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The Top Five Best Hiking Experiences in Ireland and Scotland

The Top Five Best Hiking Experiences in Ireland and Scotland

Recently updated on May 23rd, 2024 at 01:43 pm

For active travel of any ability, here are the hikes we love in Ireland and Scotland.​

You can’t help but want to get outside when you visit Ireland and Scotland. Whether it’s the glowing green hills of Ireland’s countryside, the sea salt air of its coastlines, the rugged peaks of the Scottish Highlands or the lush shores of the Lochs, the Celtic Isles are ideal locations for hiking experiences on a vacation.

Not all vacationers are outdoorsy and not all outdoors and active experiences on an active vacation are alike. So, here’s a list of some of our favorite hiking and walking experiences to plan or add to a vacation in Ireland or Scotland, and who might like them.

Three people standing in front of a waterfall

Ireland Hiking: Killarney National Park with Ireland Walk Hike Bike

Killarney National Park is a gorgeous, expansive stretch of nature that contains forest, hills, glens, lakes and waterfalls. Tucked away in its wooded heart is the hauntingly beautiful Muckross Abbey and the forested Torq Waterfall. There are easy walks and engaging hilly hikes alike to the reserve, professionally guided of course, through this beautiful National Park.

You can reserve a variety of hikes, from short, guided, easy treks to half-day hikes of up to eight miles or more when you are staying in Killarney and be met by a local guide to guide you through the parks.

Perfect for: Leaf peeping in fall, wildlife spotting in spring and easy to mid-level activity.

A woman sitting on top of a rock formation

Scotland Hiking: Skye Wilderness Safaris

The Isle of Skye is a hiking paradise. This island is filled with dramatic landscapes, stunning natural features, historic places and so many stories to tell. With a Skye Wilderness Safari experience, you’re getting guided to the off-the-beaten path locations that keep you from being a “Skye Sheep” rambling along the hills.

Perfect for: This beautiful experience is for the bold, the active and the sure footed and perhaps those who aren’t afraid of some elevation.

A man and a woman are walking in the mountains

Ireland Hiking: Waterford Camino Experiences

The Waterford Camino routes offer a wide variety of stunning natural landscapes and serene beauty. This walk and picturesque countryside, lush forests, and along scenic coastal paths rich with cultural and historic significance. There are landmarks like ancient monastic ruins, castles, and charming old-world towns connecting you to Ireland’s heritage.

Explore with local experts Phil and Elaine, retracing the footsteps of those who have gone before on gentle to mid-range hikes on a variety of terrains.

Perfect for: Mid-level active, outdoorsy and mindful/meditative vacation experiences.

A group of people standing on top of a mountain

Northern Ireland Hiking: Men of the Mournes Hike

Hiking the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland is an awe-inspiring experience. The “Men of Mournes” trail hike is a five-hour experience led by local adventurer Peter through varied terrain, from gentle meadows to rocky scrambles. The highlight is the iconic Mourne Wall, a stone wall that traverses the mountains. There’s natural diversity with heather-clad slopes, granite tors, and lush valleys, all peppered with Peter’s history about work, people and the legends of wall builders, smugglers and soldiers that illuminate this region.

Perfect for: Outdoorsy types looking for a long active day.

A view of the ocean from a cliff

Ireland Hiking: Howth Walks - Village & Coast Safari Hike

This is a delightful “Either/Or” for easy walks to mid-range hikers. Nearby to Dublin, Howth offers charming village walks for an easy pace in the Harbour Village, or for the adventurers, a local coastal Safari Hike in a place studded with stunning coastal paths overlooking the shorelines and crystal-clear seas.

Perfect for: Brisk at most times of year, this hike or walk option is great for families or groups with a range of activity levels and abilities.

Brittany Hanson

Brittany Hanson

Brittany Hanson has been professionally writing for news, academia public relations and institutional outreach since 2007. Now, she's dedicated to bringing readers interesting, fun and helpful information to help them on their journeys. Loves: running, reading, California's central coast, London's mass transit systems and any moderate to very-good animal.

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