In Ireland, one of the hidden gems you can find for sightseeing opportunities is the Wicklow Mountains. It’s an adventure lovers paradise embedded deep in the garden county. From the rugged mountains to the tranquil lakes, the sightseeing beauty of this national park will suck you in and have you in awe. Upon arriving at the national park, planning what you’d like to see is a great idea as you want to take in as much of this beautiful scenery as you can.
You can easily take a day trip here if you are spending time in Dublin. This article will give you an insight into how to spend 1 day in one of Ireland’s well-known national parks. Either as part of a guided sightseeing tour, private excursion, or your self-guided walking tour.
Top 3 Parts of Wicklow Mountains
#1 – Explore Glendalough
First, we are going to head to the monastic site of Glendalough.
Glendalough is known as the Wicklow Mountains national park’s glacial valley. It’s located near picturesque Laragh village, another great stop once you finished your guided tour at the national park and want to take a break to put up your feet and enjoy some old town charm.
Start off your day by walking one of the many hiking trails of Glendalough. There are maps scattered throughout the park to help you choose a route you’d like. Keep your eyes peeled for the two lakes along the way, you won’t be able to miss them.
Whilst walking through Glendalough, you’ll soon realize it’s the home of one of Ireland’s astonishing Christian settlements, founded by St.Kevin in the medieval 6th century. You’ll eventually come across these old settlements still standing today. Just look out for ancient churches and a wonderful 30 meter high round tower.
Many people venture to Glendalough for the great hiking experience. Glendalough is the gateway to some of the most beautiful mountains in Ireland. A lot of people access the Wicklow Mountains through Glendalough because it is a safe area to park your car. It costs 2 euros to park here, but the car park closes at 8 o’clock sharp.
#2 – Visit Powerscourt Waterfall
After your visit to Glendalough, head on to see one of Ireland’s most picturesque waterfalls.
Powerscourt waterfall is a hot stopping point for all travelers in the Wicklow Mountains national park. This cascading flow of water will blow you away. There is an entry fee of 8 euros to see the waterfall, but it’s worth it.
Once you drive into the car park, you’ll be immediately met by this enchanting spill of water. There are plenty of panoramic areas where you can get close to the waterfall and even throw your head under it.
It’s a wonderful sight to see. You cant visit Wicklow without seeing Powerscourt Waterfall.
#3 – Lough Tay ( The Guinness Lake )
Our last stop will be the charming Lough Tay.
Lough Tay is one of the most scenic locations in the Wicklow Mountains national park.
The best place to see Lough Tay is along Sally Gap, which is north of Glendalough. Here you’ll find some of the greatest viewpoints in Wicklow. The amazing part about Sally Gap is that you can drive up to it and park your car at one of the many lay-bys. Get out and soak up those views for as long as you can.
Sally Gap is a glorious route to take for an Irish road trip.
A fun fact is Lough Tay is also known as the Guinness lake. This lake is a part of the Guinness estate which is owned by the same family who owns the stout brand Guinness. An Ireland favorite, the lake itself is supposed to resemble a pint of Guinness.
Beware, you aren’t allowed to stroll down to the lake. This is because the lake is on a private estate. Don’t worry, the scenes from the top speak for themselves.
Whether you are interested in a nice simple hike or just want to enjoy some serene landscapes, the mountains here offer a great escape from the city for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.