Enjoy laid-back adventures the Irish way

Discover the best of Ireland sustainably on a slow travel adventure across the island.

Glassy waters, mysterious islands with ancient statues, and a pace of life that forces you to go slowly combine to make the Fermanagh Lakelands irresistible for a slow travel experience in Northern Ireland. The best way to explore? Make some waves and take a barge, canoe or cruiser. It’s a whole way of life when you go by water, complete with lazy lunches at waterfront cafés and pauses to cycle in the countryside.

The Mourne Mountains are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in County Down; , and these mist-shrouded peaks will simply make you slow down. Base yourself at a hideaway like Birch Cottage, and spend days picnicking beside lakes and ambling up heather-covered slopes. Or you can join local adventurer Peter with Walk The Mournes and hike along the Mourne Wall, which runs for 19.5 miles over 15 mountains.

Nestled in the foothills of the Mweelrea Mountains, amidst the dry stone walls and wild orchids that dot the Connemara landscape, Delphi Resort is all about going slow and taking things at a gentler pace. Take your time on bike rides along country roads or go kayaking in the tranquil waters of Killary Fjord. Pure bliss.

Set sail on the ferry to the Aran Islands off the coast of County Galway to experience incredible, rugged landscapes. There’s lots of sustainable activities to choose from. Visit the famous prehistoric site Dún Aonghasa, enjoy a swim at Kilmurvey Beach, explore Inis Mór with Pony & Trap Tours or hire a bike and discover the islands’ amazing cycling routes.

The layered limestone landscape of the Burren in County Clare is like nowhere else on this earth. Even driving through it is an experience – but you should definitely stop and smell the roses! This EU-dedicated Special Area of Conservation is a cornucopia of wild delights where 70% of Ireland’s native plant species flourish. Make sure to take time to peruse The Burren Perfumery, where the Chowen family has been busy bottling Ireland’s scents and sharing its horticultural secrets since 1972.

Paddle away cares and stress in Killary Harbour, County Galway and Mayo
Paddle away cares and stress in Killary Harbour, County Galway and Mayo, © Tourism Ireland.

Newgrange, the Hill of Tara, Trim Castle; the Boyne Valley is at the heart of so much of Ireland’s history, myth and legend that rushing through it all would be a waste. Get your pulse racing at Boyne Valley Activities, or settle in for a stay at Decoy Country Cottages and take your time getting lost in 5,000 years of history, one tale at a time. Between the stories and the sights outside your window, you might never want to leave.

Stunning Wicklow Mountains National Park combines scenic drives with 20,000 hectares of wild bogland and heath perfect for hill walkers. This treasure trove of nature includes native oak woodland, conifer forests, serene lakes and herds of sika deer scattered throughout. For a step back in time, be sure to explore the incredible monastic site of Glendalough while you’re here.

Which slow travel adventures are you adding to your Ireland bucket list?

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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