Trip created by Patricia Doe
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The perfect trip for hiking enthusiasts looking to explore multiple regions, Hiking Ireland’s National Parks is an epic adventure that summits the highest point in three corners of Ireland, exploring three of Ireland’s most amazing national parks.
Ancient monasteries, hidden glens, rugged bogs, and cosy pubs await you on this ultimate hiking journey across three Irish national parks. Walking through Ireland’s most spectacular regions for outdoor lovers, you’ll summit the highest mountain of Ireland, as well as the highest peak in each corner of Ireland. You’ll also visit three of Ireland’s six national parks: Connemara National Park, Killarney National Park, and Wicklow Mountains National Park. Along the way, we’ll have ample opportunity to taste some of Ireland’s delicious seafood, rub shoulders with locals in quaint pubs, and learn about the fascinating history of three of Ireland’s most iconic regions.
On this trip, you’ll get the chance to hike some of Ireland’s most iconic landscapes as well as striking off into the backcountry with your experienced mountain guide. Designed for hikers who love peak-bagging, mountaintop vistas, national parks and challenging hikes, this is the perfect way to explore a wide variety of Ireland’s wild landscapes in Connemara, Kerry, and Wicklow.
From the vibrant Galway City, we start our hiking journey in Connemara National Park. The famous Irish playwright and wit Oscar Wilde once described the region as a ‘savage beauty.’ It’s easy to see why as gentle green fields give way to the rugged west coast. It’s time to put our boots to test this afternoon on our hike into the sweeping hills of this rugged region. Characterised by its glittering quartzite rocks and boggy slopes, Connemara’s peaks contrast sharply with the gentler Wicklow Mountains. (L,D)
Hike details: 8-10km/ 5-7 miles, 4-5 hrs.*
Mweelrea, the highest mountain in the west of Ireland, is best known for its breathtaking panoramic views. The distance is relatively short, but the terrain is challenging, and the summit is both hard-earned and well worth it. The south falls steeply to the waters of Killary Harbour, Ireland’s largest fjord. To the east stretches the sprawling Sheffry Hills and the mountain Ben Gorm, and to the west lie white sandy Atlantic shores. (B,L)
Hike details: 13km/ 8.5 miles, 7 hrs.*
Leaving behind the remoteness of the Connemara mountains, we head south to the Kingdom of Kerry. Discover the lush green valleys and wild hills of Killarney National Park, the very first national park established in Ireland. Away from the more popular regions of the park, our hike heads up into the quiet hills where a fantastic view of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks Mountains spreads out before us – our first glimpse of tomorrow’s challenge. Keep your eye out for the park’s beloved wild deer and other animals. (B,L)
Hike details: 6.5km/ 4 miles, 3 hrs.
Carrauntoohil is Ireland’s highest peak and the jewel in the crown of our high points hiking tour. At 1,040m, its jagged summit presents an enticing challenge for today. There are many paths to the summit: the cliff-sides of O’Shea’s Gully or the aptly named Devil’s Ladder are just two options. As we hike, we’ll take time to admire the wildflowers, spot raptors soaring on the mountain thermals, and keep a lookout for Irish mountain hares. This evening, we’ll celebrate our high points accomplishments with dinner and a traditional Irish music session in one of the great local pubs in lively Killarney town. (B,L)
Hike details: 12 km/ 7.5 miles, 7hrs.*
From wild Kerry we head east to our next destination, Wicklow Mountains National Park. Full of emerald hills topped with purple heather and framed by lush forests, Wicklow is a special place. In the 6th century, the monk St Kevin sought solace and contemplation. He found it here in the idyllic surroundings of Glendalough’s lakes and valley. Today’s hike explores the quiet hills beyond Glendalough’s ancient monastery and follows the Glenealo River through a stunning glaciated valley. (B,L)
Hike details: 9km/ 4 miles, 4 hrs.*
The summit of Lugnaquilla Mountain is today’s goal. The highest peak in the Wicklow Mountains – one of Ireland’s six national parks – as well as in the province of Leinster, the majestic Lugnaquilla proudly overlooks the glittering green valley of Glenmalure. We follow an exceptionally scenic route to the top of Lugnaquilla via a cliff-fringed hanging valley to arrive at the plateau summit named after a 17th century local character. (B,L,D)
Hike details: 17km/ 10 miles, 8 hrs.*
After an epic Irish hiking adventure covering an incredible variety of landscapes, some of Ireland’s bucket list hikes and tastiest pints of Guinness, it’s time to head to the capital where you can start your onwards journey or take a few days to explore – but not before you’ll get one last opportunity to stretch your legs on part of the country’s oldest and most venerable long distance trails, the Wicklow Way. (B)
Hike details: 5km/ 3 miles, 1-2 hrs.*
*This itinerary is subject to changes and improvements. All hiking times are approximate.
On your high points adventure, our trip designers have hand-picked 3 accommodations that are each recognised for their cosiness, charm and comfort each night. This trip features accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort. All accommodations provide breakfast.
We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However, you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you specifically require a single room you will have to pay the single supplement charge of €250 but this is subject to availability.
Each morning, enjoy a homemade breakfast of your choice at your accommodation or nearby. Lunch will be taken either in a cafe or a Wilderness Picnic along your hiking route. Your guide will provide water and tasty Irish snacks throughout the week. Evening meals are included on the first and last nights only. For all other evenings, your Wilderness Guide can provide expert recommendations.
Your Guide will meet you in Galway Kent Railway Station by the ticket machines at 11:00 am on Day 1 of your trip.
You will be returned to Dublin City Centre by 12:00 pm on the final day of your trip
|Trip Dates for 2021||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|8th May - 14th May 2021||6 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||€1,695||Book Now|
|18th Sep - 24th Sep 2021||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||€1,695||Book Now|
Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.
An avid cyclist and hiker, Patricia enjoys exploring Ireland’s wild landscapes every chance she gets – she particularly loves the under-appreciated regions of Mayo, Connemara, Sligo and Donegal. Having spent nearly a decade in the hospitality industry, Patricia is an expert on Ireland’s luxury and unique accommodations. As Wilderness Ireland’s General Manager and head of the sales team, Patricia is ready to help make your Irish adventure spectacular!
- Patricia DoeAsk Patricia a Question
Our hiking trips range from very straightforward low-level hikes to trips that include more challenging itineraries which will take you to a new mountain top each day.
Our blue-graded trips involve exploring some of Ireland’s best hiking regions, introducing some steeper climbs to summits as well as valley and coastal hikes. The hike will be conducted at a steady pace and you will typically hike 5-7 hours per day. The terrain underfoot can be anything from well maintained hiker’s trails to rough or boggy ground, boulder fields and mountain tops.
The daily hikes will occasionally involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. More challenging days are interspersed with lower level valley, coastal or forest walks which would include some cultural highlights along the way.
Can you comfortably hike for around 10 miles (16km) with the occasional longer day? Are you happy with some ascents of 3,000ft / 900m? Are you comfortable on a variety of terrain from good paths to rough mountain tracks?
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