Ireland hiking can range from beginning trails to rugged cliffs, which makes it a great place to hike for both beginning and experienced hikers. Many travel groups offer hiking tours in Ireland, often dropping hikers off at specified locations and picking them up at a certain destinations. Other travel groups will actually lead hiking tours in Ireland, and it is fun to hike with a guide who can tell you about the flora and fauna of a certain region as well as find hiking routes perfect for your specific skill level and taste.
One wonderful place to go hiking in Ireland is the Mountains of Mourne, which are considered by many to be the most spectacular mountains in Ireland. The mountain range is located in Northern Ireland in County Down, specifically in South Down. The best way to reach the Mourne Mountains is to head down to the seaside resort of Newcastle. This exquisitely-located, bustling little town serves as a great home base for mountain hiking and climbing expeditions. The Mournes are the most frequently visited and hiked mountains in Ireland. Hiking tours in Ireland often include the Mountains of Mourne of their itineraries. Maps and travel routes are available at local travel companies, information centers, and gas stations. Climbing gear can be rented from local stores, but it is generally safer to rent in larger cities, where the selection is better and prices a little cheaper.
Another great place to go hiking in Ireland is on Rathlin Island, located 6 miles off Ballycastle in Northeast Ireland and 16 miles from the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. Many birdwatchers and hikers flock to Rathlin for its beautiful, often rare bird species and refreshing, coastal trails. In this part of Ireland hiking is a little less extreme, but just as breathtakingly beautiful. The most striking feature of Rathlin Island is its brilliant limestone and basalt sea cliffs, which can reach over 450 feet. To get to Rathlin Island, visitors can take an inexpensive, 45 minute ferry ride from Ballycastle.
For hikers who want a wide range of hikes to choose from, the Ring of Kerry along the perimeter of the Iveragh Peninsula is a great destination. You will be hiking Ireland’s most popular tourist route. Along the Ring, visitors can stop at any number of picturesque Irish towns and villages for hiking, lodging, dining, or simply a bit of sight-seeing and exploring.
Next to the great bike riding in Ireland hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities. And for good reason—Ireland’s coastal routes, jagged mountain passes, and clean, crisp meadows offer both diversity and beauty to the eager hiker. Hiking Ireland is a wonderful way to see the natural attractions and incredible landscapes of the country.