Dublin & The Wicklow Way Short Break
- Combine the cheerful city of Dublin with hikes in the remote Wicklow Mountains
- Lough Tay, "The Guinness Lake", and the Luggala Valley
- Hike across the exposed shoulder of Djouce Mountain and White Hill
- Glendalough, one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland
- Spend the night in a cosy B&B in the heart of the Glenmalure Valley
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Dublin
Begin your Irish adventure in Dublin, Ireland’s charismatic capital and an essential part of any visit to the Emerald Isle. The city boasts many landmarks and monuments dating back hundreds of years. Make sure to visit Trinity College, the Book of Kells, the Guinness Factory, and St Stephan's Green.
Settle into your welcoming, hand-picked hotel and head out to explore the Temple Bar District, known as Dublin’s “left bank”. Here you can often listen to live music and order a pint of the 'black stuff' to celebrate the start of your trip.
The Temple Bar Inn is located in the heart of Dublin City, in the busting Temple Bar district. Located a stone’s throw away from all major attractions such as Trinity College, the National Museum of Ireland, Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle. Making this the ideal location for exploring Dublin.
This family-run hotel is located next to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. Each stylish room features an en-suite bathroom, flat-screen TV, modern artwork and designer bed throws. The property has been awarded Eco-Label certification by the Green Hospitality Programme.
Full Irish breakfasts are served at Whitty's Restaurant. For dinner you can enjoy the delicious food at Line Out Bar with a stunning terrace overlooking private gardens.
Albany House is a historic building in the heart of Georgian Dublin. Located just off St Stephen's Green it's a leisurely 5 minute walk to Grafton Street and onto the atmospheric Temple Bar. All rooms are equipped with TV, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryer and free Internet access.
Join the Wicklow Way trail after a transfer from your hotel in Dublin to the start of your walk at Curtlestown Wood (50 min). From here you can see Ireland's highest waterfall (121 meters) at Powerscourt. Walk towards Glencree River and ascend across the shoulder of Djouce Mountain and onto White Hill. Breathe in the fresh mountain breeze and take in views of Dublin Harbour, Great Sugarloaf, and the Luggala Valley.
The trail contours along the exposed slopes of Djouce and passes just below the summit. If you have the energy and the sun’s out, then the guaranteed panoramic views may make a detour to the top irresistible! The path rolls over several hills, with views of lakes and reservoirs in every direction.
The accommodation at Lough Dan house has been developed with walkers in mind. Located 300 metres up in the Wicklow mountains enjoying spectacular views of the surrounding lake and landscape. Laundry and drying facilities are available. Delicious home-cooked meals served each evening at a time to suit you. If required they can also provide trips to a variety of excellent pubs and entertainment in the evenings.
The Coach House Roundwood is in a perfect location for a stop off while walking the Wicklow Way, a fantastic B&B offering live music and always a warm fire burning in the lounge to welcome you in. Food is served from 9am to 9pm, seven days a week and a wide and varied choice is available at a reasonable price. Music is available at weekends where you can relax and soak up the wonderful atmosphere of this ancient, friendly establishment.
Set off on an easier day of walking along quiet roads, forest tracks, and mountain paths in the very heart of the Wicklow uplands and at the intersection of four major glacial valleys: Avonmore, Glenmacnass, Glendasan, and Glendalough. Hike the north-eastern shoulder of Paddock Hill and descend to cross Glenmacnass River. The path to Laragh runs along an old "mass path" which was heavily used by churchgoers and school children before the advent of motor vehicles.
Your friendly B&B or Guest House awaits at Laragh, with the 6th century Monastic City of Glendalough close by. You should have plenty of time to visit this important historic site.
All rooms are en-suite and include tea & coffee facilities, hairdryer, TV, and free Wi-Fi.
A warm welcome awaits at Lynhams of Laragh Hotel. They have a traditional bar serving delicious food where you can relax and enjoy a drink after a long day walking.
A family-run guesthouse that combines friendliness and luxury. All rooms are ensuite with top quality showers. Bramble Rock is within a couple of minutes’ walk from Laragh Village and situated just 2 km from Glendalough. All rooms are tastefully furnished and have all the amenities you require for a great overnight stay.
Walk across the "Valley of the Saints" then reach the Lugduff Valley where you will pass by the mysterious green waterfall of Poulanass. Continue along the route on a steady uphill section to the shoulder of Mullacor, crossing the saddle on a well-placed boardwalk over the boggy ground. With lovely panoramic vistas all around, head down into the Glenmalure Valley, where you can admire Wicklow’s highest mountain, Lugnaquilla. You will end this stage of the walk right in the heart of the lovely Glenmalure Valley.
Maura and Mick Heffernan are from families that have lived in the area for generations and have extensive knowledge of the local area and community. The simple yet cosy farmhouse accommodation is situated amid the hills and farmlands of Glenmalure. The name Coolalingo originates from the "Coolalingo Bridge" which is situated along the Wicklow Way.
The Glenmalure Lodge is a friendly, family run business with a cosy pub atmosphere and has lots of old memorabilia, paying homage to the area's rich and colourful history. Open fires and great food with plenty of good comfortable seating, add to its interesting character and olde world charm. There are a total of 14 Bedrooms in the Glenmalure Lodge, with 11 Double/Twin and 3 Family Rooms. All rooms have en suite facilities. Some rooms are from the original building and have recently been renovated yet retaining their traditional feel. The bedrooms to the front of the Lodge look out across the valley to Fananieren Mountain.
Established in 1608, Woodenbridge Hotel in Wicklow is the oldest hotel in Ireland and has 29 well-appointed bedrooms in the main hotel building. Directly across the road lies the Woodenbridge Lodge. It was built in 2004 and sits in beautifully landscaped gardens on the bank of the Aughrim river. The Woodenbridge Lodge has 40 en-suite bedrooms and guests can enjoy the facilities of the Woodenbridge Hotel, but is away from all the hustle and bustle.
After a hearty breakfast, your trip comes to an end. Head to Rathdrum to catch a train to Dublin (1hr, 10min) or arrange a transfer from one of the numbers provided in your information pack (50 min). From Dublin, there are regular buses that connect to Dublin Airport.
Other InformationIs it for me?
This is an accessible and easy-to-navigate walking trip suited to anyone with a good level of fitness. Explore Dublin, Ireland's capital and "UNESCO City of Literature" before striding out into the wild Wicklow Mountains. Several days involve ascent and descent with the first walk to Roundwood being more challenging and leaning towards moderate grading. The terrain and scenery are varied, the paths are mostly well-maintained and waymarked, making this trip ideal for regular walkers or beginners looking for a challenge.
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years
This walk is graded easy to moderate and includes daily walks of between 10 and 21km with several ascents and descents along the way. The Wicklow Way trail uses forest paths and sometimes minor roads to avoid walking on private land, this is inevitable because rights of way are non-existent in Ireland. The terrain is mixed with some rocky areas and mixed surfaces underfoot. This itinerary is suitable for regular walkers who are generally fit. Extra nights can be added upon request.
We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses, and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, offering traditional Irish hospitality and delicious local food.
We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in the itinerary, but because of limited availability, we may have to accommodate you at an alternative location. Alternative details will be noted on your accommodation sheet.
We will be happy to accommodate your party with single rooms if requested. This trip is also available to solo walkers.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs or restaurants.
The Wicklow Way is known to be one of the best waymarked and maintained Irish Ways. You will have access to the route information and GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app, so you will have no problem following the route each day.
- Accommodation in hand-picked B&B's, Guest Houses and small hotels
- Door-to-door baggage transfers
- Transfers as detailed in the standard itinerary
- A detailed information pack, guidebook, and route notes
- Access to the GPS tracks via the Macs Adventure smartphone app
- 24/7 Emergency telephone support
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance
- Personal Equipment
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.
- Extra nights before, during or after your walk
The Wicklow Way is available from April to October and you can start your trip on any day of the week to suit your travel plans. As the Irish weather is so famously changeable, it is hard for us to indicate the very best time to go. However, we believe that anytime between April and October should offer a wonderful experience. The Irish weather is unpredictable but not often extreme, although it is important to be prepared for any conditions. The Wicklow Way is popular, so it is best to book as far in advance as you can.
Irish weather is typically unpredictable year-round so be prepared for any conditions and you will be pleasantly surprised. No matter what month you choose to travel, being in the Wicklow Mountains means it can get wet and windy at any time of year. It is important that you check the local weather forecast before setting off each day. Wintry conditions may be experienced at the start and towards the end of the season.
Dublin Airport is easily accessible with both international carriers and several low-cost airlines covering the route. From the airport there is a great bus service to Dublin City Centre, departing frequently and taking roughly 20 minutes.
Irish Ferries also operate from Holyhead to Dublin across the Irish Sea (3 hrs, 15 min) there are usually 4 crossings per day.
You will be transferred from your overnight accommodation in Dublin to the start of your walk at Curtlestown Wood on Day 2 of your itinerary (included).
The nearest railway station to the end of the walk at Glenmalure is Rathdrum (7 miles). The journey from Rathdrum to Dublin Pearse Train Station takes just over an hour (1 hrs, 10 min). There are usually 4 train services per day, it is important to keep this in mind when planning your onward journey. It might be most convenient to get a taxi from your B&B in Glenmalure to Rathdrum Train Station (15 min), phone numbers for local taxi providers will be provided in your trip information pack. A taxi transfer back to Dublin would take roughly 55 minutes. From Dublin, regular buses connect to Dublin Airport for onward travel.
Daily door-to-door luggage transfers are included in the price of your trip, allowing you to set off on each walk carrying a light backpack.
At Macs Adventure we work in partnership with many luggage transfer providers who set a limit on how many bags/suitcases they will transfer per person, and also the weight of the bag/suitcase. Ninety-nine percent of the time they will only transfer one bag per person, but the allowed weight ranges from anything between 15 and 20kg per bag, depending on the tour you are taking. We do not have control over the limits that these providers set. Therefore, it is very important that you read the luggage information specific to your tour before departure. If you do not adhere to these limits there is a great possibility that you will be charged locally both for extra bags (including shopping bags or boots) and if they are too heavy. This limitation can be a challenge, especially as airlines generally have limits that are higher. However, our luggage providers have reasons for these limits (usually due to the Health and Safety of their employees) which we must respect.
On this trip, we ask you to keep your luggage to a maximum weight of 20 kilograms per item, and just one item of luggage per person.
You will need good walking shoes (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, a waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack as well as sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. This route involves a few climbs where you may find it useful to have your walking poles.
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