We also visit Glendalough and walk in the footsteps of St. Kevin. The monastic city of Glendalough, founded by St. Kevin in the sixth century, became a hub of learning in Europe. This University City was Ireland's earliest pro to-urban development. By the seventh century, Ireland held an intellectual primacy unmatched in Europe. Today, history lives in the ruins of Glendalough. Its imposing round tower overlooks a scene of tranquil beauty - a valley of two lakes (Gleann Da Loch) possessing contemplative ambiance, a landscape imbued with the spirituality of its illustrious past.
Day 1: Arrival. Pick-up at Dublin Airport at 1.00pm and transfer to your accommodation, which is in the pictures village of Laragh, nestling in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains. It only takes us approximately one-hour drive from Dublin Airport to your accommodation. After settling in and getting some light refreshments, we will do a nice walk in the afternoon, just to get the legs in shape for the week ahead! Our stroll brings us around the Reservoir in Roundwood, which is the highest village in Ireland. Distance: 5km, Ascent: little to none.
Day 2: Spinc and St. Kevin's Monastic Site. Our first walk starts from the village of Laragh and follows an old Green Road that takes us along the lower slopes of Derrybawn Mountain, through a forest of Oak and Beach and onto part of Wicklow Way, Ireland's oldest way marked trail. The trail takes us above the monastic settlement of Glendalough and St. Kevin's round tower. We continue on forest tracks before ascending The Spinc and onto the side of Lugduff Mountain, where we will have breathtaking views of the lakes and surrounding countryside. We then descend to the Glenealo Valley following an old minor's track to the deserted Miners Village and back to the lakes. Distance: 11.5km, Ascent: 410m.
Day 3: Trooperstown and Paddock Hill. Today's walk takes you south through an area known as Ballard (where you will have clear evidence of a forgotten farming community that once lived and toiled this land) and to the town land of Trooperstown. The trail takes us gently down into Trooperstown Forest, to the charming village of Annamoe, over the Avonmore River and up onto Paddock Hill to join the Wicklow Way. From Paddock Hill we will have magnificent views back over the walk that we have already completed and for the remaining section back to Laragh Village. Distance: 14km, Ascent: 350m.
Day 4: The Vale of Clara and Avoca. Today our walk takes us to one of the finest nature reserves in Wicklow, situated in the Vale of Clara, home to the smallest village in Ireland. The natural reserve contains the largest area of semi-natural woodland in Co. Wicklow and is potentially one of the largest stands of native hardwoods in the country. The area has been at least partially under woodland since the Ice Age. The oak-woods are also of high scenic value. We will have lunch on the banks of the Avonmore River beside the romantic church of Clara (1799) before we visit the Woolen Mills in Avoca, which are the oldest working woolen mills in the country. We will spend some time exploring the village, which was the setting for the series "Ballykisangel", and of course drop into Fitzgerald's Pub for a pint! Distance: 9km, Ascent: 220m.
Day 5: The Cliff Walk and Powerscourt Estate. Our walk takes us along the coast from Greystones to Bray. Passing Cable Rock and a disused tunnel we will reach the remains of a cottage whose residents used to collect a toll from users of the Cliff Walk on behalf of the Brabazon family who owned the land. The rocky crags of Bray Head are home of millions of birds and the inaccessible coves along the coast are breeding site for Grey seals. On a clear day you might spot pods of dolphin and even whales. There is also a huge variety of flora along the trail including species of orchid found in the dry grass. In the afternoon we bring you to Powers court Estate. Powers court is one of Europe's great treasures and Ireland's most famous House and Gardens. Distance: 8km, Ascent: 80m.
Day 6: Departure. Depart from Dublin at 12:30 pm.
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