Five of the Best Hikes in Ireland
Traveling to Ireland for a hiking trip will deliver so much more than a lovely walking experience. Expect lush green countryside and dramatic geologically unique coastlines. No matter which way you turn or what region you immerse yourself in, you will find a welcoming local culture. The hiking will of course be a highlight of your trip, but make sure to take advantage of the culture each stop of the way.
Often the hardest part of traveling to Ireland is deciding on which iconic walk you want to take. Each area and path will surely give you a truly wonderful taste of the country, in its own unique way. Read on to learn more about the distinguishing traits of each of the most popular walks in Ireland, then figure out which is right for you!
The Dingle Way
Residing on a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, the Dingle Way is described by Conde Naste traveler as one of the most beautiful places in all of Ireland. The full trek is a 100+ mile loop around the entire peninsula. It begins and ends in the capitol city of Kerry, Tralee. From the small iconic Irish villages, to the powerful and dramatic coastlines, and to the rolling sheep-filled countryside, you will feel as though you walked into a classic Irish fairy tale.
The culture and beauty of this walk entice many travelers to circumnavigate the peninsula, usually taking between 7-9 days of walking. Though the distance and terrain do provide a worthy challenge to an average hiker, the reward of completely inn-to-inn walking is always worth it. For those looking to find a more balanced blend of the hiking aspects and the cultural highlights, Macs does offer an itinerary built to encompass the best of both. By handpicking walks and embracing local towns, this trip makes it possible to get an encompassing taste of the whole region. You'll leave knowing you've experienced the Dingle Peninsula & The Way.
The Wicklow Way takes its visitors from the edges of Dublin, the bustling epicenter of Ireland, quickly into the world-renowned hills of Wicklow County. Wander out of Marlay Park and quickly immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings and walk your way through stunning countryside between charming towns and B&B’s. The balance of majestic and variable scenery, famous Irish hospitality, and glimpses of rich history will make each day unique and interesting, leaving you always excited for the gifts of the next day’s walk.
As with the Dingle, this walk can be done in full over 7-8 days of walking, or can be walked simply for as many days as your schedule allows! Alternatively choose the Best of the Wicklow Way to find the perfect balance between the region’s history, classic accommodations, and preferred walks.
Antrim Glens and Causeway Coast
The Giant’s Causeway along the north coast of Northern Ireland is one of the most iconic walks on the Emerald Isle. Not only is the coastline and countryside perfect for a relaxing walking adventure, but the unique geological features of the Giant’s Causeway, the excitement of exploring the rugged Rathlin Island, and the historic city of Belfast make for a perfect active experience of Northern Ireland. The towns along the way are spaced so that walkers can appreciate both their morning adventure, but also immerse themselves in the route’s highlights, the towns of each evening, and take in the amazing scenery at their own pace.
Connemara is home to a vast range of Ireland’s most unforgettable scenery. The walking will wind between dramatic “lochs,” rugged mountains, and the harsh Atlantic coast, yet somehow this adventure will continue to instill a sense of peaceful bliss for the visiting traveler. It is easy to feel welcomed into the awe-inspiring landscape since each town and B&B along the way will bring you in as would an old friend. In addition to the famous landscapes, the capital town of Clifden is combining its age-old charm and culture with a rapidly growing reputation as one of Ireland’s best food destinations.
The Burren Way
Not far south of Connemara is The Burren Way. This is another of Ireland’s regions famous for its culture, scenery, and coastlines. This Irish “Way” encompasses some of Ireland’s greatest scenic highlights, such as the moon-like Burren National park, the imposing Cliffs of Moher, and a taste of Inishmore Island; however, any traveler to the region will find so much more!
Doolin, a coastal town overlooking the Aran Islands, is a hub for local, traditional Irish music that is played at pubs throughout town each night. This lively destination openly shares its taste for lively evenings and its rich Gaelic culture with visitors, making for a lovely addition to a walking trip.
Are you planning a trip to Ireland? Get in touch and one of our Destination Specialists will be delighted to help!