The hillwalking locations in Ireland offer something unique, something that other destinations cannot match. Sure, Switzerland offers higher peaks and jodeling maidens. Italy offers excellent coffee before you start your walk and possibly the best pasta in the evening to revitalise yourself after a hard day on the trails.
But Ireland, well, Ireland is just extraordinary. Not only does Ireland offer wild and varied landscapes, from rugged coastlines to meandering green valleys with deep blue lakes that reflect the wild skies and purple heathers. Once you leave the trail behind, you are welcomed in the welcoming family-run B&Bs, where they tell you about local legends and folklore. Pubs that offer a decent meal and the best pint of Guinness or local whiskey that you could wish for.
On top of all that, Hiking in Ireland is a deep and spiritual experience that cannot be matched and has to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Check out our top hiking tips here.. I am willing to bet that one walking holiday won’t be enough, and you will be back for more!
There are many ways you can experience hillwalking in Ireland. By yourself, with family and friends, on hillwalk tours or with a walking club. So there is no reason not to explore Ireland’s tracks and trails and enjoy all that is on offer!
Below we have selected some of our favourite self guided hiking tours located in Ireland. What is your favourite, and which ones have you done or would you like to do?
Hillwalking The Dingle Way
Situated in the southwest of Ireland, the tour starts in the capital of Kerry, Tralee town. It is one of the 30 long-distance walking trails and one of the best hiking trails in Ireland. On average, it would take an adult to walk the trail 8-9 days as the trail is 179km. The Dingle way is popular as it has so many different landscapes. It doesn’t take long before you see a massive change in scenery. The walking tour follows mountain trails, green roads, old tracks, and often the foothills of the mountains. The Dingle Way is the gateway to the Dingle Peninsula.
Walking the Kerry Way
The Kerry way is a fantastic scenic long-distance walking trail in county Kerry. The walk is approximately 215km long and takes, on average, between 6 to 12 days to complete. The walk starts in Killarney, with stunning lakes, hidden valleys, panoramic ocean views, mountain backdrops, and so much more. Many towns pass through on the Kerry way route. Some include Kenmare, Glenbeigh, Waterville, and so many more. This is an excellent walking tour as it caters for all interests.
Hiking the Wicklow Way
Wicklow lies off the south of Dublin and is often nicknamed the garden of Ireland. The Wicklow Way is one of Ireland’s oldest way-marked long-distance hill walk tours, and most of it runs through the Wicklow Mountains National Park. At a distance of 127km, and ascends some 3,200 meters along its entire journey. Walking the entire Wicklow Way can take a few days or a week. It features beautiful scenery and some truly remote upland areas. These include fast-flowing mountain streams, farmland, forests, mountains, and steep-sided glacial valleys. Many wild animals call Wicklow home, including the fox, rabbit, deer, goat, hare, badger, and red squirrel. Throughout the uplands, many different tree types can be seen, such as chestnut, beech, oak, larch, and many more.
Hiking the Glens of Antrim and Causeway Coast
Discover this beautiful part of Northern Ireland, which is home to the famous Giant’s causeway. It is full of friendly people, stunning landscapes, and inspirational locations. 3 areas of designation have incredible natural beauty, nine glens which include Glengariff, the queen of the glens, coastal tracks that are secluded, wonderful forest parks, and quaint fishing villages. Along with the world-renowned giant’s causeway, there are other amazing spots to see, including Dunluce castle and Dunseverick castle.
Follow the Beara Way hiking trail.
The Beara way begins and ends in Glengariff in Cork, it is a long circular route with a distance of 152km around the Beara peninsula. The route passes through seacoast scenery and magnificent rugged mountains in Cork and Kerry. Beara is a world apart and offers peacefulness and tranquillity that has long since vanished in other parts. The Beara way follows country roads, old green roads, and boggy mountain trails. It is well signposted and marked and is one of Ireland’s best-kept secrets.