalewatching in west Cork – feel your heart racing when you try these life-changing adventures on the island of Ireland

We all know that one person’s adrenaline rush is another person’s lazy day out and vice versa, so we’ve trawled through some seriously high-octane and a few more leisurely adventures for everyone to enjoy at least once in a lifetime! Take your pick from these eight fabulous adventures around the island of Ireland… 

1. Bog jumping in Connemara 

Who’d have thought getting completely bogged down from head to toe would be so much fun? They call it bog jumping, and there are a few places around the island that let you go wild in the boglands (the muckier the better). The folks in Delphi add an obstacle course into the mix, so when you’re all soaked up to your eyes in mud, you have to run, hop and jump around the place. They say it’s “exhilarating, messy but most of all great fun”.

Go on this adventure now.

2. Alpaca trekking in Wicklow

Okay, so alpaca trekking and Ireland aren’t usually paired together, but throw in the sublime scenery of County Wicklow and you’ve got the dream package. If you’ve never come face to face with these friendly and curious animals, you’ll soon understand what the saying ‘smiling so much, it hurts’ means. On this leisurely outing, Joe and his team will get you up close with these beauties, so you can hear them hum and feel how soft their fleece is. 

Go on this adventure now.

3. Skydiving with the Irish Parachute Club over Offaly 

A lot of people would ask why jump OUT of a perfectly good plane, but then there are those who’ve taken the plunge who say they don’t jump for the thrill, they jump for the freedom. It’s a moment in time that reaches far beyond an adrenaline rush. After a short training session, a tandem dive over the rural idyll of Offaly will see you free falling at 200km per hour with the tandem master doing all the work, which means that ‘moment’ is all yours to enjoy.

Go on this adventure now.

 

4. Coasteering in the Mourne mountains

Coasteering means swimming, scrambling and jumping into the sea from rocks, sometimes 10m high, under the watchful eye of an experienced guide, of course. With our long coastline, locations for this are plentiful; this particular coasteering session is at a spot that’s “chiselled from glacial activity back in the last ice age.” The folks who’ve jumped from Bloody Bridge at the foot of the Mournes say the exhilaration is what stays with you; that and the nooks and crannies they find that are hidden to the rest of the world!   

Go on this adventure now.

 

5. Horse riding on a beach in Cleggan, County Galway

Picture yourself galloping on horseback along the beach, the sea salt landing on your lips and your horse dimpling the golden sands with his strides… You certainly don’t have to be equine mad to go for a pony trek in Connemara, you just need a sense of adventure. Treks vary in length but for those with a bit more stamina, the invigorating 2-3 hour trek takes you from Cleggan Beach Riding Centre to Omey Island. A tidal island, times for rides are ruled by the sea, so always book in advance. If you just want to be a spectator, the Omey Races are held on the first weekend in August, with music, dancing and horse racing – this is an excellent day out for all. 

Go on this adventure now.

 

6. Climb a sea stack in Donegal 

Sea stack climbing involves scaling the towers of rock that stick out of the Atlantic Ocean. There’s also a need for a bit of kayaking, swimming, abseiling (rappelling) and Tyrolean traverses at the bases of enormous sea cliffs. But under the watchful eye of climbing instructor Iain Miller, you will paddle with bull selkies and basking sharks and visit the realms of the fulmar, gannet and razorbill before conquering the remote towers that break through the waves. Never done it before? No problem, they have a “wee course designed for those who have never climbed before.”  

Go on this adventure now.

 

7. Gorge walking in County Down

This is less scaling rock faces and more of a wade through water pools, under trees and waterfalls in the company of qualified instructors. And it’s lots of fun, especially when you find out this all takes place in the foothills of the Cooley Mountains, with a gorge walk up the River Flurry. The draw? Being at one with some of nature’s most beautiful spots surrounded by the sounds of gushing water is nothing short of a spiritual, yet physically demanding experience. 

Go on this adventure now. 

 

8. Whale watching in West Cork

Whale watching takes lots of patience and a little bit of luck. But we have lots of the latter on our side thanks to the mighty Atlantic Ocean. It’s a bit like a conveyor belt for cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) as they travel north to south and back again – always looking for a good meal. What’s it like to spot one? Pádraig Whooley of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Groups explains: “There are few experiences that can match the excitement of a close encounter with one of the largest creatures on the planet.” 

Go on this adventure now.

And with those words, we’ll leave you to sort out what your next adventure of a lifetime in Ireland will be...   

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