Full Island of Ireland Activity List
Our small-group tours redefine exploring the island of Ireland, blending the freedom of independent travel with the convenience of choosing your optional activities.
We’ve curated a list of unmissable activities for you, and in places where fantastic choices abound, we’ve entrusted the ultimate decision to you.
Every Irish Experience tour offers flexibility and you also have the freedom to select your evening meals and lunches.
Any additional tour options are highlighted for your consideration.
All details of prices and suppliers listed here are correct at the time of publication.
Our suppliers occasionally increase prices for optional tour activities during the touring season.
This is a rare occurrence. In the unlikely event of a major price increase, we will do our utmost to update you.
Over 650 km2 (160,000 acres) of Ireland is covered in national parks, forest areas and reserves. Our 6 national parks contain an amazing variety of unspoiled landscape and vegetation. Irish Experience Tours explore and stay in, or right next to, no fewer than 5 national parks…
Killarney National Park
A truly special part of Ireland, Killarney National Park is a rugged wilderness area situated just outside the town of Killarney in County Kerry. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty packed with mountains (including the highest in Ireland – Carrauntoohil), lakes, woods, parklands and waterfalls. Visit the stunning Muckross House and witness Ross Castle at sunset. Take a trip through the Gap of Dunloe and see Lady’s View and The Black Valley. This area is steeped in history and has a unique geological profile. Activities include bike riding through the park, taking a boat around the lakes or taking a horse-and-cart ride through the Gap of Dunloe.
Connemara National Park
Connemara National Park is almost 3000 hectares of mountains, bogs, heaths, grasslands and forests, and it’s all yours to explore. Awesome views coupled with great hikes and walks give this area an unforgettable character. Activities include pony rides, nature trails, a multi-lingual exhibition on the Connemara landscape, and an excellent playground as well as loads more. The boglands give rise to unique flora and fauna throughout Connemara, making this an area well off the beaten track and not to be missed.
Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh National Park in west Donegal is a beautiful and remote wilderness of mountains, lakes, waterfalls and a haunting (some say enchanted) oak forest in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains. The stunning Glenveagh Castle, a 19th Century mansion and gardens, is situated at the edge of Lough Veagh. This is a special conservation area and is protected. Walking trails and nature trails abound, so there is something for all ages and fitness levels. You can also go fishing and cycling in this magical spot.
Glendalough & Wicklow Mountains National Park
“The Valley of the Two Lakes” is a rough translation for one of Ireland’s most beautiful destinations, Glendalough. Renowned for its history, scenery, archaeology and wildlife, Glendalough in the mountains of County Wicklow is a truly remarkable area. Visit the ancient monastic city, founded by St. Kevin in the 6th Century, and see the outstanding 30m high round tower along with churches and stone crosses. Check out the visitors’ centre which will tell you everything about this hidden gem, including the best walks to take along this ancient glacial valley. The area has lots of other visitor sites and amenities nearby too.
The Burren National Park
The Burren National Park is located in the southeastern corner of the Burren and is approximately 1500 hectares in size. The Parkland was bought by the Government for nature conservation and public access. It contains examples of all the major habitats within the Burren: Limestone Pavement, Calcareous Grassland, Hazel scrub, Ash/Hazel Woodland, Turloughs, Lakes, Petrifying Springs, Cliffs and Fen.
The word “Burren” comes from the Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place. This is an extremely appropriate name when you consider the lack of soil cover and the extent of exposed Limestone Pavement. However, it has been referred to in the past as “Fertile rock” due to the mixture of nutrient-rich herb and floral species.
Great Walks and hundreds of trails will have you navigating a range of landscapes, from rugged mountain ranges and lush farmland and sandy beaches. Ireland’s walking trails traverse natural wonders and offer encounters with wildlife such as deer, hares, seals, and puffins.
No matter what your fitness level, Ireland has walks for anyone and everyone! Your driver guide will be able to advise you on your options and help you make any arrangements as necessary.
Cliffs of Moher Walk from Doolin Village, Clare
The pounding waves of the Atlantic Ocean on one side, the lush green countryside of County Clare on the other… this cliff walk is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Setting off from Doolin village on the Wild Atlantic Way, as you walk you will slowly see the awesome Cliffs of Moher (over 700 feet high) come into view. Though not physically demanding, this spectacular walking trail is not for the faint-hearted as you will need a head for heights.
Dunmore Head Walk – Dingle, Kerry
Dunmore Head is the most westerly point in Europe and arguably has the most dramatic scenery that Ireland has to offer. Located on the rugged Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Dunmore is marked with an Ogham stone commemorating the ancient pagan traditions of the past. This is a beautiful walk as you trek towards the edge of Europe from Couminole Beach and see the raw beauty of the Blasket Islands looking across the wild Atlantic – next stop New York.
Bray Head Walk – Valentia Island, Kerry
Walking to Bray Head along the coastline of Valentia Island, County Kerry is a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours. Part of the Wild Atlantic Way, a UNESCO Heritage site and views of a Star Wars filming location (the Skellig Islands) make the Bray Head loop walk simply unmissable. The route is waymarked and family-friendly, and the Old Bray Head Tower is worth a look from a military and historical perspective.
Slieve League Walk – Donegal
At nearly three times the height of the Cliffs of Moher, the Slieve League Cliffs in County Donegal are among the highest sea cliffs in Europe. Walking the coastal paths of another glorious section of the Wild Atlantic Way reveals amazing views of Sligo, Leitrim, and Mayo. Only experienced walkers should tackle the advanced route to the narrow “One Man’s Pass”. You have been warned!
Derrybawn Woodland Trail (The Orange Trail), Glendalough, Wicklow
Glendalough is a spectacular glacial valley famed for its monastic city and teeming with history, scenery, and great walking trails. This walk begins with a steep ascent beside the picturesque Poulanass Waterfall and continues above the ancient glacial valley through larch and pine woodlands and oak forests over about 8 km. This is a highly recommended route.
Croagh Patrick, Mayo
Leading to the peak of Croagh Patrick Mountain, this walking trail is loved by hillwalkers and pilgrims alike. Located near the town of Westport in County Mayo, the summit is 762m above sea level and takes an average of two hours to ascend. Your reward will be magnificent views of Clew Bay and Mayo, and, depending on your beliefs, maybe even divine inspiration. Some pilgrims ascend barefoot though we do not recommend this.
Diamond Hill, Connemara
Diamond Hill is a scenic loop walk around the beautiful boglands, mountains, and heaths of Connemara National Park. The route leads along a narrow ridge as you ascend the summit for excellent views of the Connemara coastline, the Twelve Bens mountain range, Kylemore Lough, and the islands of Inishturk, Inishbofin, and Inishshark.
Cong Forest Nature Trail
This route is a short nature trail around Cong village, and takes in Ashford Castle, now a luxury hotel that was converted from a Victorian castle. Nearby is the ruined Medieval Cong Abbey where the last High King of Ireland resided. The Cross of Cong, an artistic Celtic Cross can be seen here. There are plenty of walking routes in the area to suit all ages and fitness levels, and the natural environment and wildlife are second to none.
Ballintoy Harbour to Ballycastle – Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
Leaving Ballintoy village and awesome views of Sheep Island, this route takes you via the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, a 20m suspension bridge from the mainland to Carrick-a-Rede Island where you can see as far as Scotland. The bridge was built to give salmon fishermen access to their nets during the season and taken in every autumn before the gales arrived. Part of the rugged Causeway Coastal Route, this walking trail is up there with the best (even if you skip the bridge walk).
Great Western Greenway – biking route/cycleway in Mayo
The Greenway in County Mayo is a walking and cycling trail (the longest in Ireland at 42kms) between the towns of Westport and Achill. It follows the route of a disused railway line between the two towns. The scenery here is unreal, with classy views of Clew Bay and Achill Island. We recommend this as a cycling route, but you can extend the trail by taking in the unspoiled beaches or stopping for a round of golf. Nearby are attractions like Croagh Patrick and Westport House.
Inagh Valley, Connemara – biking route/cycleway
Located around the stunning Connemara National Park, this cycleway passes Ballynahinch Lough on the way to the scenic Inagh Valley. Lough Inagh and the Twelve Pins Mountain range are on one side and the Mum Turk Mountain Range flank you on the other. This flexible route gives you the option to return to Clifden, or pedal onwards to Kylemore Abbey or Killary Fjord.