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If you are itching to embrace Spring with new adventures and wellness activities, then pack your bags for the Wander Wild Festival – Ireland’s great outdoors festival. It’s on in Killarney from 24th-26th March and it’s the bucket list festival you don’t want to miss this year! With just 2 weeks to go, and some events already sold out, it’s time to get booking!
The unique adventure and wellness festival, set in the lakes and mountains of the UNESCO Killarney National Park has over 120 events for the body, mind and soul. You’ll have the chance to explore new adventures and recharge with a hike, bike, kayak, swim, stretch, ramble, or enjoy yoga, food tours, a concert or live podcast, against a backdrop of stunning scenic landscapes.
We’ve pulled together our Top 10 Highlights of events that you won’t want to miss.
Just announced! Nature Valley, sponsors of Wander Wild, have a special hiking event on Friday March 24th. Roz Purcell, founder of The Hike Life, will host a small group up the famous Mangerton Mountain, one of her favourite mountains in Ireland! The 4-hour moderate to difficult hike to the summit is suitable for those with good fitness abilities and hiking experience, as it’s one of the most accessible mountains over 800m in Ireland. It promises to be great fun with spectacular views of the Devil’s Punchbowl, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Horses Glen, Killarney National Park and, on a good day, South West to Kenmare Bay. Tickets are expected to sell fast.
Start the morning in an exhilarating way with a sunrise dip in the lake at Dundag followed by a traditional sauna by the calming lakeshore with a panoramic window of the surrounding mountains. Enjoying the soothing therapeutic benefits of a sauna, surrounded by nature promises to be a one-off unforgettable experience.
Mundy will be joined by special guests for some exclusive performances in the stunning St. Mary’s Church of Ireland. The beautiful natural acoustics and the spectacular backdrop that the intimate church venue offers will provide the perfect setting for a fantastic night of music from the acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter.
Explore new terrain with one of three relaxed and social runs to choose from. The terrain covers fire roads, forestry trails, stone trails, and boardwalk trails. Some brave-hearted individuals might even be enticed to take a dip in a Waterfall or lake en route! Day and night options are available.
See the schedule here
The pinnacle of Cold Therapy – the Wim Hof Method Workshop will help people to deal with stress better, improve their mental health, and build resilience. During the 4-hour workshop, you will learn a tailored technique to help you to breathe deeply and fully, get tips on how to improve your concentration and be guided on how to stay calm in a stressful environment (the cold!).
One of the absolute highlights of the weekend promises to be the Blue Pool experience – the immersive 3D light and sound installation around the pool in the heart of Cloghereen Nature trail by well-known artist Augustine Leudar. It will feature an extraordinary walk-through 3D soundscape that uses many unique cutting-edge audio techniques to turn the forest into a subtly surrealistic sonic wonderland. See nature come alive!
Whether you want to get active and kayak, or sit back and relax on a boat trip, see parts of the Killarney National Park that are hard to access by foot as you cruise on the water. Explore the ruins of the 7th-century monastery Innisfallen Island where it’s said that King Brian Boru studied. Visit hidden parts of the park on the 3 lakes, or hike the 10km up through The Gap of Dunloe and enjoy a 1.5-hour boat trip back to Ross Castle.
From Gruffalo hunts and digital treasure hunts to musical master classes, an escape room and a buzzing ‘Kids Zone’, the little ones (and not so little ones!) are guaranteed a weekend of adventure, nature, music, creativity and most importantly, fun!
See the children’s programme here
Join Kenmare Foodie Karen Coakley on a daytime or evening food tour sampling small signature dishes and tasting local artisan produce. Scratch beneath the surface and discover Killarney’s new and very vibrant local food scene.
Join Shane Finn as he hosts a live Pushing Limits podcast with special guest former AFL player Brid Stack and mountaineer, Killian Buckley. Or get an exclusive look at two new Irish adventure films as they host their premiers – 1000KM Chaos- the story of adventurer Kevin Leahy, and Alan Corcoran’s Unsinkable.
See listings here
Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the forest on a 2.5-hour forest bathing walk. This health and wellness practice supports participants to relieve stress, and to be in the present moment, it creates awareness of the natural environment and connects people with their senses.
The fun won’t stop when the sun goes down as Killarney hosts the electric basecamp for the festival. The town will be buzzing with market stalls, and live entertainment in local bars all weekend.
No need to bring a car. Shuttle buses will bring you from the town centre to all the activities out of town. For more info and to book any event go to wanderwildfestival.com.
The festival is sponsored by Nature Valley and supported by Failte Ireland, Kerry County Council, and Killarney Chamber of Commerce
By Matthew McConnell
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