Walking holidays in the Republic of Ireland

Ireland always packs a punch when it comes to rugged coastlines, pristine lakes, impressive mountains, vibrant cities, fairytale castles, and a landscape in every shade of green. It also offers plenty of well-marked trails for walkers, especially around Cork and Kerry – the counties which are as spectacular for their setting as their character.

Spend time in County Kerry

For all the green hills, dramatic headlands, sparkling lakes, and bleating sheep you can muster, the Atlantic-facing County Kerry delivers. The most iconic circuit here is the Ring of Kerry – a well-trodden route that takes you around the Iveragh Peninsula (beginning and ending in the town of Killarney). There are numerous big-name sites along the way, including the village of Sneem, the Torc Waterfall, and Killarney National Park. You’ll also get to follow the Lomanagh Loop – a manageable seven-mile walk that covers rolling countryside and takes in views of woodlands and farmlands.

Enjoy nature thrills at Killarney National Park

Awarded Biosphere Reserve status by UNESCO in 1981, Killarney National Park is undeniably one of the country’s finest outdoor playgrounds. Located south and west of Killarney and spanning 26,000 acres, it includes the McGillycuddy’s Reeks – Ireland’s highest mountain range. It’s also home to the three Lakes of Killarney: Lough Leane (Lower Lake), Muckross Lake (Middle Lake), and Upper Lake. Don’t miss Muckross House – the magnificent 19th-century mansion that’s very much the park’s focal point.

Discover pretty Kenmare

As one of Ireland’s most colourful towns, Kenmare is located between the Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Beara. The area traces its roots back to the Bronze Age and is home to one of the largest stone circles in the southwest of Ireland – a total of 15 heavy boulders arranged in an egg-shaped ring. You’ll have ample time to explore the town, relax in Reenagross Woodland Park, and perhaps take a Seafari Cruise around Kenmare Bay to spot seals, sea eagles, and other wildlife.

Hit the trails of County Cork

The southernmost county of Cork shares a border with Limerick to the north, Kerry to the west, Tipperary to the northeast, and Waterford to the east. As with all our walking holidays in Ireland, the scenic rewards are huge. You can look forward to an excellent network of trails for easy jaunts and longer hikes, depending on preference. Highlights include the route along the Beara Peninsula, especially the Glengarriff Nature Reserve for its lookout points and the whimsical Garnish Island for spectacularly colourful seasonal tree and shrub displays.