Looking for something different to do for Christmas this year? We've got you covered...

Christmas who? Get away from it all with these suggestions

Bah humbug. Christmas is just another day - so let's treat it like that.

We have taken a look at some of the best ways to spend December 25th, that involve as little festivities as possible.

Go Surfing

On yer bike - or in this case, surfboard. Many areas of Ireland offer you the views and the waves.


Whether you're an experienced surfer in search of the big one, like the world-famous ‘Aileen's’ wave off the cliffs of Moher in Clare, or a novice looking to get started in more gentle conditions, there are no shortage of options.

And so what if the water is cold - that’s what wetsuits are for.


Bundoran in Donegal is known as the surf capital of Ireland.

Wherever you go on the Donegal coast you'll find fantastic surf spots and with 10 Irish Surfing Association schools to choose from.

A foaming sea, as the Atlantic Ocean hits land at Doolin Point in Co Clare | Image: RollingNews.ie


Sligo is one of the best known adventure holiday spots in the country, with top-notch surfing to boot.

Wherever you go you you'll bag big waves, clean waters and great surfing.


Mayo is rich in great surfing beaches by day, and by night, you can enjoy the craic in the buzzing pubs and restaurants.

For a total getaway, head for the windswept beaches, bag a big one, or try your hand at stand up paddle boarding.


West Cork has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country so grab your board and take advantage at scenic highlights such as Barley Cove, Garrettstown or Castlefreke.

For more, see discoverireland.ie


Go wild on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Take a trip along Ireland’s vibrant coastal. This 2,500km stretch of glorious rugged coast along the west of Ireland is home to soaring mountains, jutting headlands, breath-taking cliff faces and lush green forests.

Whether you're seeking an epic adventure or a remote, tranquil getaway, you'll find it here, on the world's longest coastal touring route.

You can even get a passport as proof that you've taken this trip.

Sunset at Fanad Head | Image: wildatlanticway.com

This also enables you to obtain your 'Wild Atlantic Way Certificate', the official record of your journey.

Each passport has its own individual number, so it's completely unique to you and your visit.

For more, see wildatlanticway.com

Go 40 Foot deep

 Billed as potentially Ireland's most famous swimming spot, the 40 Foot in south Dublin was immortalised in James Joyce's 'Ulysses'.

The great advantage of the Forty Foot is its depth, so you can always jump in even at low tide.

It's a great place to swim, with its clean deep waters.

Maija Alhanko (left) and Laura Krohn from Finland get into the Christmas spirit at the 40 Foot in Sandycove for the traditional Christmas Day swim in 2015 | Image: RollingNews.ie

While people dive in from the nearby rocks it is dangerous and you should heed the many warning signs.

Hundreds of people still congregate here on December 25th for an annual plunge.

It is accessible for buggies, but there are a few steps which prevent wheelchairs.

For more, see dunlaoghaire.ie

Take a drive

One of the best ways to see Ireland is arguably by getting out of the cities and touring around the country.

This country is full of scenic driving routes, and here are five of the best.

Sheep’s Head Peninsula

Sheep’s Head Peninsula has long been a popular destination for hill walkers, the peninsula is also a stunning drive.

It is an 88km trail which follows old roads and tracks around the peninsula from Bantry to the headland and back.

The route combines low and rugged hills with coastline and cliffs.

The drive around Sheep’s Head Peninsula is just over 70km, but offers the same stunning views as the walk.

Dingle Peninsula

The drive around the Dingle Peninsula starts at Castlegregory at the Corca Dhuibhne Peninsula, go west into Cloghane, passed Conor Pass and Dingle, and head west to Slea Head.

After Ballyferriter, continue to Murreagh and Kilmalkedar, and finally, back to Dingle.

The route is approximately 75 km and highlights guaranteed around every bend.

Bantry to Killarney

During this drive, you will see a number of quaint villages, such as Glengarriff; herds of farm animals and both freshwater and saltwater lakes.

At the end of the drive is Kenmare, Ireland’s gourmet capital.

The trip from Bantry to Killarney is approximately 80 km.

The Black Valley | Image: mydiscoverireland.com

Copper Coast

The 120 km-trip begins in Dungarvan, to Stradbally and eventually to Waterford.

Continue to Clonmel, then to Ballymacarberry, and eventually head back to Dungarvan.

The Copper Coast in Waterford is the only geopark in Europe.

It was named as such because of the mines of copper that used to be present in the stretch.

You can view the Comeragh Mountains, the Nire Valley and Stradbally Cove.

Galway to Westport

This long trip, which spans approximately 230 km, starts in Galway city.

Driving along the N59, head over to Clifden, past Connemara National Park and then to the centre of Westport.

Finally, go back south via N84, and back to Galway, maybe taking in Castlebar along the way.

For more information and maps, see mydiscoverireland.com

Go to work

Holiday? What holiday? Plenty of workplaces and offices are still open on December 25th.

Gardaí, ambulance, firefighters and other emergency services are all on duty.

While doctors, nurses and other staff must keep Ireland's hospitals going.

Several media outlets like Newstalk will also have a working day.

File photo

Dine out

It might be one of the busiest cooking days of the year, but several hotels and restaurants will be serving on Christmas Day.

However, booking early is probably a good idea!


Carton House, Maynooth


Four Seasons Hotel

Ballymascanlon Hotel


The Arklow Bay

The Ritz Carlton, Powerscourt

The Glenview, Glen of the Downs

The Grand Hotel Wicklow

The Woodenbridge Hotel, Avoca

This file photo shows rosemary pepper roast beef with butter potatoes | Image: Matthew Mead AP/Press Association Images

For more, see discoverireland.ie