Eileen Gibbons from Leitrim Cycle Trails (left) and Leitrim Tourism Officer Sinead McDermott (right), pictured at Acres Lake in Drumshanbo

A NEW concept in tourism that encourages people to slow down and immerse themselves in their experience is growing across Europe.
Slow adventure tourism is all about replacing quick fix adventure hits with a gentle experience allowing you to learn about the local environment, food and wildlife whilst taking part in an activity.

County Leitrim is leading the way here in Ireland since it’s rich in rural locations and unspoiled landscapes – and is yet to be over-run by mass tourism.
Sinead McDermott of Leitrim Tourism explained: “Leitrim is the perfect fit for slow adventure tourism which is all about creating inspiring connections with the outdoors and gives people a chance to explore and engage with our county’s wild, open and naturally beautiful places.

“From sleeping under the stars in a stunning and un-spoilt location, to foraging for wild mushrooms and garlic on a landscape walk, or relaxing with a yoga class ahead of a guided canoe trip, there are lots of amazing slow adventure activities and experiences on offer.”
Visitors who prefer life in the slow lane can opt for one of the day trips which include guided tours where visitors get local information on the flora and fauna, stories, folklore myths and legends.

Overnight packages include accommodation close to nature such as glamping, shepherd’s huts, eco and log cabins, while slow food is also an important part of the experience, using local ingredients from local producers.
Take to the water with a stand-up paddling with an expert guide who will help you to forage as you paddle along the water.

On arrival at Ireland’s only floating boardwalk your bicycles will be waiting to take you on a cycle around the hills of Sliabh an Iarainn with lunch on route before returning to the Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo to sample some Gunpowder Gin.
Alternatively you can enjoy an early morning cycle from Leitrim village to the Lough Allen Adventure Centre where you will forage and forest bathe in places people would not find by themselves.

Later learn some bushcraft skills around the fire in the wild landscapes around Lough Allen.
Stay two nights, midweek, in one of Ard Nahoo’s award winning eco-cabins with a continental breakfast using locally produced organic food.
Dinner provided on both nights by Edergole Kitchen using ingredients grown in their own organic garden.

Experience an Uisce Hour and complete relaxation in tranquil surroundings.
Guided walks will take you to local sites. Graham from Adventure Gently will guide you, by canoe, on the River Bonet where you will learn some bushcraft skills along the way before taking some time out for yoga.
Sounds like the perfect way to de-stress.
For more information see www.slowadventure.ie.
Sounds like the perfect way to de-stress. For more information see www.slowadventure.ie.