Glendalough has it all. If you have never visited then you are in for a real treat!
Glendalough or Gleann dá Loch means Valley of the Two Lakes. The glacial valley is nestled in a luscious forested valley and is a gateway to the spectacular Wicklow Mountains.
The valley stretches for approximately 3 km, boasting several sites of historic interest including the world famous 6th century Monastic Site with Round Tower, St. Kevin’s Cross and the Gateway. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10th through 12th centuries.
Why is Glendalough so special?
If you are lucky to get to Glendalough early on a clear sunny day you will have little difficulty in understanding why. It’s majestic beauty makes it a deeply spiritual place. It is no wonder that St Kevin founded one of Ireland’s most important early Christian monastic settlements here and the valley remains a popular retreat for spiritual refection to this day.
You can book a tour of the Monastic Site (EN/SP/FR) by calling the Visitor Centre on +353 (0) 404 45325. Further information is available here.
Glendalough is ideal for walking and is suitable for all levels, from a short stroll around the ruins and lakes to demanding mountain walks through the valley and surrounding hills. The more adventurous can pick up the trail of the Wicklow Way past the Poulanass Waterfall into the Lugduff valley and up to the shoulder of Mullacor (657m) which rewards with spectacular vistas from the Wicklow Mountains to the Irish sea.You might even be lucky to see the famous White Deer which lives in the surrounding hills!
If you are planning to visit with small children there are big open grassy areas and picnic tables. Everything you need for an enjoyable day out.
The Education Centre adjacent to the Upper Lake provides a range of courses and tours for schoolchildren, students and other groups. These are related to nature conservation and the ecology of the National Park. The Information Office contains an exhibit on the local wildlife and is the starting point for the local walking trails. Specialised guided walking tours are also organised e.g. ‘Bat Walks’ and ‘Dawn Chorus’. For further information check out their website www.wicklowmountainsnationalpark.ie
Glendalough is a remarkable place that will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul. It’s definitely one for the Bucket List!