Dublin is often mentioned as one of the most expensive cities in all of the UK – and even the whole of Europe – but what people forget at times is that it also happens to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with an assortment of the strangest bars in all of Ireland! Aside from that, once you step outside the main city, the scenery just looks surreal. If you are a backpacker who loves hiking trails and forests in serene locations, the following five awesome hiking trails will make you fall in love with them, even if you don’t like the elevated price of things in the city too much.
Howth Cliff Walk
Do you know why people who have been on the cliff walk near Howth love it so much? It’s because people who have never been on it or haven’t heard about it won’t ever find it! This adds a bit of exclusivity to the short 12km trail (on a full loop around Howth Head). In spite of being short, the Howth Cliff Walk will actually take you through some absolutely majestic sceneries as you walk past the giant, ragged rocks and cliffs, a stunning coastline, some nearly-empty beaches and, of course, the Baily Lighthouse.
Bray Cliff Walk
An even shorter trail, the Bray Cliff Walk lasts for only 7km, right in between Bray and Greystones. Short as it is, the Bray Cliff is just as beautiful as any of the other walks in the area with a stunning coastline that’s a mesmerising mix of colours from the sea, the greenery, and the rocky cliffs all around. For those who are only interested in making the trip from Bray to Greystone, you will have the option to board a DART train to get back to Bray.
Great South Wall Walk
You will likely need the help of a local to show you the way towards the beautiful red lighthouse for which the area is famous, but you are welcome to try and find it on your own. Simply follow the trail that goes around the coastline from Irishtown for 2km, until you get to the South Wall. Now, follow the South Wall once again for 2km roughly and voila! The red lighthouse should be right in front of you. Along the hike, notable spots include Dublin Bay, Howth Head, Poolbeg Chimneys, Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and the Dublin and Wicklow mountains at the backdrop.
Before you embark on the Spinc Glendalough trail, keep in mind that this one isn’t anything like what we have discussed so far, and this route is only meant for people who are up for a good hike through the mountains. If you can take it though, it’s well worth it. Even if this is your first time on a tough, uphill hike, it would be the adventure of a lifetime as you go through forests, mountains, waterfalls, lakes (the upper and lower Glendalough lakes), a miner’s village, and even a stunning glacial valley with icy cliffs. Unless you have any health conditions that put you in danger, it is advised that you do check out the Spinc Glendalough, even if it is the only trail you hike on during your entire trip to Dublin.
Dublin Mountains Way
While the routes do span for a good 40km or so, the Dublin Mountains Way can be traversed in a day if you are really keen on it. The easiest route would take you from Shankill to Sean Walsh Park in Tallaght, with stops first at Three Rock Mountain and then at Hellfire Club respectively. The path is beautiful and not that difficult at all, as long as you are okay with the extensive amount of walking. As far as the vistas are concerned, it has pretty much everything from forested lands to mountains and valleys all around as you go on your long, but peaceful walk on the trail. What makes this trail particularly interesting is the fact that hikers can see Dublin to the north, while in the south lies the forests of the Wicklow Mountains, exactly opposite to the city lights and in perfect contrast.
In order to go on any of these hikes though, you will need to travel to Dublin and stay there for a few days, which can actually be quite expensive. The good news is that there are numerous travel discounts and offers on Traveller365 which makes travelling and staying in Dublin and most other premier cities in and around Europe quite affordable.
Besides, unless you are planning to eat and stay in the big restaurants and hotels, Dublin for a few days may not be as unaffordable as most people make it out to be. Traveller365 actually offers some guidance on that too.