Ireland, known for its rolling green hills and breathtaking coastline, is the perfect place to take a trekking vacation. With its countless hiking trails surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, there are plenty of options for enthusiasts.
Even though you can’t go wrong with any location on the Emerald Isle, here are some of the top trails to pick from.
You can’t go to Ireland and miss the lively city of Dublin. Its legendary music scene and pubs are a must see. Since the chance of rain in Dublin is near 50%, camping is not one of the best choices when it comes to accommodation. So a piece of advice is to book an Inn or a bed&breakfast near the center from a site like this for about 3 nights to establish some sort of "headquarters" in Dublin and then wander about its many beautiful hiking trails.
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Anyway, if you're planning on going around Saint Patrick's Day keep in mind you will have to book a lot in advance because of course places will be full. Dublin itself offers a wide array of great treks such as the Sandy cove Heritage trail, which includes amazing villas as well as historic villages and monuments.
From the city you can head south along the Wicklow Way which takes you on a 79 mile path through the gorgeous mountain range and descends into the Glendalough Valley. The trails vary in difficulty around this area and are very well maintained by the Wicklow Mountains National Park. This stunning “valley of two lakes” encompasses a 6th century monastic settlement that will truly take you back in time. The trail is also surrounded by lush pine forests dotted with ancient ruins and a good place to see some of Ireland’s rarest and most beautiful bird species.
They say the most wonderfully isolated trails and hikes are in the south of Ireland. You can make your way through the lovely town of Killarney. It offers medieval ruins and beautiful chapels scattered about the area along with its historic town center. Through Killarney head south to the Kerry Way, one of the most popular walking trails on the isle. The looping trail guides you around the immaculate Iveragh Peninsula, beginning and ending in Killarney.
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The coastline, with its sub-tropical plants and ocean backdrop, is even difficult to distinguish from some of the best beaches found in the Caribbean. It also is an area of geological importance, for those interested, and promotes many different ecotourism options. Then if you are feeling up to the challenge, Ireland’s tallest peak Carrauntoohill is nearby. The climb provides some of the best views in the country looming over the Lough Acoose.
Just North of Iveragh comes one of Ireland’s most treasured areas, the Dingle Peninsula. The walking trail, the Dingle Way, leads you across 112 miles of pristine country roads and beaches. This magical spot is scattered with mysterious monoliths and other ancient structures left from the early Christians who inhabited it. The peninsula really looks and feels like it is from another world. You can see it jutting out miles into the Atlantic Ocean, yet it has fairly temperate waters and climate thanks to the Gulf Stream. This area is the most enchanting of the Emerald Isle’s paradise escapes.
The entire landscape of Ireland is beautiful, but these are some of the best and most accessible spots to enjoy the winding trails along with the lively culture of its cities. From its enchanting glens to almost tropical beaches, the Emerald Isle really does offer everything for even the most experienced traveler. A walking holiday through this mystifying and ancient land will surely be something to cherish.
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