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Calling all outdoor lovers! We have the perfect weekend of adventure just for you! Taking place from 24-26 March, the Wander Wild Festival is the only of its kind in the country and offers ticket holders the chance to take part in over 100 different events suitable for all levels of fitness and ability over the course of a weekend. The event will take place in Killarney, Co Kerry. Home to the country’s highest mountain, the Republic of Ireland’s longest waymarked trail, and some of the most stunning lakes in the country, it is the perfect setting for this action-packed festival.
Explore the festival schedule
The Wander Wild Festival offers a wide range of activities from lake swims to summit scrambles, food tours to kayak tours. Across the weekend there really is something for all outdoor enthusiasts. The festival has split more than 120 events into four distinct categories to make it easy for those that are attending to choose their schedule. These categories are; Mind, Lake, Park, and Mountain. In addition to these activities, there are 20 unique activities that are specifically for kids to make sure the little ones get to experience the magic of the outdoors too. The festival also offers you the option to purchase a gift voucher which would make an excellent gift for a loved one that is planning to attend the festival. The activities range in price from free to €95.
The “Mind” activities are designed to make you feel a connection. A connection to yourself and a connection to nature. On the festival’s website, they state that “Nature awakens the soul in mind and body”. After attending one of these events you will be left feeling refreshed, and rejuvenated! The mind activities include; Breathwork workshops, Yoga & Light Therapy, Forest Bathing at Ross Castle, Reflexology, Reiki, Yoga, Sunrise Vinyasa, Handstand Workshops, Yin Yoga, a Wim Hof Method Workshop which includes cold immersion in the lake, and a Beat Party Workout and Dance Party!
The “Park” activities focus on the world-famous Killarney National Park which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. These activities will leave you with an unshakeable awe of the beauty of the Irish outdoors. For those who want to explore the National Park with the benefit of local knowledge, there are guided hikes, night walks, guided cycles, trail running tours, Hardman races, pony treks, urban orienteering (for all ages), a stunning photo exhibition, photo workshops, and self-guided loop walks for families, all of which will allow you to experience the lush abundant flora and fauna of this incredible place. In addition to that you should definitely check out the Blue Pool experience – an immersive 3D light and sound installation around the pool in the heart of Cloghereen Nature trail by well-known artist Augustine Leudar. It features an extraordinary walk-through 3D soundscape that uses many unique cutting-edge audio techniques to turn the forest into a subtly surrealistic sonic wonderland.
The “Lake” activities will showcase some of the best offerings on the three lakes of Killarney. Explore nature at sunrise with an early morning dip at Dundag, followed by a glorious Samhradh’s Sauna Experience overlooking Muckross Lake and the mountains. Paddle back in time on a Kayak Tour to Innisfallen Island – home to a monastery dating back to 640 AD, or take a boat cruise from Ross Castle to Dinis Cottage through the 3 lakes. No matter what your experience level on the water you will be able to enjoy the stunning backdrop of Torc Mountain as you explore the lakes with expert guides.
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The “Mountain” activities will allow the more adventurous attendees to tackle some of the most incredible hikes and climbs in Ireland. Conquer Ireland’s highest peak, explore some guided hikes off the beaten track in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, such as the site of the Lost Sky Train, sign up for a steep ground masterclass, rock climb in the famous Gap of Dunloe, bring melody and movement together with a music & mountain mobility session at the summit of Mangerton Mountain, or take on a more family-friendly hike of Torc mountain or Hag’s Glen, or enjoy a Strength and Conditioning for Hiking class for the over 55s. If you want adventure, it’s there to be experienced!
No need to bring a car. The festival will provide a sustainable shuttle bus to bring people to and from all scheduled activities outside of town. Speaking of town, Killarney town will be a hub of activity all weekend with a buzz at the electric BaseCamp for the festival. Enjoy market stalls and savour some local produce. The fun won’t stop when the sun goes down either! It kicks off with an opening Spring Equinox parade that will take place through the streets to celebrate the rebirth of spring. Two outdoor films will premiere at the festival – ‘1000km of Chaos’, the story of Arctic Ultramarathon Runner, Kerry native Kevin Leahy, as he completes two 500 km non-stop foot races in the Arctic, three weeks apart, and ‘Unsinkable’ – which follows Alan Corcoran’s unprecedented 500-kilometre length of Ireland charity sea swim. Marathon Man Shane Finn will record a live podcast with special guest former AFL player & Cork Footballer Brid Stack, Mundy & Friends will host an intimate acoustic set in the grounds of St Mary’s Church on the Saturday night and there will be live music and entertainment in local bars over the weekend.
So what are you waiting for? Check out the weekend schedule on the Wander Wild website and get planning! There are two ways to experience the festival. You can either create a unique weekend by booking individual events that tickle your fancy. Or you can purchase one of the Combo Packages they offer.
Explore the festival
For updates on new activities follow WanderWildFestival on Instagram and Facebook
The festival is sponsored by Nature Valley, and supported by Failte Ireland and Kerry County Council.
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By Matthew McConnell
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