Ireland Announces World’s First Blueways

The first three Blueways in the world to achieve accreditation were officially opened in Ireland on 5 April, 2022. They are the Boyne, Suir, Tipperary and Lough Derg Blueways. 

Ireland Announces World’s First Blueways

Blueways are a brand-new outdoor recreation offering currently unique to Ireland. They encourage the use of lakes, canals, rivers and coastal environments for walking, cycling, swimming, kayaking, stand up paddle-boarding while engaging with nature and heritage.   

Fáilte Ireland research shows that 73% of domestic tourists engaged in outdoor activities, ranging from walking and hiking, to swimming, kayaking and canoeing, on their most recent overnight trip.  

Demand for Quality Infrastructure

The official accreditation of Blueways responds to this growing public demand for quality outdoor infrastructure close to water and nature. It will ensure the Blueways will be a magnet for visitors and local residents seeking high-quality outdoor experiences.   

The accreditation has been developed by Fáilte Ireland, Sport Ireland, Waterways Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland. The official accreditation means all the ways will be developed to a consistent high standard from a technical and safety perspective. They will deliver best in class sustainable visitor experiences.   

The three Blueways accredited on 5 April, 2022, are the Boyne, Trim Co. Meath; Suir Tipperary; and Lough Derg Tipperary, Clare and Galway. The routes have been developed by Waterways Ireland and Local Authorities in line with the accreditation criteria. And they are now considered best-in-class destinations for water-based and water-side activities.  

Commenting on the launch, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said ‘Under the Programme for Government, we committed to investing in and promoting Blueways and recreational trails for the benefit of local communities and tourists alike.  

The newly accredited routes will open up Meath, Tipperary, Clare and Galway to water-based and water-side activities. The partnership is an important cross-border initiative that will drive tourism development and help position the island of Ireland as a world-class activities destination.” For more details see here


Joan Scales
Joan Scales
Award-winning journalist, Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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