If you’re looking for a break to rejuvenate your mind and body, then exploring Munster Vales, located in the beautiful south of Ireland, might be just what you need. Munster Vales encompasses the Comeragh, Knockmealdown, Galtee, Ballyhoura and Nagles mountain ranges and there are over 80 incredible walks giving visitors the chance to fully absorb all the fantastic views.
Take your time to fully admire the incredible sights, including lush valleys, swollen rivers, cascading waterfalls and rugged coastlines. You will certainly not forget your visit.
We have described some of the walks you can take in the valleys of Munster to help you start planning your itinerary. Don’t forget to bring good hiking boots, some snacks and maybe a raincoat because, after all, this is Ireland!
The Ballyhoura region
Located on the borders of Tipperary, Limerick and Cork, Ballyhoura has beautiful forests, lush green pastures and plenty of hills and mountains ideal for walkers. With the beauty and tranquility of quiet country roads, river banks, rugged mountains, rich bogs and mythical landscapes, you will certainly not miss beautiful scenery on your walk.
There are also bustling towns and villages in the area, meaning you can take the time to get off the beaten track and discover what’s great about rural Ireland.
There’s even a Ballyhoura Trails Guide app that’s been designed to help visitors find what’s nearby, like suggested walks, distances between them and the chosen trailhead, making it easier than ever planning your trip.
St Declan’s Way
You may have heard of St Declan’s Way – the 115km pilgrimage route from Cashel in Tipperary to Ardmore in Waterford. This is the perfect walk for anyone wanting to learn more about the history of the region and the Ancient East of Ireland. As the name suggests, the route is apparently the one St Declan took on his way to Cashel to meet St Patrick. The walk is very popular with pilgrims visiting St Declan’s Monastery, the Holy Well and the tomb at Ardmore.
St Declan’s Way is also the perfect walk to uncover some of the incredible stories and legends of ancient Ireland through many of the historic sites you will encounter along the walk.
The Galtean Mountains
Described as a 'hiker’s paradise', the Galtee Mountains, along with the Glen of Aherlow, offer many incredible walking routes through open woodland and moorland, meaning you can truly reconnect with nature here. One of the highlights is the incredible mountain scenery and spectacular views. Interestingly, The Glen of Aherlow offers two linear walks in the Galtee Mountains and eight loop walks on Slievenamuck – the incredible mountain peak in Tipperary.
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One of the most enjoyable parts of exploring Munster Vales is being one with nature. The Anne Valley Nature & Wildlife Walk in Waterford stretches through the scenic Anne Valley wetland and forest linking Dunhill to the seaside village of Annestown.
One of the many highlights is encountering wildlife on your walk, such as otters and herons. There are also plenty of great surroundings that are ideal for enjoying a picnic or just sitting and thinking while soaking up the peaceful atmosphere.
Scaragh Wood Trail
After exploring some of the historic walks Munster Vales has to offer you might want to try the newly developed Coillte Trail in Scaragh Wood. Located 30 minutes from Tipperary, the route consists of three trails ranging from the Green Trail (easy) to the Blue Trail (moderate) and the Red Trail (strenuous).
The wood offers incredible views from the Galtees to Knockmealdown depending on which trail you take. You will also be able to see the native oak trees, the portal tomb of Lissava and maybe spot the native red squirrel!
Whatever type of walk you are interested in, you are sure to find it in Munster Vales. There is also an accessible interactive map of Munster Vales which highlights over 80 walks so you can plan your visit! So what are you waiting for?
Tríona O’Mahony is the Director of Destination and Marketing at Valleys of Munster. The main aim of Munster Vales is to promote the geographical area as a single brand, linking counties Waterford, Tipperary, Cork and Limerick and everything in between.
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