Top 20 Hikes in Ireland

This summer it is all about staycations in Ireland and we believe that nothing beats a hike in the fresh air! Below are a list of some of our favourite places to go on a hike or walk. Have you any favourite walks or hikes you love in Ireland? Let us know below and we will put them on our list to try this summer. We always love finding new gems to add to the list.

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.

Munster

  • Torc Mountain Walk in Killarney, Kerry is one of our favourite walks at the weekend. It is about 7.5km and takes about 2.5 hours. It’s also a manageable walk with kids so it makes for the perfect family outing at the weekend.
  • Gap of Dunloe, Kerry. The Gap of Dunloe 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Coomasaharn Horseshoe Walk, Kerry. A moderate 12km hiking trail over several mountain peaks around the stunning Coomasaharn Lake near Glenbeigh village, Co. Kerry. This walk is a hidden gem and one for the bucket list.
  • Comeragh Mountains, Waterford. There are a vast array of walks for you to explore in the Comeragh Mountains, including the famous Coumshigaun Lake loop walk. It is a 7.5km walking route around the Coumshingaun Corrie Lake and the surrounding mountains in County Waterford. The Coumshingaun Corrie Lake is known as the jewel of the Comeragh Mountains.  Additionally, we would also recommend the Mahon Falls hike. It is an easy 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.
  • 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 know 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.
  • Mount Brandon, Kerry. 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.
  • Glen of Aherlow, Tipperary. 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.

Connacht

  • Benbulbin and Kings Mountain Loop Walk, Sligo. This walk is about 8km in distance and takes around 4 hours to complete. Undoubtedly Ireland’s most distinctive mountain formed during the ice age by massive glaciers segmenting the landscape.
  • The Diamond Hill Trail, Galway. This trail in Connemara National Park 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.
  • Inishbofin Loop, Galway. 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 hike. 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.
  • Croagh Patrick, Mayo. 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. 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.

Leinster

  • Sugarloaf, Wicklow. 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. It is 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.
  • Lugnaquilla, Wicklow. Lugnaquilla is the highest mountain in Wicklow. It is approximately 10 miles and takes about 7 hours to complete. Lagnaquilla is one of the best hikes in Ireland. It has a changeable landscape as it is partially wooden, heathland and bog. Although, it is a tough climb, we promise you that the views from the highest point will take your breath away.

Ulster

  • Slieve League Cliffs, 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. Most importantly, you can enjoy the most spectacular views of the Atlantic, while 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.
  • Cuilcagh Mountain Walk Legnabrocky Trail, Fermanagh. 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, Antrim. Firstly, this is a short but strenuous 1.5km walk and it 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 Donard in the Mourne Mountains, Down. This hike is about 5.5 miles and 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.
  • Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail, Fermanagh. This trail is 4.6miles and is known locally as the stairway to heaven. It is one of the largest expanses of blanket bog in Northern Ireland and can be explored thanks to the one mile boardwalk that opened in 2015. Moreover, to reach the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain of 2,185ft, there is a steep climb but the view at the top makes it all worth it.

What is your favourite hike in Ireland? Let us know below and we will put them on our list to try this summer. We always love finding new gems to add to the list.

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