Why Walk with a Guide on your Hiking Tour of Ireland
The best way to experience Ireland is by foot. Hiking in Ireland allows you to slowly absorb the country and it’s culture as opposed to speeding through it. It takes you into the wilderness and introduces you to the rural side of Ireland. You can hike on your own with our self-guided hiking option; however, there are many benefits to taking a guided tour having guides along with you who can enhance your Ireland hiking vacation and will elevate it beyond just hiking.
Benefits of Guided Hiking Tours
Safety is Their Priority: Guides are trained in safety and know the pitfalls of the trails. They know what to do and who to call if you run into trouble. They carry first aid kits, and know how to use them, so you can simply enjoy your walk and lighten the load.
You Will Learn More About the History and Culture of The Area: The Irish are storytellers, and your guides will fill your head with stories about cultures of old.
“My guide Linda explained that if you go in the Gallarus Oratory the back way through the east window and then come out the front west door (the only two openings) it means you’ll get married in a year. However as I looked at the east window it struck me how small it was; you had to be itsy bitsy tiny to fit in that back window just proving that apparently plump people don’t get married. I told Linda my theory and we both laughed. This is why I love hiking with guides, I never would have learned this interesting folklore if I had been on my own. A guide can bring a place and a culture to life for you.” Sherry USA
A guide is a wealth of knowledge about the area. Ireland is full of historical buildings, facts, and cultural anecdotes. Guides give your hike and the landscapes you are experiencing a context you might not get on your own.
Get Local Recommendations for Places to Eat or See: On each of our hikes you will have a few free nights where you can decide where you want to eat dinner and refuel for the next day. If you want to set out on your own, just ask your guide where they recommend for the best food, music, or pub atmosphere. All of our guides are locals and are happy to give you ideas for where the locals go so you can really soak in the Irish culture.
They Will Take On All of Your Questions: Why is it called Valley of the Mad? What is that building? When was it built? Why are the roads so narrow? Can you eat bog butter? Why are there so many sheep here? You’ve got a question – your guide has an answer.
They Know The Trails and Can Set Your Expectations: Guides can tell you what is coming up on a trail, what difficulty or terrain to expect for a hike, where the hard parts are, and how long they last. You’ll eliminate those crazy mind games of “How much further?!” Plus, they know where to go, so you don’t have to even read a map or trail sign if you don’t feel like it. You can simply follow and enjoy the view.
They Have a Plan B…And C: It’s inevitable that things don’t always go as planned on a hike. Halfway through the day you may be greeted with pouring rains and heavy winds. A trail may not be open. Or maybe you are just incredibly sore from the day before. A guide always has another option for you so you don’t waste any precious vacation time.
What’s better than one guide? Two Guides!
This year we are introducing two guides for every guided trip. We found the abilities of guests were getting wider and wider making it hard for people to agree on a hiking vacation that was the appropriate level. Of course you’ll get all the benefits listed above regarding guides in general, but you’ll also get additional benefits.
Flexibility: Having two guides means people of varying fitness can both come and hike at different paces or distances, but meet up at the end of their walk each day and compare notes. Plus, not everyone wants to have hard walks every day so this way they can vary their walking experience and not end up exhausted (or possibly frustrated from a lack of satisfying exercise) at the end of their holiday.
Two Mini-Vans: Both Guides will have mini-vans so they will be able to adapt more to each groups’ needs as they plan each daily hike with the group.
“It was wonderful having the choice of walks each day – I never felt under pressure to keep up and was happy to let my partner walk at his own pace each day.” Sabine, Germany
How Does a Hike Work With Two Guides?
Every day there will be a harder hike option and an easier hike option. Every night the guides will go through the options and each person can decide what they want to choose. The harder hikes will typically last the whole day. While the easier hikes will be shorter and then include some cultural extra’s that will immerse people more into Ireland and Irish culture. You may learn how to make an Irish Coffee, play the bodhran drum, or visit an island or a visitor attraction. At the end of the day the whole group meets up again at the accommodation and can spend the evening together.
“I loved the visit to see the Sheep Farmer – that was really terrific & normally I would never do that type of thing – but this time I had the option & really enjoyed it.” Ingrid, Holland.
And the best part about hiking with guides is you always have someone to share the incredible experiences with, even if you are travelling solo! Take a look at all of our guided hiking tours and start planning your hiking trip in Ireland today!