Top 5 Walking Trails in Glendalough

Located in County Wicklow, only a stone’s throw from Dublin, Glendalough is a famous stop along Ireland’s Ancient East route. For thousands of years people have enjoyed the incredible scenery, rich history, abundant wildlife and the beautiful walking trails in Glendalough. It is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland, the Monastic City which dates back to the 6th Century. The Monastic City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers free entry all year round. Glendalough is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland and is very easily accessible with daily tours offered.


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Daydreaming of our Kilkenny and Glendalough day tour⁠ ⁠ On arrival in Glendalough, you can join your tour guide on a 30-minute guided tour of Glendalough’s Monastic City. The Monastic city dates to 600 AD and is heralded as a national monument of immense importance having played an important role in reintroducing Christianity to Northern and Central Europe after the Dark Ages.⁠ ⁠ Our guides will leave you with some of the folklore and legendary stories of Glendalough’s past and direct you towards the stunning Upper Lake. You will have ample time to take a walk and fully appreciate the beauty of the area’s natural wonders. ⁠ ⁠ Take advantage of our price cuts and book now for later in the year! Link in our bio or visit⁠ ⁠ We are looking forward to seeing you again, for now, stay home, stay safe! :-)⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ #ireland #travel #countywicklow #visitireland #nature #loveireland #ireland_gram #forest #insta_ireland #wicklow #loves_ireland #discoverireland #travelphotography #wanderireland #dublin #irlanda #irish #instagood #Glendalough #Kilkenny #sheepdogtrial

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The name Glendalough means the Glen of Two Lakes in the Irish language, which was derived from the two beautiful lakes found here, both of which are focal points of the site. The tracks and trails surrounding Glendalough’s monastic city and its two lakes offer excellent walking routes for all levels. From leisurely, picturesque strolls to tough hikes and rewarding views there is something for every level of fitness. Glendalough Visitor Centre offer a map outlining all these trails, where they are and difficulty level. With numerous routes to choose from, we decided to list our top five walking trails in Glendalough to help you make your choice. Read on to find out…

1.     The Minor’s Walk

The first on our list is the Minor’s Walk. Also known as the Purple Route, this is one of the easy walking trails in Glendalough and begins at the Upper Lake and travels through the woodland to the miner’s village. This walk is the perfect option for those looking for a relaxing stroll without compromising on the view. The trail is 5km (just over 3 miles) in total and stays relatively flat throughout, offering beautiful views of the Upper Lake and a lovely walk through the towering pine trees.

2.     Poulanass and St. Kevin’s Cell

The Poulanass and St. Kevin’s Cell is one of the moderate walking trails found in Glendalough. This 1km route is quite steep but there are steps which help walkers with the incline. This trail offers incredible views overlooking the Upper Lake as well as views of the beautiful Poulanass Waterfall. Another point of interest on this trail is the remains of St. Kevin’s Cell; dating back to the 6th Century, St. Kevin lived in this small beehive hut above the lake for seven years to find God in solitude.

3.     The Derrybawn Woodland Trail

The Orange Route or the Derrybawn Woodland Trail is an 8km ramble, which is listed as slightly harder than a moderate route because of its prolonged inclines. Marked by its orange arrows, this walking trail in Glendalough offers incredible views of both the upper and lower lakes as well as the monastery from above. There is even a bench at the top of this route for hikers to rest, watch the world go by and take in the breathtaking views of the valley.

4.     The Woodland Road

The Woodland road, also called the Silver route is known as one of Glendalough’s most peaceful walking trails. This route begins at the Upper Lake and weaves through the woodlands into next door Glendasan Valley and to St. Kevin’s Way before joining the boardwalk bringing walkers around to the lower lake wetlands. This trail is 4km long and is suitable for anyone with a good level of fitness due to its long inclines.

5.     Spinc and Glenealo Valley

Marked with white arrows, the Spinc and Glenaelo Valley route is one of the most difficult walking trails in Glendalough but guarantees some of the most rewarding views. The first part of this 9km route circles the valley on a boardwalk however, hiking boots are recommended for this trail as there is rocky terrain in parts. Hikers can enjoy beautiful views of the valley, including both lakes and the Glendalough Monastery, throughout their entire walk on this trail which reaches up to 500m above sea level.

Thank you for reading our blog ‘Top 5 Walking Trails in Glendalough’. Would you like to visit Glendalough for yourself? Explore Glendalough and more with a day tour from Dublin with Wild Rover Tours – Ireland’s award-winning day tour operator.