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19th Jun 2023

8 great value activities to enrich your short break this summer

Sarah McKenna Barry

Brought to you by DiscoverIreland.

Your summer just got brighter.

Long summer days are here, and it’s fair to say that many of us are looking to fill them with adventures and activities that are not only thrilling, but also affordable.

We all deserve a break, and with so much to see and do, we are seeking more frequent breaks to take in as much as we can at home. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our top picks of free and very affordable things to do this summer. Whether it’s a waterway to explore or a once-in-a-lifetime experience, these activities can add so much to your holiday itinerary without emptying your wallet.

Add these 8 activities to your list, and make this summer one to remember.

Waterford Greenway, Co. Waterford

For a glorious cycle along a car-free path this summer, visit Waterford and venture along the Greenway.

This 46km smooth route stretches from Waterford City to the town of Dungarvan on the coast, and along the route you’ll take in the banks of the River Suir, the Comeragh Mountains and the beaches of Waterford’s Copper Coast. Along the way, there are plenty of cafés to stop off in for a caffeine fix, or refuel at one of the villages restaurants. The Greenway is completely free to explore either on foot or by bike, but bike rentals are also available from a number of operators including Waterford Greenway Cycle Tour and Bike Hire, starting at €25.

Mid Ireland Adventure, Co. Offaly

Fulfil your need for adventure this summer by incorporating a trip to Mid Ireland Adventure into your summer break. This off-the-beaten track centre offers a wide range of activities, so you’re bound to find something to fit your vibe while still getting great value for money. With a stand up paddle board rental, for instance, you can enjoy six hours on the water for just €60 per person.

As well as Mid Ireland Adventure’s numerous watersports options, their sister company, the Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Centre, offers thrilling tours of Europe’s oldest mountain range, the Slieve Blooms. Bike rentals for adults start at €40 for a half day on the glorious trails.

Suir Blueway Tipperary, Co. Tipperary

53km of Blueway connect Carrick-on-Suir to Cahir via Clonmel, and a journey along even part of it makes for an excellent summer day out. The walking and cycling trail runs for 21km and it’s completely free, or you can check out some of the canoeing and kayaking options on the water.

A number of kayaking and canoeing clubs are available on the Blueway. At Suir River Adventures, for instance, you can make a group booking for a 2-hour trip kicking off in the Cahir area at €30 per person.

Cavan Adventure Centre, Co. Cavan

Located on the Lough Oughter waterway system, Cavan Adventure Centre offers a huge range of affordable, water based activities to choose from. With everything from kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing and boat tours, visitors can make serious waves in their navigation abilities without having to splash too much cash!

Choose from kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, or enjoy a boat tour around the picturesque waterways. Kayaking costs €35 per adult, stand-up paddleboarding costs €25 per person and canoe rentals, which can accommodate two adults and three small children costs €80 per canoe. If you’d prefer staying on solid ground, explore the ground by bike or learn about the local wildlife on a biodiversity tour of the region.

Dublin Coastal Trail, Co. Dublin

From North to South, Dublin’s coastline is ripe for exploration, and this summer is the ideal time to visit its beaches, promenades and harbours.

Swing by Skerries and visit one of Ireland’s busiest fishing harbours or walk Howth Head and spend a relaxing afternoon in the village. On the Southside, take a walk down Dún Laoghaire Pier, hike Killiney Hill and cool off with a swim in the Vico Baths.

Dursey Boat Trips, Co. Cork

Ever dreamt of going on a sea safari? Well, with Dursey Boat Trips, now you can.

Dursey Boat Trips operate tours out to the wild Bull Rock off the Beara Peninsula as well as excursions around Castletownbere Harbour and Bere Island. Adult rates on the tours start at €50, and that ticket covers an unforgettable sea experience. Throughout your trip, you have the chance of seeing some incredible marine life including whales, dolphins, basking sharks, seals, gannets and puffins. What’s more, this tour offers unique viewpoints of top attractions, including Puxley’s Mansion, O’Sullivan Bere Castle, Bere Islands and the Roancarrig and Ardnakinna lighthouses.

The Limerick Greenway, Co. Limerick

Grab your bike, gather your friends and challenge yourself with this rewarding cycle track this summer.

Located just 30 minutes from Limerick City, the Limerick Greenway is a 40km path that allows the cyclist to explore this fascinating region. Pedal along the route, visit the local attractions. The route is in close proximity to Desmond Castle, Newcastle West, the newly re-developed Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum, Curragh Chase Forest Park and the nearby picturesque village of Adare. When hunger hits, head into one of the many villages on the Greenway for a well-earned lunch. Ardagh, Abbeyfeale, Rathkeale are just some of the towns dotted along the route, and they all boast authentic Irish pubs and restaurants.

North Bull Island, Co. Dublin

Did you know that Dublin is home to a UNESCO designated biosphere that is completely free to visit? Journey out to North Bull Island and you’ll find salt marshes, natural habitats and a range of precious wildlife, and this summer is the perfect time to explore it.

Ramble through the sandy dunes, stroll along the iconic Dollymount Beach or enjoy a dip in Dublin Bay. Once you’ve taken in the nature of this unique landscape, head into the village of Clontarf and warm up with some fish and chips from Beshoff Bros, while overlooking the Irish Sea.

For more ideas on how to make the most of your short break in Ireland, visit

Brought to you by DiscoverIreland.

From unmissable cycles to unforgettable water activities, there is plenty to do and discover in Ireland this summer. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the very best of Ireland without breaking the bank.

So, what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to book a break.

The Leave No Trace principles help us make as little an impact as possible on the incredible Irish landscape as we explore the outdoors this summer and beyond. Keep outdoor areas safe, clean and free from waste/hazards, and help protect the natural environment. Love this place, leave no trace.

Brought to you by DiscoverIreland.