It’s well known there are plenty of beautiful hiking trails around the island of Ireland, but now one has gained an edge to be named among the most beautiful in the world.
The Dingle Way in County Kerry, a remote 162km long-distance hike around the breathtaking Dingle Peninsula, has been ranked among some of the world’s best.
The trail along the southwest coast of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way has been named as 34th in the world for being the most photographed, with 96 photos per mile according to Instagram data.
Research carried out by fashion and outdoor gear specialist Zalando found that the Dingle Way was one of the world’s most photographed hiking routes after they analysed nearly five million Instagram hashtags from the world’s most famous hikes and trails.
From awe-inspiring mountains to glistening Atlantic waves and a glut of archaeological sites, Ireland’s most photogenic hiking trail offers a huge diversity of landscapes.
A circular route, it begins and ends in the town of Tralee and is typically broken down into eight stages each taking a reasonably fit adult from six to eight hours to walk. Each stop is marked by a village or town with facilities and refreshments.
Earlier this year the Dingle Way was included in Lonely Planet’s list of ‘Epic Hikes in Europe’, alongside six other Irish hikes such as the Great Western Greenway in County Mayo – another walk on the Wild Atlantic Way – and the Wicklow Way in Ireland’s Ancient East.
Also featured in ‘epic’ list was the Causeway Coast Way in Northern Ireland, which Lonely Planet described as “a multi-day coastal walk blessed with gorgeous geological wonders”.
Mount Brandon and Ireland’s second-highest mountain – the 1,000m Beenkeragh both in County Kerry also made the Lonely Planet list, as did the 126km Grand Canal Way, which begins in Dublin and weaves through counties Offaly, Laois and Kildare.
As a world-class hiking and walking destination, the island of Ireland has a capacity to offer other worlds away from busy life.
From challenging long-distance trails to routes that are perfect for beginners there is a massive variety of diverse, dramatic and convenient hiking opportunities. As there are hundreds of trails to choose from, where to pull on your walking shoes first is the big question.
Whether it’s a white-knuckle walk along a cliff path like The Gobbins in County Antrim, a stroll along the river banks in Kilkenny or a trek through the forests and green spaces of almost anywhere in rural Ireland, nothing beats getting out and about on the Emerald Isle.