Ireland: County Wicklow

Self-Guided Walking Tour, Ireland: County WicklowSelf-Guided Walking Tour, Ireland: County Wicklow

Ireland

County Wicklow

overview

County Wicklow is one of Ireland’s true scenic treasures—a place where idyllic pastoral views frame quaint villages, and walking trails follow rivers and glens across verdant mountains and valleys. The Wicklow Way, Ireland’s first long-distance trail, is just one of this region’s welcoming routes that include everything from gentle shoreline strolls to boardwalk ridgeline trails. Pick your paths to sights like the 6th-century ruins and famous round tower of St. Kevin Monastery. Explore Wicklow Mountains National Park, then follow Derrybawn Woodland Trail to scenic waterfalls and expansive overlooks. Enjoy exceptional views along Mullacor Col Trail, and take the scenic route to Knockree, past glittering Lough Tay to Ireland’s highest waterfall and the impeccably restored 13th-century Powers-court House and Gardens. Between walks, relax and refresh in traditional pubs where delightful live music provides a soundtrack to your personal Irish adventure.

Activity Level
Easy to moderate;
5-10 miles daily
Meet
Dublin, Ireland
Depart
Dublin, Ireland
Daily Itinerary
Download printable
itinerary
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
Self-Guided Walking 
5 days, 4 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Full Irish breakfast daily and one dinner (day 2); beverages not included
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • A personal welcome upon arrival
  • Local transfers as noted in the itinerary
  • Luggage transfers between the hotels
  • Detailed route notes and maps
  • Basic travel insurance coverage
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW staff
Compare Dates & Prices
Prices Starting From...
Season 2+ travelers Single Supplement Solo Surcharge
2014
Apr 15 - Sept 30
$1,198
$275
$445
2015
Apr 15 - May 31
$1,198
$275
$475
June - Aug 31
$1,298
$275
$475
Sept 1 - 30
$1,198
$275
$475

*Price is based on per person, double occupancy.

Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Laragh
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2
Laragh
View on map
3
Laragh
View on map
4
Enniskerry
View on map
5
Enniskerry
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Day 1

Laragh

Arrival and transfer to Glendalough. Monastic site visit

You are met at the Dublin Airport and transferred just over an hour south to the Vale of Glendalough in the Wicklow region and the Wicklow Mountains National Park. This U-shaped valley houses a fascinating and important early Christian and medieval monastic settlement, originally founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Your hotel is situated in the heart of the small village of Laragh, less than a mile from both the monastery buildings and the national park, with its network of walking trails and access to the Wicklow Way. Glendalough, meaning “valley of the two lakes,” contains religious structures from the 8th and 12th centuries—the most famous of which is a 100-foot stone tower—as well as a cathedral, churches, and decorated crosses. You may want to start your explorations with a visit to the comprehensive Glendalough Visitor Centre, and then proceed to walk amidst the 6th-century site.

Lynham’s Hotel

Laragh, Ireland

A traditional hotel with a historical pub dating from 1776, in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Spacious guestrooms are comfortably furnished, with classic décor and warm colors. With views of the national park and miles of trails and forest roads out the door, the hotel is also just under a mile from the monastic complex of St. Kevin at Glendalough. Several dinner options are available, including the hotel’s pub with a casual atmosphere, or perhaps an exquisite 3-course menu at the nearby Glendasan River Restaurant.

Day 2

Laragh

Derrybawn Woodland Trail; 6.8 miles, easy to moderate, 600-ft elevation gain

After awakening in the heart of the countryside and to a full Irish breakfast, you start your walk just out the door of the hotel. Your route today takes you along the Derrybawn Woodland Trail, comprising terrain of very well-maintained paths and forest road. Beginning on the Green Road walking trail , you cross the river on a footbridge, passing the valley’s lower lake before heading up into the hills by the Poulanass Waterfall. The route then ascends the side of Derrybawn Mountain through mixed woodlands, with views over the valley. After a pleasant descent through the forest, you arrive back at the Green Road on the valley floor, returning to the starting point. The well-marked network of trails in the area offers several possibilities to extend the walk by a few miles, or you may return to your hotel to relax over a pint (and enjoy music in the pub on Saturday nights).

Lynham’s Hotel

Laragh, Ireland

A traditional hotel with a historical pub dating from 1776, in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Spacious guestrooms are comfortably furnished, with classic décor and warm colors. With views of the national park and miles of trails and forest roads out the door, the hotel is also just under a mile from the monastic complex of St. Kevin at Glendalough. Several dinner options are available, including the hotel’s pub with a casual atmosphere, or perhaps an exquisite 3-course menu at the nearby Glendasan River Restaurant.

Day 3

Laragh

The Spinc and Wicklow Way; 8 miles, easy to moderate with one moderate climb of 600 steps, 1,380-ft. elevation gain

Today’s route not only joins the Wicklow Way, Ireland’s first long-distance walking trail, but it also provides perhaps some of the most stunning cliff-top views in Ireland. The route starts as yesterday, heading up the valley and gently climbing by the Poulanass Waterfall. Here you split off to climb 600 steps to the cliff-edge viewpoint on the Spinc—a sweeping panorama of the hills around, the valley below, and, on a clear day, the Welsh mountains out to sea behind you. You enjoy the views along the Spinc boardwalk for a mile, then continue to gain height gently until you are just above the saddle between Mullacor Mountain and Lugduff Mountain. From here you have wonderful views into the steep U-shaped valley of Glenmalure, which runs parallel to the Glendalough Valley.

You can also see the highest mountain in Leinster, Lugnaquilla (just over 3,000 feet). As you descend into the col, you meet up with the Wicklow Way walking trail, which brings you gently down the partly wooded slopes to the Poulanass Waterfall and back to your hotel along the edge of the lower lake.

Lynham’s Hotel

Laragh, Ireland

A traditional hotel with a historical pub dating from 1776, in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Spacious guestrooms are comfortably furnished, with classic décor and warm colors. With views of the national park and miles of trails and forest roads out the door, the hotel is also just under a mile from the monastic complex of St. Kevin at Glendalough. Several dinner options are available, including the hotel’s pub with a casual atmosphere, or perhaps an exquisite 3-course menu at the nearby Glendasan River Restaurant.

Day 4

Enniskerry

Glendalough to Enniskerry—The Wicklow Way; 8 miles, easy to moderate, 900-ft. elevation gain

Today, the longest walk of your tour rambles over a combination of boardwalks, walking paths, forest roads, and quiet back roads. The day begins with a transfer to the road above the mesmerizing Lough Tay. This dark lake is set below the imposing cliffs of Luggala, and is surrounded by land that was part of the Guinness family estate. When viewed from above, the lake, with its cream-colored sandy beach, resembles a pint of Guinness! You leave the road and join the highest and most scenic section of the Wicklow Way, along the side of Djouce Mountain. Here you have extensive views along Ireland’s east coast and, if the weather is clear, you might again catch a glimpse of the mountains around Snowdonia in Wales. After Djouce, the route descends to the Dargle River, an excellent place for a picnic lunch. A short steep climb out of the Dargle Valley brings you to a path overlooking the Powerscourt Estate and waterfall. At almost 400 feet, it is the highest waterfall in Ireland and the UK. You may even spot some of the area’s abundant deer. The route continues downhill into the Glencree Valley, where you walk along the flower-filled banks of the Glencree River. Finally, you transfer to the lovely village of Enniskerry.

Ferndale Bed and Breakfast

Enniskerry, Ireland

An intimate, upscale bed-and-breakfast in the charming 18th-century village of Enniskerry. Guest rooms are individually decorated with antique furnishings and carpets in this historical home and garden. Nearby is the Powerscourt Estate, one of Ireland’s most beautiful historical castle and garden complexes, dating from 1300, and significantly altered in the 18th century. Also within walking or short driving distance are pubs and restaurants, including the famous Johnnie Fox’s Pub, where traditional music is played every night.

Day 5

Enniskerry

Departure from Enniskerry

After breakfast, a 35-minute drive returns you to the Dublin Airport for your onward travels.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guest Comments

D. & J. Briggs, Washington, September 2013

The entire package was very good from our pickup at the airport. Our hikes were challenging and beautiful. The host at Ferdale B&B was kind enough to drive us to Powerscourt gardens because we arrived so late to Enniskerry. It was a very good,experience for our first time in Ireland.

T. MacDonald, Kansas, September 2013

Excellent, everything was taken care of. So very enjoyable, we will do it again.

G. Padilha, Brazil, September 2012

Everything worked perfectly, all the reservations, and transfers. Loved the Ferndale B&B on the last night. The walks were perfectly chosen.
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