Best Donegal Beaches- Wild Atlantic Way

Outdoors is best for Family Holidays in 2021

Planning the family holiday for Ireland in 2021 has never been so complicated, but one thing for sure is we will be staying in Ireland.  Covid-19 has ensured that we will be staying in Ireland this summer and we want to help you plan that summer holiday in the outdoors. 

Best Beaches Sligo

Horse Riding on a beach, Sligo

1 Get Ready for Holidays   For this year’s family holiday organize all the equipment –  the wetsuit, the rucksacks,  the layers of clothing, rainwear, and of course the sunscreen! Good walking shoes for all the family – as runners or sandals are not suited to walking the hills and trails of Ireland. Bring your bikes on holidays so if you don’t have a bike rack get a local courier to take the bikes to the holiday destination for you. A rug and beach towels will be needed as well.  Remember to bring the football and the bucket and spade – which may be in short supply due to lack of deliveries from China! Details of the best beaches of the Wild Atlantic Way and each county are in our blogs


2 Road Trips  We are blessed with lots of great drives and road trips we can take in 2021 with no overseas tour buses coming in the opposite direction. Enjoy the roads and country lanes as the cows are on the way home for milking.  The Wild Atlantic Way driving route, at 2,500km,  is the longest coastal driving route in the world. Having driven the Great Ocean Road in Australia and the Pacific Highway in California, the Wild Atlantic Way leaves them behind for beauty, great activity, the best beaches, and places to stop for those amazing photos. And we have it all to ourselves! With a  camper van or a tent for sleeping in this is the best way to travel this route. 


Best in Cork

Night Kayak in West Cork

3. Accommodation – Self-catering and camping will be the most popular ways to stay for that multi-generational family holiday. They are safest, with a lot of outdoor space. Due to Covid-19 Cleaning requirements, most self-catering owners are expecting people to stay for a week in one place. Embrace this challenge and plan your holiday by researching the area in advance. There will be self-catering accommodation at the last minute as some owners have agreed to a 30-day cancellation policy with overseas customers, who will probably not be here this summer.  Contact the owners directly and see if they may have accommodation coming available during the summer months. There are also glamping, camping, boats on the Shannon and other waterways.  Whatever you choose, make sure you have enough bed space for each member of the party – tempers can get frayed if there is not a bed to sleep in.


4 Spend time with Grandparents – Multi-Generational family trips are about getting to know one another again, to spend time together and share  meals and stories after 12 months of being apart.  Time with grandparents, cousins and other relations is precious and needs to be savoured. These trips also need planning. Make a list of options and choose a base for your holiday.  Make a list of the activities family members would enjoy.  Granny may not enjoy fishing but Grandad might love passing on skills to the next generation.  No need to spend all day together – to enjoy a holiday, take a loop walk along the Sheep’s Head or other walking routes.   The younger generation may have a lot of energy to burn off – so get outdoors and try new experiences in an area. And remember to pre-book with a reputable provider, like Activity Days. 


Take a Sea Safari

5  Food – Meals out may be difficult to organize but the area you are staying in will have markets selling local produce and restaurants offering eat-at-home meals.  Take a food tour or pre-order steak from the local butcher to eat with fresh potatoes, strawberries, and local vegetables.  Research, plan, and order before the holiday to avoid disappointment. Organize a picnic basket, plastic ware, a sharp knife, T-towel and a cool bag all help with getting children fed quickly and easily. That rug and beach towels will be needed as well.



6 Share the Outdoor Activity Planning – Kids clubs may not be available this year – but a parent or grandparent can take children and teenagers on an activity or trip, giving other adults a break for a day.  Try horse-riding, kayaking, surfing or plan a boat trip to an island or climb a hill or take a loop walk in the area you are staying in. Treats are important – be that the ice cream shop or the local chocolate shop, or that wood-fired pizza at the end of the day. Last summer we had so many disappointed people who tried to book night kayaks, island trips, or sea safaris. Due to Covid-19 there are protocols in place and limited numbers on some trips. Outdoors is the safest place to be this summer. We can plan day or multi-day trips with drives and activities, but we do not offer accommodation planning in 2021.  Take a look at the packages we offer for Cork, and we can do similar for other counties along the Wild Atlantic Way.


Best in Cork

Visit a Lighthouse along Wild Atlantic Way

7 Outdoors is Best – This year the outdoors will be the safest and best fun for all the family. Take a look at the activities we offer, the Blue Flag beaches and offshore islands or lakes you can visit. Make a wish list of what you like to do. Teenagers love selfies and social media- so get them to share the images and love with family and friends. It will be a summer to remember – so get planning and pre-book the activities. There are lots of ruins, colourful villages and walks to take with the family – get out early in the day, as forest walks and beaches are getting crowded later in the day. Experience the best Ireland has to offer this summer. 

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