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    Essential Guide to Hiking in Ireland

    Hiking in Ireland

    From narrow trails that snake up the summit to sweeping valleys and lush, forested paths, sandy strands of pristine beaches, squelchy hills and sheep-dotted pastures, Ireland offers so many types and places to hike.

    Step into the captivating world of hiking in Ireland, where rich landscapes and winding paths invite adventurers to explore the beauty of the Emerald Isle. From salt-sprayed coastal paths to the serene lakeshores of Killarney National Park, read our guide to discover the beauty of hiking Ireland’s diverse and breathtaking hiking trails.

    Whether you’re a seasoned trekker seeking mountainous challenges or a leisurely wanderer exploring charming villages, islands and forests, Ireland’s hiking trails offer an immersive experience blending nature, history, geology, folklore, flora and fauna. Lace up your boots, breathe in the crisp Irish air, and let this guide be your companion in unravelling the magic of hiking in Ireland.

    Benefits of Hiking

    Hiking Ireland's small hills

    You’ll experience life slower. Too often, we spend our days rushing from one thing to the next. By hiking in Ireland, you’ll slow down, feel the wind in your face and the soft grass underfoot, taste the salt in the air and listen to the crash of the waves.

    Your experiences will be more meaningful. Walking may be tough, but the challenge of hiking through Ireland will increase your appreciation of the country – and if it had been too easy, you wouldn’t feel such a sense of accomplishment.

    Discover where heritage meets nature. From the ancient Neolithic tombs that dot the landscape to the amazing – and sometimes absurd – folktales that the landscapes have inspired to the overgrown villages lost to another time, hiking in Ireland means discovering its storied landscapes.

    Burren Hiking private tour

    You’ll get to see places others may not know exist. Leave the car behind and tackle trails only accessible by foot, exploring a whole world that car-dependent travellers will miss. Stumble across amazing views, deserted beaches, megalithic tombs, dramatic cliffs and more. And chances are, you’ll have it all to yourself.

    Feel connected to the island and the people who call it home. As you walk across the rugged landscapes, follow in the footsteps of ancient ancestors. Arriving at each summit, enjoy the same view once appreciated by the people who built the local ruins. Take a moment to try to understand what life was like for the Irish people living here over the centuries.

    Experience Ireland the way it was meant to be. Ireland has always been a rugged, magical place – more agricultural than urban. By walking in the wild, you’ll experience the true spirit of Ireland – its wild side.

    Where to Hike in Ireland

    Ireland’s Most Wild Places

    Though a small island, Ireland secrets plenty of wild spots if you know where to look. As self-professed outdoor lovers, we have a few wild cards up our sleeve. Peek at our guide to Ireland’s wild places.

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    Hiking Ireland’s Small Hills

    The high points get the glory, but sometimes small hills deserve the attention. Accessible to more hikers and often off most visitors’ radar, check out our list of smaller hills awaiting discovery.

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    Top Coastal & Island Hikes

    Pristine beaches, breathtaking cliffs, rugged rocky headlands, coastal villages, island shores, coastal long distance trails; Ireland’s coastal hikes come in all shapes and sizes. Read our beachy guide below.

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    Family-Friendly Hikes in Ireland

    Travelling with kids but still love the idea of an active family holiday? Who says travelling with kids means you can’t explore the outdoors! Read our guide to our favourite family-friendly hikes for active kids.

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    Long Distance Trails

    Trails of all sorts trace lines across Ireland’s emerald landscapes. Embark on an extraordinary journey as we unveil the allure of Ireland’s long distance trails. Weaving through the heart of the country’s breathtaking landscapes, these paths offer not just a walk but an odyssey.

    From the iconic Kerry Way to the mystical Wicklow Way to the unique geology of the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland, each trail presents a tapestry of diverse terrain and cultural richness. Lace up your boots and join us in exploring the boundless beauty and enduring charm of Ireland’s long-distance trails.

    Read more about Ireland’s long distance trails in the articles below.

    Hike Irish Long Distance Trails

    Dingle Way –
    Guided

    Explore the magic of the Dingle Way on this guided adventure along the best sections of this iconic trail.

    View Trip

    Causeway Coast –
    Guided

    Discover the unique geology and fascinating folklore of the Causeway Coastal Route on this guided group tour.

    View Trip

    Dingle Way –
    Self Guided

    Prefer to travel at your own pace? Choose to hike the Dingle Way on a self guided adventure, leaving the logistics to us.

    View Trip

    Wicklow Way –
    Self Guided

    Walk Ireland’s premier long distance trail as it winds through the Wicklow Mountains on a self guided journey.

    View Trip

    Hiking in Ireland: What to Expect

    Discovering the wonders of hiking in Ireland promises a journey through diverse landscapes and cultural heritage, creating an indelible outdoor experience. Ireland’s terrain caters to hikers of all skill levels, from the rugged coastal edges with breathtaking cliffs to the rolling hills steeped in history and steep, boulder-strewn mountain peaks.

    Read on to learn about Ireland’s terrain and landscapes, offering you an idea of what to expect on a hiking trip to Ireland.

    Terrains & Landscapes

    Coastal Read More

    Coastal landscapes are the most accessible for visitors. There are too many beaches to count in Ireland, and most are great for walking. Some beaches and shorelines are part of longer routes, such as the beaches of the Dingle Peninsula, while others are part of short loops, such as on Inisbofin or Strandhill in Sligo.

    Ireland is also home to coastal cliffs, like the famous Cliffs of Moher, though if cliffs are your cup of tea, plenty of other coastal cliff routes exist, from Slieve League in Donegal to parts of the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland.

    Generally, expect fresh air, relatively straightforward terrain and lots of wind. Most coastal areas will have plenty of amenities too.

    Forests and Lowlands Read More

    Lush and leafy forests dot Ireland’s wild spaces. Though one of Europe’s least-forested regions, what forests we do have are generally full of way-marked paths. Expect these to be well kept and maintained, as Coillte, Ireland’s forestry association, manages them.

    Most forest paths are short and nearly always looped. They are ideal for families or those looking for a short outdoor jaunt. Paths are dirt or gravel; some forest parks have amenities on-site, while others are a short distance from towns and villages. Some longer trails, such as the Wicklow Way, traverses forested terrain for those who prefer longer walks in the woods.

    Hills and Bogs Read More

    Much of Irish terrain can be classified as hilly and boggy. Often both. Mountains in Ireland are clustered in a few places, and of course, there is plenty of coastal terrain. But in between are the hills.

    While some hills have narrow trails tracing the slopes, most are remote, lush, and unspoilt. Expect boggy terrain underfoot, uneven footing, stone fences, sheep and cow pastures, and stiles. Good footwear and waterproof outerwear are a must.

    Knowledge of navigation is a plus but generally unnecessary for hikers sticking to small hills. Do keep in mind that larger and more remote hills may require some navigation skills. However, local area knowledge of the region is integral due to a low number of waymarked trails.

    Most hill walking is on private land. As always, be respectful of the land and the livestock, leaving everything as you found it. Local amenities can be limited, particularly in remote west coast regions, so be mindful that you have everything you need for a day on the hills.

    Mountains Read More

    Where are Ireland’s mountains located? The highest peaks are in the MacGillycuddy Reeks mountains in Co Kerry, including Carrauntouhil, Ireland’s highest mountain, as well as a number of other soaring peaks.

    Other regions for mountain lovers include Connemara’s rugged Twelve Bens in Co Galway, the beautifully eerie Maamturks located across the fjord in Co Mayo, the Blue Stacks in Co Donegal, the Wicklow Mountains (part of the national park) just south of Dublin, as well as the Comeraghs in Waterford. In Northern Ireland, the Mourne Mountains dominate the landscape south of Belfast on the east coast and the Sperrins march across the centre of the small nation.

    There are rarely waymarked trails through Ireland’s mountainous areas. The terrain itself is usually rough underfoot, with rocky and boggy patches. Knowledge of navigation is needed. It’s best to avoid mountain hikes unless you are travelling with an experienced guide for safety purposes. The ground is often boggy and uneven. Expect steep slopes, scree and boulder fields. Good boots are essential, as are high-quality waterproofs.

    Amenities in mountainous regions are generally limited. though you’re never far from a town or village in Ireland, it’s important to remember that mountain areas are remote and little travelled.

    Ireland Travel Tips

    Tips for First-Time
    Travellers in Ireland

    Read More

    Tips for Solo Travellers
    on Group Trips

    Read More

    Hiking Tips: What to Bring

    Hiking: What to Wear

    Read More

    Hiking Footwear: Boot vs. Shoe

    Read More

    Learn More In our FAQs

    Have more questions about travelling in Ireland? Looking for helpful tips or more information about joining a group trip?

    Check out our FAQ page, where we’ve answered popular questions. If you still haven’t found what you are looking for, get in touch below.

    Read FAQs

    Ireland By Season

    Spring

    Spring weather is mild, but the days are lengthening and consistently drier. The landscape is buzzing with life and colour, with flowers blooming and bustling wildlife.

    Find out more

    Summer

    Summer promises long days, pleasant temperatures, and festivals galore. The countryside transitions from vibrant green to breath-taking purple as the heather blooms.

    Find out more

    Autumn

    Autumn is a time of colourful landscapes and glowing skies. Witness some of Ireland’s most beautiful autumn sunsets and taste flavours unique to our autumn months.

    Find out more

    Winter

    If the conditions are right, marvel at the snow-dusted landscapes during Ireland’s winters. Crunchy snow underfoot, roaring fires in the cosy pubs, and beautiful starry skies.

    Find out more

    Tours by Month

    Hiking Tours in Ireland

    Wilderness Ireland Departure DatesAvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    Hiking – The Dingle Way

    20th Apr - 26th Apr 2024

    1 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,490Book Now
    Hiking – Kerry & Clare

    27th Apr - 3rd May 2024

    2 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,390Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    28th Apr - 3rd May 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,270Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    4th May - 12th May 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,425Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    5th May - 10th May 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,350Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    9th May - 17th May 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,425Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    11th May - 19th May 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,425Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    18th May - 23rd May 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 940Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    25th May - 2nd Jun 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,425Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    26th May - 31st May 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    30th May - 7th Jun 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,425Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    2nd Jun - 7th Jun 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,275Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    2nd Jun - 10th Jun 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    6th Jun - 14th Jun 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Cork & Kerry

    8th Jun - 14th Jun 2024

    2 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    9th Jun - 17th Jun 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    9th Jun - 14th Jun 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    13th Jun - 21st Jun 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    16th Jun - 21st Jun 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,275Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    16th Jun - 24th Jun 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    20th Jun - 28th Jun 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    22nd Jun - 28th Jun 2024

    2 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,520Book Now
    Hiking – Connemara’s Atlantic Edge

    22nd Jun - 28th Jun 2024

    2 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,360Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Cork & Kerry

    22nd Jun - 28th Jun 2024

    1 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    23rd Jun - 28th Jun 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,350Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    23rd Jun - 1st Jul 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,425Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    27th Jun - 5th Jul 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    30th Jun - 8th Jul 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    30th Jun - 5th Jul 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    4th Jul - 12th Jul 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    6th Jul - 12th Jul 2024 Women only departure

    5 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Dingle Way

    6th Jul - 12th Jul 2024

    4 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,490Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    7th Jul - 12th Jul 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    7th Jul - 15th Jul 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    11th Jul - 19th Jul 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking – Kerry & Clare

    13th Jul - 19th Jul 2024

    6 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,390Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    14th Jul - 22nd Jul 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,425Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    14th Jul - 19th Jul 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    18th Jul - 26th Jul 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    20th Jul - 26th Jul 2024

    1 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    21st Jul - 29th Jul 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    21st Jul - 26th Jul 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,350Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    25th Jul - 2nd Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Cork & Kerry

    27th Jul - 2nd Aug 2024

    5 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    27th Jul - 2nd Aug 2024

    4 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,390Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    28th Jul - 2nd Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    28th Jul - 5th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    1st Aug - 9th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking – Kerry & Clare

    3rd Aug - 9th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,390Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    3rd Aug - 9th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    4th Aug - 12th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    4th Aug - 9th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    8th Aug - 16th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Cork & Kerry

    10th Aug - 16th Aug 2024

    7 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    11th Aug - 19th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    11th Aug - 16th Aug 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,350Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    15th Aug - 20th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    15th Aug - 23rd Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Dingle Way

    17th Aug - 23rd Aug 2024

    1 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,490Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    17th Aug - 23rd Aug 2024 Women only departure

    6 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,390Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    18th Aug - 23rd Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    18th Aug - 26th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    22nd Aug - 27th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    22nd Aug - 30th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking – Connemara’s Atlantic Edge

    24th Aug - 30th Aug 2024

    7 place(s) leftAvailable 2,360Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    25th Aug - 2nd Sep 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    25th Aug - 30th Aug 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    29th Aug - 3rd Sep 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    29th Aug - 6th Sep 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    30th Aug - 9th Sep 2024

    1 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,320Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    1st Sep - 6th Sep 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    5th Sep - 13th Sep 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    8th Sep - 13th Sep 2024

    Trip FullGuaranteed 1,350Trip Full
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    8th Sep - 16th Sep 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    12th Sep - 20th Sep 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    15th Sep - 23rd Sep 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    19th Sep - 27th Sep 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    21st Sep - 27th Sep 2024

    6 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,390Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    22nd Sep - 30th Sep 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    26th Sep - 4th Oct 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking – Kerry & Clare

    28th Sep - 4th Oct 2024

    4 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,390Book Now
    Self Guided – The Dingle Way

    29th Sep - 7th Oct 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    5th Oct - 11th Oct 2024

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,390Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    6th Oct - 11th Oct 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now
    Self Guided – The Wicklow Way

    13th Oct - 18th Oct 2024

    2 place(s) leftAvailable 1,350Book Now

    Our holidays reviewed
    in your own words

    Trip of a lifetime! First time we’ve taken a trip like this with a guide. Would and will totally do it again with Wilderness Ireland!

    Susan Sheffield
    Hiking & Island Hopping - Cork & Kerry
    Reviewed on 01/07/2019

    Rated 4.94 out of 5 based on 1,447 reviews

    Read More Reviews

    As Recommended By...

    You'll be in good company on a Wilderness Ireland Trip. Some of the biggest and best known names in the business have recommended us.

    Los Angeles Times
    National Geographic Adventure
    Vogue
    Men's Health
    USA Today

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