6. Boating around the Fermanagh Lakelands
This part of Ireland is so mesmerizingly beautiful that you can get lost in it for weeks. Glassy waters, mysterious islands with ancient statues, and a pace of life that forces you to go slow will make you fall in love with the charming Fermanagh Lakelands. The best way to explore? Take your pick… Go by barge, canoe or cruiser and get lost amongst lakes and rivers. Take lazy lunches in waterside restaurants, cycle the undulating countryside or just find a quiet jetty where you can sit back watch the swaying reeds, soft, rippling waters and the ever-changing sky…
5. Making strides in the Mourne Mountains
Wander, ramble, stop for seafood in little villages, and see what adventures await. The Mourne Mountains are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in County Down, and these mist-shrouded peaks are a haven for those who want to slow down. Base yourself in a country cottage and you can spend days picnicking beside crystalline lakes, ambling up slopes covered in heather and bog cotton, and walking the exceptional dry-stone Mourne Wall, which runs like a granite spine over 15 mountains.
4. Retreat to the serenity of Delphi Resort, Connemara
Escape. That’s what Delphi Resort is all about. Nestled in the foothills of the Mweelrea Mountains, amidst the dry stone walls and wild orchids that dot the Connemara landscape, this resort is all about going slow and taking things at a gentler pace. Get lost on bike rides along twisting country roads or go kayaking in the tranquil waters of Killary Fjord. Pure bliss.
3. Escape to Mulranny, County Mayo
Mulranny, a hidden treasure on the Wild Atlantic Way, was voted as Ireland’s Best Destination for Responsible Tourism at the Irish Responsible Tourism Awards, and for good reason. Go horse riding along the pristine beaches, walk through the wild mountainous scenery of west Mayo, or try your hand at seaweed harvesting and tasting. Looking for incredible local history? Rockfleet Castle, Burrishoole Abbey and the Céide Fields nearby are preserved nuggets of Ireland’s long legacy through time. Take the pressure off, get to know the locals, and indulge in the traditions of the area.
2. Get back to nature on Sheep’s Head
The southwest coast of Ireland is home to the Sheep’s Head peninsula, one of the wildest and most beautiful stretches of land on the entire island, and is home to less than 1,000 people. Make your base in the charming village of Durrys and walk the Sheep’s Head Way along gorse-covered trails, where an utmost feeling of peace prevails.
The peninsula also boasts a 120km-long cycling route from Ballylickey to Roaring Water Bay. Along the way, see if you can spot whales or dolphins, keep and eye out for ancient sites like the bardic school at Dromnea and stop off for lunch and a chat with lively locals at the Tin Pub in Ahakista.
1. Take the plunge into Doolin Cave
A single drop of water is all it took to start the creation of the northern hemisphere’s largest stalactite. Beneath the alien landscape of the Burren, County Clare, a warren of caves has been carved into the limestone by underground rivers. One of these subterranean wonders, Doolin Cave, not only features the gigantic stalactite and other curious cave formations, but also encourages eco-tourism and champions sustainable travel in the region through their conservation efforts and Leave No Trace policy.