SLIGO Oyster Experience has launched a unique seafood experience, the Sligo Oyster Farm Tour. It offers an immersive guided tour and visit to the Coney Island working oyster farm on the shores of Sligo bay, overlooked by the majestic Belbulben and Knocknarea.
Sligo is arguably the home of the oyster with the Irish word for Sligo ‘Sligeach’ meaning ‘abounding in shells’. Following on from Sligo Oyster Town Tour which was launched in 2018, the Sligo Oyster Farm Tour showcases Sligo’s stunning coastline and its native oysters with an exclusive tour of an oyster farm and a tasting of the freshest Sligo oysters, straight from the ocean.
The tour begins with a 15-minute Wild Atlantic Way rugged coastal walk with tour guide and owner of Sligo Oyster Experience and WB’s coffee house, Aisling Kelly Hunter.
Along the way participants will learn ancient Sligo folklore and the history of Sligo’s native oysters, before arriving at the Coney Island Oyster Farm where they will experience oyster farming and the process of cultivation first hand. The group will be guided through the history of oyster harvesting along the Wild Atlantic Way and learn about the methods which are still in use today. Aisling will also introduce the group to coastal foraging by showing them where edible sea vegetables grow along the coast, such as sea kale and samphire.
The tour concludes with a visit to the Sligo Oyster Experience Cart where the group are treated to an oyster shucking demonstration before indulging in unlimited Sligo oysters with all the condiments, including a delectable seaweed dressing.
Aisling said, “I came up with the idea to run tours after my husband, Glenn, who is an oyster farmer, introduced me to oysters, their history and harvesting in Sligo Bay. My background is in business and tourism and I saw a niche in the market for a unique experience showcasing this wonderful tradition.
“The tour really gives people an opportunity to appreciate Sligo. The Sligo Oyster Farm Tour adds an exciting ‘hands-on’ element. People really get to see how the oysters are grown, the impact the weather has on the farm and the hard work involved from the beginning of the process to the final product. I feel like the appreciation of the tasting experience that follows is heightened greatly by this element.”
n The Sligo Oyster Farm Tour runs every Wednesday at 11am and 2pm. The tour takes 1.5 hours.
n Tickets are €45 per person and includes unlimited oyster tasting. Booking is essential and can be made online at www.sligooysterexperience.ie or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
n For large groups at least 24 hours advance notice is required. Private groups can also be catered for upon request.