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Tales from the Trail: Hiking in Ireland…Sunshine and warm sea breezes?

Ireland Hiking Tour

Hiking Tour of Ireland

I’ve spent my share of time in Ireland — it’s one of my favorite places. I’ve biked along Northern Ireland’s coast in March with drizzle and 45 degree temperatures keeping me company, and I’ve hiked many miles along the rugged Southwest coast with friends and family. After these explorations, when I’d come home to Vermont, it was always the chilly fall days that would transport me back to the cozy Irish pubs with their peat fires and bacon, potato, and cheese stews. But then I went hiking in Ireland last July. I was joining a Boundless Journeys group — all women friends — and had packed for what I thought was typical Irish climate. Rain gear, a warm sweater, hat and gloves. I was counting on mist, maybe a little rain, and cool temps; what the Irish call “soft” weather. We were all pleasantly surprised on our first morning of hiking to be enjoying crystal-clear views across Galway Bay, walking amid impossibly green hills perched over the dramatic dark blue of the North Atlantic.

The fine weather continued, and we remarked how lucky we were to enjoy our afternoon Guinness outside in the sunshine. Each day it got warmer until there was no denying it…. it was downright hot. Sizzling! So we joined the locals at the beach. None of us came to Ireland expecting long strolls on a beautiful ribbon of sand, fringed by surfing teens and border collies cooling off in the waves. But that’s the magic of travel: encountering — and embracing — the unexpected.

-Karen Cleary, Boundless Journeys operations manager

Part of Karen Cleary’s heart lives in Ireland.

Boundless Journeys is offering two hiking tours to Ireland this summer:

Ireland: Gems of the Emerald Isle

Ireland: Western Islands Special Departure

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