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“picturesque and fascinating”

Glendalough Monastic Settlement
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$86.90*
and up
Wicklow Mountains, Avoca and Glendalough Rail...
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This historic site, whose Gaelic name translates to “valley of the two lakes,” consists of the 6th-century monastery founded by St. Kevin and the famous round tower, standing 112 feet high with a base measuring 52 feet in circumference. Visitors: There is a car park at the Visitor Centre. It is recommended to see the informational video at the Visitor Centre before starting your explorations.
Reviewed October 11, 2013

This is such an amazing site! It's so incredibly scenic and beautiful there. I love that they don't put much signage or direction at the actual settlement so you can get a better feel for the site. I thought the visitor center was definitely worth the 2 or 3 euros it cost to get in, because it really gives you great information about the monastic site and what exactly was going on there in the height of its power.

Also, be sure to walk down to the lakes that are nearby. The path is an easy walk and it is an absolutely amazing and picturesque view.

Thank Lauren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"round tower"
in 138 reviews
"upper lake"
in 192 reviews
"visitor center"
in 85 reviews
"car park"
in 57 reviews
"day trip"
in 46 reviews
"tour buses"
in 24 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 37 reviews
"peaceful place"
in 16 reviews
"ancient ruins"
in 14 reviews
"interesting history"
in 17 reviews
"beautiful area"
in 17 reviews
"walking trails"
in 19 reviews
"natural beauty"
in 20 reviews
"county wicklow"
in 16 reviews
"on site"
in 18 reviews
"beautiful walk"
in 16 reviews
"sunny day"
in 16 reviews
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1,078 - 1,082 of 1,701 reviews

Reviewed October 10, 2013

The site is amazing! I can understand why the monks traveled so far to serve god in this place! The lakes are amazing and peaceful. You are surrounded by these green majestic hills. The Abby and ruins are nestled in the valley with a slow moving stream nearby. The cemetery in full of beautifully sculpted Celtic crosses and head stone. This is a place that takes your breath away and fills you with a serene peacefulness!

Thank Robbie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We enjoyed our visit here to see the mostly ruins of an ancient monastery founded in the 6th century. There is an almost intact tower and church among the gravestones along with the ruins of several other buildings. Be sure to take the walk to the upper lake - it is a beautiful walk in the woods. Once at the lake take the side walk up to see a nice waterfall. The grounds are free with a fee charged for the museum and audio visual presentation. You can enjoy the area without paying the fee if you don't have time to do it all! Plan at least an hour or so here but two hours is even better!

Thank kathysonny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

My wife and I visited the Glendalough Monastic Settlement in September 2013. Basically the whole area is a very large National park, with the monastic settlement, trails, and a visitor center. Visiting the site is completely free (unless you go into the visitor center and watch a video on the site -- which even the workers at the center really do not recommend in doing). There are also signs everywhere in the visitor's Center and car park that read: "Stop! Thieves are operating in this car park. Do not leave any items of value in your car". Despite these signs, we did not see any "thieves", nor were we creeped out by anyone in particular.

There are signs eveyrwhere in the park leading you to the site. First follow the "Wicklow Way" sign, and you will cross a small bridge that leads to the "Monastic City". Here is where the main site is -- the Round Tower, St. Kevin's Church, the Cathedral, and a large cemetery.

The Cathedral is an amazing, ruined structure in the site -- the building is made of stone and is simply massive. There is no longer any roof, and the interior is pretty vacant, but the sun does still shine through the open window, and through some of the rocks. There are also a few head stones resting against the walls.

The Round Tower is also a structure you should walk up to, and at least take your picture with it. You cannot go in or climb up the tower, but it is really interesting to look up the very thin, tall (just shy of 100 feet in height) tower.

St. Kevin's Church (or the Chapel of St. Kevin) is a smaller stone roofed building for St. Kevin of Glendalough, the priest who founded the site in the 500's AD.

There are historical markers and signs in most areas of the site, and even the cemetery is still being used (there are very old grave stones, and then some that are only a few years old in comparison).

Also be sure to walk the paths past the Monastic City and you will see hills of beautiful trees, lakes, and solitude. If you have the whole day, you could wander around the park for hours upon hours. My wife and I had to keep going, but do expect to take at most 1-1/2 to 2 hours to see the main sites of the Glendalough Monastic City and surrounding nature.

Also -- be sure to visit Glendalough right when it opens early in the morning. This is a huge tourist stop, and large tour groups of many different nationalities (multiple groups of 40+ people) will visit. We were lucky to avoid most of these groups when visiting, only running through them towards the end of our visit.

Thank Christopher D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 6, 2013

This site has something for everyone, lakes, ponds,hikes,mountains,ruins,pony/cart rides,wildflowers and great views. The staff at the visitor centre are top of the line, very friendly and welcoming to everyone. If you take the hike to the large lake set aside a few hours, the hike is somewhat challenging but wait for the wow factor when you see the glacier fed lake. Beautiful is an understatement for this site. Don't forget the monastic ruins of St. Kevin. There are paths and walkways for hikers of all kinds. We were lucky enough to see wedding photos being taken by the lake as well as we met some locals out walking their dog and had a wonderful conversation with them. So many things to see its worth coming back a second time to see more of this site.

Thank aura44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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