The top 7 activities in the west of Ireland
We are often asked by our customers from the UK visiting Sligo what are the best attractions in this west of Ireland. We have compiled a list of which ones we think are worth considering if you are heading west!.
1. What SUP? Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the most popular adventure activities that suits people of all ages and physical abilities. There are various locations in Sligo that this activity can be done but we recommend the Garavogue in Sligo or out on Lough Gill amid the beautiful countryside immortalised by WB Yeats. Don't worry, you don't need to be in peak physical condition for this and in most cases, you should not get wet!. Such a great way to enjoy time with friends while enjoying some spectacular scenery in Sligo.
One of the most popular activities year after year is one on offer at Lough Key Forest Park in Boyle, Co. Roscommon. There is such a huge amount of activities to do at Lough Key
, from Zipit
and boating to bike trails and Segway woodland tours. One of our most popular activities is Crystal Maze (a.k.a Boda Borg) which is their indoor puzzle house and a truly unique experience. It is one of the many activities our team have tried and we found it such fun. There are 47 different challenges split into 15 quests. Some challenges are physical and other more mentally challenging. Definitely an activity that can get the competitive juices going. There is a lovely cafe/restaurant that is part of the complex where it's nice to chill out after completing the course. Check out our Crystal Maze hen party package
3. SURF’S UP.
As we have some of the finest surfing beaches in the world, you can’t experience the West coast without riding the waves. There are plenty of surf schools dotted along the beaches of the West, but our two favourites are Strandhill in Co. Sligo and Bundoran in Co. Donegal. Some of the more advanced surfers are attracted by the big waves at Mullaghmore. For us, Strandhill is a probably best for an overall experience. The village is a real hotspot for tourists with a host of great bars, restaurants and cafes. Two venues that really stand out as hotspots are Shell's Cafe
and the Strand Bar
. It might even be worth trying out one of the infamous Voya Seaweed Baths
after your surf experience - they are AMAZING!.
4. ON THE EDGE.
For the even more adventurous, Coasteering is a great call for the adrenaline junkies exploring old smugglers’ coves and whirlpools before thrilling sea jumps off cliff edges. There are a couple of great places for trying out Coasteering but we love Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo or Co. Bundoran in Donegal for the best craggy cliffs. Check out our Coasteering Stag Party Package
5. RAPID THRILLS. Whitewater rafting is an action-packed activity that is very popular, especially with the all-male groups. Those taking part drop over waterfalls and power through gorges as they ride the rapids on the rivers of Sligo and Leitrim. There are courses available for most grades with grade 1-2 runs and 3-4 for the more adventurous groups. It's probably best to do this activity in season which is when rain falls most (October through to November) but given the amount of rain that falls in the west of Ireland - it is normally available all year round.
6. MOUNTAIN HIGHS.
If jumping off cliffs and throwing yourself into the surf sounds a bit too adventurous, you can slow down along some of the most beautiful hikes and walks in the country. There are lots of tracks and trails all over the West. We particularly love the various trails up Knocknarea and Benbulben in Sligo. The Queen Maeve trail on Knocknarea is a great trail for all ages. You can find out more about this trail on Go Strandhill
. For those looking for a greater variety of trails - we recommend our partners Northwest Adventure Tours
who do tours throughout Ireland.
7. LAID BACK
. If you are just looking to sit back and enjoy the scenery, we recommend taking one of the many boat tours available. Some of our favourites are in County Leitrim – from a cruise on the Shannon to a tour of Lough Gill around Parke’s Castle. Moon River
do some great tours of the Shannon and the Rose of Innisfree
do great tours of Lough Gill which explores Yeats Country. For those looking to rent cruisers on the Shannon, there are loads of options like Shannon River
and Emerald Star