With another year coming to an end, it’s time to give some thought to what 2018 might have in store in terms of your travel adventures. If you’re a fan of the outdoors and exploring nature in all its glory, you’ll be glad to know you don’t have to travel far in 2018, with Ireland offering so many great outdoor adventures for consideration. Walking and hiking breaks, in particular, are plentiful, so to get you thinking, here are seven hikes in Ireland to consider for 2018.
7 Great Irish Hiking Holidays to Consider
1 St Kevin’s Way, Co Wicklow
The Wicklow Mountains is a great place to enjoy a walking break, with the area providing some of the most breathtaking scenery anywhere in Ireland. One of the most popular walks in the area is the 30km St Kevin’s Way, a medieval pilgrimage that takes you from the town of Hollywood to the ancient monastic city of Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains. St Kevin founded the first monastery in Glendalough back in the 6th Century, and this walk will see you pass Slievecorragh Hill, Wicklow Gap and Turlough Hill before arriving at Glendalough.
2 The Barnavave Loop, Co Louth
Another great part of the world to enjoy the great outdoors is Carlingford in County Louth. Not only does this coastal town provide several picturesque walks around the town and the coast, but the nearby Cooley Mountains have a number of walking routes to suit all fitness levels. One such route to consider exploring in 2018 is The Barnavave Loop, a 14km trail that starts and ends in Carlingford town.
The route will take you through the forests of Carlingford Mountain, providing wonderful views over Carlingford Lough and the nearby Mourne Mountains, while on a good day you’ll be able to see the Isle of Man. This walk can be done in around four hours, allowing you to relax and unwind in the vibrant town for the rest of the evening.
3 Cuilcagh Way, Co Fermanagh
The Cuilcagh Way Trail is a 33km walking route in Cuilcagh Mountain, located in the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark on the border of Fermanagh and Cavan. There are several shorter trails within the Cuilcagh Way, should you not wish to embark on the long 33km walk. Among the most visited are the Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail (15km loop) and Cuilcagh Hikers Trail (18km loop), both of which have become increasingly popular in recent times thanks to the opening of a wooden boardwalk path. The Cuilcagh Legnabrocky boardwalk protects the rare blanket bog on the Cuilcagh Mountain.
4 Cliffs of Moher Cliff Walk, Co Clare
Up there with the most picturesque walks in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher Cliff Walk is a 6.5km coastal walk along the popular Cliffs of Moher. Starting and ending in the villages of Doolin and Liscannor (depending on where you want to begin), this walk provides some of the best views of the stunning Cliffs of Moher and takes you to the cliffs and the nearby Visitor Centre.
If you’re ending in Liscannor, make the short trip to the town of Lahinch for the evening, and if you’re finishing your walk in Doolin, be sure to visit one of the village’s famous pubs for a trad session – Doolin is considered by many to be the traditional music capital of Ireland.
5 Keem Valley, Co Mayo
One of the most stunning spots along the Wild Atlantic Way, Keem Bay on Achill Island is well worth exploring in 2018. The Keem Valley Walk is a 7km trail that begins with a rather steep climb atop a cliff, but the views from here are worth the excursion. From here the walk gets much easier and the views continue to impress as you go past old houses and the Deserted Village. The views out to the Atlantic, and indeed of Keem Bay, are among the most stunning you will see along the west coast.
View the latest deals for accommodation in Achill Island and plan your Keem Valley adventure today.
6 Slieve League, Co Donegal
The demanding cliff walk at Slieve League in Donegal is not for the faint-hearted, but if you enjoy a challenging hike on your travels, look no further than the Slieve League Walk. While the Cliffs of Moher get much of the ‘cliff love’ in Ireland, the cliffs at Slieve League are among the highest in Europe, and this hike will reward you with some utterly breathtaking views. The 10km route includes an ascent of over 500 metres, while you can inquire about guided walks of the cliffs at the Slieve League Cliffs Centre in Teelin.
7 Slieve Binnian Walk, Co Down
Located in the Mourne Mountains, Slieve Binnian is the third-highest peak in Northern Ireland’s highest mountain range. While many keen hikers to the area go straight to the summit of Slieve Donard, the Slieve Binnian Walk is among the most picturesque on the island of Ireland. The looped walk will take you along the Mourne Wall, providing some wonderful views and photo opportunities as you go.
Among the highlights are the Silent Valley and Ben Crom Reservoirs. You can access the walk from the village of Annalong, while the popular Mourne Rambler bus departs from the nearby seaside town of Newcastle on a daily basis during the summer months.
Do You Have Any Favourite Hikes To Share?
Are you a fan of walking and hiking holidays around Ireland? Share your favourite walks with us below.
Images courtesy of Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland