Ireland is home to some of Europe’s most awe-inspiring coasts. However, the weather isn’t for the usual sunbathing beachfront experience. So, the best way to enjoy the landscape is to embark on one of the coastal hikes in Ireland. These hikes are usually so breathtaking that you’ll completely forget about the lack of beachfront sunshine that most of us relate to the coast. Of course, to fully experience them, you have to do a bit of preparation. This is why we have prepared this short list of some of the best hikes for you to choose from, covering the breadth of the country
#1 The Gobbins Cliff Walk
The Gobbins Cliff Walk is one of the most impressive coastal hikes in Ireland. However, what makes it such is the fact that it’s not just a typical nature walk experience.
The path you’ll be walking on follows the Gobbin cliff faces, but not in the way you would expect. The path isn’t natural, nor is it simply carved into the faces of the cliff. It follows an array of man-made tunnels, bridges, stairs, and gallery structures.
It was first created in 1902 by a railway engineer. After a while, it was reopened in 2014 with an updated series of new bridges and gallery structures. During the walk, you will see caves, cliffs, sea stacks, natural aquariums, and islands.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a beginner-friendly hike. It can be pretty challenging at certain points, and you’ll need a guide to help you navigate the “trail” safely.
#2 Malin Head
This hike is located at the top of County Donegal, Ireland’s northernmost tip. The terrain looks impressive and features unparalleled ruggedness. During the walk, you can also expect to see some interesting historical sites, such as a Napoleonic watchtower and an EIRE sign from the World War II era. Aside from that, you can also expect some incredible nature and dramatic rock pinnacles.
While this walk can be busy during the summer, it’s still definitely worth it. The beauty of its nature won’t leave you wanting, even if you have to share it with others. The hike is about 7 km long, and although the terrain is rugged, it is not too difficult. And most beginners will also be able to enjoy it.
#3 Inis Nee Island Roundstone Loop
Connemara is a place full of amazing hikes. And although most of these are inland hikes that follow the mountains and the national park, it also features one of the best low-level and beginner-friendly coastal hikes in Ireland. The Inis Nee loop is an excellent option for any hiker who wants to get to know the region in a relaxing way. Later on, you’ll be able to start going on hikes that follow all of the things you’ll be seeing during this one.
This 6-kilometre looped hike is located around 3 km from the small village of Roundstone. After crossing a short causeway, the loop follows the small islands of Roundstone Bay. It mainly comprises tiny roads, rough tracks, and narrow laneways. Even though it is a low-level hike, the views will take your breath away.
On one side, you’ll be able to view Roundstone village and the beautiful Errisbeg Hill. While on the other side, you’ll be able to see the Twelve Bens of Connemara. As we’ve previously stated, this is a great introduction hike, whereas later on, you’ll be able to hike both the Errisbeg Hill and a few of the Twelve Bens you saw. After a long day of hiking, you can rest and freshen up at Roundstone.
#4 The Dingle Way
The Dingle Way is a 162 km multi-day hike looping the Dingle peninsula. This is one of the most famous long-distance ways in Ireland. Keep in mind that it does not only feature coastal hikes. It also features a healthy mix of rural trails, which go through a few towns and villages, and inland mountain paths. Even as an experienced hiker, it would be best to research the hike before attempting it. As experts from verifiedmovers.com like to point out, any long-distance voyage, be it moving or walking, should not be taken lightly.
Additionally, there are some lovely beach walks on other days. These include:
- Inch Beach,
- Ventry Beach,
- Wine Strand.
The part of the hike that covers Slea Head will also introduce some archaeology (you’ll mainly be seeing some ancient beehives).
Make sure to plan properly for this multi-day hike since it most commonly takes about a week to hike the entire Dingle Way. Although, this depends on how much you’ll be walking each day. And, of course, you can always choose only to hike the smaller coastal sections.
#5 The Bray to Greystones Coastal Walk
Ireland’s east coast has fewer coastal hikes than the west coast. However, if you are looking for a hike here, The Bray to Greystones Coastal Walk is one of the best options.
It starts at the Bray Train Station and then follows the gorgeous Bray seafront. The ocean views here are unparalleled. You’ll also be able to gaze at some ancient ruins during the hike. However, you’ll have to do it from afar since most are on private land.
This is a 5 km long linear hike, and it finishes at the coastal town of Greystones. Here you can find plenty of beautiful cafes, restaurants, and shops and rest up for a while. Afterwards, you can head back to Dublin using public transport.
We hope we have helped narrow the choice between the many incredible coastal hikes in Ireland that are sure to take your breath away. Most of these are available throughout the year. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t forget to take into account weather patterns. If you decide to hike during winter to avoid crowds, ensure you do everything possible to make the hike as safe as possible. Ireland is full of incredible hikes; you shouldn’t stop at these five. However, if you’re new to Ireland, these five will surely entice you to keep going.