One of the wonderful things about Dublin is how close it is to nature. Just an hour south of the city is the beautiful Wicklow Mountains National Park and Glendalough Valley. This is a great way to spend the day hiking, walking, or taking in the scenery and relaxing by the lake. If you’d like to take a day trip out to the mountains, Wild Wicklow tours will take you out for a beautiful day in the mountains.
The tour, which has a live guide throughout the journey, begins in Dublin and heads out to Dun Laoghaire for a stop by the ocean and a short walk along the pier. This is a great place to watch the swimmers enjoying the Irish sun, or to take a few photos. If you’re lucky, you might get to see a few seals swimming nearby. Usually there are about four or five seals who like to swim over to say hello.
Next the bus drives up through the hills and back down through Dalkey, a lovely little town along the way down to the mountains. The tour goes right by the houses of Enya, Bono, and Van Morrison, and you can get an idea of what the views must be like from their bedroom windows!
After all that driving, the bus takes a break for morning coffee at AVOCA handweavers. Here you can have a tea and a cake in the garden, or you can browse the shop for a sweet souvenir of your trip. Then hop back on the bus and begin the journey into Wicklow Mountains National Park. The bus drives right up through the mountains, and crosses over the bridge where Holly and Gerry meet in P.S I Love You. The bus stops for several photo opportunities, before meandering its way down into the Glendalough valley.
At Glendalough, Wild Wicklow first offers a guided tour of the ancient monastic settlement. Most of the structures in the settlement date back to 1100, but it was originally settled as early as 400! When you’re ready, finish off your afternoon with a walk out to Glendalough. You can either take the paved Green Road under the trees or you can walk out through the farmlands along a beautiful boardwalk.
End your day back at the bus, where you can enjoy a free shot of Jameson whiskey before making the journey back to Dublin. Overall, it’s a wonderful way to get out of the city and enjoy a sunny summer’s day!
Next time I’ll be writing about this past weekend’s Bloomsday Festival, and giving you a crash course on James Joyce’s Ulysses. See you then!