Get closer to nature and explore the awe-inspiring National Parks in Ireland.
With its rich woodlands, ancient castles and calm lakes, Ireland is ideal for avid walkers.
Wandering the Emerald Isle’s scenery is a great way to learn about the past and find unique wildlife.
Read on to discover the best 7 National Parks in Ireland…
How many National Parks are in Ireland?
There are six stunning National Parks in Ireland, all great for those seeking adventure.
Are National Parks free in Ireland?
All Ireland’s National Parks are free admission, so you can explore spectacular landscapes without the cost.
What is the biggest National Park in Ireland?
It’s Wicklow National Park covering 20,483 hectares of countryside. Read more about Wicklow in our list of National Parks below…
1) Killarney National Park
First on our list of the best National Parks in Ireland is the sprawling Killarney National Park.
The mosey hills of Killarney National Park is near the ancient town of Killarney in County Kerry. In 1932, it became Ireland’s very first National Park!
Covering 25,000 acres, this mountain range features dramatic peaks and pristine lakes.
Aside from the scenery, Killarney National Park is rich in history. Nestled near the Muckross lake is the stunning mansion, The Muckross House.
Tour the grand interior to see how its owners lived, with rooms boasting elegant décor. For prices and opening times you can visit: Muckross House & Gardens.
Visitor centre postcode: V93 HE3C
2) Gleveagh National Park
The remote Glenveagh National Park is in County Donegal.
This haunting woodland is the second largest National Park in Ireland.
Home to cascading waterfalls, rugged mountains, and the turbulent Lough Veagh.
Overlooking Lough Veagh is the imposing, Glenveagh Castle. This 19th century castle has closed but you can wander the beautiful grounds.
Enjoy a romantic stroll around the walled gardens, bursting with fruits and flowers.
Delve further into this beautiful area, with a read of our blog, Glenveagh National Park.
Visit centre postcode: F92 P993
3) Burren National Park
Head to County Clare to see the most unique National Park in Ireland, Burren National Park.
This karst landscape features huge cracks in the rocks, where you might spot caves and rivers.
Seems familiar? Burren was one of the filming locations for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One.
As well as exploring the fertile rock, you can absorb the views of the Atlantic Ocean and feel the sea spray on your face.
If the coastal trails are for you, then be sure to check out Your Guide to the Wild Atlantic Way.
Visitor centre postcode: V95 VX83
4) Connemara National Park
Venture to County Galway to hike the expansive Connemara National Park.
Here you can lose yourself in tall woodlands and admire panoramic views from a mountain top.
The park hosts part of the quartzite peaks of the Twelve Bens. This includes Bencullagh, Benbaun, Muckanaght, and Benbrack.
Take in the history of the area with a stop at the Neo-gothic Kylemore Abbey.
Built in 1867, this beautiful, waterside abbey was a romantic gift, so be sure to unveil its tragic past on a tour.
County Galway is home to many walks near ancient castles, so to discover more, why not read 11 Things to do in Galway?
Visitor centre postcode: H323+6Q
5) Wild Nephin National Park
Escape into the wilderness with a trip to the Wild Nephin National Park in County Mayo.
This Irish National Park is ideal for when you want to go off the grid, with Ireland’s most secluded mountain.
Wild Nephin National Park includes the Nephin Beg Mountains, which offers wide views.
Admire the uninterrupted scenery of grassy carpet and the warm tones of the red and gold bogland.
This peatland is one of Europe’s last active blanket bogs, which is vital for the environment.
Besides its beautiful landscape in the day, you can also enjoy stargazing at night.
Home to Mayo Dark Sky Park, featuring the most clear, darkest skies in Ireland, you can look up at a twinkling sky.
If you love pristine skies, then take a look at our blog, where to the see the Northern lights in Ireland.
Visitor centre postcode: F28 RX77
6) Wicklow National Park
Situated south of Dublin, this sweeping park is ideal for a family day filled with fun.
The park hosts a range of activities to suit all ages. Experience riding on a horse or mountain biking to soak in the scenery.
For those looking for water excursions, hire a kayak, sail or unwind and fish on still waters.
On your exploration, discover mountains draped in blanket bogs, colourful orchids, and birds.
To learn about the rare plants and wildlife, take part in a workshop or a lecture at the site.
The Wicklow Mountains also host the second highest waterfall in Ireland, Powerscourt Waterfall.
To feel even more inspired, make a stop at the glacial valley, Glendalough. Tour this monastic site and feel your worries lift with its beauty.
Visitor centre: A98 HC80
7) Irish National Heritage Park
Although the Irish National Heritage Park isn’t an official National Park in Ireland, it’s well worth mentioning in our list.
Perched on the banks of the River Slaney, this park transports you back in time. With over 40 hectares to roam, you can immerse yourself in over 9000 years of history.
This outdoor museum offers three guided tours, where the ancient times are brought to life in an entertaining way.
Visit a Viking home to see how they lived or admire an array of wonderful birds with a unique falconry experience.
Postcode: Y35 X313
Does Northern Ireland have any National Parks?
Northern Ireland enjoys a beautiful landscape; however, it does not have any official National Parks.
National Parks in Ireland map
Are you ready for an adventure with one of the best National Parks in Ireland? Why not book a stay at these hand-picked Irish country cottages?
Bring along your pooch too with this collection of pet-friendly holiday homes in Ireland.