Tales from the Munster Vales

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In Ireland’s Ancient East, beautiful landscapes are commonplace: but with the Munster Vales, you are treated to an exceptional 1,100 kilometre stretch of old routes and time-worn trails, including five mountain ranges, 96 attractions and nine heritage sites.

Cycling through forest in The Vee
Hiking in the Knockmealdowns
Left: Cycling through the forest in The Vee | Right: A man hiking in the Knockmealdowns

Taking in four counties - Tipperary, Limerick, Cork and Waterford – the Munster Vales offer memorable hikes allowing you to experience unrivalled vistas, lush valleys, surging rivers, cascading waterfalls and rugged coastlines.
 

Bike through deep-cut gorges to gaze on shimmering lakes, breathe the pure air and immerse mind and body in natural, unspoiled beauty. Discover the millennia-old landscape at the heart of the origin of many of Ireland's great myths, legends and folklore.

It is here that great heroes such as the Fianna fought and loved, where our people laid down their roots, the source of our culture and our heritage. History comes to life – from ancient settlements to working castles, from stately homes to humble labourers' cottages – life's rich tapestry is all here, awaiting your discovery.

A couple of cyclists on the Vee
Tourists at Cahir Castle
A family visiting the Swiss Cottage
Left: Cyclists on the Vee | Middle: Tourists at Cahir Castle | Right: A family visiting the Swiss Cottage

Cycle or drive The Vee, a breathtaking scenic trail that meanders through the mountain range and showcases the rustic beauty and verdant expanse of these truly historic lands.

 

The wonderful Butler Trail begins in the picturesque town of Cahir and travels through Clonmel and onto Carrick-on-Suir. The impact of the one of Ireland’s most famous family dynasties, the Butlers, on the fabric of the communities over five centuries can be seen in every aspect of the area. Visit Cahir Castle, Swiss Cottage and Ormond Castle, Ireland’s only unfortified Tudor Manor House – which still has its original decorative plasterwork portraits, oak panelling and carved fireplaces.

The Munster Vales

The Munster Vales

The Munster Vales

As you travel through the Vales you will encounter bustling towns and sleepy villages. The picture-perfect town of Lismore, on the banks of the Blackwater River, is a vibrant heritage town (a favourite of the Vikings, who invaded it on no less than eight occasions). In the 7th century it was an ancient centre of ecclesiastical learning, comparable to Constantinople, and today it features a multitude of intriguing sites including a monastery founded by St. Carthage and the hugely impressive 12th-century Lismore Castle, former home to Sir Walter Raleigh.

 

Cashel is best known as the seat of power of the High Kings of Munster, with the world-famous Rock of Cashel dominating the landscape for miles; its 12th and 13th-century cathedral, chapel, tower and churches are at once imposing and inspiring.

The entrance to Lismore Castle, County Waterford
The Rock of Cashel at dusk
Left: The entrance to Lismore Castle | Right: The Rock of Cashel at dusk

Travelling on to Fethard, the Fethard Horse Country Experience reveals the inextricable links between our people, our lands and the noble horse, over two millennia.

 

There is so much to explore in this area with a plethora of towns, villages, castles and ancient sites lying in the shadows of these magnificent mountain ranges, waiting for you to visit. Start planning your trip to the Munster Vales now!

Must see in the Munster Vales


And that’s just a sample, there’s so much more to do on your visit to the Munster Vales

Enjoy your escape in Ireland’s Ancient East!

For more attractions and activities
check out the See & Do section