National Parks in Ireland

Ireland is home to a total of six national parks that together cover an area of 650 square kilometers. This represents just 0.9% of the national territory. The first of these parks to be designated was the Killarney National Park, established in 1932 in the southwest of the island. Among all of them, the Wicklow Mountains National Park stands out as the largest, while Burren National Park is the smallest, covering an area of only 15 square kilometers. The Connemara National Park is highly visited each year.

These parks attract around 4 million visitors, highlighting their popularity and value as natural and tourist destinations.

List of National Parks in Ireland

Below is a list of the National Parks of Ireland, each with its characteristics and relevant details:


Glenveagh National Park, located in County Donegal, is famous for its impressive lake and mountainous landscape. Home to one of the largest gardens in Ireland, it offers unique opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.


Burren National Park, located in County Clare, is known for its peculiar karstic rock landscape and rich botanical diversity. Its towering rock formations and wildflowers make it a unique place to explore.

Wicklow Mountains

Wicklow Mountains National Park, in County Wicklow, is a paradise for nature lovers, with its extensive forests, picturesque lakes, and mighty mountains. It offers a wide variety of hiking trails and birdwatching opportunities.

Ballycroy/Wild Nephin

Ballycroy/Wild Nephin National Park, in County Mayo, is a haven of tranquility and unspoiled nature. With vast expanses of bogland and mountains, it is a refuge for wildlife and offers a unique experience of wild and pristine landscapes.

What is the largest national park in Ireland?

The largest national park in Ireland is the Wicklow Mountains National Park, covering approximately 220 square kilometers.

What is the smallest national park in Ireland?

The Burren National Park is the smallest of the national parks in Ireland, covering only 15 square kilometers.

Why visit the Irish national parks?

The protected areas of Ireland’s national parks are natural spaces that offer a refuge for wildlife and a wide range of outdoor activities. From rugged cliffs to ancient forests, with a particular highlight on the green color due to the country’s climate. Each one has its own beauty and offers a unique glimpse into Ireland’s natural history. Whether exploring Diamond Hill in Connemara, seeing the deer in Glenveagh, or walking the limestone pavements in Burren, each visit promises unforgettable experiences.

Where are the National Parks located in Ireland

Here is the map showing the locations of all Irish national parks.

Likewise, the map with all the protected areas of the country is also available, identifying each area by the type of protection:

Map of national parks in Ireland and protected areas of the country

When is the best time to visit them?

The best time to visit Ireland’s national parks is during the summer months, from June to September. During this time, the parks are adorned with vibrant colors and wildflowers in bloom, creating picturesque landscapes. The long daylight hours also provide more time to explore the towering Wicklow Mountains and the serene lakes of Killarney National Park.

How to plan the visit

To plan your visit to Ireland’s national parks, it is important to check the weather forecast, the opening hours of the park you are visiting on a particular day, and any notices issued by the authorities. Also, consider the length and difficulty of the trails if you plan to go hiking. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear, as well as bring a park map. If you are planning a multi-day visit, research nearby accommodation options to ensure you have a place to stay.

Remember that each park provides a complete description of the best time to visit, the usual weather, and other relevant information to help you organize and plan your visit in advance. Check the list of national parks in Ireland.