Ireland boasts a vast wealth of rugged terrain and outdoor spaces, but the region of Connemara is particularly well known for the outdoors. The terrain in Connemara ranges from idyllic coastal coves to the vast mountainous expanses in Connemara National Park - making it the ideal place to find extreme activities in Ireland. So if you are staying in one of our Galway holiday cottages and are looking for extreme activities in Connemara, read on for more information:
Whether you would like to try something new or refine your skills, there are plenty of options to get your adrenaline going; experiencing the freedom and rush of doing an outdoor activity. The name Connemara originates from a historical tribe, the Conmacne ‘of the Sea,’ so Connemara has been known for its coasts for a long time. With so much coastal area, lakes and rivers, it’s no wonder Connemara is renowned for its water sports. There are plenty of extreme activities in Ireland, but Connemara has the best setting and variety for water sports; from sea kayaking to jet skiing. But for those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land, fear not, there are plenty of dry activities on offers such as climbing, and go-karting.
Here are some of the best activities for you to try:
Kayaking is one of the most varied outdoor activities you can try. Kayaking on one of the many lakes in Connemara is a great way for beginners to be introduced to the sport, and learn the basics, while still being a place where intermediate and advanced kayakers can push themselves. There are plenty of activity centres offering training for beginners. However, if you’re looking for something to get your heart beating faster, you could try sea kayaking, or even whitewater kayaking, to really feel the thrill of being on the water, guiding your own craft and navigating through rocks and other obstacles. There are also guided sea kayaking tours on offer, where an instructor will guide you through the basics of kayaking, and lead you to some of the most beautiful and isolated coves along the Irish coast. Whichever you choose to do, you’ll pick up some great skills that you can use again and again.
Karting is the perfect way to escape from the congestion of day to day life and go full out on the course. Whether you’re looking to become a king of the road, or want to have some competitive fun with friends and family, karting is the answer. It’s a fast, safe, and exhilarating sport, and definitely one of the extreme activities in Ireland you should try. Karting is suitable for all ages and abilities as full training is provided on the day. You could try racing with friends, trying to beat your personal best lap time or refine your driving skills. Galway City Karting, a nearby centre, hosts a brand new fleet of junior and adult karts, with Honda engines ranging up to 200cc. They also provide professional lap timing - it is an ideal place to take a group of people.
When many people think of scuba diving, they think of hot climates and tropical waters, but what they don’t know if they’re missing out on scuba diving experiences closer to home. Scuba diving is one of the most underrated extreme activities in Ireland - it’s a hidden gem. And with the warm currents from the Gulf stream surrounding the Connemara coast, there’s plenty of marine life to satisfy your natural curiosity. Until you’ve tried scuba diving, you can never truly imagine the beauty of some of Ireland’s best seascapes, with cool coves and magnificent underwater rock formations, it’s a must-try. Activity centres run boat trips to world-class dive sites, where you can explore wrecks, inspect the marine life growing all around the Connemara coast, or just enjoy the peacefulness of the ocean. Many centres provide warm showers and hot drinks to warm you through after the dive.
Cycling is a great way to get out and explore some of the fantastic scenery in Ireland. There’s plenty of different cycling trails and routes for everyone to enjoy. Connemara has some fantastic mountain biking routes in the wild expanse of Connemara National Park. There are also plenty of easier and more scenic routes to suit all abilities. There are many undiscovered gems when it comes to cycling, and many cycle routes offer opportunities to have a completely road-free cycling experience. One of the more well-known routes is the Sky Road Loop, which rises to 150m above sea level and features incredible views of the Atlantic. You can also see the old ruin of Clifden castle. However, if you’re looking for a lesser well-known loop, look no further than the Cong Clonbur loop, which begins in the little village of Cong and navigates through quiet forested trails. Of course, there are plenty of options when it comes to hiring a cycle. Ranging from day-hires to multi-day hires, there’s a choice to suit your cycling needs. Don’t forget to stop at some of the quality pubs and shops for a quick rest and something to eat. The fantastic scenery, the range of mountain slopes and wooded valleys makes cycling in Connemara one of the best extreme activities to do in Ireland.
Coasteering provides a unique way to explore the coast of Ireland up close and personal. Coasteering combines the best of climbing, swimming, and cliff jumping to provide one of the most varied and interesting extreme activities you can try in Ireland. The sea forms some curious caves, cracks, and coves just waiting to be explored. These are places that are inaccessible to most people, so you’ll truly be exploring somewhere new and off-grid. You’ll go from being washed around by the swell, to taking huge adrenaline-pumping leaps into the sea from high cliffs. Coasteering sessions generally take up around half a day, including the time taken to kit-up and learn how to stay safe. It’s a fun, but safe sport, as fully trained instructors supervise the group at all times. A wetsuit, helmet, and wet shoes are provided to keep you warm and safe. This is an ideal activity for any group, with many activity centres running sessions to suit younger ones or sessions that take the adventure up a notch and really get your heart pounding. There’s also the chance to see some wildlife in its natural habitat.