With its rolling hills, centuries-old castles and world famous pubs, Ireland may not seem like a particularly thriving adventure travel destination, but the Emerald Isle has more to offer adrenaline junkies than you might think. There's something for everyone, whether you prefer hiking, skiing or rafting, and according to CNN Travel there are a few destinations in particular you should make sure to visit if you want to add some thrills to your Ireland excursion.
Surfing in West Cork
Ireland doesn't often get much attention when it comes to top surfing destinations, especially with places like California, Australia, Hawaii and even Portugal offering quality waves, but West Cork is ideal if you're looking to hang ten during your trip. It's particularly well suited for beginners, according to Colum McAuley, the owner of one of the area's surfing schools.
"When the waves break, they roll in for a long distance so you have a lot of time to get to your feet," McAuley told CNN.
Hiking opportunities abound
Exploring the mountainous landscape of any new country is always exciting, and that's no different for Ireland. There are a number of popular mountains and trails to hit, but one of the best choices is Croagh Patrick in Mayo County. Standing an accessible 2,507 feet tall, the mountain has become a popular destination for travelers looking to add some rock climbing to their trip. While the activity certainly adds some adventure, it also provides some of the best views you're likely to find. There are several other climber-friendly peaks in Mayo County including Mweelrea and Lecanvey.
Get in the water
Kayaking is unique in that it can offer both pulse-pounding excitement and serene relaxation, depending on where you are. You can certainly find both in Ireland, notes The Guardian. There are countless bodies of water littered across Ireland, but one of the best for kayaking is River Laune in County Kerry. While it may not have as many rapids as true adventure enthusiast may want, its unrivaled natural beauty more than makes up for it. Along with the breathtaking landscape, the River is also home to a wide variety of animals you may encounter along the way, including nesting eagles.
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