Glendalough & Wicklow Mountains Day Tour
Wicklow Mountains Private Tour Overview
Our Wicklow Mountains Tour from Dublin gives you the chance to soak up the atmosphere of Wicklow’s National Park, Glencree, Lough Tay (the Guinness Lake), the P.S. I Love You Bridge, Avoca Village and of course, see the world-famous Glendalough Lake & Valley!
Wicklow’s Mountains Tour from Dublin
Our Wicklow Mountains Tour gives you the chance to enjoy a provate day tour to one . On this tour, you will see some wonderfully natural beauty spots such as Wicklow’s National Park, Lough Tay, aka the Guinness Lake, Sally’s Gap, Avoca Village and Glendalough’s upper and lower lakes.
Our tour begins at a location of your choosing, as we then head south to visit county Wicklow, which is more commonly known as the “Garden of Ireland”. Here awaits a number of beautiful lakes, dense forests’ and wonderful views making this a wonderful scenic drive and a fine day away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
This tour brings you to scenery made famous from films such as Braveheart and P.S. I Love You. It also brings you over and along the Wicklow Mountains to Glendalough Lake & Valley, including stops at Glencree Valley & Cemetery, Sallys Gap (Wicklow Gap) & Military Road, the PS I Love you Bridge, the Guinness Lake & Lough Tay (home to the hit TV-Series, Vikings) and of course, the spectacular Glendalough Upper Lake & Valley.
Wicklow’s National Park
Our private tour to the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough provides you with the perfect opportunity to see what the Wicklow Mountains and its National Park has to offer. County Wicklow lies just south of County Dublin, and the National Park covers 816 kilometres (316 miles), making the Wicklow Mountains National Park the largest of Ireland’s six National Parks.
- Soak up the atmosphere at the world-famous Glendalough Lake & Valley!
The National Park extends over much of the Wicklow mountains, and it is a landscape made up of wide-open views which are only interrupted by forestry and narrow winding mountain roads. This private tour also gives you the chance to see fast-flowing streams which descend into the deep lakes of wooded valleys and continue their course into the surrounding areas.
The purpose of Wicklow Mountains National Park is the conservation of biodiversity and Wicklow’s remarkable landscape. The National Park has over one million visitors each year and is also a valuable space for locals and tourists alike. Glendalough’s Upper and Lower Lakes and Valley remain the most visited areas within the park and are also home to the ancient monastic settlement of Saint Kevin!
Found at the top of Wicklow’s Glencree Valley, on the edge of Wicklow’s National Park, this former 19th Century British Army Barracks is the first quick stop on your tour from Dublin. Located just 19 kilometres (12 miles) outside of Dublin, stopping here first offers you a chance to see some of Ireland’s famed countryside, historic buildings, local arts and crafts. You, too, can stop for a quick refreshment and taste some of Ireland’s best home cooking by popping into the Armoury Cafe.
People who come to Glencree always remark on how surprised they were by the beauty of its nature. This stop allows you time to reflect and observe the simple beauty of the area around you. The sounds of birds singing and stream gurgling form a backdrop will be something that will stay with you forever.
- The World War II Memorial in Glencree Cemetery, Wicklow.
We top this visit to Glencree by providing you with the chance to see the Lourdes Grotto and the German War Cemetery. It is here 135 German military servicemen and civilians are buried. Six were prisoners of war who died while imprisoned in Ireland during the First World War. Others were victims of air and naval disasters of the Second World War.
Taking this tour to the Wicklow Mountains provides the chance to travel along the road to Sally Gap. This is a real treat as there are spectacular views of the surrounding boglands and the Wicklow Mountains. Sally’s Gap is very popular for natives and visitors alike and is one of two roads across the Wicklow Mountains.
From Sally’s Gap, you can go almost anywhere in Wicklow as it is a cross-road that leads you North to Dublin, West to Blessington, South to Glendalough or East to Roundwood (one of the highest villages in Ireland).
- Military Road, where you can find Sally Gap.
Initially, the Sally Gap road was established after the Irish rebellion of 1798 and was built by the British Army wishing to hunt down the Irish rebels from the Wicklow Mountains. Still to this day, Sally’s Gap is known as the Military Road. Views along this road include the Glencree valley, the dark waters of Lough Tay (Guinness Lake), Kippure Mountain and Glenmacnass Waterfall.
The P.S. I Love You Bridge
The P.S. I love you bridge is an unusual spot located in the Wicklow Mountains and is roughly no more than three kilometres (2 miles) from Sally Gap. It is a small bridge which has been made famous for its appearance in the 2007 award-winning film P.S. I Love You movie.
- The PS I Love You Bridge near Sally Gap, Wicklow.
The bridge provides some great photo opportunities, and there is a beautiful little waterfall that flows next to the bridge. The best time to see this area of County Wicklow is, of course, in full bloom, which would be the summertime. But rest assured, no matter when you travel on this day tour from Dublin you are sure to see wonderful sights of the Wicklow Mountains and of course the Sugar Loaf, which can be seen not to far away. This mountain has been a landmark over the years for all those travelling along the east coast, including pilgrims and scholars on the way to Glendalough’s monastic city.
The waterfall that passes under the P.S. I Love You Bridge is the start of a small stream that falls into the Cloghoge River, which then falls into Lough Tay (the Guinness Lake) and then into Lough Dan.
Lough Tay – The Guinness Lake
Lough Tay is, along with Glendalough Lake and Valley, said to be one of the most photographed locations in County Wicklow. And there are many reasons for it, as the lake is surrounded by the Wicklow mountains’ stunning scenery, making it one of Ireland’s most unique locations.
- The Guinness Lake, once home to the Guinness family.
Lough Tay or “The Guinness Lake” is fed by the Cloghoge River and then drains into Lough Dan, located to the south. The beach which you see on the northern side is made up of bright white picturesque sand. This sand is where it gets its name, “The Guinness Lake” as it was imported by the Guinness family who’s estate runs through part of the Lough Tay area. Also, the lake’s shape with the white sand on top makes it look like a pint of Guinness!
In more recent times, Lough Tay will be familiar to a fan of the Vikings tv-series as they should recognize it as Kattegat, home to the series’ hero Ragnar and his sons Bjorn Ironside, Hvitserk, Ivar the Boneless, and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye.
Glendalough Lake and Valley
Glendalough is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Wicklow. This is not a surprise when you see the stunning landscape, historic ruins and beautiful lakes on offer at this location. Glendalough is made up of an Upper and Lower lake which is reflected in its Gaelic name, ‘’Gleann Da Loch’’, meaning ‘’The Glen of the Two Lakes’.
Situated in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, National Park Glendalough is also is home to an ancient monastery founded in the 6th century by Saint Kevin, who is known as the founder and first abbot in the area.
- Enjoy walks like no other around Glendalough’s Upper and Lower Lake.
Saint Kevin’s monastic remains include a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses, which provide the perfect scenery on your Glendalough walk. The round tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the area, and the site also includes a Celtic high cross, St. Mary’s Church and St. Kevin’s Church. The remains of three stone crosses and a stone fort are also to be found between the upper and lower lakes.
Glendalough is also home to a visitor centre which brings visitors back in time to the start of Irish History made up of Scholars and Saints. Here you will have the chance to follow the footsteps of Saint Kevin, founder of with the help of an audio-visual show which is available in many different languages. The visitor centre is open daily throughout the year and is a must before entering the Monastic Site. Please note that entry to the visitor centre is not included in this private tour.
- Get a sneak peek inside Glendalough’s Cathedral, established by Saint Kevin in the 6th century.
Finally, Glendalough is home to some of the most scenic walks a person may take. Should you wish to explore the area in more detail, we recommend that you visit the Glendalough Visitor Centre and pick up a Glendalough walks map. The maps only cost 50c and are extremely helpful in ensuring walkers stay on the right trail as Glendalough is made up of many trails such as Trail 1: The Miners Road Walk (The Purple Route), Trail 2: The Green Road Walk (The Green Route), Trail 3: Poulanass (The Pink Route), Trail 4: Poulanass and Saint Kevin’s Cell, Trail 5: The Derrybawn Woodland Trail (The orange route), Trail 6: The Woodland Road (The Grey Route), Trail 7: Spinc and Glenealo Valley (The White Route), Trail 8: Spinc and the Wicklow Way (The Red Route), Trail 9: Spinc (Short Version) (The Blue Route).
- Get an inside look at Glendalough Cathedral and its Round Tower.
We recommend Glendalough Poulanass Walk (Pink Route) as it is home to the Poulanass Waterfall and is well worth the effort. The name Poulanass is taken from the Irish ‘Poll an Eas’, which means ‘’hole of the waterfall’’. Such a visit to this waterfall provides the perfect photo opportunity as you will reach the highest point in the area and start to descend through the famous Oak Woods.
Avoca (or in Gaelic; Abhóca) is a small Irish town in County Wicklow and gets its name from the river Avoca.
The Avoca area has been longe associated with famous copper mines and has been immortalised by Thomas Moore in the famous song “The Meeting of the Waters”. The song is said to have been written under a tree, the stump of which remains in the area.
- Visit a traditional Irish town for a quick bite to eat.
Avoca is also famous for its handweaving and is still home to a woollen mill, which is only a short walk from the tours resting point.
Finally, Avoca village will be familiar to fans of the BBC tv series Ballykissangel. It was filmed in 1966, and Avoca Village was one of the locations used in the film “Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon”. Avoca is also home to a traditional Irish Pub where you can enjoy a hearty meal, and a pint of Guinness should wish too.
- Here you can enjoy some traditional Irish food and drinks in a local Irish Pub/Bar called Fitzgerald’s.