Boasting endless cliffs, caves, coves, islands and beaches, West Cork, Kerry, Achill, Connemara, Sligo and Clew Bay near Westport are ideal for ocean voyages. In fact, practically the entire coast is waiting to be explored by sea kayak. And when conditions are calm, this is the perfect activity for all the family – from the kiddies to the grandparents.
Those who prefer the open-top freedom of Canadian canoes are well catered for too. Lough Derg is a fantastic choice but there are also a plethora of lakes and rivers across Kerry, Sligo, Connemara and Ballyhoura.
If that all sounds lovely but a little too mellow, don’t despair! It’s no secret that we get our fair share of rain and that’s when mountain rivers spring to life, putting smiles on the faces of adventure-seeking white-water kayakers.
These rivers are classified according to grades from 1 (flat or slow moving water for those new to the sport) to 6 (extremely difficult and dangerous rapids). Even at beginner level, paddling is a sport where you’ll need an instructor to improve your skills and help you read the river, lake or ocean. But stick at it and before long you could be shooting rapids or taking longer expeditions.