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Hiking Through the Emerald Isle: The Best Backpacking Destinations

hiking Ireland

When thinking about where to camp this summer, look no further than the beautiful Emerald Isle. Ireland is surrounded by rugged coastlines, ruined forts and endless countryside – making it the perfect place to pitch up for your adventure holiday. With an array of camping and hiking spots putting tourists in the heart of nature, Ireland guarantees a trip to remember.

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In today’s post, the adventure holiday specialists from Wilderness Ireland will guide you through the best backpacking destinations in Ireland – making sure you’re in the know before you plan your next trip.

backpacking Ireland

Wicklow Mountains

Spanning the entire distance of Wicklow on the east coast, the Wicklow Mountains National Park is covered in natural heath – and with mountain roads leading to tiny streams, you’re guaranteed breathtaking views. The deep and enigmatic lakes in the valleys are something to be admired – and you’re free to camp with no fee in most of the valleys.

hiking in Ireland

Beara Peninsula

The Beara Peninsula (main image) is a beautiful and remote place – and with narrow roads and little tourism, it’s a picture perfect destination on the southwest coast of Ireland. It features the biggest white fishing port in Ireland, meaning fish is guaranteed to be on the menu wherever you eat. Visit one of the many local pubs before following on a self-guided walking route, such as Beara Way.

The Burren

The Burren National Park is 4000 acres of hazel scrub, ashy woodland and limestone pavements – and with deep lakes and steaming springs, it’s a positively postcard-worthy spot. In Ireland’s smallest national park, you’ll find pure tranquility – with multiple nature reserves to explore. Pack a picnic and take note of all the wild animals you spot.



Letterfrack is a small but lively village, offering a perfect place for backpackers to explore and relax. Right by the sea, it’s overlooked by the majestic Diamond Mountain and Connemara National Park, which you’re free to explore. Letterfrack epitomises the Irish way of life, and is famous for being the best destination anywhere in Ireland when it comes to finding traditional Irish folk music.

backpacking in ireland

Aran Islands

The Aran Islands are a short 45-minute ferry ride from Galway, consisting of three smaller limestone islands situated on the west coast of Ireland. The islands are home to just 1200 inhabitants – the majority of whom speak Irish Gaelic – and host an annual Red Bull Cliff Diving Festival for backpackers with an unquenchable thirst for adventure.

So there you have it: just five of Ireland’s most glorious highlights, brought to you by the adventure holiday experts at Wilderness Ireland.

Do you have any hiking or backpacking destinations you can recommend?

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