Explore beyond Dublin with a day trip to Glendalough, a sixth-century monastic complex one hour south of the city center. Set between two lakes, Glendalough is a popular destination for travelers who want a taste of the Irish countryside. It’s also a common stop for hikers setting out along the Wicklow Way, which runs through the valley. The Basics
Learn Irish history while wandering through picturesque ruins that include ancient churches, burial sites, and monastic buildings. From Dublin, join a tour focused solely on Glendalough, or choose a more comprehensive tour of County Wicklow and visit Wicklow Mountains National Park, Sally Gap, and Powerscourt Gardens. Travelers can choose between half-day or full-day itineraries. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Glendalough is a popular attraction for history buffs, families seeking open spaces, and outdoor enthusiasts.
- The ground may be soft or muddy, so pack your hiking boots and bring along layers of waterproof clothing.
- To see the full complex, be prepared for a significant amount of walking, as the site is spread across several locations surrounding the two lakes.
- Visit the Glendalough Visitor Centre, where a video and exhibition shed light on the history of the monuments.
Glendalough is located about an hour south of Dublin in County Wicklow. Most visitors arrive by car or with a guided tour from Dublin. To reach Glendalough from Dublin in a rental car, take the N11 south and get off at the Roundwood/Glendalough exit. On-site parking is available.
When to Get There
Glendalough is busiest during summer and on weekends. It is a popular destination for locals to set out on a hike. To beat the crowds, visit on a weekday rather than Saturday or Sunday. Though the complex is outdoors, mild year-round temperatures make it possible to visit any time. Hiking at Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains National Park
In addition to the monastic ruins, Glendalough’s scenic countryside trails attract scores of visitors. Travelers interested in hiking can make a stop at Glendalough part of a broader outdoor adventure in County Wicklow. Other nearby hiking options include climbing the Sugar Loaf Mountain or exploring a section of the Wicklow Way.