Exploring the Irish countryside and wilderness is a must for nature lovers. But, with so many hiking and walking opportunities in Ireland, where do you start?
Wicklow Way Hiking
Even when you are slap bang in the middle of Dublin city you are only 20 minutes from the Wicklow Way - one of Ireland's best, if not the best, hiking trips venues. A network of easily accessible walking trails, Wicklow Way offers nature lovers the opportunity to explore a variety of mountainous landscapes.
Traditionally this hiking trails is explored from north to south. If you want to enjoy the westernmost section of E8 footpath, start by crossing Marlay Park in Dublin and head to Clonegal, in Carlow County. The landmarks you can visit while hiking on Wicklow Way are: Marlay House, the Military Road reminding the troubled days of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the Glencree Barracks, and the Christian monastic settlement of Glendalough, famous around the world of its round tower. On the way, you will cross the Irish fields and forests, see rapid waterfalls, go up and down hilly paths, and stop in picturesque Irish villages like Aughavannagh, Clonegal, and Knockananna.
For more details on the Wicklow Way hiking see the Wicklow County page, including a specific hike around Glendalough.
Ben Bulben Hiking
An easily accessible forest road, the Ben Bulben look allows outdoors lovers to explore the iconic Benbulbin Mountain, featuring an elevation of 526 meters. From there, you can admire some panoramic views of Sligo town, Donegal Bays, and Wild Atlantic Way. Some of the coolest part of this trail are Glencar Waterfall, Glencar Lake, and Pinnacle Gully. The Ben Bulben area is a great venue for weekend hike because of its relative proximity to Dublin.
For more details on Ben Bulben hiking see the Sligo County page.
Croagh Patrick Hiking
Located in the proximity of Westport town in County Mayo Croagh Patrick was originally a Catholic pilgrimage route starting in the village of Murrisk. Also known as The Reek, this is the place where Saint Patrick is supposed to have banished Ireland’s snakes from. Pilgrims abound here during the Lent, but also at other times of the year. From the top, you can get panoramic views over Connemara, Clew Bay and the Neiphin Beg mountains. Despite its popularity, Croagh Patrick remains one of Ireland’s most popular hiking trails, and not only with pilgrims.
For more details on Croagh Patrick hiking see the Mayo County page.