Ireland National Parks Header

The 6 Absolutely Stunning National Parks In Ireland

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

This article may contain affiliate links.  For more information, please see our disclaimer here.

Table of Contents

Over the past 30 years, my dad has been going to Ireland for fly fishing a couple of times a year. Thus, I decided to ride around the country on my bicycle in 2021. As it was late summer, I was really challenged by the weather, but I also had some really nice days. There are a lot of outdoor activities available in the country, which really surprised me. 

I flew to Dublin, brought my bike in a carton box, and began cycling to the northern part of Ireland. It was an incredible experience to hike some incredible mountains, go fly fishing with my dad, and meet so many nice people along the way. This travel guide contains all the information you need about the six national parks in Ireland that I discovered during my trip.

national parks in ireland map

To give you an indication where to find the National Parks in Ireland you will find a map below. By clicking on the icon in the left corner you will get a menu with more information about the National Parks.

Video: Ireland National Parks

National Parks in Ireland in 30 sec...
National Parks in Ireland in 30 seconds

Best time to visit National Parks in Ireland?

Travel to Ireland between May and September is the best time to visit. Although Ireland may be best when it rains, late spring and early autumn provide the best chances for consistently dry, clear, and sunny weather. However, you can never be sure.

Even if it rains every day, it usually falls in the morning and you can enjoy the sun in the afternoon. Despite the cold weather, it is very rainy in the winters. You should reserve overnight accommodation in advance if you’re going in winter. The majority of hotels are closed then. Below is a weather chart that will give you a better idea.

Weather Chart Dublin

MonthMin Temp (°C)Max Temp (°C)Days of Rain
January2.08.013.0
February2.09.010.0
March3.010.011.0
April4.012.011.0
May6.015.011.0
June9.018.010.0
July11.019.011.0
August11.019.012.0
September9.017.010.0
October7.014.012.0
November4.010.012.0
December3.09.013.0

1. Wicklow Mountains

Wicklow Mountains National Park is located just 40 kilometers from the capital city Dublin and was established in 1991 it’s the biggest National Park of Ireland. So if you want to escape from the city life during your city trip, a day in Wicklow Mountains will literally surprise you. If you are really looking to see the local way of living you will find this way more in this area, than in the city. 

The most famous landmark of the Wicklows is the old monastery ruin Glendalough. It attracts many visitors every year, not only because of its excellently preserved ruins, but also because of the natural beauty in the area. Glendalough means ‘valley of the two lakes’ and indeed, these lakes are beautiful! 

How to get there

From Dublin airport you can be in the center of the National Park in just 30 minutes. If you want to travel by public transport there is a bus which will take you 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can stop at the Glendalough Visitor center. Keep your eyes open while driving around in this area as there is a lot of wildlife you can spot.

Things to do

If you prefer going with a tour guide to learn more about the landscapes and the history of the National Park one of the below tours would be a great idea for you. Most of the tours have a pickup from Dublin and there is a wide variety of tours so if you are looking for a full day or half a day you will find it at GetYourGuide. You don’t have to do your own research as the guide will explain you everything about the area.

Top Hikes in Wicklow Mountains

Several fantastic walks through the Wicklow Mountains start from the visitor center, a unique opportunity to discover this beautiful park! The most popular hiking trails are: 

1. Lough Ouler and Tonelagee Loop (Hard)

Located near Glendalough, County Wicklow, this 7.9-km loop trail is a great place to explore. It takes an average of 3 h 9 min to complete the route, which is considered a challenging route.

Those who travel along this trail will be rewarded with magnificent views of the Lough Ouler Mountains. The route is divided into many sub-paths. It’s important to note that many routes are off-road, which can be beneficial or detrimental to your slopes. Taking this walk from Glenmacnass Waterfall’s parking lot is challenging due to the intense terrain. The path is old and mystical, heavily covered in native plants, and has a lot of beauty to offer.

After a rainstorm, several steps are required to cross the river, as is a short wooded stretch that may become muddy. It is important to note that the weather is volatile in exposed areas. Neither a rest stop nor a facility are available, so bring water along.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

2. Glendalough Upper and Lower Lakes Loop (Easy)

Discover this 4.5-km loop trail at Brockagh, County Wicklow. Generally, it takes about 1 hour 17 minutes to complete, which is considered an easy route.

The shade of trees covers this beautiful trail. Toward the end, there are amazing views of the lake. This walk covers a wide variety of terrain. Some parts of this trail are wheelchair and stroller accessible. A wonderful way to spend time outdoors, the trail is easy-going and suitable for most abilities. This trail offers numerous stunning photo opportunities.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

3. Glendalough Spink Trail White Route (Moderate)

Discover this loop trail near Brockagh, County Wicklow, which measures 9.5 kilometers. The overall time taken to complete this route is approximately 3 h 16 min, which is generally considered moderately challenging.

There is a breathtaking trail that begins near Brockagh in Glendalough called the white route. Overall, it is an excellent choice for people of all fitness levels. It offers spectacular views, as well as wildflowers and wildlife. In addition to offering something special to everyone, the blend of terrains also offers a variety of activities. Several amenities are located at the start of the trial, such as restrooms, a visitors center, and a variety of stores.

The Upper Lake car park at Glendalough is owned and managed by Wicklow County Council. There is no entry fee to the Wicklow Mountains National Park, as is the entry fee for the National Park itself. 

Powerscourt waterfall is a wonderful place to explore, and it is frequently crowded with families and pet owners during the holiday season and at weekends.Those who are afraid of heights or children should not take the track along the cliffs. A boardwalk along the tops of the cliffs makes it quite safe, however.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

Where to stay

I would suggest spending 2 days in the Wicklow Mountains National Park so you don’t have to rush and sleep a night in hostel Glendalough International Youth Hostel or a special night at the Glendalough Glamping.

2. Killarney National Park

Killarney National Park is the oldest National Park established in 1932 and personally I would recommend spending at least 3 days. The location of the park is perfect to combine with the Ring of Kerry or a visit to the Wild Atlantic Way. 

There are beautiful walking and cycling paths, there is a special variety of lakes, castles (Ross Castle is a must!), waterfalls, mountains, forests, valleys, rivers …. in short, something for everyone! You will also find a lot of hiking and biking tracks in this National Parks and that was one of the main reasons I spent a lot of time in Killarney.

How to get there

Cork – Killarney

The easiest way to access Killarney National Park would be to catch a flight to Cork and from there you can rent a car or use public transport to set directions to the National Park. By car it will take you just 1.5 hours to get in the centre of Killarney National Park.

If you want to travel by bus, catch bus number 40 which will take you in 1 hour and 44 minutes from Cork to Killarney Station for an average price between €10 – 15. Is a train more your way of travelling no problem the train connections in Ireland are all well arranged. From Cork you can jump on the train for a price between € 26 – € 35 and in 1 hour and 30 minutes you will arrive in Killarney.

Dublin – Killarney

By car it will take you 3.5 hours without stops, and my advice will be to plan enough time for stops to enjoy the sceneries. From Dublin you have plenty of choices how to get to the National Parks in Ireland. A trip by train will take you on average 4 hours and a ticket will be around € 35 – €50. Travelling by bus can take between 4.5 – 5.5 hours it really depends which route you will pick you can go via Limerick or via Cork, maybe nice to plan some stops in between.

Things to do

Like Wicklow Mountains is the location of Killarney National Park one of the reason why this park is one of the most popular National Parks. There is so much to do and if you have no idea what places are nice to visit, it will be a great idea to book a guided tour. During the tour you only have to absorb the information the guide is sharing and enjoy the sceneries.

No worries about where to park the car or being scared that you miss some interesting spots. For me the boat cruise is one of my favourites, because I travelled the Ring of Kerry by myself by bike. Take the time for this place as there are plenty of things to do and discover.

Top Hikes

Do you want to find the best trails in Killarney National Park for an adventure hike or a family trip? Below you will find my top 3 hiking trails you can do in Killarney National Park. I picked one of each category (easy, moderate, hard) to be sure there will be a great fit. Be well prepared for weather changes in this part of Ireland so bringing your wind/waterproof clothing would be a great idea.

1. Carrauntoohill Mountain and Devil’s Ladder Loop (Hard)

Discover this 11.6-kilometer loop trail near Churchtown, County Kerry. An average time of 5 hours 18 minutes is required to complete the route, as it is generally considered a challenging route. April through September are the best months to visit this trail.

There are multiple distinct routes climbing Carrauntoohill, which offers an amazing opportunity to participate in a variety of sports. Another common route is Devil’s Ladder. The ladder itself is corroded to the point where it is challenging to climb up and down, but highly rewarding at the same time. The trails are well-marked, and the different terrain makes this hike a great challenge for visitors. 

All the facilities are located at the trail start; there aren’t any along the route. It is important for visitors to be well-organized because the weather in the mountains changes quickly, causing some trouble for their equipment.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

2. Gap Of Dunloe (Easy)

Trails near Dunloe, County Kerry, offer 7.1 kilometers of out-and-back adventures. It takes an average of 2 hours 33 minutes to complete and is generally considered a moderately challenging route.

Adventurers can walk up the hill Strickeen on this excellent and easy trail. Additionally, it isn’t too crowded, which makes it a much better place to visit. A breathtaking view can be viewed from the peak. The trail can become muddy or slippery after rain or cold weather, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear. To avoid complications, drink and food should be carried on the path as facilities are located at the beginning.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

3. Torc Waterfall Trail (Moderate)

The 3.7-km loop trail in Killarney, County Kerry, is a great way to enjoy the countryside. As seen by most people, the route takes an average of 1 hour 17 minutes to complete.

It is part of Killarney National Park, which is known for its beautiful Torc Waterfall. Visitors can reach the base of this 66-foot-high waterfall by walking through this short and easy loop. You will also be able to see Muckross Lake from this route. There are a lot of deer roaming freely in the area, so it is likely you’ll see some of them if you’re lucky to see some of the power of the water flowing down the waterfall. If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

Where to stay

I would suggest you to spend some days in Killarney National Park and stay in the area to save time on traveling. The Neptune hostel is a great choice as it is located in the city centre of Killarney and the vibe in the hostel is really great you can book a double/triple room with private bathroom for a price between €50 – € 70.

If you want a more special experience but a little more outside of the Killarney and just 2 kilometers from the National Park you will find Killarney Glamping at the Grove, Suites and Lodges where you will have the best glamping experience. You can book a romantic Glamping place for a price between €100 – € 150, I know it’s more expensive but if you want to surprise your partner this would do the trick for sure.

3. Burren National Park

According to Cromwell’s men, The Burren was too dry to drown, without trees to hang men, and without ground to bury them.

In spite of that, there is a little bit of truth in it. Just south of Galway, there is an endless expanse of gray lime stone called the Burren, which is also known as the karst landscape. Among the Burren’s special attractions is the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a very old dolmen. It was an important ritual site for about 20 to 25 people who are buried here. Today, it is a tourist attraction (although it is never too busy, unless another American bus lands!) and a popular photo spot!

It is fun to take part in free walks in the park during the summer months. There are many special plants and animals in The Burren, including alpine plants and rare animals.

It is also very beautiful to drive along the coast from Doolin to the coast. There is nothing better than biking or driving to this: the gray stones on your right, the blue sea on your left… it’s gorgeous! This National Park is the smallest National Park in Ireland.

How to get there

Galway- Burren

The easiest way to access Burren National Park would be to catch a flight to Galway and from there you can rent a car or use public transport to set directions to the National Park. By car it will take you just 44 minutes to get in the centre of Burren National Park. If you want to travel by bus, catch bus number 51 which will take you in 1 hour from Galway to Burren Station for an average price between €9 – 13.

Dublin – Burren

By car it will take you 2 hours and 45 minutes without stops, and my advice will be to plan enough time for stops to enjoy the sceneries. From Dublin you have plenty of choices how to get to the National Parks in Ireland. A trip by train will take you on average 3 hours and 40 minutes and a ticket will be around €45 – €60. Travelling by bus can take between 3.5 – 5.5 hours and the price for a ticket will be between €50 – €65, so the difference between a train ticket and bus ticket is not a deal breaker. It really depends which route you will pick you can go via Limerick or via Galway, maybe nice to plan some stops in between.

Things to do

Burren National Park is really populair to combine with a visit to the Cliffs of Moher, one of the main tourist attractions for Ireland. You can enjoy many trails and hikes in the Burren, which is a walker’s paradise. It is a great pleasure to visit the Aillwee Caves, which are a series of spectacular show caves.

Top Hikes

In the Burren National Park and Slieve Carran Nature Reserve, there are seven way-marked walking trails. There is a wide variety of walks to choose from, ranging from a thirty minute loop walk to a three hour walk over limestone hills. There is a limestone landscape that can be uneven and steep, so care must be taken on the route. It is important to note that none of these trails are wheelchair accessible. Between April and September, you can get trail advice at the Burren National Park Information Point.

1. Cliffs of Moher – Doolin (Moderate)

This 15.1-km out-and-back trail is located near Ballysteen, County Clare. This route takes an average of 4 hours 29 minutes to complete, and it is generally considered a moderately challenging route.

A UNESCO Geopark Burren and the Wildlife Special Protected Area on the Moher cliffs sit 700 metres above the Atlantic coast and protect 35 species of birds. Its mission is to create a sustainable, environmentally friendly, and conservation-friendly environment. At the edge of the cliff, there are a variety of safe, accessible sights and paths that attract everyone.

There’s a short walk to O’Brien’s Tower, which offers amazing views of the west coast. In addition to an exhibition, a gift shop, restrooms, a first aid station, information centers, and a luggage shop, the Visitor Center has two cafes and a gift shop. You will receive access to all locations as well as a map and secure parking. Wild Atlantic Way visitors can discover the Moher Visitor Experience cliffs.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

2. Mullaghmore and Lough Gaelan Circular (Moderate)

Located near Glenroe / Ballyeighter in County Clare, this 10.8-km out-and-back trail is a great experience. It is generally considered to be a moderately challenging route, and it usually takes on average three hours and fifteen minutes to complete. April through September are ideal times to visit this trail. 

The trail is well-marked, easy to follow, and is a great walk. There is a fragile ecosystem in this unique nature reserve. For low impact on the area, it is best to stay on tracks. There are many wild flowers as well as beautiful views. There are some steep ascents and descents here and there. Shoes and boots that are suitable for walking are recommended. The terrain is mostly stony and there is a lot of unevenness. It is not advisable to do this in wet weather.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

3. Slieve Carran Brown and Yellow Trails (Easy)

This 4.7-km loop trail is located near Corofin, County Clare. In general, this route is considered easy, and it takes an average of 1 hour 7 minutes to complete. March through October is the best time to visit this trail.

The double loop is part of a nature reserve in Keelhilla, Slieve Carran. You should follow the brown blazes first. The next step lies about 750 meters behind a stone wall. There are some woodlands as well as mostly paved roads. There are beautiful meadows of wildflowers, a ruined chapel hidden in a small wooded area, and a crystal clear stream running alongside it.

In the second loop of this route, the yellow trail is 2 kilometers south of the road. There is limestone pavement and grassland in this section. Wear appropriate shoes and be aware that this route can be rocky in places.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

Where to stay

I would recommend to take the time to discover this area. If you want a special place to sleep definitely check out Doolin Glamping here you can book a glamping tent or a yurt. Prices are between €100 – €150 per night.

Another great option would be Aille River Hostel Lodge Glamping Doolin where you can book a glamping tent experience for the price between €50 – €75 per night.

4. Connemara National Park

A visit to Connemara National Park is also a must! You can feel like you are at the end of the world here, surrounded by the Twelve Pins (twelve mountains in the middle of the area). There is no village in this deserted area until you suddenly reach Clifden!

There is a beautiful hike to Diamond Hill starting at the visitor center in Letterfrack. The view alone makes this a highly recommended place!

Renvyle is a beautiful deserted peninsula, with the nearby Sky Road being a little busier than Renvyle. Check out Kylemore Abbey, where you can find the beautiful building. It’s time to take a picture!

How to get there

Galway- Connemara

The easiest way to access Connemara National Park would be to catch a flight to Galway and from there you can rent a car or use public transport to set directions to the National Park. By car it will take you just 1 hour and 15 minutes to get in the centre of Connemara National Park. If you want to travel by bus, catch bus number 923 which will take you in 1 hour and 40 minutes from Galway to Connemara Station for an average price between €7 – €15 per person.

Dublin – Connemara

By car it will take you 3 hours and 30 minutes without stops, and my advice will be to plan enough time for stops to enjoy the sceneries. From Dublin you have plenty of choices how to get to the National Parks in Ireland. A trip by train will take you on average 5 hours and 30 minutes and a ticket will be around €25 – €45. Travelling by bus can take you about 5 hours and 20 minutes the price for a ticket will be between €20 – €35, so the difference between a train ticket and bus ticket is not a deal breaker.

Things to do

What’s Connemara all about? This is that beautiful bump on the west coast of Ireland, north of Galway Bay and almost separated from the mainland by two rivers called Lough Corrib and Lough Mask. Especially if you enjoy the outdoors, great food, and beautiful scenery, Connemara is the perfect place to stay.

Top Hikes

Connemara National Park offers a series of scenic mountains, extensive boglands, grasslands, and woodlands for a hiking break in Ireland. Make sure you bring a picnic on epic Connemara hikes so you can take in the stunning scenery. Below you will find my personal top 3 hikes I made in Connemara National Park.

1. Connemara and Diamond Hill Loop (Moderate)

A 7.6-km loop trail near Letterfrack, County Galway, invites you to explore it. It takes an average of 2 h 46 min to complete. It is generally considered a moderately challenging route.

The Connemara and Diamond Hill path is one of the most spectacular paths in Connemara National Park. The trail is suitable for all fitness levels, but there are some steep and rough parts. On busy days, the paths can be packed with tourists, and parking can be difficult, so plan ahead.

You should also bring bug repellant with you. You can enjoy a picnic with your family or your dog along this route. It is possible to find some facilities at the start of the trail. Weather can change very quickly, so clothing and boots are advised because some places get muddy after a rainstorm.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

2. Doo Lough – Mweelrea (Hard)

Take advantage of this 13.8-km out-and-back trail near Kilgeever, County Mayo. There is an average of six hours and fifteen minutes required to complete this route, making it a challenging journey.

As you travel along this route, you will encounter many challenges. Make sure to have a map and compass and know how to use them since there are no trails, tracks, or signs to follow. There will be many challenges and imminent dangers as you cross numerous summits. It is not suitable for all fitness levels due to the fact that many portions require knowledge and expertise for beginners.

To avoid problems or reschedule, it is important to bring the necessary equipment in order to avoid issues in the terrain, which can include ice patches, slippery rocks, and landslides. The lack of local services makes it imperative to bring water and food with you.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

3. Connemara National Park Loop (Hard)

Enjoy this 19.6-kilometer loop trail near Letterfrack, County Galway. Generally, this route is considered challenging and takes on average 8 h 27 min to complete.

In Connemara National Park, you can admire the spectacular views about this walk that begins in the town of Letterfrack. Mountain Muckanaght is located in Connemara, County Galway in Ireland, with a summit of 650 metres. Don’t forget to stop in the visitor center at the beginning or end of your hike. You should only attempt this strenuous route with significant advance planning. After your hike, you can enjoy refreshments in pubs and cafes nearby.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

Where to stay

If you are looking for a unique accommodation you really need to check out Radharc na Réalta Glamping Inishturk here you can book a place to sleep for a price between €50 – €75.

My second night I slept at Earls View Maxi Pod the beach is 8 minutes away from this property. The Earls View Maxi Pod in Carna enjoys views of the 12 Pins mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean. You can get your own cosy pod for a price between €60 – €85 per night.

5. Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park

This bogland is the longest in Europe in Ballycroy, Co. Mayo. This park is Ireland’s sixth ‘National Park’, with many species of plants and habitats unique to the region.

A stunning wilderness walk is available with family and friends in the park area, which protects wild geese, otters, and red grouse. This park is surrounded by a spectacular mountain range, the Nephin Beg range, and an iconic peat bog system, the Owenduff Bog, which is one of the few core peatlands remaining in Irish territory.

How to get there

Westport – Wild Nephin Ballycroy

The easiest way to access Nephin Ballycroy National Park would be to catch a flight to Knock and from there you can rent a car or use public transport to set directions to the National Park. By car it will take you just 1 hour and 20 minutes to get in the centre of Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park. If you want to travel by bus, catch bus number 440, 442, and 978 which will take you in 3 hours and 30 minutes from Knock to Ballycroy Visitor Centre for an average price between €10 – €15 per person.

Dublin – Ballycroy

By car it will take you 3 hours and 40 minutes without stops, and my advice will be to plan enough time for stops to enjoy the sceneries. From Dublin you have plenty of choices how to get to the National Parks in Ireland. A trip by train will take you on average 3 hours to get to Hawthorn Village from there you will catch bus 978 and a ticket will cost around €35-€50.

Things to do

Top Hikes

Are you looking for the best hiking trails in Ballycroy? You can enjoy hiking, biking, trail running, or exploring other outdoor activities at Ballycroy’s four scenic trails. Below you will find my favorite day hikes I did during my visit.

You can enjoy hiking and outdoor adventures through the natural areas surrounding Ballycroy that are ideal for hikers of all skill levels.

1. The Bangor Trail (Moderate)

Located near Srahmore, County Mayo, this 24.9-km point-to-point trail is worth exploring. It takes on average 7 hours and four minutes to complete this challenging route.

There is no doubt that the Bangor Trail is among the toughest trail hikes in Ireland. Originally used as a drover’s path, this trail stretches from Newport in the County of Mayo to Bangor Erris and dates back to the Iron Age. Trails like this one are not a Nationally Approved Trail, they’re for seasoned hikers, they’re waymarked, and they pass through a very remote [by Irish standards] back country.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

2. Slieve Carr (Moderate)

At Ballycroy National Park, you’ll find three lengthy looped trails with varying levels of difficulty. Known as the red trail, the Lough Aroher Loop is moderately difficult in difficulty. With an ascent of 240 meters and a duration of around 10 kilometers, this trail can take up to 3 hours to complete.

By following the red arrows across a footbridge, you can pick up this trail from Brogan Carroll Bothy. Before crossing the metal arched footbridge back, the path will take you along the banks of the Altoconey River. You’ll continue straight for 3 kilometers before turning right where the purple trail continues straight. Lough Aroher will be visible to your right after leaving a forested area. It won’t take too long for the trail to join up with the park’s leisurely 2 km green trail. Follow the red, purple, and blue signposts back to the trailhead after turning right onto the forestry road.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

Where to stay

Get yourself a bit of comfort during your stay in Riverside House, it’s peacefully located along the river that runs through Newport, but it’s also easy to walk into the city from there. For a price between €100 – €120 you get a really nice wooden house in the forest and a nice breakfast is included.

6. Glenveagh National Park

As an Irish national park amidst the Derryveagh Mountains in Duregal, Glenveagh is a place of magical beauty. With lush green woodland, crystal clear lakes, and a 19th-century castle in the middle, the park is filled with history.

A range of wildlife and plants can be found in the park, which is a designated Special Protection Area for golden eagles. If you would like to visit the castle, you should book it in advance and bring cash on your visit as payment for your visit.

How to get there

Donegal – Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh National Park can be easily accessed by catching a flight to Donegal and then renting a car or taking public transportation to the park. In just one hour and ten minutes, you can get to the center of Glenveagh National Park. From Donegal, take bus number 964, which takes you in 2 hours and 10 minutes to Paddy Og’s Pub, Crolly, and then take a taxi for 13 minutes to reach Glenveagh National Park. Overall, the bus and taxi will cost you approximately €50 – €60. It’s also possible to reach Letterkenny from Donegal by bus, but the taxi ride will cost twice as much. 

Dublin – Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh National Park can be reached in 3 hours and 15 minutes from Dublin. From Dublin, take bus 932 to Kilmacrennan, then take a taxi for 17 minutes to reach the National Park. The option of stopping at Letterkenny is also available, however, the taxi ride will be 40 minutes. 

Things to do

Since this area of Ireland is less popular, there aren’t many tour options, but it’s great for outdoor activities such as kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, and swimming in the lakes if you wish.

Top Hike

1. Lough Veagh – Glenveagh Castle (Easy)

Take a stroll on this 10.0-km out-and-back trail near Termon, County Donegal. It takes an average of 2 hours 16 minutes to complete this route, which is generally considered an easy route. 

In this valley, there are many trails. It is located near the Glenveagh Castle and Gardens. This path is lined with mature Austrian Pines and natural broadleaf trees such as Holly, Rowan, and Birch. Across the Owencarrow River is a new bridge built behind the wooden shingle-roofed boathouse. In addition to seasoned larch wood, recycled plastic decking was used to build the bridge. 

There is a drainage channel connecting the Owencarrow River to the sea at Lackagh Bridge near Doe Castle. Several species of fish and otter live in the Owencarrow. As the route proceeds beyond the bridge, we see bogs and wet heath typical of Glenveagh. In these wet peatland habitats, there is a vast variety of species, some of which are unique to these habitats, as well as a variety of plants and animals. 

Taking you through the valley and lakeshore of Lough Veagh, you can see cliffs and open hilltops beyond. The picturesque Irish countryside is dominated by nature in this beautiful scene. Further down, you can see small natural scrub forests and mountain streams. A flowery respite from the harsher surroundings lies in the castle grounds at the end of the path.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

Where to stay

Visit Portsalon Luxury Camping for an unforgettable experience in a yurt. A luxury tent for 2 people with sea view costs between €80 and €100 per night.

Another great option I really enjoyed was Oakwell holiday village, which has a hot tub and sauna at the camping area. You can get a nice tent for around €120, or you can rent a room for around €160.

Pin for later

Adventure Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Make sure you have the right travel insurance for your next trip! After 5+ years of full-time traveling, I learned a lot about travel insurance. World Nomads offers the best Travel Insurance For Extreme Sports and SafetyWing is the unique Travel Insurance For Digital Nomads.

All Ireland Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.