Famous Hikes Around the Country

1200px-SkelligMichael

Great Sugarloaf – this is a famous hill located between Dublin and Wicklow. It stands out as unique from the surrounding farmland, and is instantly recognizable by its cone shape. It’s a very easy walk but offers great views of the surrounding area of Wicklow, “the Garden of Ireland”.  It’s a total distance of 2.5km and can be covered from beginning to end in less than 2 hours. It’s usually full of tourists exploring the area in spring and summer months, and more locals on the wintery months.

Croagh Patrick – another very famous mountain for numerous reasons and located on the West coast of Ireland, close to Galway, in a town named Westport is Croagh Patrick. The mountain is rated as moderate to difficult and does get very steep towards the summit push. It’s 764 metres high and is part of a famous pilgrimage walk climbed by pilgrims (many in barefoot) once a year on Reek Sunday. Usually on this day you will get 10’s of thousands of tourists and locals there to celebrate the walk. The views are beautiful from the top and you get a 360-degree view of the hundreds of little islands below.

Lugnaquilla – another famous hike in the Wicklow hills is Lugnaquilla. This mountain is famous as walker’s get a glimpse of “Guinness Lake”. A famous manmade lake owned by the Guinness family that resembled a pint of Guinness. This walk is also made famous by parts of the surrounding area which was used to film the movie Braveheart in. It’s noted though that it is not for a novice and can be quite difficult to navigate in, so a compass, map and good navigational skills are needed before attempting it. Views on a clear day from the summit include the Irish sea, the Llyn peninsula, the mountains of Munster and even the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales.

Skellig Michael – made famous recently as part of the new Star War’s movie, Skellig Michael is one of the most photographed parts of Ireland and is gaining popularity for hikers. It is home to a 6th century monastic settlement. The little island is situated 12km off the coast of South West Ireland. A boat across to the island and access to main of the little hikes costs between 40 and 50 euros depending on which months it is accessed. The stairs are in reasonable condition when on the island, but care needs to be taken as there are no safety ropes or handrails.

Slieve Donard – the highest mountain in the north of Ireland and part of the famous Mourne mountains. This mountain range has gained more fame recently and attracts many tourists each year as part of the game of thrones set and filming that occurs frequently here. Slieve Donard is a moderate to hard climb depending on conditions and which route is taken. It is well pathed right to the summit but can be quite dangerous on top with the cold winds blowing in. Views include the entire Mourne mountain range and also the Belfast hills to the north.