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Before we get to the start line of this list of the Best Outdoor Events to do in Ireland in 2023, this list is subject to change as the details of each event are updated/changed but we will try and keep the list as up-to-date as possible!
Date: 23-26 March 2023
Cost: Activities range in price from FREE – €90
The Wander Wild Festival is Ireland’s Great Outdoors Festival. Between the 24th and 26th of March, outdoor enthusiasts will head to Ireland’s adventure capital, Killarney for a weekend of outdoor activities. The area is home to Ireland’s highest mountains, the Republic of Ireland’s longest waymarked trail as well as a rich and historical culture. Over the course of three days in mid-spring, the festival will host a wide variety of over 100 different outdoor activities, suitable for all interests and ability levels. You can explore the full schedule on the festival’s website.
Find out more and sign up
Dates: End of September*
The Boyne Valley Trails Walking Festival is back and is offering 6 days of unique walks. Offering easy ambles, strenuous hikes, historical walks and talks, and whiskey tours this one has something for everyone!
Date: 30 September – 2 October 2023*
All roads lead to Carlow for the Autumn Walking Festival which take place from 30 September to 2 October 2023! With a selection of 17 graded walks to choose from over the weekend, this festival has something for everyone!
Date: 9-10 September 2023*
The goal of the festival is the let you experience what this fabulous community has to offer while getting close to some of the best scenery, nature, history and geology along the Wild Atlantic Way. There are walks designed to suit all levels of ability and let you fully immerse yourself in the wild Connemara landscape. The festival’s hikes are led by professional guides who are not only highly trained mountain leaders but also passionate about what they do to help make your experience worthwhile.
Date: May 2023*
Women with Altitude is a Mountaineering Ireland initiative to encourage women to take on greater challenges in mountaineering, be they personal challenges, technical or leadership challenges. The location moves each year but expect a brilliant programme of subsidised activities over the weekend.
Date: 23-25 June 2023
This event is open to female climbers of all ages and abilities and offers the opportunity to meet other likeminded climbers, to get their technical support, start networking and create new bonds. It is a great opportunity to meet leading female climbers during the inspirational talks and to ask questions about their challenges in rock climbing. There is a technical workshop focused on the fear of falling and yoga classes to prepare both body and mind for the rock climbing challenges.
Date: 14-22 May 2023
A part of Bike Week, Bike Fest is a celebration of all things biking. During Bike Fest, there will be some mountain biking-specific events, hosted by the Glencullen Adventure Park (The GAP). Over the course of the weekend, there will be coaching, free rentals, access to the wide range of trails at the GAP, entertainment and food, as well as a demo day where people are invited to try some high-quality gear. This has been a great event the past few years and we highly recommend attending it this year, whether you are an established biker or just want to try something new!
Date: 28 April – 1 May 2023
The Curragh Naas Orienteering Club will be hosting this year’s Irish Orienteering Championships and it is set to be a great weekend. With four different disciplines over for different days of racing, there is guaranteed to be quite a buzz around the event. With all disciplines taking place in or near county Wicklow, with a great diversity of terrain, competitors will be tested physically and mentally. If you are interested in attending the championships or even giving them a go, entries are now open!
Date: 1-5 June 2023
The Bord Bia Bloom Festival is the largest gardening festival in Ireland. Bloom showcases some of the best quality Irish produce, from food to flowers. There is something for everyone. Spend the afternoon watching one of the many live cooking demonstrations that take place across the weekend. Get some garden inspiration on a wander around the show gardens. Entertain the whole family with a one of the many family-friendly activities. Definitely one of our favourite outdoor events of 2023.
Date: 15 April 2023
Cost: 55km – €45, 120km – €65
Dingle in Co Kerry and the surrounding area is an Irish cycling paradise! As spring is in full swing cyclists take to the road around this peninsula to test themselves, enjoy the epic views of the Atlantic and support local charities around Dingle. You can choose between a 120km and a 55km cycle, both of which take in some spectacular roads. Entry to Ride Dingle is planned to open in early December 2023 so fingers on the ready!
If you would like to receive a priority link to register for Ride Dingle 2023, please express your interest now via the link
Date: 11 March 2023, 1 April 2023, 9 September 2023, 7 October 2023
Cost: €130 (price varies for each event)
The Quest Adventure series is a must-do in 2023. With 4 different outdoor events in the series, you are bound to find one that suits you, and with each event offering a variety of distances, there is lots of variety to suit all ability levels from beginner to winner! The series kicks off with Quest Kenmare early in the season and runs all the way through until Quest Killarney at the beginning of October. The entries for all of the Quest Adventure Series races are now open and waiting! Still not convinced check out our top reasons your should do an adventure race article!
Date: 11 June 2023
An absolute right of passage for any Irish road cyclist, the Wicklow 200 is one of the most well-known and toughest sportives on the Irish cycling calendar and has been held annually since 1982. The event starts in Bray and takes in many of the most famous climbs in Wicklow before returning to Bray for a hot meal. There is always a great buzz around this event and it’s well worth doing. If you’re not up for the 200km challenge there is a Wicklow 100 that happens on the same day and this year they have introduced a brilliant 150 as well! We can’t wait for June!
Find Out More
Date: 20 August 2023
Widely known to be one of the most challenging mass participation sporting events, the Ironman triathlon will push you to your limit. Ironman Cork will take place this August in the town of Youghal. The 3.9km swim will take place in the bay before the athletes tackle the 180km bike course which is comprised of two laps. The marathon (42.2km) takes place in the town of Youghal and the 4 lap course will ensure that there is always a buzz of spectators cheering you on!
Date: 28-30 April 2023
The Waterville Trail Running Festival is a series of 4 trail races taking place over 3 days along the Lough Currane/Derrynane loop of the Kerry Way, on the Atlantic tip of the Iveragh Peninsula. It is set to take place from 28 to 30 April 2023 with distances ranging from a difficult 25km to a drastic 130km. All of these races take place in some of the best landscapes that Ireland has to offer. If you are looking for a trail ultra this year we would highly recommend the WTF.
Date: July 2023*
A new favourite of the Irish mountain running calendar is the Reeks Skyline. This epic 24km race packs 2400m of climbing into it as you traverse some of Ireland’s tallest peaks, including ascents of Carrauntoohil (Ireland’s tallest mountain) twice, once from each side. Adjacent to this race are a few other races worth considering if the Reeks Skyline race doesn’t appeal.
The Carrauntoohil Classic takes place the following day, and, as the name suggests, will see runners tackle an ascent and descent of Ireland’s tallest mountain. There is also a fast trail race from Cronin’s Yard and potentially a new route for 2023 that is yet to be confirmed. Either way, it is a weekend to be missed if you are a keen mountain runner or just fancy a new challenge!
Dates: Round 4 – Suas Climbing Centre ,14-29 January; Round 5 – Awesome Walls Dublin, 4-19 February
The Irish Bouldering League (IBL) is a 5-part bouldering competition that takes place over the indoor climbing season (winter) every year. Come the New Year, the first 3 rounds of the competition will be behind us, but it is not too late to get involved. The first round of 2023 will take place in the Suas Climbing Centre in Limerick. Suas is the midwest’s first and only dedicated indoor rock climbing centre. If you don’t get down for the Bouldering league, which takes place from 14-29 January, we highly recommend visiting this brilliant facility that is bringing the joy of climbing to the midwest.
The final round of the IBL takes place in the epicentre of Irish climbing, Awesome Walls Dublin. The competition runs from 4-19 February. It can be hard to find the motivation to stay active at times, especially in February, as the weather is usually quite grim in Ireland. The IBL is the perfect remedy for this. Lots of high-quality boulder problems from easy to extreme for you to tackle.
Date: October 6th-7th
In 2021, the Irish Mountain Running Association began their own annual autumn running festival. The festival consists of 5 races which include the Women’s Night Challenge and the Junior Race. There is always a great buzz around the Kilmac festival and it gives people a great introduction to trail and mountain running!
Date: September 30th 2023
EcoTrail Wicklow is one of the most European feeling trail races on offer in Ireland. On a Saturday morning in September, Bray promenade becomes a place of congregation for trail runners far and wide. EcoTrail Wicklow offers an 80km, 45km, 30km, 19km and a brand new 8km race this year to suit a variety of different abilities. The courses take in some of the best that northeast Wicklow has to offer. There is a great buzz around this event and is definitely one we would recommend doing this year!
Date: November 2023
Run the Line is a fundraiser event for the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team and takes place in the Dublin Mountains in November. There are two distances available to competitors, a 12km short course and a 26km long course. The 12km course completes a lap of Ticknock Hill including the summit of Fairy Castle. The 26km course also takes in Tibradden Hill as well as the beautiful Cruagh woods. The event is extremely well run, as one would expect from a Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team event, and is a great end-of-season challenge.
Why not attend Ireland’s oldest festival? Located in Killorglin in the heart of County Kerry Puck Fair is one of Ireland’s oldest and longest celebrated fairs. It offers 12 hours of free family entertainment! This is one of Ireland’s most unusual festivals and should be on your summer list!
Over the course of a weekend, you will be able to choose from over 100 films. Set in one of the country’s most idyllic locations, the iconic Achill island, every year the festival hosts many worldwide premieres, exclusive screenings and Q&As with cast and directors. A brilliant weekend event. This is one for the 2023 calendar.
Dates: 8-23 July 2023
Offering 16 days of music, theatre, visual arts, film, literature, circus and carnival in gorgeous Donegal, Earagail Arts Festival is a bilingual (Irish and English), multidisciplinary summer festival which traditionally takes place each July along the Wild Atlantic Way. The programme is an exciting mix of traditional Irish and International music, drama and creative workshops. Not to be missed!
16-18 June 2023
Sea Sessions is an outdoor enthusiast’s music festival. Every year the biggest surf and music festival in Ireland takes to the waves in the northwest coastal town of Bundoran, Co. Donegal. With top-class acts across the weekend, surfers travelling internationally to compete in the Atlantic Technological University Surf Competition, and beach sports taking place all weekend long, you are sure to find an activity you’ll enjoy. There’s also an urban street jam, festival camping, and even yoga.
Date: 17-30 July 2023
The Galway International Arts Festival is something everyone should experience at least once! This festival has an electric atmosphere. The spectacular setting of the banks of Galway’s River Corrib will play host for the 2023 festival. The 2023 edition will include the largest and most ambitious programme to date. Expect new opera and theatre, including four world premieres, and an extraordinary lineup of visual art and street spectacles.
Date: 25-29 Jan 2023
By Matthew McConnell
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