Walking the Garden of Ireland: Wicklow Way

The Wicklow Way is Ireland’s oldest way-marked long-distance walk. The 128 km long walk takes you through the incredible Wicklow Mountains and through County Wicklow, known as the Garden of Ireland.

Wicklow Way passes through Wicklow Mountains National Park and through Glenmalure, the longest glacial valley in Ireland. You’ll also walk past Glendalough, a 6th century monastic city, which is one of the most important in the country. Some of the scenery may be familiar to you if you watch the TV show Vikings – you’ll pass Lough Dan and Lough Tay, where scenes have been filmed. You’ll also get great views of Powerscourt Waterfall – the highest in Ireland.

The Wicklow Way is a combination of country roads (especially on the southern part of the walk), forestry roads, hiking trails and platforms over bogs. Approximately 28% of the route is walking on roads, past fields of sheep and countryside.

The highest point is 630m and you’ll do a total of 3,753m of elevation gain if you walk the entire route. You will find yourself climbing a hill, only to climb back down, and then climb back up, but only in a few instances is it really steep.

If you’re used to hiking in the Canadian Rockies or have done the Tour du Mont Blanc in Europe, the elevation will seem easy. Still, it’s not to be underestimated since some days you will be walking over 25km.

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