Ireland is a cinematic canvas unlike any other place in the world; home to beautiful and large glassy lakes, green and vibrant mountain ranges as well as ancient oak forests. Ireland itself has six national parks; five on its west coast and one on the east coast. The national parks are suited for day trips, as well as all ages and fitness levels, so really the only thing one should control for is the weather, so that yourself, your friends and/or family can make the most out of the day spent at these national parks.
Killarney National Park
The three Killarney lakes make up about a quarter of the entire national park, which stretches some 10236 hectares. The national park allows you to explore its waters, ancient oak woodlands and tremendous views of the country’s highest mountains, as well as the nation’s unique herd of native red deer. The Killarney lakes are surrounded by deep woodlands, and are in between the Purple Mountain – with a peak of 832m – as well as Knockrower – which scales up to 552m.
The Burren National Park
This is Ireland’s smallest national park, covering ‘just’ 15 square kilometres of land; yet, this landscape is like that of another world. Best known for its flora, and unique combination of Arctic-Alpine plants make the Burren National Park special.. The national park contains seven marked walking trails, so that travellers can make the most of nature and its unforgettable ecosystem. Moreover, the Burren National Park is just a 35-minute drive from the Cliffs of Moher, so there is possibility of supplementing your visit here with other activities.
Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh is Ireland’s second-largest national park, and is swarmed with lakes overlooked by mountains. The Park offers hike trails for all types of travellers, with varying levels of fitness, to then explore its incredibly wildlife, such as the golden eagle and more red deer. The land used to be farmed by 244 tenants, but by the end of the 19th century, with their eviction, came unspoilt land and wildlife, for which the park is now well known.
Wicklow Mountains National Park
Covering 200 square metres of mountainous terrain and woodland, the boundaries of the Wicklow Mountains contain two nature reserves, conserving the health and nature of the valley, as well as deep oak woodlands. An hour from Dublin, the Wicklow Mountains are Ireland’s most-visited national park – and for good reason! Of varying difficulty, the nine trails to be hiked and explored in this national park are also a popular spot for wild camping, so it is a perfect place to visit and explore for a multi-day adventure.
Connemara National Park
The Connemara National Park is well-known for its diverse birdlife, and houses a variety of birds of prey, as well as a plethora of songbirds. The land stretches 2000 hectares of woodland, plains and mountains, which are accessible through self-guided walks, or guided nature walks, as provided by local rangers. Each season brings forth new birds to watch and listen to, so no time visiting this national park can ever be the same.
Ballycroy National Park
Last but not least, is one of the the greatest places in Europe for stargazing, and really taking in the beauty of nature. This national park is truly diverse, both, in its wildlife as well as raw natural landscape. Different birds of prey and songbirds can be observed through the day, while, during the night travellers can see over 4500 unique stars and planets within our galaxy; even so, lucky travellers can observe meteor showers with the naked eye. Wild camping is also permitted here, and Ballycroy National Park may be one of the best places in the world to spend a night at.