Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world, has named numerous Irish adventure experiences on a bucket list of global outdoor thrills, including swimming at the Forty Foot in Dublin, the Wild Atlantic Ways and surfing at the Cliffs of Moher, Clare.
The mentions are included in the travel bible’s latest tome, Atlas of Adventure, the ultimate global travel encyclopaedia which lists the best outdoor experiences in over 150 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe
The Atlas praises Ireland’s coastline as having “Europe’s biggest, best and most varied surf” with notable water sports spots “from Donegal in the north, all the way down the west coast, past County Cork to Wexford,” but singled out the Cliffs of Moher in Clare.
“The ‘perfect’ big wave is Aileen’s, a 12m monster off the colossal Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, named after nearby headland Aill na Searrach (the cliff of foals) by the local surfer John McCarthy. who first rode it.”
Dublin gets the nod twice with the Forty Foot and the annual Liffey Swim, held this weekend, making the list.
“The Forty Foot on the edge of Dublin Bay is mentioned in James Joyce’s Ulysses and still attracts sea swimmers year-round while each August the capital’s Liffey River hosts the world’s second oldest continuously swum open race.”
Tourism’s Ireland hugely successful Wild Atlantic Way is lauded as an experiential way to discover the West’s coastal byways.
“In a country, less than 500km long, the Irish have conjured up the innovative 2500km Wild Atlantic Way, which follows the coast-hugging roads and boreens (lanes) of the west coast to string together adventure-activity outfitters, spell-binding seascapes and welcoming bars.”
The esteemed publication touts Ireland as a “top destination for coastal adventures, testing endurance events and multiday walks” with the ultimate reward pf “end-of-the-day pints and pub music” to look forward to.
“Ireland is defined by the sea”, says the Lonely Planet, “Huge waves, towering cliffs and long beaches attract elite surfers, sea paddlers, climbers, kiters and open-water swimmers.”
Ireland’s status as a whale and dolphin sanctuary, a sea-kayaking destination, and a circumnavigation challenge are also listed.
Not alone a destination for coastal thrills, climbing, cycling and hiking were also mentioned as adventure sports on offer in Ireland.
Looking further afield, the list also recommends to those struck with wanderlust to ascend Ecuador’s spectacular Avenue of Volcanoes and try their hand at ice-skating around Stockholm’s archipelago in Sweden.