Ireland is a vibrant and vivacious land and provides a plethora of activities for both the young of age and young at heart.
However, there are some Irish adventures best to undertaken while in the prime of your youth.
Think adrenaline-fueled obstacle courses, stunning yet challenging hikes, and even races that take in the natural beauty of our island.
So stop whittling away the days and try your hand at some of the top 10 things to do in Ireland before you get too old!
10. Go Swimming at Sunrise
It may sound crazy, and yes, the Irish waters are freezing all year round – but braving the waves as the day breaks is an unforgettable start to the morning.
There are sunrise swims organised all around the country – perhaps the most popular being “Swimrise”, a regular event organised by the Happy Pear.
For those not in the know, the Happy Pear is composed of twin brothers Dave and Steve who have made a living from their love of plant-based food and a healthy lifestyle.
The twins are advocates for making the most of every day so why not join them in the small hours of the morning down by Ladies Cove in Greystones, Co. Wicklow to blow off the cobwebs and embrace the day?
9. Have a Treetop Adventure
Ireland is ripe with adventure parks dedicated to ziplines and treetop obstacle courses. One of the best in Ireland is Zipit Forest Park in Lough Key Forest Park, Co. Roscommon.
The park itself is surrounded by stunning scenery, from the vast lake to the dense forests. The adventure begins in the heart of the forest, and there are different levels of height and difficulty, meaning you can push your boundaries as little or as much as you desire.
The higher levels are tough, but you will be rewarded with a heady mixture of pride and relief once your feet finally bit the ground!
8. Run a Charity Race
With youth and health on your side, there is really no excuse not to lace up the runners and do your bit for charity.
Dozens of races take place in each corner of the country, with those racing boosting their fellow participant’s morale as they run alongside each other with the noble aim of improving the lives of those less fortunate.
One of the biggest charity races in Ireland is the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon. The 10km race takes place in Dublin each Summer, with all proceeds going towards worthy charities such as cancer research charities, mental health charities and rape crisis centres.
The event itself is technically aimed towards women, but the braver men of Ireland have been known to don a feminine disguise and join in the race alongside the women of Ireland.
7. Explore Ireland’s Hiking Scene
The people of Ireland are simply spoiled for choice regards walking and hiking routes, and such routes are an opportunity not to be missed for the young people of the Emerald Isle.
County Mayo boasts the revered and spiritual Croagh Patrick, a long-standing place of pilgrimage and now a mountain hike enjoyed by regular citizens who flock there each day.
County Kerry offers some of the most mesmerizing mountain hikes in the country and further beyond, with Carrauntoohill offering experienced hikers a formidable challenge with breathtaking views of the extensive Kerry countryside and stunning lakes and valleys.
6. Embrace the Festival Experience
There is no age limit regards the love of music, but the true festival experience is a more of a rite of passage than anything else.
Camping in freezing conditions, being painted in mud, and using dry shampoo for three days straight sounds horrific but it is all part of the Irish festival experience.
From the more chilled “Body and Soul” festival in Co. Westmeath to the world-famous “Electric Picnic”, there is a festival out there calling your name whatever your music preference.
A weekend camping at a festival is by no means easy – especially with the Irish weather- but it adds a special sparkle to the weekend, and half of your memories of the festival will breed from the cramped quarters of your tent. Pro tip – sleeping bags and baby wipes are essential.
5. Catch a Wave
Ireland is a fantastic spot for surfers, and there are plenty of surfing experiences around the country tailored for both competent surfers and rookies.
Tullan Strand in Co. Donegal is a fab beach which produces higher waves for more experienced surfers, and a surf school where participants will tackle gentler waves.
Other beaches across Ireland that host surf schools are the beautiful Tramore Beach in Co. Waterford, which is often overlooked regards the surfing scene, and the breathtaking 5km haven that is Inch Beach in Co. Kerry.
In Ireland, we are blessed with a rugged coastline, and we should embrace what we have with by grabbing a board and trying our best to conquer the water – there are few experiences that bring more pride than actually catching a wave!
4. Gallop by the Sea
Surfing is one of the few Irish experiences that incorporate the natural wonders of our Emerald Isle.
Horseback riding by the coast is a powerful experience, especially for those who have a little equestrian experience under their belts and can utilize the speed and power of their horse with the sea breeze whipping around their ears and the crashing waves running parallel to horse and rider.
Horseback riding is not only for competent riders – complete beginners can have an equally enjoyable experience as they trot in tranquillity along the sandy beaches, becoming one with their four-legged companion.
Our top pick for coastal horseback riding has to be Co. Mayo. Check out Croagh Patrick Stables, where riders will trek along the Wild Atlantic Way and the beaches of Mayo.
3. Go on a Mud Run
Mud runs are exactly what they sound like – a run through obstacles, often for charity, that incorporate copious amounts of mud.
It seems like an unusual way to spend the day, but mud runs provide incredible amounts of fun and are the perfect bonding experience for friends.
Our personal favourite is “Adare to Survive” in Co. Limerick. Set in the picturesque surroundings of Adare Equestrian Centre, this challenging mud run is best described as a 7.5 km military-style obstacle course.
Scared? You should be! Think monkey bars, climbing walls and literal tunnels of mud and swamp water… leave the good wear at home!
Perhaps the most applaudable element of the day is the sheer camaraderie amongst participants on the day – complete strangers will vault you over walls, encourage you through tunnels and cheer you on as you stumble across the finish line.
Sign yourself a mud run – they take place around the country and will separate the men from the mice.
2. Explore the Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way is a source of pride for us Irish, and it is simple to understand why. The route is 2,500 km of pure unadulterated bliss, split into six different regions which all take in different parts of our mesmerising country.
If we had to recommend one route to take, we would have to choose “The Haven Coast”, though all choices are stellar. The Haven Coast is the most Southern route, starting in Ballina, going through Skibbereen, and eventually ending in Kinsale.
This route is rich in coves, harbours, and blue-flag beaches and is an authentic taste of heaven on earth.
There is an abundance of activities you can change along the route, such as surfing, kayaking, and even whale-watching!
Once you get a taste for the Wild Atlantic Way you will want nothing more than to experience all 6 routes – so get planning today!
1. Be a Tourist in your own country!
Ireland is a dreamy country with attractions that cause countless tourists to flock here on a yearly basis – but how many of the main tourist attractions have you actually seen?
Us Irish can be guilty of ignoring the wonders right on our doorstep, so why not make your own bucket list of all the home-grown attractions you haven’t yet experienced?
From the Cliffs of Moher and the Aliwee Caves in Co. Clare, to the Giant’s Causeway in Co. Antrim and the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway, there is so much to explore in our intriguing little country.
We genuinely have one of the most stunning countries on the planet, and with such an astounding platform of experiences to have, we should embrace them while we can.
Forget planning your European breaks and trips across the pond – why not first embark on the adventures that await in your back garden first?