Hiking in Ireland is becoming more and more popular. The untouched nature, sparsely populated islands, friendly people and fascinating historical monuments really do make it a hikers paradise. But what are the most beautiful multi-day walking routes in Ireland?
We’ve made this selection of the ultimate walking tours, from three-day routes to trails of many hundreds of kilometers. Are you planning to go hiking in Ireland? Be inspired by these versatile tours through Irish nature!
1. Sheep’s Head Way, Cork
93 kilometers (58 miles)
The elongated Sheep’s Head peninsula is one of the best kept secrets on Ireland’s west coast. The mountain ridge that runs down the spine of the peninsula makes it perfect for hiking and getting 360 degree coastal views. Unspoiled nature and particularly phenomenal views of the nearby Beara Peninsula also help to make the Sheep’s Head Way one of the ultimate hiking routes in Ireland.
Highlight: The scenic surroundings of Bantry Bay – the start and end point of the circular walk – is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in Ireland.
2. Western Way, Connemara
100 kilometers (62 miles)
The mountainous area around Connemara National Park is one of the ultimate hiking destinations in Ireland. Rugged mountains, valleys full of sheep and magical water features lie along the Western Way route through Connemara. Also cozy, typical Irish villages, such as Westport and Leenaun, make this one of the ultimate multi-day walking routes on the emerald island.
Highlight: Killary, Ireland’s only fjord, is a must on the program. The glacial valley and unique mountain ranges make hikers feel like they are here in Norway!
3. Causeway Coast Way, Antrim
52 kilometers (32 miles)
The Causeway Coast Way is a section of the ‘Ulster Way’ trail, which completes a 1,000km circuit of Northern Ireland. The Ulster Way is one of the longest routes in Europe but the Causeway Coast Way is a relatively short and easy hike from Ballycastle to Portstewart. However, there’s plenty of hiking highlights still to be found including a walk across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge if you dare.
Highlight: The Antrim coastline is truly breathtaking, especially the stretch along the iconic Giant’s Causeway.
4. Burren Way, Clare
98 kilometers (61 miles)
If you are interested in geology and are not afraid of a little wind, this is the place to be. Discover unique natural phenomena, such as towering cliffs, mysterious caves and vast expanses of karst stone. The Burren Way is probably the most educational walking tour in the country. Prehistoric megaliths, rare animal and plant species and beautiful walking trails make this one of our favorite routes for hiking in Ireland.
Highlight: The Cliffs of Moher, home to the Atlantic Ocean crashing against the cliff walls and also home to countless seabirds, are arguably Ireland’s most famous natural area. Rightly so!
5. Kerry Way
214 kilometers (133 miles)
The Ring of Kerry is a popular round trip that can be made by car. What many travelers do not know is that there is also a wonderfully beautiful walking route around the same area! The Kerry Way is one of the longest multi-day walking routes in Ireland. Deserted beaches, cliffs, narrow valleys, relaxing lakes … Need we say more?
Highlight: The Black Valley at Killarney National Park is a dramatic natural area with winding trails, idyllic bridges and mirrored lakes. There is hardly a better place to take a landscape photo!
6. Dingle Way, Kerry
179 kilometers (112 miles)
The Dingle Peninsula is home to the most popular hiking trail in Ireland, the Dingle Way. This circular route starts and finishes in Tralee and passes many lovely seaside and fishing villages. Countryside paths, miles of sandy beaches, mountain valleys and passes all await you on this famous trail. You also have the opportunity to complete the Kerry Camino pilgrim route which follows the Dingle Way from Tralee to Dingle Town.
Highlight: The walk around Slea Head with wonderful views of the Blasket Islands is unforgettable and enhanced further by the beautiful Dunquin Pier.
7. Beara Way, Cork
152 kilometers (94 miles)
The mountainous Beara Peninsula probably has everything you could wish for when you go hiking in Ireland. Mountain lakes, peat bogs, rugged coastal areas, colorful villages and even stretches of forest trails! The islands of Bere Island and Dursey Island are also often added to the Beara Way route, which leads to an extremely versatile and varied hike!
Highlight: The cable car to Dursey Island, a sparsely populated island off the tip of the Beara Peninsula, offers especially beautiful views. This is Ireland’s only cable car, so quite an experience!