Eco Tourism

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The Best Ecotourism Destinations in Ireland

Ecotourism is defined as responsible travel to natural area to preserve the environment and improves the overall well-being for local people. The idea of ecotourism first appeared in the 1970s and by the 90s it had become the fastest growing tourism sector. Responsible travellers enjoy ecotourism as it allows them to see local nature and cultures without negatively affecting them. Ecotourism is great for local communities because everything is planned out at the local level. Members of the community are involved every step of the way, empowering local people while encouraging people to visit their area. Ecotourism projects create local jobs, which reduces the need of young people to move away in order to find work. Just about everyone in a village can get involved by becoming a guide, selling their crafts, providing food and accommodation, and taking part in cultural performances. Ecotourism also improves standard of living by improving facilities like clinics, sources of drinkable water, and new roads and electricity. It’s relatively cheap to set up a small scale ecotourism project and there are several schemes that provide volunteer workers to ensure a project succeeds with their practical skills and expertise. Ecotourism can do a lot more – particularly in the long term – than something like a charitable handout. Ecotourism is also great for the environment as it fosters an appreciation for natural resources including landscapes, coral reefs, and wildlife. This in turn stimulates the need to protect this local environment by creating things such as wildlife preserves, marine parks, and national parks. Conservation work is funded by tourists through things such as camping fees, entrance fees, local taxes, and safari tours. Ecotourism can help to protect the ecosystems of a developing country by providing alternative sources of employment, restricting how much damage is done by clearing land for logging and farming and over-fishing waters. Let’s take a look at some of the best ecotourism destinations in Ireland.

Inishbofin Equestrian Centre

The Inishbofin Equestrian Centre has the distinction of being the only equestrian centre on the islands offshore of Ireland. Inishbofin Ireland is known for having incredible panoramic views of the surrounding islands, the Twelve Bens Mountains, and the Connemara coastline. When you take a track with the equestrian centre you will get to see a totally different view of the island while relaxing and absorbing the beautiful natural scenery all around you. You will also be treated to a history of the island, as well as information about all the flora and fauna you may encounter. The trekking routes of the centre take you through over 800 acres of the island including trekking on minor roads, bug roads, green rose, island highpoints, open commonage, millstones, forts, historical sites, and so much more. That is to say nothing of the incredible views you can expect.

Inishbofin Walking Tours

Learn more about the history of Inishbofin, the last island outpost of Connemara, from native historian and archaeologist Tommy Burke. These tours are operated in conjunction with the Inishbofin Community Centre. They offer the most environmentally friendly way to explore the island. The Inishbofin Community Centre and Tommy are members of the Inishbofin Leave No Trace network. Every guided walk across the island adheres to the Leave No Trace code of conduct to ensure a minimal impact from any hillwalking, birdwatching, and fauna viewing. The group operates a policy where the maximum size of the tour group is capped at 225 people per guide. If you have a larger group, then you will be presented with a second guide who will take you on a different route.

Inishbofin Farm

the Inishbofin Farm is the largest sheep farm on the island. This traditional sheep farm keeps the entire flock of sheep outdoors around the year. Inishbofin farm participated in the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS) and is now a member of the Green Low Carbon Agri-environmental Scheme (GLAS). The farm is also a member of the Leave No Trace network and works to preserve the biodiversity of Inishbofin.

The Beach Inishbofin

There is a bar on the beach that has been operating for the better part of a century, passing through four generations. Everyone is welcome at this waterfront bar and B&B. The Beach Inishbofin bar is right by the sea and less than four minutes away from the ferry that arrives and leave several times a day. There is a welcoming feel to the bar, complete with an open fire, a pint of the finest Guinness, plenty of other beers and spirits from around the world, and an ever expanding wine selection is sure to please even the most ardent wine lovers. The bar has four en-suite bedrooms, each of which offers spectacular views of the harbour. Singles, couples, and families alike looking to enjoy local food, island style, birdwatching, Irish festivals, traditional Irish music, and Irish culture are all welcome at the Beach Inishbofin.

Tóg Go Bog é

Tóg Go Bog é – which means “take it easy – is a Pod campsite found in the Cork Mountains of Ireland. Spend a weekend or longer in Tóg Go Bog é and be surrounded by the rugged beauty of nature. The campsite is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and offers cycling routes for every level. It’s also the perfect spot for hikers with a variety of routes to walk and landscape to see. Tóg Go Bog é even offers fresh water fishing! Ireland is known for its natural beauty. They don’t call it the Emerald Isle for nothing. If you’re planning on taking a trip to Ireland, then why not partake in ecotourism and see what the country really has to offer while also preserving it for future generations?