According to the announcements of the Irish government, public health measures and restrictions that have been applied in recent months will be eased significantly from 5 May 2021. Therefore, the demands for outdoor activities within Ireland might increase in upcoming months. This is why I think recommending five selected places to visit, could be useful for you, if you’re interested in hiking, water sports, wild camping, or any other outdoor activities from May, after the long period of lockdown caused by Covid-19. However, this article is not only about things to do in nature, but also provides you with information about some less well-known spots of the Emerald Isle. You can explore these hidden natural spots to get more familiar with Irish history as well.
Ben Bulben – Co. Sligo
If you are interested in hiking in the beautiful countryside of Ireland, then Ben Bulben is a must. Its Irish name is Binn Ghulbain and it is one of the most impressive rock formations that you can encounter on the Emerald Isle, as part of Dartry Mountains. Ben Bulben’s highest point is 526 m which makes it a suitable climbing spot for people who have prior experience, as its northern side can be tricky and hazardous, especially in stormy weather, although its southern side is not steep, therefore it is perfect for an easy walk.
Furthermore, the surrounding areas of Ben Bulben, like Glencar Lough and its waterfall can also provide people with beauty that once inspired Nobel Prize winning Irish poet William Butler Yeats. This is a land with plenty of opportunities for wild camping, hiking, and getting lost a little in nature whenever it is needed.
Mullaghmore Head – Co. Sligo
Next to the little village of Mullaghmore, there lies Mullaghmore Head which is one of the appealing spots for Irish surfing communities to find some big waves to ride on. However, it is important to mention that Mullaghmore Head is not for beginner surfers. Due to its geographical location, the place is exposed completely to the Atlantic Ocean and its capricious and huge waves, plus the windy, stormy Irish climate can also make it a tough one to surf. Although Mullaghmore has also got a nice sandy beach as well, that makes this spot an excellent holiday destination nonetheless.
Kylemore Abbey – Co. Galway
Here is a spot for people who are also interested in Irish history and culture. Located at the shore of Pollacapall Lough, near the coast of County Galway there lies Kylemore Abbey, which was built initially as a castle in 1868. It is a lovely touristic site that is the home of a Benedictine community of nuns, who fled from Belgium during World War I and settled down at this place to find peace and solitude. With the gothic remarks of its church and its Victorian Walled Garden, Kylemore Abbey now serves as a boarding school for girls.
Fanad Head Lighthouse – Co. Donegal
If one is eager to explore the coastline of Ireland, and for some reason ends up in Donegal, Fanad Head Lighthouse is the one that should be checked out. It is considered as one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world and surrounded by wild, romantic and truly beautiful natural landscapes. Due to its geographical location, it is one of the most astonishing spots of the Wild Atlantic Way. Moreover, this point of the coastline is regularly visited by whales, porpoises, and dolphins, especially during the summer and early autumn.
Lough Hyne – Co. Cork
Located in West Cork, Lough Hyne is a fully marine lough that is connected to the Atlantic Ocean via Barloge Creek, by a narrow tidal channel, called the Rapids. It is indeed a spectacular place to check out, not only because of the natural beauty that one can encounter here, but the lake also provides people with many opportunities for doing water sports like kayaking at night.
Approaching the end of the Covid-era, travel will soon be a way to spend our time and refresh our energy again. Ireland is full of beauty, it is unquestionable, and everyone can find some peace in the nature of it. Whether it is only about a short vacation or a significant time of exploring, the Emerald Isle is always ready to put a spell on your soul and take you to fairy-tale-like places that we are inclined to think only exist in books and movies.