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Top 20 Best Hikes in Ireland – Our Local’s Guide

Posted on Aug 07, 2017 by Dawn Rainbolt

You’re familiar with Ireland’s friendly and outgoing hospitality but you might not be as familiar with the best hikes in Ireland. Read on for an insider’s guide to the top hiking and walking routes in Ireland.

Hiking is an immersive way to get outdoors, to slow down, to breathe the fresh air deeply and to become part of the natural world while exploring a new place.

We make it easy for you to choose where to hike. See below for local recommendations of the best hikes in Ireland. Each of our top 20 best hikes are categorised in Ireland’s 4 historical regions: Ulster (north), Connacht (west), Munster (south) and Leinster (east), paired with the trips that include that hike and others in the same area. 


Causeway Coastal Way – Northern Ireland

Causeway Coastal Route

Walk the Causeway Coastal Route to places like Dunluce Castle, the Giant’s Causeway and other dramatic landscapes!

Distance Duration Start Point Best For
33 miles/52 km 4 days Portstewart, or Ballycastle if you do it backwards  Mystical landscapes that inspire TV series, Game of Thrones

Explore sections of the Causeway Coastal Way and other best hikes in Ireland on our exciting 
Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal Hiking Trip. From the world-renowned Giant’s Causeway to the clifftop castle of Dunluce, from the lovely Ballintoy Harbour, better known as Lordsport on the Iron Isles – as seen on HBO’s Game of Thrones – to the Old Bushmills Distillery, this path that follows the rugged coastline of Northern Ireland is full of cultural, historical, natural, and even imaginary wonders – and hands-down one of the best hikes in Ireland. Visit the imagined seven kingdoms of Westeros (or at least find their filming locations) and hike through the mystical rolling countryside that inspired CS Lewis to create the Chronicles of Narnia – be sure to keep an eye out for magical creatures!

Nearby – Head to the beachside Harry’s Shack, where you can expect a straightforward menu of simple pleasures along a stretch of sand on the Derry Coastline in Northern Ireland. When you’re passing Bushmills, stop over at the lovely Tartine at Distillers Arms, a charming melange of French and Irish cuisine. 

Get more details on the route here

Slieve Donard in the Mourne Mountains

Distance Duration Start Point Best For
5.5 miles/9 km 5 hours Car park in Donard Park Explore remote mountain summits, bogs, and the Mourne Wall

As the highest peak in the Mourne Mountains, from the summit of Slieve Donard you can see the huge swathes of Ulster, from Donegal down towards Wicklow – and even over to Scotland on a clear day! Cutting through the hauntingly beautiful Mourne Mountains is the 35km-long Mourne Wall, an enormous undertaking once built to fence off the Silent Valley Reservoir, though it does little more than enclose the remote summits and vast valleys of the Mourne Mountains. As you hike up the remote slopes of Slieve Donard, feel the enduring presence of Mother Nature in every step you take. 

Travelling as a family? Check out our Northern Ireland family adventure to the Mourne Mountains, Giant’s Causeway and more! Or hike the Mourne Mountains on our self drive, Belfast, Giant’s Causeway & Donegal.  

For simple, local cuisine, try the Maghera Inn, set amongst the backdrop of the Mourne Mountains. Or if you want something more urban, drive back to Newcastle to the chic menu of the Vanilla Restaurant. Craving simplicity? Check out Great Jones Craft & Kitchen for no-nonsense dishes.

Find more info on this hike here

The Pilgrim’s Path at Slieve League

Slieve League cliffs

At the end of the Pilgrim’s Path, you’ll be rewarded with a clifftop walk along what are possibly the most spectacular cliffs in Ireland.

Distance Duration Start Point Best For
3.5 miles/5.5 km out and back 2.5 hours Car park above Teelin village  Walk along the edge of some of Europe’s highest cliffs

At 609m (1,998feet), the Slieve League cliffs in Co. Donegal are three times higher than the Cliffs of Moher – though they are still far off the beaten path. Take the ancient Pilgrim’s Path up the mountain to the old oratory ruins. If the weather is good, walk along the Old Man’s Track, a narrow path that overlooks the steep cliffs. From the cliff’s edge, enjoy an expansive view of the thundering Atlantic. Discover old ruins, rocky inlets and secretive strands tucked along the route as you walk along these impressive cliffs – certainly one of the best hikes in Ireland! Then, drive around to the Bunglass Viewpoint for the classic panorama of the impressive cliffs. 

Join our Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal Hiking trip to hike the incredible Slieve League cliffs. 

Head back to Donegal town to the hip and contemporary Quay West, an award-winning restaurant with stunning views of Donegal Bay for dinner, creative cocktails and local craft beers. If you’re staying at the local Castle Murray House, be sure to try the delicious and creative seafood menu. Donegal Castle is worth checking out to learn about history of the region. 

See more details on hiking the Slieve League cliff walk here

Mt Errigal in Glenveagh National Park

Mt Errigal Glenveah - 20 best hikes in Ireland

The peak of Mt Errigal overlooks the desolate lowlands and bogs of Glenveagh National Park


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
5 miles/8 km 4 hours Along route R251, 1 mile from Dunlewy village  Hike in Nat Geo’s coolest place on earth

 At 751 metres, Mt Errigal is the highest mountain in County Donegal, National Geographic Traveller’s pick for #1 on the 2017 Cool List. Mt Errigal and the surrounding Derryveagh Mountains dominate Donegal’s landscape. Part of the desolate but beautiful landscape of Glenveagh National Park, Mt Errigal offers stunning views over the barren landscape of northern Donegal. Hike Ireland’s rugged bogland in this nearly-forgotten corner of Ireland far off the beaten path, and completely worth the views from the summit! From here, take the time to visit the vast moors, romantic castle and quiet lake shores of Glenveagh National Park.

Hike in Ireland’s Glenveagh National Park and Co Donegal on our Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal Hiking Trip.

Have a cup of tea with local treats and pastries in the beautiful Glenveagh Castle Tea Rooms before strolling through the lovely castle gardens and along Lough Veagh.

Hike details here

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Croagh Patrick 

View from Croagh Patrick

Amazing view from Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s Sacred Mountain


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
4.5 miles/7 km 5 hours 5 miles from Westport on route R335  Climb Ireland’s holiest mountain

Known locally as ‘The Reek,’ Croagh Patrick has been a pilgrimage route since ancient times. This impressive mountain overlooks the town of Westport, Clew Bay and the hundreds of islands populating the bay. It is famous for its saintly connection – St Patrick is said to have fasted on the summit for 40 days, and there is a shrine dedicated to him at the summit. Considered Ireland’s Holy Mountain, it is still climbed by thousands of pilgrims on the last Sunday in July – some of whom walk up the mountain barefoot! Hike Ireland’s holy mountain on our Hiking the Mountains of Connemara & Mayo

Please keep in mind that the Pilgrim’s Path is highly eroded, not only posing a danger to you, but also the mountain, its ecosystem and the future of the path. Instead, best to use one of the other paths up the mountain, perhaps the west path to the ridge. 

Relax at the Tavern Bar & Restaurant at the foot of the holy mountain after taking in one of the best hikes in Ireland. Full of pilgrims set to climb Croagh Patrick, the menu is as varied as it is delicious – local specialty is seafood from Clew Bay. 

Achill Head

Achill Island - 20 best hikes in Ireland

Hiking on the windswept headlands of the hauntingly beautiful Achill Island


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
9 miles/14.3 km 7 hours Car park of Keem Strand Stand at the edge of the Atlantic on Ireland’s highest cliffs

A hike out around Achill Head, located on the western tip of Achill Island, takes you along some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs, but this strenuous walk is not for the faint hearted and should be approached with caution. While hiking along the highest cliffs in Ireland at 688m or 2,257 ft, you’ll explore old signal towers, follow steep headlands, and keep an eye out for peregrine falcons. You’ll walk along headlands doused in other-worldly mist – and get stunning views with a distant sense of being on the edge of the world. 

While not currently on any of our scheduled trips, request a tailor made trip to explore Achill Head, one of the best hikes in Ireland.

More info on hiking on Achill Island here

Dine at lovely, award-winning restaurant, The Bervie, while overlooking the Minaun cliffs. Traditional cooking with a creative twist, meals use local and organic ingredients.

Carrowtiege – The Children of Lir Loop

Distance Duration Start Point Best For
6.2 miles/10 km 2.5 hours Car park at the Seanscoil in Carrowtiege Explore one of Ireland’s wildest places

Head deep into the wilds of the west coast to hike through the tangled and desolate wilderness of North Mayo – the perfect place to learn about Ireland’s rich tales and folklore of old while following one of the best hikes in Ireland. One such Irish legend is that of the Children of Lir: the four children of the sea god Lir who were turned into swans for 900 years by their jealous step-mother. The hike at Carrowtiege features in the legend – the Children were exiled in the form of swans for 300 years on the Sea of Moyle. The hike is flat and approachable, though the incredible views will give you a sense of the might of the Atlantic that you get no where else on earth. Keep an eye out for the Children of Lir sculpture that represents those who have emigrated from northern Mayo, much like the legendary Children of Lir.

While not currently on any of our scheduled trips, request a tailor made trip to hike in Carrowtiege.

Get more details on this hike here

As this part of Mayo is some of Ireland’s wildest regions, the closest food option is Stella Maris in Ballycastle, one of the most popular restaurants on the West Coast and the very picture of serenity.

Mám Éan

Mam Ean hike in Mayo

Hiking another site associated with St Patric, Mam Ean, or the Pass of the Birds.


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
10 miles/16.5 km 5 hours Keene’s Pub in Maam to Lough Inagh  Follow in St Patrick’s footsteps

Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims of the past as Mám Éan, or ‘the Pass of the Birds’ is an ancient pilgrim’s path through the mountains. Part of the Western Way, Mám Éan is a sacred spot revered by locals for its associations with the legends of St Patrick as well as the pre-Christain Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasa. There’s a shrine to Ireland’s patron saint, and along the way, the stations of the cross dot the climb. Walk along one of the best hikes in Ireland, the beautiful pass of Mám Éan on our Mountains of Connemara and Mayo Hiking trip.

The simple country elegance and seasonal menu of Lough Inagh Lodge offers some of the best cuisine in Connemara – a great post-hike eatery!

Learn more about this hike here

The Bangor Trail

Distance Duration Start Point Best For
18 miles/29 km 10 hours Newport or Brogan Carroll bothy at Letterkeen  Hike through Ireland’s loneliest and only roadless hills

Mayo boasts, without argument, some of Ireland’s wildest and remotest spots. There is perhaps no place wilder or more remote than this challenging 29km stretch across the rugged Erris Peninsula through the Nephin Beg mountain range. In fact, the Nephin Beg is the only big range of hills that has remained roadless. It was originally used to drive cattle from Mayo’s desolate northern coast to the market at Newport. The Bangor Trail, argued by some to be the loneliest place in Ireland, is an opportunity to escape from civilisation, de-connect from technology and take a break from everything in the backcountry of Ireland.

While not currently on any of our scheduled trips, request a tailor made trip to hike one of the best hikes in Ireland, the Bangor Trail.

This is possibly the wildest, most remote bit of Ireland, so any food option is quite far. Be sure to bring a lovely picnic to eat in the wilderness! In the evening, drive down the coast to Westport to treat yourself at La Fougère in the fabulous Knockranny House Hotel. In the sophisticated dining hall, enjoy fine, modern cuisine locally cultivated and with perfectly paired wine as the sun sets.

Hike the quiet backroads of the Bangor Trail – see info here

Inishbofin Loop

Inishbofin Island

Hiking the dramatic scenery of little Inishbofin Island.


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
Respectively: 8 km/8 km/5 km (5 mi/5 mi/3 mi) 2.5/2.5/2 hours Inishbofin Pier  Explore Cromwell’s barracks, other historic ruins and watch for seals

Off the coast of northern Co. Galway in the Connemara region, the tiny island of Inishbofin is full of hidden coves, rocky caves, sublime beaches and crumbling castle ruins. Inishbofin holds a fascinating place in history due to its strategic importance, from Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, who once ruled the Galway Bay, to Oliver Cromwell. There are a few looped walks on the island, short enough that they can be combined if desired: the Westquarter loop, which allows for seal and dolphin-spotting as well as time exploring promontory Iron Age forts; the Cloonamore Loop which takes you through lovely green road and to ancient an 14th century church; or the Middlequarter Loop, offering panoramic views of surrounding islands and takes in Iron and Bronze Age sites. Afterwards, head to Inishbofin Pier to partake in a make-your-own pottery class. 

While not currently on any of our scheduled trips, request a tailor made trip to hike on Inishbofin.

Enjoy a seafront breeze, an open fire, sustainably-caught seafood, and a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits at the Days Bar on Inishbofin after a thrilling day explore one of Ireland’s best hikes. 

To learn more about hiking on Inishbofin, click here

The Peaks of Sligo – Ben Bulben, Ben Wiskin  & King’s Mountain

Sligo Ben Bulbin - 20 best hikes in Ireland

A fairtale castle clings to the rugged cliff on a backdrop of Ben Bulbin mountain.


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
11 miles/18 km 7 hours Luke’s Bridge near Mullaghnaneane  Great views overlooking ‘Yeats Country’

Hike Ben Bulben, sister mountain Knocknarea and other peaks of Sligo on our Intro to Hiking & Sea Kayaking Adventure in Sligo. Towering over Sligo town, Ben Bulben and its sister peaks are visible from all over Sligo. This ‘table mountain’ is deep within ‘Yeats Country’ as the landscape was highly inspirational to the Irish poet, WB Yeats. This challenging walk takes in three peaks: Ben Bulben, Ben Wiskin & King’s Mountain, known for their natural and mythological richness. One legend tells of a magical ‘Fairy Door’ on Ben Bulbin, which brings good weather when opened, and another legend tells of the birth of Oisin, son of the giant Finn McCool and a druid-turned-deer, born and raised on the wild slopes of Ben Bulben.

If you prefer a bit more independence, check out our Self Drive – Ireland’s Surf Coast to Mayo, where you’ll hike around Sligo’s Ben Bulben, Knocknarea and more in this lesser-visited region of Ireland.

For breakfast or brunch, take a detour to the village of Strandhill for Shell’s Cafe, a local treasure, where you’ll find a creative blend of Irish cuisine with a modern twist. For dinner, go to Hargadon Bros in downtown Sligo – on the surface, a cosy Irish pub with live music – but underneath, a gastro pub with some of the best fine dining Sligo has to offer! Both are part of the Sligo Food Trail, a group of top-notch eateries in Co Sligo.

Learn more about hiking the Peaks of Sligo here

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Carrauntoohil Kerry - 20 best hikes in Ireland

Hiking the steep, jagged slopes of Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain, with a smile!


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
8.7 miles/14 km 7 hours Lisleibane or Cronin’s Yard  Stand at the summit of Ireland’s tallest mountain

The highest peak in Ireland, Carrauntouhil well deserves its place on this top 20 list. It’s a challenge of a hike, but well worth it, for not only is the views from the summit some of the best (and highest!) in Ireland, but the trail around mountain itself will rival the Alps or the Pyrenees in beauty. Depending on the weather conditions, there are a few paths to the summit: Devil’s Ladder, O’Shea’s Gully, or the Caher Route. Hike Carrauntouhil and more of the best of Kerry’s mountains on our Hiking the Ring of Kerry Mountains. 

Please keep in mind that this is Ireland’s highest mountain, and if you’re not an experienced mountain hiker, please do not attempt Carrauntouhil without a guide!

You won’t find better than in Kenmare, Ireland’s gastronomic capital. One option is the Lime Tree, a chic eatery housed in a historic building featuring farm-fresh meat and just-caught fish. For a different option, try the Horseshoe Restaurant & Pub for a delicious blend of tasty cuisine and comfortable refinement.

Learn more about hiking Carrauntoohil here

Mount Brandon

Mt Brandon Dingle

Another of Ireland pilgrimage routes, Mt Brandon is stunningly beautiful.


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
5.5 miles/9 km 5 hours Car park at the Faha Grotto  Panoramic Atlantic views associated Christian and Irish mythology

Located at the heart of the Dingle Peninsula, Mt Brandon is a sacred mountain that supposedly takes its name from St. Brendan the Navigator. St Brendan was thought to have spent 40 days on the mountain preparing for his voyage to America (or the ‘Promised Land’), which he supposedly saw from the summit during his climb. You won’t see America, but you will get beautiful views over southwest Ireland! Mt Brandon is also steeped in Irish mythology, getting its name from the pagan deity Bran. Hike Mount Brandon and more on our Hiking the Ring of Kerry Mountains trip. Or, hike the saddle of Mt Brandon on our point-to-point Hiking the Dingle Way trip. 

This is another route not to be attempted without a guide unless an experienced mountain hiker. 

After an exciting day on the Dingle Peninsula, head into Dingle town to the quirky restaurant, Out of the Blue, for delicious catch-of-the-day seafood dishes.

Get more info on this hike here

Torc Mountain

Torc Waterfall, Killarney - 20 best hikes in Ireland

Torc Waterfall, Killarney, at the foot of Torc Mountain. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
4.6 miles/7.5 km 2.5 hours Torc Waterfall car park  Listen to the water cascading down Torc Waterfall

Torc Mountain and Torc Waterfall comprise a lovely forest path within Killarney National Park, which offers stunning views that overlook the beloved Killarney Lakes, the Macgillycuddy Reeks, and Muckross House. Sweeping you past the ever-beautiful Torc Waterfall, you’ll continue on up the mountain through quiet, moss-covered forests and past rushing streams. Part of the Kerry Way, Torc Mountain path is dotted with Irish mythology. In Irish, torc means ‘boar.’ The mountain’s name therefore comes from a magical boar that was killed by Irish hero, Finn McCool – the very same who is credited with creating the Giant’s Causeway!

Explore Torc Waterfall, Torc Mountain and Killarney National Park with us on our Hiking the Ring of Kerry Mountains trip. 

Eat at award-winning fine-dining Rozzers restaurant at Killeen House back in Killarney. Be sure to stroll around town to listen to traditional Irish music in the evenings!

Get hike details here

The Saint’s Road on the Dingle Peninsula

Ventry beach Dingle Peninsula

Start your ancient pilgrimage from the quiet sands of Ventry Beach at sunrise, located on the Dingle Peninsula.


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
11 miles/17.7 km 5.5-6 hours Ceann Tra/Ventry   Visit ancient beehive huts along an ancient pilgrim’s trek

Between sea and mountain, the Saint’s Road is an easy hiking route following an ancient pilgrim path. The Saint’s Road is littered with beehive huts – small rounded stone structures unique to Ireland and the ancient Celtic peoples who once lived here (other famous examples are found on Skellig Michael). The route takes you from the beach at Ceann Trá (also called Ventry Beach) through the remarkable Dingle Peninsula until it reaches the foot of the famous Mount Brandon (see above).

Hike the Saint’s Road on Hiking the Dingle Way.

Pop over to Dingle town for a bit of local Irish music and dinner at the Global Village Restaurant, a melange of classic traditions with a modern touch.

See here for hike details

Gap of Dunloe

Gap of Dunloe Killarney Kerry

Hiking the beloved mountains of Kerry through the Gap of Dunloe


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
6.8 miles/11 km 4 hours Kate Kearney’s Cottage   Make a wish at the famous Wishing Bridge while exploring the famous valley

Kerry’s Gap of Dunloe is world-famous for good reason. A narrow glacial mountain pass between the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountain, the Gap of Dunloe sweeps you alongside five dazzling lakes, as well as the much-loved ‘Wishing Bridge’ (wishes made on the bridge are said to come true!).  Popular with jaunting cars, the route then eventually descends into the Black Valley – one of the last places in Ireland to get electricity.

Hike the wilds of Killarney and Kerry on our Deluxe hiking trip, The Kerry Mountains.

Head to Moriarty’s Heather for fresh, simple meals using ingredients from their own kitchen garden as well as local organic suppliers and seafood of the wild Atlantic. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Macgillycuddy Reek’s!

Get hike details here

Mullaghmore, The Burren 

The Burren - 20 best hikes in Ireland

Hiking in the exposed, other-worldly landscape of the Burren, dotted with historical ancient Celtic sites like the Poulnabrone dolmen


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
4 miles/6.5 km 2-3 hours Car park along R476 3/4 mile north of Kilnaboy  Climbing over the lunar-like Burren landscape

Remote and alien, the landscape of the Burren is nearly indescribable. Exposed limestone covers the Burren National Park, creating the famous other-worldly landscape. Always beautiful, the very best time to go is spring when the Burren erupts in a vibrant blanket of wildflowers. It is also an area rich in archeology – find tombs of the ancient Celtic peoples throughout the region. The Burren also has Global Geopark status. Hike the Burren’s dramatic, lunar landscape on our Hiking the Burren, Aran Islands and Connemara trip. 

After experiencing one of the best hikes in Ireland, chow down on rich seafood chowder at Monk’s in Ballyvaughan. Enjoy refined bistro cooking, or ‘bistronomy,’ at the Wild Honey Inn then indulge your sweet tooth with the farm-to-fork Hazel Mountain Chocolates cafe!

Get more info on this hike here

Doolin Cliff Walk to the Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher - 20 best hikes in Ireland

Walking along the cliff walk at the Cliffs of Moher during a torrential storm!


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
4.5 miles/7 km; Longer option: 11 miles/18km 3-6 hours Doolin village  ‘Secret’ access to the Cliffs of Moher

Whether you choose the shorter route finishing the Cliffs of Moher or continue on along the longer route finishing in Liscannor, the Doolin Cliff Walk is a breathtaking hike along the sharp cliff’s edge. Hike along the narrow path while enjoying dramatic views of the swirling Atlantic Ocean far below your feet. One of the best hikes in Ireland, the Doolin Cliff Walk is also called the ‘secret passageway’ to access to the famous Cliffs of Moher! By approaching on foot from the northern end of the Cliffs of Moher, this is the best way to reach the cliffs, enjoy the famous view and still avoid most of the crowds. (Plus, there’s no charge to walk to the Cliffs of Moher!) 

Take the Doolin Cliff Walk to the Cliffs of Moher and more on the Hiking the Burren, Aran Islands and Connemara trip.

Enjoy fresh fish n’ chips with locally-sourced fish and hand-cut chips at The Ivy Cottage in Doolin which overlooks one of the best hikes in Ireland.

Get more details on the hike here

Coumshinguan Loop Walk in the Comeragh Mountains

Distance Duration Start Point Best For
4.5 miles/7 km 4 hours Kilclooney Bridge near Carrick-on-Suir  Circle one of Ireland’s finest natural amphitheatres and corrie lakes

Circling the steep walls of a natural amphitheatre, the Coumshinguan Trail takes in the panoramic views of the breathtaking Lough Coumshinguan, one of the finest examples of a ‘corrie lake’ in Europe. Carved out from a lingering glacial pocket, Lough Coumshinguan is fanned by high cliffs and the rolling Comeragh Mountains in every direction. Keep an eye out for birds, including White-tailed Eagles and red grouse!

Hike the Comeragh Mountains and more of the best hikes in Ireland on our exciting Ancient East Self Drive

Stop at The Coach House in Kilmacthomas for a steaming cup of coffee, light sandwiches and mouth-watering treats.

Additional info found here


The Tain Way on the Cooley Peninsula

Cooley Peninsula King Johns Castle

After your walk, head to the lovely town of Carlingford and visit the ancient King John’s Castle


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
25 miles/40 km 3 days 3 options: Carlingford, Omeath on the shores of Carlingford Lough, and in Ravensdale at the Lumpers Pub  Learning about the famous Irish saga, the ‘Cattle Raid of Cooley’

This 40km circular trail follows in the footsteps of the ancient Irish epic, the Tain Bo Cualinge, or the “Cattle Raid of Cooley,” through the mythical Cooley Mountains. Steeped in Irish mythology, walk through the landscapes that are alive with the legends of Irish heroes such as Queen Maeve, Cuchualain, Finn MaCool and more along one of best hikes in Ireland. Here, the landscapes have inspired enduring legends so much that they began to shape the lands as well as culture. The town of Carlingford is one of Ireland’s top coastal towns, and also happens to be in the heart of leprechaun country.

While not currently on any of our scheduled trips, request a tailor made trip to hike along the Tain Way.

Award-winning PJ O’Hares in Carlingford is the the best gastro pub in Co. Louth and has the added bonus of displaying leprechaun paraphernalia.

Get more details on this hike here

Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains – hike Pilgrim Path St Kevin’s Way 

Glendalough Valley hiking - 20 best hikes in Ireland

Hiking through the glacial valley and past the monastic city of Glendalough


Distance Duration Start Point Best For
18 miles/30 km 1 day Hollywood or Vallymount  Walk through the ‘Garden of Ireland’ and a famous monastic site

Based on an ancient pilgrimage route, St Kevin’s Way has been walked by pilgrims since medieval times. A hermit who lived deep in the silent mountains of Glendalough, St Kevin’s hermitage inspired the creation of a monastic city in the 11th and 12th centuries, once one of the greatest centres of learning in Ireland. Today, Glendalough is nestled deep in a glacial valley in the Wicklow Mountains, nicknamed the ‘Garden of Ireland,’ and a popular escape from the din of Dublin. Enjoy awe-inspiring views of the lakes snuggled into the valley as you explore the ancient region. Hike Glendalough and more of the best hikes in Ireland on our gentle hiking trip, Hiking the Wicklow Way.

A stone’s throw from Glendalough, The Wicklow Heather provides hearty meals in a stately atmosphere. Looking for something different? Try the chic, modern restaurant Bryne & Woods, enjoy upscale, local cuisine in comfort.

More details on the hike here

Lugnaquilla – The Highest Mountain in Wicklow 

Distance Duration Start Point Best For
10 miles/16 km 7 hours Fenton’s Pub in the Glen of Imaal or Baravore car park in Glenmalure Summit an ‘Irish munro’

The highest point in Wicklow, Lugnaquilla, nicknamed ‘Lug’, is sometimes called an ‘Irish Munro,’ and is certainly one of the best hikes in Ireland. Partially wooded, partially heathland and partially bog, the changeable landscape of Lugnaquilla is as beautiful as it is desolate. Home to many species of birds, as well as deer, fox and hares, Lugnaquilla is not a hike for the faint-hearted as it is exposed to the elements. But the sweeping, expansive views from the summit on a clear day will take your breath away.

While not currently on any of our scheduled trips, request a tailor made trip to hike Lugnaquilla and the Wicklow Mountains.

Enjoy a cosy pub atmosphere by an open fire at the Glenmalure Inn while admiring the views of the beautiful glacial valley outdoors. Or, start your day of hiking off right with a hearty pre-adventure Irish breakfast!

Get details on hiking Lugnaquilla here

See below for our selection of the best hikes in Ireland.

About the author

Dawn Rainbolt

American by birth but European in spirit, Dawn has called the US, Costa Rica, Spain, England, Poland, France and now Ireland home over the years. While she has travelled to more than 30 countries, she has fallen in love with the rich Irish culture and sweeping landscapes of Ireland. Armed with a Masters Degree in Tourism Marketing and a love of writing and photography, she is Wilderness Ireland's Marketing Executive since 2017.

Read more articles by Dawn | View Dawn's Profile

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