This is a tough one to write as I know there are so many more hikes in addition to our list that are spectacular in Ireland. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful country full of breathtaking hikes. So, we would love if you could share your favourite hikes in the comments below so we can add to our article ‘The Best Hikes in Ireland’. We always love finding new gems to add to the list. I hope this article will give you some inspiration for hiking in Ireland. Always remember mountain areas are very changeable places so be sure to check the forecast before you go so you can pick an appropriate route. If you are unfamiliar with an area, be sure to get an experienced guide to go with you.
TORC MOUNTAIN WALK
Torc Mountain Walk in Killarney is one of our favourite walks at the weekend. Although, this walk is about 7.5km and takes about 2.5 hours, it is a manageable walk with kids and makes for the perfect family outing at the weekend.
GAP OF DUNLOW
The Gap of Dunloe in Kerry is famous for the beauty that surrounds you as you walk. It is is a narrow glacial mountain pass which lies between the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountain. As you walk along, you walk through five picturesque lakes. It is one of the most beautiful walks in Ireland and one you will remember forever.
Carrauntoohil Mountain in Kerry is definitely one to add to your list. It is around 13km and takes about 6 hours. Carrauntoohil is the highest mountain in Ireland at 1,038.6 metres and is the central peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range.
CAHERCONREE MOUNTAIN AND FORT WALK
Caherconree Mountain and Fort Walk, Kerry. This walking route is a one-way walking route on the Slieve Mish Mountains in Kerry. It is just 10 minutes from Tralee, Co. Kerry and is known as one of the best walking routes along the Wild Atlantic Way. It is approximately 7.5km and takes around 3.5 hours. You should note that this hike is strenuous but the views of Tralee Bay from the top make it worth the climb.
GLEN OF AHERLOW
The Glen of Aherlow is a valley located between Slievenamuck and the Galtee Mountains in County Tipperary. The Glen of Aherlow is the dream for any walker as it offers beautiful walks to meet all walking levels and abilities. Enjoy your surroundings of mountains, forests, rivers, lakes and stunning landscapes.
This hike is located in the heart of the Dingle Peninsula. It is approximately 9km and takes around 5 hours to complete. This mountain is a sacred mountain that gets its name from St. Brendan the Navigator. From the top you will see panoramic Atlantic views over the Southwest of Ireland.
KNOCKMEALDOWN MOUNTAINS AND THE GALTEES
Now these are hikes to add to your bucket list. Explore the beauty, panoramic views and nature all around you. The Knockmealdown Mountains is a mountain range located on the border of Tipperary and Waterford. The Galtees are Ireland’s highest inland mountain range. It is such a spectacular experience and one not to be missed.
Mangerton Mountain is a popular one and is a 10km moderate hike. It would take 4 to 5 hour to the summit of Mangerton which is 839. Throughout the walk you can take in the breathtaking views of the Devil’s Punchbowl, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Horses Glen, Killarney National Park and on a good day south west to Kenmare Bay.
COOMASAHARN HORSESHOE WALK
Coomasaharn Horseshoe Walk is located in Glenbeigh, Kerry. A moderate 12km hiking trail which is situated over several mountain peaks around the stunning Coomasaharn Lake near Glenbeigh village. This walk is a pure hidden gem one for the bucket list.
There are lots to explore in the Comeragh Mountains in Waterford. The most famous walk and one known as the jewel of the Comeragh Mounatins is the Coumshigaun Lake loop walk. This is a 7.5km walking route around the Coumshingaun Corrie Lake and the surrounding mountains.
We would also recommend the Mahon Falls hike if you are looking for an easy family walk. It is an easy short family walk and a very popular one all year. It is a linear walk to the foot of the breathtaking Mahon Falls. Water falls from the highest point in the Comeragh Mountains and makes for a spectacular view. The drive up around the Mahon Falls is also spectacular and one to add to your list.
THE BALLARD WATERFALL TRAIL
The Ballard Waterfall Trail takes approximately 1 – 2 hours. You get to experience the Ballard Waterfall in Araglin, Cork. You will walk on the roadway, forest track and paths until you reach the beautiful waterfall, while enjoying the country views all around you. A lovely moderate countryside walk to enjoy with all the family.
This hike is a very popular hike in Ireland and is just a 40 minute drive from Dublin city. The trail is well defined for hiking as it has a soft incline but as you reach the top it is quite steep and you may have to scramble a little bit to reach the top. Mainly this hike is done by people for a leisurely walk. It is a great hike to allow yourself to get out in the fresh air and a great way to spend the day.
THE TIBRADDEN MOUNTAIN TRAIL
This walk lies between Cruagh and Kilmashogue mountains. This trail is located just a 40 minute drive from Dublin. Start your walk at the zipline centre and follow the red trail marks to take you to the top of Tribadden Mountain. It is a 2.5km and takes about 2 hours to complete. It starts with a relaxed walk through the forest before hiking up the mountain to the summit.
Lugnaquilla is the highest mountain in Wicklow. The hike is approximately 10 miles and takes about 7 hours. Lagnaquilla is known as one of the best hikes in Ireland. It is important to note that it has a changeable landscape as it is partially wooden, heathland and bog. Although, It may be a tough climb but when you get to the highest point, the view will be worth it as the view is incredible.
KILTIPPER TO GLENCULLEN/DUBLIN MOUNTAINS WAY
If you are looking for a challenge, this 32km walk is calling your name. Note that this hike will take a full day and you will need proper hiking gear. It starts at Kiltipper and goes through bog, forest, woodland and even runs along rivers and mountains. Glencullen will be your final destination. Nothing beats a day long hike with beautiful surroundings.
GLENDALOUGH, CO WICKLOW
The Wicklow Mountains are the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle in Dublin. The beauty and serenity awaits you. There are nine way-marked walking trails in the valley of Glendalough. These trails range from short half hour walks to four hour walks and you will get to see the incredible valley and upper lakes on this breathtaking mountain. You can check out all the details on all the different types of hikes and walks at the Wicklow Mountain National Park website here.
HOWTH CLIFF WALK
This walk is simply beautiful and we would recommend trying to time your walk so you finish as the sun sets as it is a spectacular experience with the scenery. We recently did this walk and started on the green route before moving onto the purple route. The purple route was our favourite as it was more off the beaten track with very few people walking it. We were walking for about 3 house in total but we stopped a lot to take photos and videos. We just couldn’t help it. A walk we would highly recommend.
The Lugnaquilla Mountain from Glenmalure Loop Walk is not an easy walk as it takes in two peak. Trust us, it is worth it with the views. This walking route should take approximately 6 hours to the summit of Lugnaquilla Mountain (925m) from Glenamalure and returning via Cloghernagh (800m). You will get to enjoy the views of the Wicklow Mountains, the Glen of Imaal, Glendalough and Glenmalure.
Ticknock has up to 10km of mountain and forest walks to choose from with spectacular views of Dublin city, Dublin Bay, Bray Head and the Wicklow Mountains. The Fairy Castle Loop is a beautiful looped walk with stunning views of Dublin from the Three Rock Mountain and Fairy Castle. It is a 6 km moderate Hike that takes you from Ticknock forest to the top of Three Rock mountain and then onto the summit. It is a moderate hike which should take about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
THE AVONMORE WAY
This trail will take you along the beautiful Avonmore river in Co. Wicklow. This walk is 12km and will take you 3-4 hours to complete. You walk up the wooden Valley which starts at Trooperstown Forest. You then follow the waymarked trail through the forest and enjoy a beautiful walk along the river.
THE DIAMOND HILL TRAIL
The Diamond Hill Trail is located in in Connemara National Park and takes you on paths, a boardwalk and steps up Diamond Hill to the summit. It is worth the climb with spectacular views all around. Overall it is a strenuous hike and takes around two to three hours but it is a hike that offers picture perfect views.
BENBULBIN AND KINGS MOUNTAIN LOOP WALK
Benbulbin and Kings Mountain Loop Walk, Sligo. This walk is about 8km in distance and takes around 4 hours to complete. This is probably Ireland’s most distinctive mountain formed during the ice age by massive glaciers segmenting the landscape.
Inishbofin is a small island full of walks to explore. There are a few looped walks on the island which are lovely to do on their own or short enough that they can be combined if you are looking for a longer walk. The first is the Westquarter loop which is perfect for seal and dolphin-spotting and for exploring the promontory Iron Age forts. The next is the Cloonamore Loop and this walk takes you along a green road to an 14th century church. The last loop is the Middlequarter Loop which offers panoramic views the islands surrounding Inishbofin and it also allows you to see the Iron and Bronze Age sites. A island waiting to be explored.
Croagh Patrick rises to a height of 765m above sea level and is considered Ireland’s Holy mountain. This hike has been a pilgrimage route since ancient times and normally it takes about two hours to climb Croagh Patrick and approximately one and a half hours to descend. As you climb, you overlook the town of Westport, Clew Bay and the hundreds of islands populating the bay.
CUILCAGH MOUNTAIN WALK LEGNABROCKY TRAIL
Cuilcagh Mountain Walk Legnabrocky Trail in Co. Fermanagh is a 20km difficult loop walk taking 6.5 – 7 hours. Cuilcagh Mountain is the highest mountain in the Breifne area with its summit on the border between County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and County Cavan in the Republic of Ireland.
SLEMISH MOUNTAIN, ST. PATRICKS PILGRIM PATH
Slemish Mountain, St Patricks Pilgrim Path in Antrim is a short but strenuous 1.5km walk which takes around 1.5 hours to complete. Walk to the popular and iconic peak of Slemish Mountain located only 10km east of Ballymena in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
SLIEVE LEAGUE CLIFFS
Located in Donegal, this walk is 3.5 miles out and back and will take around 2.5 hours out and back. You may be surprised that the Slieve League cliffs are actually three times higher than the Cliffs of Moher! The Slieve League cliffs are 601m at their highest point. This hike allows you to enjoy the most spectacular views of the Atlantic, while also exploring old ruins, inlets and secret beaches tucked along the route. An impressive experience. The Slieve Leagues are one of Ireland’s best-kept gems.
SLIEVE DONARD, MOURNE MOUNATINS
Slieve Donard in the Mourne Mountains in Down is a hike that is about 5.5 miles so it will take approximately 5 hours from the car park in Donard Park. At the highest point, you will hopefully see Donegal, down towards Wicklow and if you are very lucky you will see over to Scotland on a clear day.
Slieve Binnian is one of the Mourne Mountains in County Down, this is another fantastic walking route which has been added to our hiking list as it was sent in by a lovely follower on our Instagram. This circular walking route follows the Mourne Wall until you reach the summit of Slieve Binnian and as you come down you will pass along the path by the blue Lough and Annalong Forrest before arriving back at the car park. This loop should take around 3-4 hours. It is on our summer 2021 bucket list!