If you’re looking for a great value active holiday that brings you closer to the people, culture, sights and sounds of Ireland, try a walking or cycling holiday. Walking and cycling through Ireland allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life whilst experiencing a unique perspective on this graceful country. Whether its mountains, lakes, hills or coast you’re looking for, Ireland offers some of the most scenic, challenging and unique walking and cycling trails in Europe.
It’s probably best to plan ahead and know where you want to go and what type of trail you want to experience. I found Irish Trails to be a useful and convenient website for all types of walking and cycling trails throughout the whole of Ireland. Whether you want to walk, hike or just wander across this fascinating land, you can do so with the professionally trained guides of Hilltoptreks; a great resource for your walking holidays and breaks in Ireland.
The unique heritage and scenic landscapes of southern Ireland makes it a natural playground for active holidaymakers. The Great Southern Trail has been developed as a walking and cycling route along the former Limerick to Kerry railway line in Ireland. For more information, visit www.southerntrail.net.
To the west lays The Wicklow Mountains. This range makes up the largest continuous upland region in Ireland and is home to The Wicklow Way; the oldest way-marked long distance walking trail in Ireland. Walkaboutwicklow.com offers a range of day tours, hill walks, hiking and trekking activities for people of all levels in areas all throughout the Wicklow Mountains.
Located near the river Boyne, The Hill of Tara is an ancient site with historical and mythical connections. This landscaped area is said to once be the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland which overlooks a quarter of the country and is known today as the royal site of Celtic Ireland. Visit www.nativespirittours.com for information on The Hill of Tara walking tour.
Head to the south-west of Ireland and you’ll find a walking and cycling trail that’s popular for all kinds of reasons. The Ring of Kerry trail begins in Killarney and passes several major attractions including Ross Castle, Lough Leane and Ladies View. The Wayfarers offer a memorable guided walking vacation of The Ring of Kerry that includes traditional Irish music and folklore, meeting local people and sampling the Irish ‘craic’.
The closest mountain bike park to Dublin is in Ballinastoe Woods in Co Wicklow. It's a purpose built mountain bike centre with 14km of great trails. Biking.ie rent mountain bikes and organise tours of the Wicklow hills taking in Ballinastoe Bike Park, Lough Tay, Powerscourt House and Gardens, Glendalough and many more sights. There's no doubt that the bike allows you to see so much more in one day than any other tour.
If you would prefer to escape the country and experience Irish city life, you can rent a bike in the capital city, Dublin. The most popular tours on a bike in Dublin are by exploring ‘hidden Dublin’ or to take a guided tour. Rentabikedublin.com offer bike hire and tours around the city at reasonable prices. If you would prefer to purchase your own bike whilst in Ireland, visit Kearney Cycles in Galway; one of Ireland's leading bike shops.
Booking a walking or cycling holiday to Ireland couldn’t be easier. Most holidays and tours are customised and many are run by experienced guides. Irishwelcometours.com is Ireland's leading incoming tour operator and specialise in tailor made tours at competitive prices.
If you would prefer to book your travel independently, there are several types of accommodation to consider. Relax and be waited on hand and foot after a long day walking by staying in a hotel. Hotelsireland.com offers some of the best hotels available in Ireland. If you prefer your own cooking, stay in a traditional holiday cottage or a modern holiday apartments; visit Irishholidaycottages.com for a listing of over 300 holiday homes in Ireland. Or, for something that little bit special, stay in a Premier Guesthouse. Premierguesthouses.com of Ireland is a unique group of privately owned properties, each offering high class comforts at an affordable price.