In light of St. Patrick’s Day 2019 and with St.Patrick prominently in the forefront of our minds, we decided to share with you some of the most sacred mountains in Ireland.
Hiking in Ireland comes in many forms, with options to hike the most scenic of mountains with expansive, breath taking views to challenging peaks and more, but one thing a lot of people don’t know is that Ireland is home to a multitude of sacred mountains.
Here are our top 5 sacred mountains in Ireland.
Croagh Patrick – One of the most famous sacred mountains in Ireland
Overlooking Clew Bay in County Mayo, Croagh Patrick is considered the most sacred mountain in Ireland. The tradition of pilgrimage to this sacred mountain in Ireland stretches back over 5k years, way back to the stone age. Croagh Patrick is notorious for its Pilgrimage in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. It is said that on the summit of this sacred mountain, Saint Patrick himself fasted for 40 days back in 441 AD.
From the top of Croagh Patrick, you can see brilliant views of Clew Bay and the surrounding south Mayo countryside. It is one of the highest peaks in West Ireland.
Explore Croagh Patrick when you book onto our Wild Atlantic Way & Islands Guided Tour.
Mount Brandon – The second most famous sacred mountain in Ireland
Mount Brandon is the 8th highest peak in Ireland and the highest Irish peak outside the MacGillycuddy Reeks range. Situated in the centre of the Brandon Group of mountains in Dingle, Co.Kerry, the mountain was named after Saint Brendan and it is the end of a Christian pilgrimage trail, which is widely known as the Cosán na Naomh. This is a widely popular mountain throughout Ireland, famous for it’s peaks, views and the fact that it is a famous sacred mountain in Ireland.
Explore Mount Brandon when you book onto on of the following tours for 2019:
Slieve Donard – The most sacred mountain in Northern Ireland
Slieve Donard is the highest mountain in Northern Ireland, with a height of approx. 850 metres. It is part of the infamous Mourne Mountains, near the town of Newcastle and overlooks the Irish Sea. It’s also the 7th highest peak in Ireland. In Irish mythology, this sacred mountain was associated with Boirche and Slángha, two Irish mythical figures. Later then, it was names after Saint Donard, who was said to have turned the summit into his hermitage. Until the 1830’s, people used to climb the mountain as part of an annual pilgrimage.
Church Mountain – The most understated sacred mountain in Ireland
Church Mountain is the westernmost of the Wicklow Mountains. Sometimes called Slievegad, meaning ‘Mountain of the Covenant’, it lies approximately half way between Hollywood to the north and Donard to the south. At the summit of Church Mountain lie the remains of a large cairn along with an old triangulation pillar. This sacred mountain in Ireland is unknown to many but holds immense significance to the masses who visit this mountain annually.
Slieve League – One of the most breathtaking sacred mountains in Ireland
Slieve League is situated on the south west coast of County Donegal and hosts some of the most spectacular marine cliffs in Europe, with views spanning across the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay. A sacred mountain, for over 1k years there was a Christian pilgrimage and researchers have no doubt that this mountain was a sacred mountain in Ireland before the Christians even arrived here. This mountain is packed full of history and sacred stories.
Explore Slieve League with us on our Donegal 8 Day Self Guided Hike.
Exploring Ireland by foot or bike is what we do best and many of our tours take you to these regions. Even if they don’t, that’s why we invented our amazing custom tour planner in early 2019. Click here to design your trip today! If you’ve been on a walking or cycling holiday before and are confident exploring without a guide, have a browse of our self-guided holidays here. For enquiries on any of our tours, feel free to drop us an email: [email protected]!