Explore some of Ireland's wildest and remote areas as we journey along the country's Atlantic coastline
Complete a series of challenging crossings, coastal swims and circumnavigations
Fall asleep each night on board the Lady of Avenel tall ship, a 102-foot Brigantine square rigger which is our home for the week
Take the chance to try your hand at crewing on a traditional tall ship
Enjoy delicious meals throughout your trip, all of which are prepared by our very own on-board chef
Take part in a true pioneering adventure as we swim in some of the most inaccessible areas in the British Isles
Welcome to the Wild Side! Ireland’s Donegal coast is unlike anywhere else on earth, which explains why it was named ‘Coolest Place on the Planet’ by National Geographic Traveller in 2017. This liveaboard swimming holiday allows you to explore the natural beauty of Ireland’s dramatic Atlantic coastline and discover the untamed landscapes that exist in one of the country’s most isolated and beautiful areas.
Throughout the week, you’ll have the chance to swim in some of the most inaccessible locations in the British Isles, many of which can only be reached by ship, as we swim and sail our way between the glacial loch of Lough Swilly and the quiet seaside village of Burtonport. You’ll also be able to take in the culture of this proudly independent region of The Republic of Ireland.
This trip sees us exploring the length of County Donegal’s west coast, swimming alongside impressive coastal cliffs and and taking on circumnavigations around charming Irish islands that lie off the mainland. We’ll journey along the coast on a more sustainable form of transport, and enjoy freshly cooked meals in our downtime from our own onboard chef. From seeing the might of Ireland’s wild Atlantic Way to the chance to try your hand at getting involved with the crewing of the Lady of Avenel, this truly is an epic expedition and an exciting opportunity for adventure swimming and sailing alike.
Who is this trip for?
This trip is made up largely of crossings and some coastal swims. Conditions will be challenging, yet extremely rewarding. Swimmers should have a sound understanding and experience of swimming in strong sea conditions and be capable of completing the average daily swim distance of around 4 km (split over a minimum of two swims) prior to the start of the trip. No sailing experience is required, however, the ship’s crew are happy for you to assist with on-board duties as much or as little as you like.
- Fully guided swimming holiday in the Donegal, Ireland
- Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
- Six nights accommodation on board the Lady of Avenel tall ship
- Our very own on board chef
- All breakfasts
- All lunches
- All evening meals
What's not included?
- Travel to and from the start of the tour
Part of the appeal of our Lady of Avenel trips is the unpredictability of the wild areas in which we will swim. The below itinerary is an example of the swims that may take place during the course of your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances can vary according to local weather and sea conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilot will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will let you know swim plans as soon as possible. Sailing a tall ship by its nature brings the excitement of the elements. We sail when the winds are favourable, meaning a degree of flexibility is required as to when we may sail out.
A true open-water experience! - if you like challenge to skill and endurance, whilst playing in crystal-clear waters in between - Donegal is your scene :)Mads S, Denmark - 2019
This trip is very different to other SwimTreks I have been on. Living on the sailing ship and swimming in rough, cooler water really helps you to appreciate the absolutely stunning scenery of the Irish coast.James L, UK - 2019
Extreme SwimTrek! Lady of Avenel took us places I didn't know existed!Susi A, UK - 2019
An exhilarating week, with like minded swimmers and some of the most interesting swimming I've done in years! There was so much to see underwater, it felt like flying over forests. Dolphins playing around the ship was a magical experience.Marg S, UK - 2018
SwimTrek knows how to listen to customers and always comes up with great new locations. Donegal is a great addition with exceptionally clear sea water and clean beaches.Claudius U, Switzerland - 2018
What a privilege to live on a pirate ship, and to be able to jump into crystal seas in places where swimmers have hardly ever ventured!Naomi B, UK - 2018
Fabulous swimming in crystal clear water over beautiful kelp and golden sand. The most amazing trip!Jos S, UK - 2018
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