If your looking to avoid the typical tourist spots in Ireland, or just add something different to an ordinary itinerary, here are 10 things to do in Ireland that most people don’t think of.
Avoiding Ireland Tourist Traps Option #1
Take the five minute flight out of Ineverin (19 miles west of Galway) to the Aran Islands. The flight is only 45 Euros round trip, and is well worth it for the views alone. When you arrive on Inis Mor, rent a bike for only 10 Euros a day. Visiting the many sites on the island, such as Dun Aonghasa- a prehistoric fort set on the edge of a 100 metre high cliff, can be easily done on a bicycle.
Avoiding Ireland Tourist Traps Option #2
Enjoy fishing? What better way to experience Ireland than a deep sea fishing trip! Dingle Bay Charters is located in Dingle, one of the most spectacular areas of Ireland. Full, half day and two-hour trips are offered. If your lucky, you might even get to see the famous Dingle dolphin, Fungie.
Avoiding Ireland Tourist Traps Option #3
If your going to visit Ireland for an extended period, you might consider volunteering at The Monkey Sanctuary. Willie Heffernan created Ireland’s only sanctuary for unwanted primates. These monkeys had unfortunately spent their lives in cages, but thanks to Willie they spend care-free days climbing and swinging from the trees. Volunteers are provided with room and board in exchange for their help. Visit www.monkeysanctuary.com/main.htm for details, including contact information.
Avoiding Ireland Tourist Traps Option #4
Are you single and visiting Ireland in September (a wonderful time of year to go)? You might consider attending the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, held throughout the month of September. Men and women from all over the world come to the village of Lisdoonvarna in hopes of meeting a charming Irishman or a lovely Irish lass. Even if you don’t meet Ms. or Mr. Right, you’ll have a great time listening to traditional Irish music and imagining your back in Ancient Ireland.
Avoiding Ireland Tourist Traps Option #5
In the heart of the Burren, unique itself as the terrain is made of limestone pavements with crisscrossing cracks called “grikes”, is Ailwee Cave. Take a tour of the cave (one of the oldest in Ireland), visit the Burren Birds of Prey, and you can even pick up a bottle of wine and some of the best cheese I’ve ever had at the Ailwee Cave Cheese Shop.
Avoiding Ireland Tourist Traps Option #6
Go Kitesurfing. Or, just watch the kitesurfers! Dollymount is a popular beach, easily accessible from Dublin, with plenty of room for kite surfing. If your interested in lessons, www.puremagic.ie can set you up.
Avoiding Ireland Tourist Traps Option #7
Take a tour of the haunted castles of Ireland, including the most famous, Leap Castle in County Offaly. Other famously haunted castles in the Republic of Ireland are Clonony Castle in County Offaly, Gormanston Castle in County Meath, Huntington Castle in County Carlow, Killua Castle in Westmeath, and Wilton Castle in County Wexford.
Avoiding Ireland Tourist Traps Option #8
Go horseback riding on the beach! Imagine riding a horse down country roads and on a beach in Ireland. There are many outfits who offer this, but I highly recommend Burke’s Beach Riding. They are based on the Ring of Kerry, one of the most incredibly beautiful places in all of Ireland. Go to www.beachtrek.ie/ for information.
Avoiding Ireland Tourist Traps Option #9
Visit Newgrange at winter solstice. At 5,000 years old, this ancient tomb is older than the pyramids. The only time of the year the tombs chamber lights up with natural sunlight is on a winter solstice morning. Ancient Irish Druids and Astrologists perfectly constructed it for this purpose. A lottery system is in place for people who wish to visit during this time. This makes for a rare and magical experience indeed. Visit www.knowth.com/newgrange.htm for details.
Avoiding Ireland Tourist Traps Option #10
Just get lost on the many narrow, meandering back roads! Find the remains of an old castle, an ancient tower or meet a local farmer. The best times can be had getting lost in Ireland.
Don’t stick to the same old itinerary every other tourist is following, and you’ll have a much better experience because of it! Either way, its hard not to have a wonderful time visiting Ireland.