Measuring just 280 kilometers (171 miles) at its widest point east-west and 486 kilometers (302 miles) north-south the island affords the opportunity to experience walking in a variety of different regions in one visit. The physical geography of the island of Ireland, coupled with the easy access to the higher ground, the range of routes available and the mild climate combines to ensure that Ireland is a premier walking destination. The concentration of mountain ranges in the coastal regions, leaving a broad low plain in the centre, has created a distinctive bowl shape that lends itself to an array of walking opportunities. While the vast majority of treks affording spectacular views are along the coastline, wonderful walking locations are also to be to be found in many of the upland areas such as the Galtees, Blackstairs or Silvermines. Off course if you plan your visit with trekkingtrutime then you will be guided to the gems of Ireland in the company of experts that will share their knowledge to enhance yours. Visits to local organic food producers, historical sites, great restaurants and luxury hotels are all combined with your trekking experience. The following information highlights areas to hike in the SW and W of the country and will be followed by blogs describing all of the other regions.
The Valdeleur/Lynam list of Ireland peaks records 269 of atleast 600m in height. The country’s highest mountain is located in the SW of the country-in the county of Kerry. Corrauntoohil, which rises to 1038m, is located in the Macgillycuddy Reeks mountain range where the three highest peaks in the country are to be found- Corrauntoohil (1038m, Bin Chaorach (1010m) and Caher (1001m). There is a wonderful looped walk that incorporates all three peaks. It requires a minimal amount of scrambling but a very rewarding trek. Also in County Kerry, but different mountain ranges, are Brandon mountain at 971m and Mangerton at 839m. Brandon is an ancient pilgrimage site on the Dingle penninsula while Mangerton is located close to the famous Killarney Lakes and has stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Moving up along the west coast -a stop at the cliffs of Moher provides breathtaking cliff views. My recommendation would be to walk some or all of the 20km coastal walking trail from Liscannor or Hags Head in the S to Doolin in the N, taking a stop at the Cliffs of Moher interpretative centre for refreshments.
The Burren landscape in county Clare provides a unique experience. The 40 square mile Burren National Park is renowned for its unusual geology and unique mixture of Artic and Mediterranean flora. The limestone landscape contains a vast array of archaeological monuments and a network of ancient tracks providing the ideal opportunity to experience its beauty on foot.
Connemara on the west coast provides some of the best walking opportunities on the Island with the Twelve Bens and Maumturk mountain ranges. The sharp peaked quartzite are not particularly high (maximum of 700m) but are delightful and have a long association with the inhabitants of the area.