Just one hour from Dublin and Belfast this hiking area on the border between north and south is a real gem not be missed! It offers hills, mountains and spectacular coastlines created more than 60 million years ago and a treasure trove of myths and legends and Viking conquests.
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Discover the Wonders of the Cooley and Mournes Hiking Tour Days
self-guided / baggage transfers / welcoming bed and breakfast accommodation
A Unique Experience on Ireland's East Coast
If you're looking for a hiking tour covering everything Ireland offers, then the Cooley and Mournes Hiking Tour on Ireland's east coast is the perfect destination for you. This 8-day hiking tour offers a unique blend of green hills, coastal walks, historic ruins, and castles, to cozy pubs and shops in the medieval fishing village of Carlingford. The journey continues through the spectacular Mournes Mountains to Newcastle. In this article, we will explore the highlights of the Cooley and Mournes Hiking Tour and why it should be on every hiker's bucket list.
Experience the Beauty of Cooley Peninsula
The Cooley Peninsula is located in the Republic of Ireland and offers a unique combination of natural beauty and historic charm. This hiker's paradise features green hills, picturesque landscapes, and a historic fishing village that is sure to charm any traveller. Carlingford, the medieval town, offers a unique feel and atmosphere, making it a perfect starting point for the Cooley and Mournes Hiking Tour. You can explore this charming town's cultural and historical significance while enjoying a great hike.
Discover the Mournes Mountains
The Mournes Mountains are located in Northern Ireland and are a must-visit destination for any hiker. The Mournes Mountains have the status of AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and are a European geo-tourism project. The unique landscape of the Mournes Mountains features a ring of 12 mountains dominating the Mourne upland, each rising above 600m, with the highest peak, Slieve Donard, reaching 853m. The hills offer incredible opportunities for exploration and discovery, and the Mournes' heart is crisscrossed with an unrivalled network of paths and tracks that provide enthusiastic hillwalkers with various challenges and hikes for all levels of ramblers.
Enjoy the Convenience of Luggage Transport
One of the biggest benefits of the Cooley and Mournes Hiking Tour is that you don't have to carry your luggage while hiking. Your luggage is transported for you to your next destination, which means you can enjoy the scenic beauty without the burden of carrying heavy backpacks. This makes the hiking tour more enjoyable and accessible for hikers of all levels.
Experience the Local Culture and Cuisine
The Cooley and Mournes Hiking Tour offers more than just beautiful landscapes and challenging hikes. You will experience the local culture and cuisine that makes this region unique. You can visit cosy pubs and shops in the medieval fishing village of Carlingford, sample local seafood, and enjoy a pint of Guinness. In addition, you can explore the small villages and towns around the foothills of the Mournes Mountains, where you can relax and unwind after a long day of hiking.
Do you think you need more convincing?
The Cooley and Mournes Hiking Tour is a must-visit destination for any hiker looking to explore the natural beauty and historic charm of Ireland's east coast. With its unique combination of green hills, coastal walks, historic ruins, and castles, this hiking tour offers a unique experience that is hard to find anywhere else. The luggage transport makes it accessible for hikers of all levels, while the local culture and cuisine make it a memorable experience for any traveller. Plan your Cooley and Mournes Hiking Tour today and experience the wonders of this unique destination.
Cooley and Mournes Hiking Tour 8 Days
Self-guided trek, including baggage transfers
Our 8-day itinerary is ideal for getting the best of what the Cooley Peninsula and the Mourne Mountains have to offer. This is also a great holiday to lengthen with some city visits to Dublin and/or Belfast!
- Extra night in Dundalk to visit Dublin / Belfast
- Extra night in Carlingford
Arrive in Ireland
Arrive at your first accommodation in Dundalk in County Louth. We recommend flying into Dublin or Belfast airports. There is a regular bus service every hour from the airport to Dundalk.
Ravensdale – Lumpers (Cooley)
Private transfer to the start of the first walk in Ravensdale forest. A steep climb brings you to Black Mountain & Clairmont Cairn from where you have a fantastic view over the Slieve Gullion and Slieve Foye above Carlingford as well as the Mourne mountains to the Northeast. You will continue to the Lumpers Pub where you will be picked up for a transfer back to your B&B.
Walk: 12 km / 4 hours / Forest roads and tracks, Heather and Moore (can be wet underfoot) and quiet country roads
Lumpers to Carlingford
Transfer to start of the hike at the Lumpers Pub. Today’s walk brings you across the Cooley Peninsula into the central valley before climbing over the crest of Barnavave and Maeve’s Gap to find Carlingford Village and Carlingford Lough at your feet. Overnight in Carlingford where your baggage awaits.
Walk: 16 km / 5 hours / Forest roads and tracks, Heather and Moore (can be wet underfoot) and quiet country roads.
From your B&B accommodation in Carlingford we give you a variety of walking options to enjoy. These vary in Length and difficulty and all start and end in the historic medieval village with its many shops, restaurants and cosy pubs. Make sure to sample the famous Carlingford Oysters!
Walk: Various lengths and grades.
Rostrevor – Deerpark
Private transfer to the start of the hike in Rostrevor on the other side of Carlingford Lough. You will now make your way into the Mournes following the waymarked Mourne Way.
At the end of the walk, you will be collected and brought to the Mourne Hostel in Attical. This hostel was set up and built as a village project to create a source of income to the area and is run by volunteers. Overnight in Atticall.
Walk: 17 km / 5 hours / Forest roads and tracks, Heather and Moore (can be wet underfoot)
Explore Mourne Mountains
Using your accommodation in Attical as a base choose one of the many fantastic walks in the area and explore the beautiful Mourne Mountains. During the Summer Months, a circular Rambler bus allows you to explore all corners of this magnificent area. Overnight in Atticall.
Walk: Various lengths and grades
Deerpark – Newcastle
Private transfer close to the previous day end point, and from here you will walk across the Mournes and through the beautiful Tollymore forest park and into Newcastle where you will spend the final night before departure. This is hill-walking at its best, and this trek will inspire you to come back for more! Overnight in Newcastle.
Walk: 18 km / 5.5 hours / Forest roads and tracks, Heather and Moore (can be wet underfoot)
Departure from Newcastle
Unfortunately, this is the end of your holiday and it is time to return home.
What’s included in our Cooley and Mournes Hiking Tour 8 Days?
- Carefully selected family-run and welcoming B&B accommodation.
- Comfortable en-suite bedrooms.*
- A full Irish breakfast to keep your engines running.
- Complimentary luggage transfers.
- Detailed maps and route notes, so you never get lost.
- Local advice on places to visit and where to eat.
- Full pre-departure info to allow you to prepare for your walking holiday.
- Waterproof map case to keep your documents dry.
- Extra night(s) accommodation booked on request.
- Need information on local transport options? We’re happy to assist!
- 24/7 local emergency contact.
What’s not included?
- Your flights
- Travel and baggage insurance
- Lunches / Evening meals
* Unless already booked out in which case we’ll try to secure a private bathroom.
Details of the walks and Hikes during this holiday
There are a lot of places where it would be worthwhile to stay an extra night to explore more in the area. We can also book extra nights for you at your tour's start or end. Some of these options can be booked directly on our booking form. Please email us, and we will happily inform you of some available options.
When you book your holiday with us we will send you a full document with all the necessities, and more! Good hiking boots and clothes that can withstand the odd shower are necessary. We hope to have a document for you to download directly available shortly.
We have listed a few essentials that you will have to bring along and when you make your booking we will send you out a full list of essentials.
Comfortable waterproof walking Boots
Waterproof jacket & over trousers
Waterproof map case
Backpack, lined with plastic bag
Walking poles (It may be possible to provide these locally if requested)
Thick socks / hat / gloves
Water bottle & lunch box
Sunscreen / Insect repellent
Compass / GPS device
and for that special moment, your camera
You will be accommodated in family-run guesthouses (B&Bs) or small family-run hotels, where you will encounter a friendly welcome and homely comfort. All our accommodations are approved by Bord Failte and the Irish Tourist Board or the Northern Ireland Tourism Board and are at least 3 stars. Rooms are twin, double or triple en-suite and single rooms are available on request. If an en-suite room is unavailable, you will be advised beforehand.
You are strongly advised to obtain insurance coverage for personal accidents, cancellation charges, medical expenses, loss of money or baggage, travel and personal liability when participating in any of our tours. Walking Holiday Ireland or its servants or agents cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to your baggage, or any illness or injury while on our tours. We also cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage resulting from circumstances beyond our control.
Pick the tour you want to join and fill out the online booking form. Within a few days, you will receive confirmation of your booking. When we receive a deposit of 15% to secure the booking we will start putting everything together for you. The final payment is due six weeks before the start of the tour, and you will receive all information on your tour no less than 2 weeks before arrival.
No, that’s not the case! The dominant influence on Ireland’s climate is the Atlantic Ocean. Consequently, Ireland does not suffer from the extremes of temperature experienced by many other countries at similar latitudes. The average annual temperature is about 9 °C. In the middle and east of the country, temperatures tend to be somewhat more extreme than in other parts of the country. For example, the summer means the daily maximum is about 19 °C, and the winter means the daily minimum is about 2.5 °C in these areas. Look at our Irish weather page for more detailed information about the weather in the region where you will be walking.