Overland’s Guide to Hiking in Ireland
With Ireland’s beautiful green landscapes and unique geological features, it is a great country for hikers, mountaineers, and anyone with a bit of adventure in their hearts. It’s also a great country for those who love to drink, but that’s for another blog…
Whether you’re new to hiking or an avid hiker, Overland Ireland’s range of small group tours of Ireland has the tour for you. If you have never been on a hike before, let Overland Ireland help you take your first steps into the world of hiking!
Overland Ireland’s Jewel and Zest Tours
If you have never been hiking before, the Overland Ireland Jewel tours are the perfect time to start. These hikes are never too long in distance or difficulty. If you can walk at a casual pace for an hour and climb a staircase, the Jewel tour hikes would not be a hassle for you at all.
If hiking is a regular activity that you partake in, Overland Ireland’s Zest tours offer the invigorating hike you need to get the heart beating.
The Best Hikes in Ireland
Right. Down to business. Below, we’ve listed some of the nicest hikes in Ireland. The hikes are of varying intensity, but all are set in some of the most beautiful locations in the country. It’s difficult to have a bad hike in Ireland as there’s beauty around every corner, but it helps to have the experience of a tried-and-tested Overland Ireland tour guide.
Hiking the Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher as a destination is one of the most visited natural features in the Republic of Ireland. A lot of people that visit the Cliffs of Moher usually only walk to the viewpoint beyond the visitor centre. On the Overland Ireland tours, however, there is the option to take a relaxed stroll along some parts of the cliffs or hike the entire length of the cliffs. The ever-changing views make it a long hike because you have to allow enough time to stop and take in the views — and, of course, take some holiday snaps.
Hiking Mt. Brandon
At 952 metres (3,123 ft), Mount Brandon, is the 8th–highest peak in Ireland. Brandon is the highest Irish mountain outside of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks range. Mount Brandon is located on the Dingle Peninsula and was named after Saint Brendan, who hailed from the nearby town of Tralee. The hike is through grassy terrain, walking among the local sheep. Unfortunately, the sheep don’t accommodate people’s desire to be photographed with them.
Mount Brandon is actually a site of pilgrimage so one of the main hiking trails is lined with crosses to guide you on the path to the top. It is quite exposed and on a windy day the winds might work in your favour. When you reach the top, you will be rewarded with the most stunning views of the Dingle Peninsula, Brandon Creek, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Hiking the Giant’s Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is the second most visited natural feature on the island of Ireland. The Giant’s Causeway is along the north coast of Ireland. When visiting the Giant’s Causeway, there are many hiking options to choose from. There is the short stroll from the visitor’s centre to the Causeway itself. There are also some longer hikes that can go on for an hour or more. If you’re feeling really fit, there is the option of a 3-day hike along the coast of the North of Ireland.
Hiking Croagh Patrick
Croagh Patrick is famous for being Irelands holiest mountain. Legend has it that Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, banished all the snakes out of Ireland from the top of Croagh Patrick. This is a lovely hike, but it is usually described as “moderate to strenuous” so at some point you will have to decide which is more important — the journey or the destination. Towards the top the trail gets pretty steep and has loose scree (stones and rocks), good hiking boots are advised. As you progress through the hike, you will be rewarded with views of Clew bay. Clew bay is famous for the 365 islands there. It’s an incredible site to behold.
Hiking Ireland’s Diamond Hill
Diamond Hill is only 442 meters in height (1,450ft) and is considered an easy hike as it has an easy stone trail and some wooden decking in parts. It is in Connemara National Park, so the views are guaranteed to take your breath away — even if the hike doesn’t. There is also views of Kylemore Abbey and the Twelve Bens — which is home to the highest peak in Galway. Diamond Hill is the perfect place to begin your hiking hobby.
Hiking the Twelve Bens
The Twelve Bens (also called the Twelve Pins) actually has more than 12 peaks. The mountain range has nearly 20 peaks. This is a hike for the seasoned hiker. Apparently, it is possible to hike from one end of the range, along the peaks, to the other end of the mountain range. I say apparently as I have yet to attack it. It is a 28 kilometre hike and people aim to complete it in 24 hours… But for those that think nothing of embarking on a full-day hike — good for you. The entire range is a special area of conservation and the SAC directive on the range describes it as “One of the largest and most varied sites of conservation interest in Ireland”.
So, as I mentioned earlier. A trip to Ireland is a great time to start hiking or to broaden your hiking knowledge and experience. All of Overland Ireland’s tours will accommodate your hiking needs. While none of our tours are solely based on hiking, our Zest tours are packed with hiking activities — especially our Great Atlantic Adventure Holiday in Ireland and our Spectacular South & East Active Tour of Ireland. We have Jewel tours with short, relaxed hikes of less than 90 minutes. Our Zest tours allow more time for hikes but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. If on the day of a hike you decide that coffee and cake is more appealing, that’s fine too. It’s your holiday – do it your way and Overland Ireland will accommodate you. If you have any questions whatsoever, please contact us. Come hike through Ireland’s magnificent landscapes, hills, and mountains with Overland!