Walking In Ireland – Get Planning.

Ireland is a great country for walking with many off road routes to ramble along and way markets routes. The details of the Irish Walks are on Irish Trails website IrishTrails.ie. For Guided Walking Trails ActivityDays has a range which is growing each month, and if you do not know the route it is the safest way to walk in Ireland.

There are many Way Marked Route in Ireland and there are guided organised walks with local expert guides. There are people who want to climb the highest and most difficult walks in Ireland. The highest mountain for hiking in Ireland is Carrauntoohil,  but I would choose to climb the nearby Mount Brandon or Hungry Hill as they have great views of the sea, has a lot less people climbing it each day – contact us if you would like a guide. For an upland walk why not choose part of the Sheep’s Head Way or the Beara Way. Take a walk on an island with a guide as we offer on Dursey Island or take a self-guided walk on Cape Clear.  

Get Fit before your Holiday

Ireland has an excellent health care system, but prepare and do not take a walk you are not fit enough for.  ActivityDays uses a fitness level from 1 to 5 with most walks being level 3 was and the mountain walks being a level 5 walk. In Ireland many WayMarked walks are off road with no clear paths, unlike the mainland Europe walks. Start getting fit at least a month before your walking holiday and take a walk for about an hour 2-4 times a week extending the time you spend out each time. Carry a loaded backpack with you as well as part of the training. If your have a medical condition get it checked before staring the training regime.

Health & Safety for Walkers

Take out Insurance before you travel. For EU citizens the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is available from health countries, and carry with you for free treatment in any EU country. This covers emergency treatment and does not cover cost of getting you home.  

No Vaccinations are needed for travelling to Ireland. When you arrive allow for Jet Lag and give your body 1-2 days to recover, especially if its a long flight.

What Clothing to bring for a Walking Holiday

1 Backpack – a day pack is usually enough as you do not wallet to carry a big backpack of 90Lt on your back. Make sure to put clothing etc in plastic bags in the backpack, just in case it is not waterproof.

Walking Boots – Get a proper pair of walking boots for the trip at least 2 months ahead and break them in by wearing them a lot before the holiday, Runners are not suited as they do not have the grip needed for hiking and give no ankle support.

Socks – longer hiking socks with no seam on the toes are best.

Layers  of Clothing – wear a few layers of light comfortable loose clothing. An outer shell layer will protect from Rain or wind with a fleecer jacket inside it, a base layer underneath. The long trousers with long leg zips and zips on pockets.

Gaiters – gaiters are worn to protect the lower legs, keep socks dry and protect from Lymes disease. They are useful on a mucky hike or long scratchy plants and grasses.

Waterproof Jacket – this should be a breathable, waterproof jacket with pockets with strong zips, with a hood is best.

No Snakes in Ireland but we do have some Infectious Diseases

Lyme Disease – This is a really nasty illness caused by tick bites and has been diagnosed in quite a few people in recent years. The ticks may be carried into long grass by deer and other wild animals. Golfers, farmers  and hill walkers are the main group who have been diagnosed with this illness in the past few years. The illness beings with a rash close to the tick bite and followed by a fever, exhausting, headache, aching joints and stiff neck. If untreated the illness can cause serious joint, and nervous system illness.

To Prevent Lymes Disease – wear long trouser and socks with trousers tucked into socks. Have a shower at the end of the day and if bitten by a tick make sure to disinfect it at once. Check clothing for ticks at the end of each day.

Tetanus– This germ lives in the soil and is carried by the faceless of animals. If you have a cut in the skin it can enter the body.

To Prevent – Make sure to keep all cuts and blisters covered with a waterproof bandage.  A Tetanus Shot should be one of your vaccinations before the holiday.

Fungal Infections – Fungal infections happen when we sweat a lot, as when walking long distances. Wear loos clothing, wash often and dry completely. Make sure that feet get fresh air every day as sweat can build up in walking boots.

To Prevent  Fungal Feet Infections – Anti Fungal creams are available, salt water or cider vinegar are well know cures. So at the end fo the day put your feet in sea water for for 20 minutes

Problems for Walkers in Ireland.

Sunscreen – Ireland is a mild climate and on a dull overcast day some people may get sunburn. Bring sunscreen and wear a hat when out walking

Midges – these are small insects who are found from late May to late September . They are found in damp ground ferns, rushes and moss and are at their busiest in the early morning and late evening. The do not like wind, rain or strong sunshine. The problems is they bite, get in the hair and can surround you in a dark cloud and they seem to like some people more than others. The females bite the skin suck some blood, and cause an itch.

To Prevent Midge Bites –   Wear Long sleeved and trousers and a hat. Repelants are available made from Citronella or rub a eucalyptus based repellent on the  exposed skin.

Blisters – Bring your hiking boots from home, making sure they are well worn before the trip. Make sure the boots are big enough to allow toes to move – otherwise you will get blisters on the toes. Make sure the boots fit well at the ankles and do not slip around. Wear longer socks ,and bring a spare pair in case you get the first pair wet while walking.

Knee Strain – the knees ofter cause trouble before the feet, especially as you go foe a steep hill – bring a set of folding hiking  poles to take some weight off the knees. You can wear bandages and knee supports but take it easier on the descent with shorter steps so have less strain on the knees

Plan a Walking Holiday in Ireland

The best way to enjoy a holiday in Ireland is to plan it well, meet local guides as you travel who know the area best. There are many areas where you can walk on loop walks and enjoy planning your holiday. ActivityDays would love to help you plan your walking holiday in Ireland guided or self-guided. Take a look at Blog on the best Walking Festivals in Ireland.

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