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Best Hiking Trails in Ireland (Republic of)

Overview

While Ireland doesn’t boast of towering mountains like its Scottish neighbour, the Emerald Isle still has mountainous beauty to explore. The hiking here is very accessible and if you can handle the likelihood of rain on your hikes then you’ll be rewarded with some wonderful scenery.  Some of the best areas for hiking in Ireland include in its national parks, such as Burren National Park, Glenveagh National Park, Killarney National Park, Connemara National Park, and Wicklow Mountains National Park.  As well, there are mountainous areas on the western peninsulas such as Sheep’s Head, Beara, Dingle and Inveragh.  Ireland is also known for its many long distance trails (waymarked ways) such as Wicklow Way, Kerry Way, Wild Atlantic Way.  The best months to hike in Ireland are April – October.  Read on for more information on where and when to hike in Ireland.

Capital: Dublin

When To Hike in Ireland (Republic of)?

April – Oct: While often warmer during summer months, can also be rainier
Nov – Mar: Rainy/snowy and colder
Climate: Oceanic – cool and damp, cloudy and rainy throughout the year.  Wind is a frequent feature in the Irish weather.  Rain is more abundant on the west coast than anywhere else on the island.

Accessibility of Hiking

Easy: Trails are well marked, including long-distance ones, don’t need a guide. Lots of guidebooks available, and many websites and apps that give detailed information about hikes

Transportation: Many trails can be accessed by public transportation (in summer months), including beginning and ends of multi-day hikes.  However, a car can take you to many places that are not served by public transit and also make it easier to get to and from day hikes.

Where to stay in Ireland: There are lots of options for bases for hiking, small listing below

  • Dublin (for big city)
  • Laragh
  • Killarney
  • Glengarriff
  • Kilcrohane
  • Dingle
  • Letterfrack

 

Top Places to Hike in Ireland (Republic of)

The majority of the mountain areas are in the coastal regions of Ireland while the central parts have small hills. The map mainly shows the national parks but there are plenty of other areas to hike in. Carrauntoohil (1038m) in MacGillycuddy’s Reeks is Ireland’s highest mountain peak.

Filter out hiking places of Ireland (Republic of) by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Burren National Park

Glenveagh National Park

Killarney National Park

Comeragh Mountains

Connemara National Park

Wicklow Mountains National Park

Ireland (Republic of)'s Long Distance Trails

Ireland (Republic of)'s Walking & Hiking Resources

Ireland Hiking Books: There are many books about hiking in Ireland, this is just a sample of the ones that seemed the most relevant and up to date

  • Irish Peaks, by Joss Lynam, Alan Tees, Margaret Tees, 2020, Mountaineering Council of Ireland
  • Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way: A Walking Guide, by Helen Fairbairn, 2016, a Collins Press Guide
  • Ireland’s Best Walks by Helen Fairbairn, 2014, a Collins Press Guide
  • Dublin & Wicklow: A Walking Guide, by Helen Fairbairn, 2014, a Collins Press Guide
  • The Mountains of Ireland: A Guide to Walking the Summits, Cicerone Guide, by Paddy Dillon, 2010, Cicerone Guide
  • Lonely Planet Hiking in Ireland by Helen Fairbairn and Gareth McCormack, 2011, Lonely Planet Global Limited
  • Walking in Ireland, by Christopher Somerville, 2019, Ebury Press
  • The Burren & Aran Islands: A Walking Guide, by Tony Kirby, 2009, a Collins Press Guide
  • So many other books, ie. Collins Press has a whole series 
  • Rucksack Readers: https://www.rucsacs.com/book-category/ireland/

 

Ireland Hiking Associations:

 

Best Hiking Trails in Ireland:

  • Carrauntoohil – in Macgillycuddy’s Reeks
  • Croagh Patrick – Ireland’s “holy mountain”
  • Lough Oler Loop
  • Mweelrea Mountain
  • Diamond Hill – Connemara National Park
  • Coumshingaun Lake Loop – Comeragh Mountains
  • Lugnaquilla – Wicklow

Easy Hiking Trails in Ireland:

  • Great Sugar Loaf
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Torc Mountain

 

Ireland Hiking Websites: 

 

Ireland Weather Website:

 

Ireland Official Tourism Site: 

 

Ireland Hiking Apps: 

 

Ireland Hiking Maps: 

  • Ordnance Survey of Ireland (OSi) 1:50,000 Discovery series are supposed to be good (long established, standard reference) but don’t cover all areas – www.osi.ie 
  • East West Mapping’s 1:30,000 maps of Dublin and Wicklow Mountains
  • Folding Landscape’s maps of Connemara, The Burren and Aran Islands
  • Connemara (Superwalker) Map. 1: 30,000. Harvey Maps. 2015
  • Recommended Ireland walking maps 

What Else To Do

  • Castles
  • Historic sites
  • Drinking
  • Arts
  • Music

Other Important Points