If you’re looking for a break away to rejuvenate the mind and body, then exploring Munster Vales, located in the beautiful south of Ireland, could be just what you need. Munster Vales encompasses the Comeragh, Knockmealdown, Galtee, Ballyhoura and Nagles mountain ranges and there are over 80 incredible walks that give visitors the chance to fully absorb all the fantastic views.
Take your time to fully take in the incredible sites including the lush valleys, surging rivers, cascading waterfalls and rugged coastlines. You certainly won’t forget your visit.
We’ve outlined some of the walks that you can experience in the Munster Vales to help you get started on planning your itinerary. Just don’t forget to bring good hiking boots, some snacks and maybe a raincoat because, after all, it’s Ireland!
The Ballyhoura Region
Located on the borders of Tipperary, Limerick and Cork, Ballyhoura has some wonderful woodlands, green pastures and plenty of hills and mountains that are ideal for walking enthusiasts. With the beauty and peacefulness of the quiet country roads, riverbanks, rugged mountains, rich bogs and mythical landscapes, you definitely won’t be short of beautiful scenery on your walk.
There are also vibrant towns and villages in the region meaning that you can take some time to get off the beaten track and discover what is great about rural Ireland.
There is even a Ballyhoura Trails Guide App that was designed to help visitors find what is nearby, such as the walks on offer, the distances between them and the starting point of their chosen trail, making planning your journey easier than ever.
St Declan’s Way
You might have heard about St Declan’s Way – the 115km pilgrim walking route linking Cashel in Tipperary with Ardmore in Waterford. This is the ideal walk for anyone interested in learning about the history of the region and Ireland’s Ancient East. As its name suggests, the route is apparently the way St Declan took when going to Cashel to meet St Patrick. The walk is very popular with Pilgrims who are going to visit St Declan’s monastery, holy well and grave in Ardmore.
St Declan’s Way is also the ideal walk to learn about some of the incredible stories and legends from Ancient Ireland through many of the historic sites that you will encounter on the walk.
The Galtee Mountains
Described as a “walker’s paradise”, the Galtee Mountains, along with the Glen of Aherlow, have loads of incredible walking routes through forests and across open moorlands meaning that you’ll really be able to reconnect with nature here. One of the highlights is the incredible mountain scenery and spectacular views. Interestingly, The Glen of Aherlow has two linear walks in the Galtee Mountains and eight looped walks on Slievenamuck – the incredible mountain summit in Tipperary.
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The Anne Valley
One of the most enjoyable moments of exploring Munster Vales is being at one with nature. The Anne Valley Nature & Wildlife Walk in Waterford stretches through the scenic Anne Valley wetland and woodland area linking Dunhill with the seaside village of Annestown.
One of the many highlights is coming across some of the wildlife on your walk such as otters and herons. There are also loads of great surroundings that are ideal for enjoying a picnic or to just sit and ponder while soaking up the peaceful atmosphere.
Scaragh Wood Trail
After exploring some of the historical walks that Munster Vales has to offer, you might want to try the newly developed Coillte trail at Scaragh Wood. Located 30 minutes outside Tipperary, the route consist of three trails from the (easy) Green Trail to the (moderate) Blue Trail and the (strenuous) Red Trail.
The wood has some incredible views from the Galtees to Knockmealdown depending on which trail you take. You’ll also get to see the native oak trees, the Lissava portal tomb and maybe get a glimpse of the native red squirrel!
No matter what type of walk you’re interested in you’re sure to find it in Munster Vales. There is also an accessible interactive Munster Vales map that highlights over 80 walks so that you can plan your visit! So what are you waiting for?
Tríona O’Mahony is the Destination & Marketing Manager of Munster Vales. Munster Vales’ main objective is to promote the geographical area as a unique brand, linking the counties of Waterford, Tipperary, Cork and Limerick and everything in between.