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Glendalough Monastic Settlement

Home to one of the country’s most popular historic sites, a 6th-century monastic complex, Glendalough, or ‘the valley of the lakes’, is set in an idyllic location between two lakes. An hour south of Dublin, Glendalough makes a popular day trip, as well as a common stop-off for hikers attempting the famous Wicklow Way, which runs through the valley.

The monastery was founded by the hermit monk St Kevin around 618AD and by the 9th century was among the leading monastic cities of Ireland, up until its destruction by the English in 1398. The ruins remain impressive today, with a collection of ancient churches, burial sites and monastic buildings sprawled around the Upper and Lower lakes. Most famous is the 112-foot-tall round tower, measuring 52 feet in circumference and featuring a conical roof, rebuilt with its original stones in the late 19th century. Other key sights include a 10th-century cathedral, the largest building on the plot, home to granite ‘St Kevin’s Cross’; St Kevin’s church with its conical capped belfry and a monumental gateway, unique in Ireland with its two-storied granite arches.

A huge part of Glendalough’s appeal lies in its spectacular surroundings, with the two lakes encircled with woodlands, verdant pastures and the hilltops of the nearby Wicklow Mountains National Park. Make the most of a visit by hiking around the lakes and following the marked trails between the ruins, then head to the Glendalough Visitor center, where a video and exhibition details facts and background information on the monuments.

Tours & Tickets

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Wild Wicklow Tour including Glendalough from Dublin

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 655 Reviews

The Wild Wicklow Tour from Dublin is the perfect introduction to Wicklow's untamed landscapes. On this Wicklow day tour you'll explore ancient monastic ruins ...  Read more

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $38.28

Kilkenny City and Glendalough Day Trip from Dublin

4.5 star rating: Recommended 114 Reviews

See Irish castles, caves and cloisters on the Kilkenny City and Glendalough Day Trip from Dublin. Traveling by luxury coach, you'll head into Ireland's ...  Read more

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $47.85

3-Day Southeast Ireland Tour from Dublin: Kilkenny, Blarney Castle, Glendalough, and Kinsale

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Discover the best of Ireland’s pristine southeast, including Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone, the Copper Coast, Waterford, the Wicklow Mountains and ...  Read more

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $551.26

Wicklow Mountains, Avoca and Glendalough Rail Tour from Dublin

4.5 star rating: Recommended 25 Reviews

Combine Ireland's stunning coastal and mountain scenery on this lovely rail tour from Dublin. You'll travel through the magical Wicklow Mountains, visit the ...  Read more

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $66.99

Glendalough and Avoca Day Trip from Dublin

4.5 star rating: Recommended 67 Reviews

Take the scenic route out of Dublin, passing through the Wicklow Gap and Blessington Lakes to lovely Glendalough and the pretty village of Avoca. This scenic ...  Read more

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $35.54

County Wicklow Day Trip from Dublin: Wicklow Gaol, Avoca and Glendalough

Discover the unsurpassed beauty of the "Garden of Ireland" on a County Wicklow day trip from Dublin. After visiting the haunted Wicklow Gaol, you'll ...  Read more

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $47.85

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