Exploring the Munster Vales

Autumn is the perfect time of year to explore the scenic Munster Vales. Whether you’re looking for a romantic couples break or an adventurous family holiday, there’s plenty to see and do. The vales cover 1,100 kilometers, running through the counties of Waterford, Tipperary, Cork and Limerick, through five mountain ranges.

What to Do

Start your Munster Vales experience with a trip to County Waterford and a visit to the Portlaw Walking Trail. Along with scenery, history, ancient attractions and woodland paths, Portlaw has some of the best walking and hiking trails in Ireland. Whether it’s a short urban walk to view the industrial heritage, an estate walk incorporating the medieval past or a woodland trek offering magnificent views along with early Christian architecture, you’re in for a treat.

Next, visit Lough Gur in County Limerick – a magical and mysterious place that is rich in folklore along with a wealth of archaeology and history dating back to Stone Age times. The Heritage Centre provides a fascinating interpretation of the sites associated with Lough Gur including an exhibition detailing over 6,000 years of history, an archaeological dig, a Neolithic Pot and more.   

Ormond Castle in County Tipperary is a fine example of an Elizabethan manor house in Ireland. Thomas, 10th Earl of Ormond, built it in 1565 in honour of his distant cousin Queen Elizabeth. Audiovisuals and technological installations bring the castle’s intriguing history to life while you explore The Long Gallery and The Earl’s Chamber. Admission is free but pre-booking is advised.

Ormond Castle

While in Cork, stop off at Ballyhass Lakes. Visitors can discover up to 20 different outdoor activities set in acres of natural landscapes and watersport lakes including wakeboarding, kayaking and raft building.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of accommodation options in the area so you can keep well rested during your trip:

Charleville Park HotelCo Cork

From €42.50 per person, enjoy Charleville Park’s delicious food and relaxed atmosphere on the perfect couple’s escape. The hotel has a pool, sauna and jacuzzi so you can relax between walks in nature.

Clonmel Park Hotel, Tipperary

Take the family to Clonmel Park Hotel from €259 per room for two nights bed and breakfast. Enjoy complimentary access to the ‘Lenny the Lion’ Cine Club, use of the hotel’s leisure facilities and swimming pool, plus a free ice-cream for all the kids.

Clonmel Park Hotel

What to Eat

Munster Vales recently launched its new food trails experience ‘Taste the Vales’ to give visitors and locals a real taste of what the Munster Vales region has to offer. The trails incorporate the very best of food experiences, from dining out in country houses, discovering intimate cafés and enjoying a visit to a farm.

Ava Farrelly
Ava Farrelly is a travel journalist for travel2ireland, ITTN and TravelTimes. With a background in arts, culture and lifestyle, Ava has a keen eye for the most visit-worthy destinations and all their attractions.

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