Well if you are a National Geographic fan then you’ll certainly be interested to learn that they put Ireland in the top five walking and hiking destinations in the world! Ireland is rich with beautiful scenery of course, but is also steeped in history, mythology and ancient paths to follow and discover. Although a small island the variety of landscape is huge, there’s beach & coastal walks, lush green valleys, bogs, forests, rivers, historic towns and even trails up mountain ranges. The first thing you’ll need to do is decide what sort of Irish Walking Holiday it is that you’re after.
The Irish are such a nation of walkers so you’ll find the trails are always fresh and really well marked but rarely busy, meaning quite often you’ll enjoy breath taking views all by yourselves on your Irish Walking Holiday.
The fact that Ireland is a small island gives it a distinctively different ecology to Britain, there are far fewer species than on the mainland because it is more difficult for animals and plants to colonise. This may not sound like a selling point, but the flipside is that islands in general do tend to have more species that are endemic to them, Ireland included. The Irish whitebeam tree is an example of this, plus four different bird species; the jay, the dipper, the coal tit and the red grouse. There is something so special about seeing endemic species in the wild and knowing that this can’t be done anywhere else on the earth.
At 4000km in length, the coastline of Ireland is actually longer than that of France, which brings with it a great wealth of seagulls and many marine animals including seals, whales and dolphins. Also, because Ireland is the most northerly country in the world it has fresh water that doesn’t freeze over for long in winter time, which is very significant for birds that breed in the Arctic as it offers survival for these birds through the freezing winter months.
You will find the landscape in Ireland very unpolluted, although the population is of course growing it still largely remains within the urban areas meaning the countryside is unspoilt, often uninhabited and beautifully peaceful with its biodiversity still intact.
And if you still need persuading on the benefits of hopping over to Ireland to hike, then look no further than their pubs! With open fires, thatched roofs, home brews and very friendly and welcoming people, the pub lunches will certainly only add pleasure to your Irish Walking Holiday.