If you want to get out on the water there are plenty of rivers to choose from in Ireland. So, whether it’s fishing or kayaking, paddle boarding or sailing that you are into, our guide will help you pick from the best rivers in Ireland for activities.
Top 8 rivers in Ireland for activity holidays in 2019
Rafting on the River Boyne, Co. Meath
Rafting is great craic and a great experience especially along the River Boyne. Head to the town of Slane and book yourself on to an eight-person raft. Suit up and then tackle the mighty weirs of the Boyne. As you bounce down the water you’ll be surrounded by the lushness of the Boyne Valley. When you are done you can explore the area which is home to some of Ireland’s greatest heritage sites.
Cruising on the River Erne, Co. Cavan, Fermanagh & Donegal
Enniskillen is the only island town in the island of Ireland and is a very popular tourist destination with those wanting to do a boating holiday in Ireland. Encompassed by water (the River Erne) and vibrant countryside, Enniskillen and its surrounds are perfect for all kinds of sailing. Keen sailors from around the world come to Enniskillen for cruising holidays and take to the water to explore the 150 islands of the Lakelands.
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Canoeing on the River Foyle, Co. Derry
The canoe trail takes you to the City of Derry, and you’ll paddle under the three bridges; The Blue Bridge, The Foyle Bridge and the Peace Bridge. Continue to the historic dockland to where the river meets the sea lough at Culmore Point.
This area is steeped in history and dotted with landmarks such as Boom Hall, the Guildhall, the Old Foyle Valley Railway, the spires of the city cathedrals and the old wharf at Lisahally.
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Currach rowing on the River Lee, Co. Cork
Every Saturday you can try your hand at rowing a curragh, which is a traditional canvas fishing boat. Get out on the water with a bunch of newbie rowers and experienced captains and learn how to handle one of these boats, which were first made in the early 1900s.
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Stand up paddle boarding on the River Liffey, Dublin
The River Liffey cuts through Dublin and a great way to see the city from the water is to do it from a paddle board. Stand up paddle boarding is one fo the fastest growing sports in the world and it is perfect for those looking for a more relaxed style of activity. It really is quite tranquil and doing a stand up paddle boarding session on the River Liffey during sunrise or sunset just adds to the serenity of it all.
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Salmon fishing on the River Moy, Co. Mayo
The River Moy in Co. Mayo is famous the world over for having some of the best salmon fishing in Ireland. Anglers come from all over the world to fish this 96km stretch of water. No matter what type of fishing you enjoy and no matter what your budget, there is something to suit all anglers along the River Moy.
There is good spring fishing March through May and the grilse run starts in May and continues until the end of July. The River Moy has ten fisheries that permit fishing, the rest of the Moy is free fishing.
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Cruising on the River Shannon, Co. Leitrim
Carrick-on-Shannon is one of Ireland’s most popular inland resorts, especially for cruising holidays, as the town is a gateway to the 63km-long Shannon-Erne waterway.
There are loads of places in Carrick-on-Shannon where you can hire a boat and you’ll get training in how to handle the craft before you take to the water and enjoy a Shannon river cruise.
There’s also a water sports centre which is fun for the whole family and you can take to the water in canoes and kayaks and enjoy a fun banana boat ride.
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Swimming in the River Barrow, Co. Carlow
The gentle River Barrow meanders through six counties; Laois, Kildare, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford and Waterford. It is considered to be one of safest rivers in the country and therefore perfect for water activities for all ages and abilities.
One of the best things to do along the River Barrow in Co. Carlow is to swim in the delightful sheltered pools that the river has to offer. Don’t forget to bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful surrounds too.
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8 best rivers in Ireland for activities in 2019
|What to do||Where to go|
|1. Rafting on the River Boyne||Co. Meath|
|2. Cruising on the River Erne||Co. Cavan, Fermanagh & Donegal|
|3. Canoeing on the River Foyle||Co. Derry|
|4. Currach rowing on the River Lee||Co. Cork|
|5. Stand up paddle boarding on the River Liffey||Dublin|
|6. Salmon fishing on the River Moy||Co. Mayo|
|7. Cruising on the River Shannon||Co. Leitrim|
|8. Swimming in the River Barrow||Co. Carlow|