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If adventure and beautiful scenery are the ingredients of your perfect holiday then look no further than a walking holiday in Ireland. Below are 10 of the best walking holidays in Ireland with something to suit all abilities and tastes.
From the rounded peaks of the Wicklow Mountains to the extremes of the Atlantic coast, Ireland really has got a lot to offer in terms of nature and scenery. Hiking allows you to take the time to appreciate the amazing landscape. There are so many hikes in Ireland to suit all kinds of levels. Find a walking holiday to suit your needs with guided and self-guided tours and varying lengths to chose from. Some tours include trips to famous landmarks or historical sights while others allow you to find Ireland’s hidden treasures along the way.
Wicklow, located a short drive from Dublin, is nicknamed the Garden of Ireland and it sure lives up to the name. The Wicklow Way is the oldest way-marked long-distance trail in Ireland from Clonegal in Co Carlow to Rathfarnham, Co Dublin. This 8-day hiking holiday will bring you the entire length of the Wicklow Way from Carlow to Dublin. Accommodation along the way is provided and your luggage will be transferred for you. You will also get maps and notes to keep you on track along the way as well as information before you start to help you prepare for your trip.
You will cover between 15 and 29 kilometres a day so this trip is recommended for experienced hiking. Hillwalk Tours do offer a ‘Gentle Hike’ option.
The hike will finish in Marley Park, Dublin. From here there is regular public transport available to Dublin city centre and the airport.
Prices from €759.
For more information click here.
You will see some of Ireland’s most beautiful, unspoiled scenery on this 3-night walking tour of the Sheep’s Head Peninsula in Co Cork. This part of Ireland is directly in the Gulf Stream meaning it has the mildest climate in Ireland. On this trip, you will get to choose two of three hikes on offer: Durrus to Ahakista (13 km), Ahakista to Tooreen (19 km) or Tooreen to Finn MacCool’s Seat (18 km). The accommodation is a B&B in Ahakista and is included in the price.
Prices start from €410.
Along the 178-kilometre Dingle Way in Co Kerry, you will see white sandy beaches, crystal clear water crashing against the rugged coastline, fuchsia and gorse lined roads and historical ruins. This seven-day self-guided tour will allow you to experience all that the Dingle Peninsula has to offer without having to worry about accommodation or food as seven nights accommodation, six packed lunches and four dinners are included in the price. Your luggage will be transported between each B&B.
Before the trip starts you will receive a detailed guide of the walks and you will be picked up and left off from Tralee train/bus station.
Prices start from €750.
If a weekend of walking is what you’re looking for then this is the perfect trip for you. This three-day trip from Kinvara, Co Galway will take you on a guided tour of the karst limestone landscape of the Burren. A professional archaeologist will tell you about the historical monuments here dating back 7,000 years. You will also see the famous Cliffs of Moher as you hike along the cliff edge from Hags head to Doolin.
Both hikes are moderately difficult so some previous experience hiking is recommended.
The price of this trip includes 2 nights bed and breakfast as well as one evening meal. Transport to and from Shannon airport is provided if necessary.
Prices start from €399.
Tackle three of the highest mountains in the west of Ireland including a climb to the top of Croagh Patrick, one of the most famous mountains in Ireland. See the sharp, quartzite peaks of the Twelve Bens, Ireland’s largest fjord Killary Harbour and sights from ancient Ireland dating back to pre-Christian times.
The trip starts in the vibrant city of Galway heading west into Connemara to hike along the Wild Atlantic Way. Expect to hike between 6 and 16 kilometres a day. This trip is rated moderately difficult so is suitable for experienced and fit hikers. There will be some steep climbs and some uneven terrain underfoot.
Accommodation is included in the price in B&B’s and guesthouses along the way. Also included are six breakfasts, five lunches and two dinners. The trip begins in Galway and ends in Westport in Co Mayo.
The next trip runs on 25 August 2018. That’s the last trip for 2018 but trips begin again in April 2019.
The duration of this trip is six nights and prices start from €1,595.
Take in the breath-taking views of the Atlantic coastline and the beautiful Donegal scenery on this 7-day walking tour. The walks range from easy hikes on relatively flat surfaces such as Ards Forest Park to medium difficult such as Knockalla Mountain and Muckish which involve steep inclines and uneven, soft and boggy surfaces. The longest walk is a six-hour hike along the coast of the Fanad Peninsula finishing at the Fanad Lighthouse overlooking the entrance to Lough Swilly and the Atlantic Ocean.
The holiday will begin and end in Letterkenny, Co Donegal. The price includes transfers, accommodation, breakfast and evening meals. The next trips start on 11 August and 8 September.
Prices start from €850 for the 7-day trip.
Game of Thrones fans who love the outdoors: this one’s for you. Some of the most iconic scenes from the successful TV series were filmed in Co Antrim. The tour starts in Belfast where you will spend the first night. Here you will get your tour pack which includes all route notes, maps and information need for the trip. Each day a bus will collect you and bring you to each iconic Game of Thrones location such a Tollymore Forest from season 1 and the Dothraki Sea. The hikes are all self-guided. You will be dropped at the starting point and collected from the finish point.
Hikes range from six to 20 kilometres. Participants must have experience hiking to take part in this trip.
The price includes seven nights bed and breakfast, bus transfers, luggage transfers and a tour pack with route maps and information. The trip begins and ends in Belfast.
Prices start from €910.
Let Vagabond tours take you off the beaten track and show you all that the north of the country has to offer. From the Mourne Mountains, up along the Causeway Coast, to Europe’s highest sea cliffs at Slieve League and to the rugged Atlantic coast.
The ‘Vagatron’ 4×4 vehicle will take you from place to place stopping for hikes (about 2-3 hours) and at sights and attractions along the way including a visit to WB Yeats grave and the ancient McDonald Stronghold of Dunluce Castle.
Activities along the way include optional an optional boat trip and horse riding on the beach in Donegal.
Included in the price are six nights’ accommodation and six breakfasts, some activities and entrance fees (some are available at an extra cost) and of course transport for the whole trip. The trip begins and ends in Dublin.
The trip runs every Sunday with the last trip leaving on 30 September.
Prices are from €1,619 for six nights.
For more information click here
This 15-day walking tour will take you from the serene beauty of the Garden of Ireland to the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher and from the white sandy beaches of Sligo to the geological phenomenon of the Giants Causeway.
On this trip, you will really get to experience all of the best hikes Ireland has to offer as well as some famous sights like the Cliffs of Moher and Dunluce Castle. While enjoying the hikes and the sights you won’t have to worry about anything as your transport and accommodation are looked after as well as breakfast each morning.
The trip begins and ends in Dublin and lasts 14 nights. The next trips start on 16 July, 6 August and 3 September.
Prices from €2,599.
If you’re not sure that any of these walking holidays suit your needs, or you want something a bit more personal, Adventure.ie offers bespoke walking holidays for groups. You can choose anywhere in Ireland, including the islands, for your tailor-made trip and whether you would like it to be guided or self-guided. Whether you want to bring your group on a team building exercise or want to experience the beautiful Irish scenery you’re Adventure.ie will adapt your walking holiday to suit you. Walking holidays can be combined with other activities such as rock climbing and survival skills. Accommodation is included in the price. Groups can choose anything from camping to a luxurious hotel and everything in between. If camping tents and camping equipment will be provided. Adventure.ie will look after all the logistics including airport transfers.
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By Heather Snelgar
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