Wicklow Way-8-Day Self-Guided Walking Tour

Wicklow Way Ireland's Ancient East

The Wicklow Way is Ireland’s oldest waymarked walking and hiking trail. J.B Malone pioneered this now beloved, 127 km (79 miles), walking route over 40 years ago. As you traverse this meandering route, it will reveal to you some of Ireland’s finest views including the Powerscourt Waterfall (Ireland’s highest), Luggala, Loch Dan, Glenmalure and the breathtakingly beautiful Glendalough.

The Wicklow Way extends from Marlay Park in Dublin to Clonegal on the borders of Wicklow and Carlow and it’s all part of Ireland’s Ancient East. At Footfalls, we offer a variety of holiday packages on the Wicklow Way to cater for all types of outdoor and fitness enthusiasts – get off the beaten track and uncover the best of Ireland.

This eight-day walking vacation will take you over 70 km through the stunning beauty of Wicklow, “The Garden of Ireland”. Each self-guided walking tour can be tailored to suit you. Our sample Wicklow Way itinerary is from south to north (towards Dublin). Therefore, when you finish your walking tour of the Wicklow Way you are approximately an hour away from Dublin city centre. Alternatively, the tour can be started in Dublin and finish in Tinahely.

Prices / Dates

Price:  €789 per person sharing

Single Supplement: +€395

Solo Traveller Supplement: +€90

Tour Dates: 15 March to 31 October

Tour Grade: Easy to Moderate

Accommodation: Guesthouse

Included / Excluded

Day 1 - Arrive in Tinahely

Arrive at Dublin Airport and take the train or bus to Rathdrum. You will be picked up at the train station and transported to your first accommodation in the village of Tinahely. Transport time from Dublin to Rathdrum is approximately one and a half hours.

Day 2 - Tinahely to Moyne/Shielstown

Your self-guided walk from Tinahely to Moyne takes you along peaceful forest trails, open mountainside, and quiet country roads. Moyne was the birthplace of Edward C. Godwin, who founded the publication “New York Nation” in 1865. This section of the Wicklow Way takes in some fantastic views back over the area that you have passed through and the adjacent counties of Carlow and Wexford. It also passes through an old ring fort (otherwise known as a fairy fort).

Distance: 17.5 km/10.7 miles, Ascent: 500 m/1500 ft, Approximate walking time: 4/6 hours

Day 3 - Moyne to Glenmalure

The Moyne to Glenmalure walk is a long but very beautiful section of the Wicklow Way. The winding trail leads you through forest and into two spectacular valleys, the Ow Valley and the Glenmalure Valley. The Ow Valley lies at the base of Wicklow’s largest mountain, Lugnaquillia, which stands at 925 m/1039 ft. The Glenmalure Valley is Ireland’s longest glacial valley that stretches for over 16 km/10 miles. This peaceful valley will be the perfect place for you to spend the night.

Distance: 19 km/12 miles, Ascent: 690 m/2070 ft, Approximate walking time: 6/8 hours

Day 4 - Glenmalure to Glendalough

The walking trail takes you steadily up out of the Glenmalure valley. As you climb, the beauty of the surrounding countryside and the famous Glenmalure Waterfall will simply take your breath away. The trail crosses the side of Mullacor Mountain and into the valley of Glendalough (Gleann Dá Locha – the valley of two lakes). Glendalough is famous for its 6th-century monastic settlement, which you can explore. Glendalough has long remained one of the most visited sites in Ireland, its beauty is simply enchanting! Tonight you will stay in Glendalough or Laragh Village. Distance: 17 km/10.6 miles, Ascent: 520 m/1560 ft, Approximate walking time: 4/5 hours

Day 5 - Rest Day

Today you have the option to enjoy a well-earned rest day. You can take a short walk off the Wicklow Way walking trail (details will be included in your tour pack) or visit the 6th-century Glendalough Monastic City’s dedicated visitor centre. You will have an opportunity to learn about Glendalough with an audiovisual display in the centre’s exhibition space followed by a tour of the monastic settlement itself.

Day 6 - Glendalough to Roundwood

Today's walk is short but deeply rewarding, taking in some fantastic scenery and finishing in one of the highest villages in Ireland, Roundwood which sits about 238 m above sea level. You will also pass very close to our Footfalls office, just outside the village of Laragh. We will give you the choice to extend your walk by taking in the challenging Scarr Mountain. Alternatively, you can take a more leisurely walk around one of the Roundwood reservoirs which supplies water to part of Dublin city. Tonight you will stay in Roundwood. Distance: 12 km/7.5 miles, Ascent: 250 m/750 ft, Approximate walking time: 3.5/4 hours

Day 7 - Roundwood to Enniskerry

Your last walking day on the Wicklow Way is one of the longest but is a classic walk taking in views of Lough Dan and Lough Tay. This area has been used as a filming location for an aray of famous movies, including Brave Heart, King Arthur, Dancing at Lughnasa, and much more. This is also the original home of the Guinness family and their residence is still to be seen at the top of the valley. You will cross over the side of Djouce Mountain and alongside the Powerscourt Estate, where you will have some fantastic views of Powerscourt Waterfall, Ireland’s longest waterfall. Your second last night is spent in one of Wicklow’s most charming villages, Enniskerry. Distance: 22 km/13.7 miles, Ascent: 600 m/1800 ft, Approximate walking time: 5/6 hours

Day 8 - Depart

After a hearty breakfast, you can take a (one hour) bus journey from Enniskerry village back to Dublin City.

A few words from our customers...

Footfalls Walking Holidays takes care of all of the details of your trip: they plan the route; they help you figure out buses and trains (if needed), they book the b&bs, they arrange to have your luggage sent on ahead, they send maps and guides and all kinds of supplemental information. All you have to do is show up and hike--and how glorious is that. We have used them twice--once in Wicklow (their home base), and then this year in Dingle Both trips were amazing--gorgeous hikes, wonderful cozy b&bs, great food. Even the weather was perfect, though I am not entirely sure that Footfalls was responsible for that. We chose the self-guided tour, so we hiked alone, but in Wicklow eight years ago we did one hike with Christopher, and it was great: he knows everything about the history and the legends and the flora and fauna, and we learned so much. He took us off the path to show us a holy well, which we would have missed on our own. If you enjoy hiking and want to visit Ireland, this is the way to do it.
We looked high and low, but on our five day wander along Ireland’s Wicklow Way we failed to find any little folk dressed in green. We did, however find some of the friendliest people on the planet. Thank you, Footfalls, for all your excellent planning 😊