Ireland Green Travel, my recently published travel app, was a journey in itself, as I found myself moving from my writings in a travel guidebook and print media format to a more contemporary medium. I was a bit resistant to the idea at first, not only because I am a total technophobe, but also because I am a battered old guidebook sort of a traveller really. But the book industry is changing as quickly as the travel industry is, and just as I am always telling tourists that they needed to rethink the ways in which they travel, I too had to rethink the way in which I wrote.
Ireland Green Travel app – how it started
From my research for Ecoescape Ireland, I already had a lot of good information available for tourists visiting Ireland, but an app gave me the opportunity to get it out there again quickly, update it, keep updating it, and know that people who bought the app would get those updates free of charge. So, 140 entries later, I had put together a collection of green accommodation, activities, transport options and local food experts all aimed at getting people hiking, biking, canoeing and sleeping in some of Ireland’s lesser known green spots. All at the touch of an app. I was a convert.
Suddenly the possibilities were endless, and believing that your choice of transport is fundamental to being a green traveller, I was able to link to train timetables, Google Maps, walking or cycling trails, as well as details of how to get to a favourite eco place without hiring a car and, ideally without flying. By giving details of how to get to Ireland via all ferry ports, and which trains connect with them, I now have the most up to date source of information on getting to Ireland without flying.
Green travel in Ireland – North and South of the border
I was also keen that the app covers both North and South of the border. I am a Belfast girl, and I like to shout about the North a bit, just so that people know that the mountains, lakes, rivers and coastline don’t stop, just because of a line on the map. The beauty just keeps going.
Ireland Green Travel app – information to suit all budgets
I also wanted to ensure that app appealed to all budgets, and fight the myth that ecotourism is a niche aimed only at those who can afford an ecolodge in Costa Rica or, in contrast, at hikers and hemp wearing hippies. Green travel is, of course, a growing movement of people who want to take part in a more responsible and fair form of tourism, where the impacts, be they economic, environmental, cultural or social, are positive not negative. So Ireland Green Travel has details of lakeside lodges, yurt camps, island retreats, eco-castles, grand houses offering more than just grand green gestures, yoga retreats and community-run hostels.
Most importantly, none of the businesses have paid to feature on the app, they are just places and businesses I have got to know and love during my travels, run by people who really get what it is to be green. These are the people who are working so hard, and with such passion, to show off Ireland’s truly green gems, not just the emeralds. My job is easy in comparison. I just get to share their stories, visit their beloved homelands, and write about them, in the hope that others will share the good, and green times too.
Ireland Green Travel app features
- 140 (and growing!) entries of green places to stay, and things to do in Ireland.
- Ireland Green Travel covers green aspects of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
- If you want to know all your best ways of travelling to Ireland, North and South, without flying, as well as how to get around Ireland without a car, this is a great one stop shop for updated information of travelling the slow and green way.
- All entries are accompanied by high quality photography, as well as some video links too.
- As Catherine is regular columnist for The Irish Times, she is constantly updating her app with new discoveries as she travels around the country. People who buy the Ireland Green Travel iphone or ipad app will receive updates free of charge on a regular basis.