Ardmore - Kayak around the cliffs and take in the views. There are plenty of seal caves scattered along the way so you might see some wildlife if you're lucky! The wrecked crane ship "Samson" can be kayaked to at Ram Head. This wreck has been here since 1987!
Blackwater River - The Blackwater River passes through Ballyduff, Lismore, Cappoquin, Villierstown and enters the sea at Youghal Harbour. Pass by Lismore Castle, Dromana House and Ballinatray House. There are many guided tours along the river including tours run by us, head to our bookings page to book a slot & take in the unique views of this Special Area of Conservation!
Dingle Harbour Sea Caves, Dingle - There are guided tours of the Dingle sea caves, including a blowhole! There is plenty of wildlife to be spotted along this unique experience.
Innisfallen Island, Lough Leane, Killarney - Guided tours are available from Ross Castle to Innisfallen Island. This 21 acre island is the largest island on lake and is home to the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey, constructed in 640 AD. The tours include stories of the myths and legends of the island.
River Suir - There is plenty of kayaking to be done along the Suir Blueway path. Golden Kayaking offer tours along the way.
"Our most popular tour begins at the Moate, a popular swim spot 20 minutes north or Golden. It passes by the historical Athassel Abbey which has numerous weirs surrounding it to wet the appetite. After this we take a relaxing cruise to Ballycarron Bridge where we exit the river. The entire journey is approximately 2.5 hours and is suitable for all levels."
If you are interested in Golden Kayaking's kayak tours, contact Mike on 087 162 7000.
Lough Derg - The Tipperary section of Lough Derg has a variety of trialheads including Castlelough, Garrykennedy, Dromineer, Kilgarvan and Terryglass. For more information on kayaking Lough Derg see our Blueway section.
Lough Hyne, Skibbereen - This lake is a fully marine sea lough and is the only one of its kind in Europe. This unique habitat is home to over 1,850 species, but its largest attraction is the occurance of bioluminescence caused by algae inhabiting the lake. There are guided tours of Lough Hyne available.
River Lee, Cork City - This river rises in the Sheehy Mountains and runs through the heart of Cork City where it reaches the sea at Cork Harbour. The best spot for a beginners paddle on this river is a flat stretch along the Lee fields. Pass by the imposing former Eglington and St. Kevin's asylums.
Inchiquin Lough, Corofin - This 260 acres lake is a popular fishing spot as it is home to wild brown trout. You can kayak past the ruins of Inchiquin Castle which stand near the banks of the lake. There are two small islands to kayak around and maybe catch sight of some local wildlife.
Sea Kayaking - There are many areas along the coast suitable for kayaking. Nevsail Watersports in Kilkee offer kayaking lessons and tours along the cliffs. There are other tours offered in Doolin, Lahinch and Ennistymon.
River Shannon, Limerick City - Guided kayak and paddleboard tours along the River Shannon are available both during the day and at night time with Nevsail Watersports. Experience Limerick City from a completely different perspective!
Blessington Lakes, Blessington - This reservoir was created in the 1940s & 50s in order to power the Poulaphouca Reservoir. The lakes cover more than 5000 acres of water and has formed beaches around its shores. It is the largest manmade lake in Ireland and is a great spot for a kayak or a walk.
Boyne Blueway, Trim - Kayak through the historic Boyne Valley passing Trim Castle, Newtown Abbey, Rathnally Mill and the Priory of St. John the Baptist. There are guided tours and activities available with Boyne Valley Activities, or read up about the sections which suit your groups ability on the Discover Boyne Valley website.
Sea Caves, Fethard-on-Sea - Guided tours are available from Fethard-on-Sea which bring you through the maze of sea caves located around Hook Head. This is a completely unique and unforgettable experience. It is also located close to the famous Hook Head Lighthouse and Loftus Hall!
Dalkey Island, Dalkey - Bullock Harbour is regarded as one of the best spots to launch a kayak from in Ireland. Guided tours to the island are available to bring you safely to the island and guide you around its historic 25 acre area. There is evidence of human occupation of the island as far back as the Neolithic period.
Ireland's Eye, Howth - This island is a Special Area of Conservation boasting a rocky coastline with a free standing rock formation called "The Stack". There is an abundance of wildlife which call the island home, including puffins and cormorants. There are guided tours available around the island from Howth.
Carlingford Lough, Carlingford - Carlingford Lough is a glacial sea inlet that is home to a range of wildlife, such as geese and terns. The lough is surrounded on either side by mountains, creating a very unique landscape. There are guided tours and excursions offered here along with spots to launch on your own.
River Barrow - The Barrow is a mostly flat, slow moving river but does have sections of fast moving rapids. Kayak under the oldest functioning bridge in Europe at Leighlinbridge and take in the scenic surroundings of the midlands countryside. The Barrow runs along the border of Carlow and Kilkenny near to half of Carlows length, so there is plenty of mileage here!
The Royal Canal - Kayak the Royal Canal from Abbeyschrule, Kenagh or Ballymahon with Alan's Yippee Kayaking. They offer kayak tours both during the day and at night time. Call Alan on 086 089 1126 to make a booking. This waterway is calm and suitable for beginners. The Royal Canal is mentioned in further detail in our Blueways section.
River Nore - The River Nore is in its early stages for most of the section which runs through County Laois. It can therefore be fast running and shallow in places. We would recommend asking locally about the section you wish to kayak before starting off!
Lough Ennell - This lake is well known for its large swan population but is also home to brown trout and pike. There is an adventure centre here which offers excursions and summer camps.
Lough Owel - This lake is home to a small island
River Barrow - See our Blueways section for more detail on the River Barrow.
Grand Canal - The Grand Canal runs the full east to west length of County Offaly until joining the River Shannon at Shannon Harbour. This manmade canal has many Victorian locks, therefore some stretches for kayaking are relatively short before interruption. Longer stretches are however slow moving and great for leisurely trips! Kayak passed Clonony castle
Royal Canal - The Royal Canal Greenway begins in Maynooth, so this is a brilliant spot to begin a kayak. The canal is slow moving and mostly straight, so is suitable for beginners. This canal has 46 locks along its length so be sure to plan your route!
River Foyle - The river Foyle runs along the border of the republic and Northern Ireland. The Derry section of the river is wide and slow moving. It is suitable for beginners here. There are tours available through the city on kayaks and paddleboards.
Strangford Lough - Strangford lough is the largest sea inlet in the UK and Ireland. The numerous islands on the lake are home to over 200 species of plants and animals, many being unique to the area. Some islands are home to breeding pairs of sea birds from April to August and are off limits at these times. The Salt Island Bothy is a great overnight camping experience not easily found elsewhere. Make a booking and kayak to the island and set up camp!
River Blackwater - the Blackwater waterway is home to a stunning countryside teeming with wildlife to spot such as owls, otters and eels. The lazy river is suitable for beginners, families and kids. Camping is available along the route as well as guided kayak tours.
Portballintrae - Portballintrae is a scenic village home to a mobile home park and holiday apartments. The sea kayaking here offers a good variation. Kayak along the beach front or skirt around the cliffs, caves and inlets on the Causeway Coast!
Lough Neagh - The Blackwater river enters Lough Neagh in County Armagh. Paddle 1km into the lake and reach Coney Island. This island has rich heritage dating back to prehistoric times. Wild camping is permitted here.
Lough Erne - The beautiful, open scenery makes a trip out on the water here truly magical. It is the second-largest lake in Ulster with a 5-mile stretch on the upper lough offering slow flowing water. It is a good bet for families and beginners. There are tours offered for all different levels of ability.
Lough Oughter - Enjoy moving through the water watching birds and other wildlife which populate the area. In the middle of the lake lies the incredible Cloghoughter Castle, a 13th century building. It is a popular angling lake and is also frequented by canoeists and boating enthusiasts. Canoes and kayaks are available for hire, as well as guided boat trips around the lake and out to the castle.
Arranmore - Arranmore is an island rich in heritage which has sea and freshwater lake kayaking to offer. There are many sea caves, stacks, cliffs and beaches to view as well as rainbow trout to fish in the lakes. Guided kayak tours are available for the whole family.
Lough Muckno - Paddle the serene waters of Lough Muckno, with its scattering of islands and panoramic views. Revel in the opportunity to relax and unwind with a leisurely paddle along the shores of Black Island. Explore the diverse islands in the lake, or paddle under the Black Island Bridge to visit Gas Lake and Mindzenty Park. Appreciate charm of the many islands while spotting the flora and fauna along the way. Group equipment rental is available.
River Moy- The West of Ireland has some of the best kayaking Ireland has to offer. Discover the beauty of Ballina from the Moy river. As you journey through Nimmo's Canal you will see flora and fauna such as kingfishers, seals and salmon jumping right beside you. Kayak tours for all levels of experience are available.
Lough Rynn - This freshwater lough is home to by conger eels, angler fish and multi-coloured wrasse. Perfect for a calm paddle, this lake offers views of the castle and its surrounds. Explore these amazing lakes with guided tours.
The Coral Strand Beach, is the perfect launch point for a range of water-based activities. Entry to the beach is through the small car park. The sand is bright white and the water provides a clear view of everything passing below – Mannin Bay is like a slice of the Caribbean right here in Ireland. Coral Strand Beach is considerably quieter than the nearby Dog’s Bay which is also a popular choice for folks exploring this area.
Lough Gill - Explore the beautiful coastal estuaries and tranquil inland lakes of Co. Sligo. From paddling alongside pristine old growth forest to exploring the lake’s many islands, there is something for everyone in this beautiful area. This beautiful lake is the jewel in Sligo’s crown. Small group tours give you the chance to get up close and personal with unique marine, bird and wildlife.
River Shannon - A river full of fascinating sights. As you paddle along, you'll take in the wonders and sights of the ever-changing Shannon River, situated near the welcoming historic town of Carrick-on-Shannon. Enjoying the beautiful Irish vista as the Shannon twists and weaves you to your destination. Private and group tours available are available.
Blueways are multi-activity recreational trails, based on or alongside lakes, canals and rivers of significance in Ireland. This page includes information for kayaking on established and proposed Blueways around the country.
Route: The Suir River Blueway has 53 km of waterways from Carrick-on-Suir to Cahir, which can be paddled depending on your level of ability. There is also 21 km of walking and cycling paths along the water.
Sights: This Blueway allows you to paddle past the many of the historic sites Tipperary has to offer. Beautiful castles, bridges and churches dot the countryside bordering the river. Examples include the Swiss Cottage, Cahir Castle and Ormond Castle.
Sections: Kilsheelan to Carrick-on-Suir is a flat section of the river suitable for beginners. The route is mostly flat and slow running.
There is a slalom course on the Clonmel section for more experienced paddlers looking for an adrenaline rush.
Cahir to Carrick-on-Suir is possibly the most scenic section of the route for those looking to take in the historic Suir Valley views.
River Shannon (Northern)
Route: There are multiple sections of the Shannon which can be paddled, walked or cycled along it's northern stretch. The total length of the sections outlined here is 70km and includes Irelands first floating boardwalk! This area offers a unique landscape and local heritage which is well worth a visit. If you get tired of the river take a trip to one of the multiple small lakes in the area to explore.
The first section is approimately 15km from Drumshanbo to Carrick-on-Suir. This stretch flows from Lough Allen. It can be kayaked from Drumshanbo to Battlebridge and onwards if for a fit paddler. There are guided tours offered at different points which are great for less experienced kayakers. The Acres Lake Floating Boardwalk is located in Drumshanbo and joins on to a riverside 6.5km walk.
The second section of the river stretches from Carrick-on-Shannon to Rooskey and covers approximately 30km.You can launch or exit in Carrick-on-Shannon, Ardnaffrin, Jamestown, Drumsna, Dromod and Rooskey. Each spot has different activites and sites to offer, including camping, site seeing and stopping for a bite to eat.
The final stretch of this blueway runs from rooskey to Lanesborough. Termonbarry is located approximately halfway between these two towns. There are facilities, shops and places to stay or eat at all three points. You can also complete the Camlin River Loop from here in an anti-clockwise direction, but be sure to avoid the weir as it is not navigable!
The Shannon-Erne Blueway is a 70km length of river and lake crossing from Leitrim Village in Co.Leitrim to Belturbet in Co.Cavan, linking with the Erne System at Crom in Co Fermanagh. We have split it into 3 sections below, Leitrim Village to Ballinamore; Ballinamore to Ballyconnell; Ballyconnell to Belturbet and Crom Estate.
This section covers approximately 22 km of river and can be travelled in different sections. There are multiple locks along the trail and an open water crossing on Lough Scur, Muckross Lough, St. John’s Lough and Kiltybardan Lough. The majority of this trail is Grade 1 flat water. There are facilities, shops, restaurants and places to say at many points along this section including Kilclare, Keshcarrigan, Castlefore and Ballyduff.
Travel slowly along this Grade 1 canalised river section and cross over Garadice Lough, Ballymagauran Lough, Derrycassan Lough and Coologue Lough. Tackle the Ballyconnell White Water section if you’re chasing an adrenaline rush (and have the correct equipment and training of course!). This section has been inhanced to create standing waves and eddies. Faciliteis and more are available along this trial at Aghoo, Haughton’s Shore and Skelan.
This section of river covers approximately 19 km of the canalised Woodford River and 6km of the River Erne. Much of the stretch is Grade 1 rated. It leads on to the Lough Erne Canoe Trail (not signposted) which is located in Crom Estate. Corraquill and Aghalane are two towns along this trail.