Wicklow Mountains National Park
Wicklow Mountains National Park makes for a great day trip out of Dublin - just an hour drive south and you’re there.
Glendalough valley, located within Wicklow National Park, is home to one the most important (and impressive) historic sites in Ireland, the monastic city. Founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century, this monastic sites endured several viking attacks through history. Today, a handful of surviving structures remain. The Round Tower, St. Kevin's Kitchen, and the cemetery (containing St. Kevin's cross) were our favorites.
From the Monastic Site, we walked out past the lower lake on the green route / Green Road Walk. The trail was flat, shady and very lush. After passing the information center we hopped on the white route / Spinc and Glenealo Valley. The path led us around the upper lake, up to the Poulanass Waterfall (where we saw a herd of deer!) and over to a boardwalk with stunning views overlooking the lakes below. The description mentions 600 wooden steps to reach a lookout point, but somehow I have no recollection of this. This is definitely the best trail in the Glendalough Valley and we’d definitely recommend it.
In total we hiked somewhere around 4 hours, but it wasn’t strenuous. We hiked at a relaxed pace and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and wildlife. We even managed to avoid the rain until we made it to the car. Success!
Know Before You Go!
- There is parking available on site. We parked at the Visitor Centre Car Park. They charge a small fee during peak season.
- There are trail maps, but it wouldn't hurt to read the descriptions here, or take a peak at this one.
- If you're debating spending one or two days in downtown Dublin, we'd vote for one and recommend you spend the other here.