Here are six inspirational tourist spots that are ‘off the beaten track’ and involve a little action.

2016 was the best year ever for Irish tourism, surpassing all previous records. 10.5 million people visited the island of Ireland. For 2017, Tourism Ireland aims to grow overseas tourism revenue by 4.5% in 2017 to bring in €5.7 billion to the north and south of the island.

While the major attractions will always draw the big numbers, smaller, inventive tourism entrepreneurs are emerging. Below are six that are leading the way.

Winterfell Tours

Where? Newcastle, Co Down.

Game of Thrones fans can walk in the footsteps of Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow. Just a 40 minute drive from Belfast, Winterfell Tours offers twenty of the most prominent Game of Thrones film location spots including Winterfell Castle, Robb’s Camp and Walder Frey’s Twins. A must visit for all ‘Thrones’ fans.

Pure Magic tours

Pure Magic

Where? Dollymount, Dublin

A charismatic water sports company in Dollymount, Pure Magic, has a team of instructors dedicated to all things kite surfing and SUP (stand up paddleboard). It’s known for exceptional customer service. There’s also a Pure Magic Lodge on Achill Island for action-packed getaways.

mor active

Mór Active

Where? Killarney

If you’re searching for a deep insight into Ireland’s natural beauty, culture, and traditions, Mór Active is a good call. It offers tailored activity, culture and eco tours. You can see the wonders of Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, Dingle, and the Wild Atlantic Way through the eyes of an expert. Founded in 2007, Mór Active’s glowing TripAdvisor presence sets an example for other Irish tour operators to follow.

Bike park

Bike Park Ireland

Where? Roscrea, Co Tipperary

With the first trail constructed in 2012, Bike Park Ireland soon became the first official mountain bike park in Ireland to offer a day out for cyclists of all skill sets. There are six downhill trails and the uplift service – an ex-army truck with 30 bus seats and a bike trailer – turns uphill transportation into a real adventure.

howth

Shane’s Howth Hikes

Where? Howth, Dublin

Just half an hour from Dublin city centre by car, Howth village provides a welcome escape from city life. Shane’s Howth Hikes tours are as popular with locals as they are with visitors. Customers can book ‘The Howth Heritage Free Walk’ as a starting point, and if they’re keen to explore more, the ‘Howth Safari’ is an inspiring hike.

Boyne boats 1

Boyne Boats Adventure

Where? Drogheda, Co Louth

One in five tourists visit a destination because they have seen it on a TV show. Boyne Boats’ currachs were used in the filming of Game of Thrones. The Boyne Boats adventures include ‘Paddle like an Iron Islander’ and ‘The King’s Tour’. The tour is an hour of rich local heritage as customers learn to paddle like a true warrior. This is one of Ireland’s real hidden gems.

Do you want to start a tourism business?

Interested in setting up a tour or activity company, or finding tips for your existing one? Here are five tips for finding the right price for your tours and activities.

Article by Lucy Fuggle of TrekkSoft. Images from TrekkSoft, HBO and Shutterstock.

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