Ireland offers many beautiful hikes, climbs and riding opportunities, with plenty of forest parks and nature reserves and miles of stunning coastline, including the famous Cliffs of Moher. Traveling to Ireland requires some thoughtful planning to get the most out of it.
A passport is needed to go to Ireland, but you don't need a visa for stays of less than three months. The U.S. State Department encourages visitors to Ireland (and any foreign country) to register their trip online (see Resources). Most of Ireland accepts the euro for currency; the exception is Northern Ireland, which uses the British pound.
The climate in Ireland is coastal and mild, and often quite wet. It rarely snows in Ireland, and likewise, it rarely gets too hot. Shorts are almost never worn. Jeans and slacks, as well as short-sleeve and long-sleeve tops, are best. A sweater or fleece jacket should help keep you warm; and bring a rain jacket, such as a lightweight Gore-Tex shell. This can also help keep you dry during a hike or climb in the countryside. Lightweight trail shoes are an excellent option for footwear while in Ireland.
The Ulster Way is a 560-mile trail that runs all through Northern Ireland, while the Dingle Way is a 112-mile trek through Dingle Peninsula in southwest Ireland that offers excellent vistas of small towns, coastal cliffs and mountains. Killarney National Park in County Kerry, designated a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is home to Macgillycuddy's Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland.