Ireland has been known for many as the “Emerald Isle” due to its magical green countryside. Definitively, one of its gems is Wicklow Mountains National Park where you will find the beautiful Valley of Glendalough, which means “the valley of the two lakes”. If you want to enjoy amazing scenery, get in touch with nature, visit its monastic site, or if you are just simply interested in one of its nine walking trails to choose from, you should definitely plan a weekend getaway to Glendalough!
Monastic Site with Round Tower
This place is perfect if you are interested on visiting an early Christian monastic settlement from the 6th century, usually known as the “Monastic City”. All the monastic remains, founded by St. Kevin, are located within a closed area; you will find a very old cemetery (but don’t worry, it is not scary at all!) and very close to it you will find St. Kevin’s Church and St. Mary’s church which are 12th century buildings made of bullaun stones and granite. Definitively one of the most representative buildings is the Round Tower where, unfortunately, you won’t be able to enter as the door is about 3.5 meters off the ground. Round towers are important to understand Ireland’s medieval history, and this 30 m high gem is considered one of the most beautiful towers in the country!
Walk the Wicklow Way
If you want to see breathtaking sceneries while you get in touch with Ireland’s nature, you should take the Wicklow Way. This is a 139 km route that passes through Glendalough, but you can walk any shorter section. It will be the perfect way to make new adventurous friends! There are plenty of signs that will help you follow the route you want. If you get tired, there are multiple accommodation options along the way.
For nature lovers
It is easy to feel inspired when you are surrounded by granite mountains, green walks, trees and photogenic animals! One of the most important purposes of the Valley of Glendalough is to preserve the natural flora and fauna; there are some threatened species that are actively managed within the park with several conservation projects. It is common to find some types of animals, like rabbits, rodents and birds, which are extremely friendly; some of them won’t move even if you are extremely close to them! This is perfect for photography lovers.
Try your luck at the ‘Deer Stone’
There are some other other ways to grab some luck in Ireland other than chasing leprechauns with hidden pots of gold! Don’t hesitate to try at the Deer Stone, a large granite boulder which holds a legend associated with St. Kevin. The legend says that a woman died giving birth at the stone. Her husband, who was a workman, searched for St. Kevin’s help, who prayed to God for help. Days later, a doe guided the man to the stone, where it shed milk everyday with the touch of the man’s fingertips! If you want a bit of luck you just have to touch the water in the basin with one hand and then touch the rock with the other. May the luck of the Irish be with you!
Plan your trip to Glendalough
Now you know what you can do at Glendalough, so don’t hesitate to plan your weekend getaway! There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodations, or you can return to Dublin on the same day as it is only 90 minutes away. What about waking up to a view of the beautiful Wicklow Mountains?
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