komoot
Discover

Ireland's blue rivers and lakes – walks along the water

© Fáilte Ireland / Luke Myers

Ireland's blue rivers and lakes – walks along the water

Hiking Collection by Irland

10

Tours

129:05 h

329 mi

5,450 ft

Lush green vistas interspersed with bright blue rivers and sparkling lakes – this is Ireland. On the Emerald Isle, you’ll find picturesque landscapes with crystal-clear waters, babbling mountain streams and rushing waterfalls. There’s a lot to discover far from the coastal regions too. In this Collection, everything revolves around cool water. These 10 varied Tours will take you on a refreshing voyage of discovery.

With a mix of day hikes and some easy long-distance routes, there’s something for everyone. Discover the history of the Grand Canal or the Royal Canal on a multi-day walk alongside one of the watercourses. If that's too long for you, you can also hike individual stages thanks to the great public transport connections. Get a breath of mountain air on the Miners Road Walk in the Glendalough Valley or explore the ancient oak forests at Glengarriff. Along the way, you come across traces of Ireland's fascinating history, with old castles and mysterious ruins waiting to be discovered.

Once you've had enough walking, it's time for a change of perspective: paddle a kayak, canoe or SUP across the fairytale loughs and discover these beautiful waterscapes from a different perspective. Prefer more action? Then you'll certainly get your money's worth canyoning or gorge walking. Equipped with a wetsuit and a good dose of adventure, you can hike, climb and swim through roaring gorges and jump off cliffs into the water below. A boat trip, on the other hand, is more leisurely: here you can either join a guided trip or put on your captain's hat and take the helm yourself. We've picked out 10 water activities spread across Ireland that will make your time here so much fun.

Thanks to the mild climate, you can enjoy hiking in Ireland all year round as long as you have a waterproof jacket and seasonal clothing. Equipped with sturdy, waterproof footwear, you’re ready for a fantastic adventure between clear loughs and picturesque river landscapes.

There’s a lot of blue to discover on the Emerald Isle. Some of the Tours are accessible by public transport, but car hire is the most flexible way to get around.

So, lace up your walking boots. Ireland's meandering rivers, dead straight canals, babbling brooks and deep blue loughs are waiting for you!

On The Map

loading
loading

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Easy
    01:11
    2.71 mi
    2.3 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The name Glengarrif is derived from the Irish Gleann Gairbh and means roughly "rough valley". The old oak forest is a nature reserve and part of the much larger "Glengarriff Harbor & Woodlands Special Area of ​​Conservation". All around the impressive Caha Mountains rise above the forest. This short circuit combines two small circular routes and offers you a lot …

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    29:15
    72.1 mi
    2.5 mph
    450 ft
    550 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Grand Canal was built to connect Ireland's capital city, Dublin, to the River Shannon. The first construction work began as early as 1757, but it would take almost 50 years to complete. The development of the railroad and the expansion of the road network ultimately led to the canal losing its importance as a transport route. In the 1950s, …

    translated byView Original
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Intermediate
    02:45
    6.68 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Nore Valley Walk is a newly emerging long-distance hiking trail that runs along the River Nore from Kilkenny to Inisitoge. This tour describes the already completed section from Kilkenny to Bennettsbridge. Here you hike on narrow paths along the idyllic river and pass some exciting, overgrown ruins on the way.The starting point of the ten kilometer tour is …

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    02:50
    6.81 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This leisurely hike takes you on a well-developed path along the Annestown River from the town of the same name to Dunhill and back again. You pass the remains of the impressive Dunhill Castle and get beautiful views of the river, which meanders leisurely through the valley and many small ponds and lakes. It is best to pack binoculars and …

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    37:02
    90.8 mi
    2.5 mph
    875 ft
    750 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Royal Canal Way follows the canal of the same name, which connects Dublin with the upper section of the Shannon. For 146 kilometers you hike over grassy towpaths, gravel roads and sometimes paved back roads, always keeping an eye on the canal. Particularly impressive are the traces of industrial use in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, such as the Ryewater Aqueduct, which brings the canal across the River Rye and which took six years to build.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    02:40
    5.70 mi
    2.1 mph
    800 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This cozy round is a little gem. It leads you through magical, dense forest, along the babbling Glanageenty River and over the open fields. In between, you can always enjoy beautiful views of Carrauntoohil, Mount Brandon and the bay at Tralee.The easiest way to get to the starting point is by car. The hiking trail starts right at the …

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    23:56
    73.2 mi
    3.1 mph
    950 ft
    1,150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Barrow River and the landscape that surrounds it are some of the most beautiful places in Ireland. At 192 kilometers in length, the Barrow is the second longest river on the Emerald Isle after the Shannon. In addition to the wonderful hiking area that this region represents, the Barrow has also established itself as a real hotspot for water sports fans.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    01:30
    3.57 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    A beautiful valley, a clear mountain lake and the remains of an old mine await you on this hike through the Glendalough Valley. Get some mountain air and immerse yourself in the history of mining in the Wicklow Mountains. The route is marked with purple arrows.Your hike starts at the paid parking lot at the eastern end of the …

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    27:05
    65.3 mi
    2.4 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,750 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The River Suck flows from Lough O'Flynn to its mouth with the Shannon one kilometer south of Shannonbridge. On its way it flows through an idyllic river valley. He passes small islands, moors, forests, pretty little towns and traditional farmland.

    The Suck Valley Way is a circular route that goes from Mount Talbot on the west side of the river …

    translated byView Original
  • Easy
    00:52
    2.03 mi
    2.3 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    An impressive castle and the view over a picturesque lake - what more could you want? The Lakeside Loop is an easy circular hiking trail that takes you from the castle to the lake shore and back again. Please note that dogs are only allowed on a leash.You start at the parking lot of Kilronan Castle. The historic property …

    translated byView Original
  • © OSM

    Around the town of Graiguenamanagh you can wonderfully explore the River Barrow on the SUP. You can get the SUP at “Pure adventure”, for example. In addition to SUPs, canoes and kayaks are also rented and guided tours are offered there.

    You can find all information at pureadventure.ie.

    translated byView Original
  • © OSM

    Nestled at the foot of Kings Mountain is the picturesque Glencar Lough. The backdrop is ideal for a change of perspective. With the boat you can paddle on the water and enjoy this breathtaking scenery in peace. For beginners there are guided tours, for example by kayak. One provider is Sligo Kayak Tours: sligokayaktours.com.

    translated byView Original
    Tip by
    Renée
  • © OSM

    Have you always wanted to take the helm of your own little cruise? You can do that on Ireland's longest river, the Shannon. You don't need a boat license for this. After a short briefing, you can set off yourself wherever you want. With everything on board that you need for a short multi-day trip, you can decide for yourself every day where you want to go and explore the landscape of blue lakes and rivers as well as picturesque towns on the banks to your heart's content.

    A good starting point for your own cruise is, for example, the picturesque town of Carrick-on-Shannon. Various providers such as Carrickcraft, Emerald Star and Locaboat rent boats for multi-day tours on the water that you will not soon forget.

    translated byView Original
    Tip by
    Renée
  • © OSM

    Lough Oughter offers varied tour options for both beginners and experienced kayakers. There is a lot to discover in the extensive lake complex. From the water you can explore the habitat of many species of birds and wild animals in peace and quiet and soak up this idyll. On a small island in the middle of the lake, the ruins of Clogh Oughter Castle tower into the sky and offer an impressive photo opportunity.

    You can book guided tours through the Cavan Adventure Center or rent a kayak if you prefer to go on your own. You can find more information on this here: cavanadventure.com.

    translated byView Original
    Tip by
    Renée
  • © OSM

    With a guided boat tour on the Grand Canal, you can discover the history and culture of the region in a relaxed way. Originally built at the end of the 18th century, the canal lost more and more importance with the railroad and eventually fell into disrepair. It is thanks to citizens' initiatives that it has been preserved to this day and that it is again navigable along its entire length. On a one to two and a half hour boat tour you can switch off and admire the green landscape from the water.

    The starting point of Sallins is easily accessible from Dublin by car or train. You can find more information here: bargetrip.ie.

    translated byView Original
    Tip by
    Renée
  • © OSM

    The history-steeped Boyne Valley was settled in the Stone Age and you can find traces of the past here on every corner. Boyne Tours offers a boat tour on this scenic river and combines these traces of the past with insights behind the scenes of Game of Thrones. Because the founder Ross Kenny is a well-known boat builder who supported the shooting of the fantasy series with his craftsmanship. You can find more information on this here: boyneboats.ie.

    translated byView Original
    Tip by
    Renée
  • © OSM

    A SUP is the perfect way to get a different perspective on the spacious Lough Derg. You paddle calmly over the clear water and soak up this picturesque landscape. You can rent SUPs from UL Sport Adventure Center, Derg Isle Adventure Center or Lough Derg Water Sports. Kayaks and canoes are also available for hire, and if you'd rather join a guided tour, you will find a wide variety of options here.

    translated byView Original
    Tip by
    Renée
  • © OSM

    Swimming, climbing, abseiling and cliff jumping sounds like the most fun ever to you? Then canyoning or gorge walking is just right for you! Equipped with a helmet and wetsuit and an experienced guide by your side, you will fight your way through a dramatic gorge that the water has eaten deep into the rock - an adventure that you will not soon forget! You can find more information here: killaryadventure.com/en/gorge-walking.

    translated byView Original
    Tip by
    Renée

Like this Collection?

Comments

    loading

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    10
  • Highlights
    8
  • Distance
    329 mi
  • Duration
    129:05 h
  • Elevation
    5,450 ft

You Might Also Like

Ireland's wild west

Hiking Collection by

 komoot

Between waves and peaks — to the best views in Ireland

Hiking Collection by

 Irland

Go with the flow — bike trails in Switzerland’s Engadin valley

Mountain Biking Collection by

 Engadin St. Moritz Tourismus AG

The Netherlands' biggest circle — 600 km in 36 hours

Road Cycling Collection by

 Quinda

Discover

Ireland's blue rivers and lakes – walks along the water

What We Offer

Discover
Terms of ServicePrivacy PolicyCommunity GuidelinesSecurity vulnerability reward programImprint