Copper Coast Waterford
Munster Vales is the perfect escape for hiking enthusiasts
Staycation is the new vacation and if you’re looking for somewhere that has it all, look no further than the Munster Vales, an incredible 1,100 kilometre stretch of olden routes and timeworn trails through the counties of Waterford, Tipperary, Cork and Limerick.
If you’re a couple or a solo traveller that enjoys hiking and the great outdoors, you can hike to the five highest points of the Munster Vales - encompassing the Comeragh, Knockmealdown, Galtee, Ballyhoura and Nagles mountain ranges. Along the way you’ll experience unrivalled views, lush valleys, surging rivers, cascading waterfalls and rugged coastline – it has literally everything you could want.
We’ve selected a few of our top highlights and attractions, but the best part is you can create your own tailor-made trip on http://munstervales.com
You can stay one night at Baileys Hotel Cashel in Co. Tipperary. Their ‘Historic Cashel Guided Walkabout’ package for €105pps includes a 90 minute private guided walking tour that will show you around the area and give you the history. A Baileys French coffee awaits you in the hotel library when you return before a three-course dinner in the restaurant. Visit www.baileyshotelcashel.com
Or you can stay at Blackwater Eco Pods located in the centre of Villierstown in Waterford. From October onwards you can book a two night stay for €171.00 or a two night stay plus a 1hr self-drive boat tour for €230.00. Each pod can accommodate four adults or a family of five and contain a kitchenette, shower and toilet. The pods also have a picnic area and BBQ facilities. Visit: https://www. blackwaterecotours.ie/eco- pods/
Donned Ireland’s rival to the Camino in Spain, the pilgrimage path of St Declan Way ranks as one of the most ancient holy routes in Ireland and traces the reputed trek made by St Declan between Ardmore in Waterford to Cashel in Tipperary to meet with St Patrick. Crossing some of the most historic and picturesque areas of Ireland, this hike along St Declan’s Way rated as ‘moderate’, is not to be missed in a trip to the Munster Vales.
If Cork is on your Munster Vales route, don’t miss out on a trip to the amazing Doneraile Wildlife Park, located North of Mallow. This beautiful walled park extends over more than 400 acres and is bisected by the Awbeg River. Explore the stunning gardens, sweeping parkland vistas, groves of ancient trees, rivers and lakes and you’re bound to see some deer and cattle herds as well as a profusion of wildlife and plants. A must for a nature lover and a perfect stop on a trip through the Ballyhouras region.
Then meet the friendly donkeys at the The Donkey Sanctuary in Liscarroll in the heart of the countryside and you’ll feel your troubles melt away. Run by an Irish registered charity working to improve conditions for donkeys and mules, it’s the perfect spot for a picnic and a scenic walk. What’s more, it’s open seven days a week with free admission and free parking.
Make your way to the coast and visit the UNESCO Copper Coast Geopark, which stretches along Waterford's rugged coastline from Tramore to Dungarvan. With stunning scenery, there are a range of trails and activities suitable for all fitness levels. The hidden coves and soft, golden beaches are simply divine.
Make sure you visit cjounty Limerick and see the beautiful Lough Gur in County Limerick. Lough Gur is a shallow lake measuring 3.5 meters at its deepest level. The exhibition in the visitor centre provides an overview of one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites and is the only area in the country where you can see visible evidence of every age since Neolithic times.
The Visitor Centre provides visitors with information on the surrounding sites and attractions in the local area.
Make 2021 the year you experienced all Munster Vales has to offer!
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