The Munster Vales are a region that includes The Galtees, the Comeraghs, the Ballyhouras, the Knockmealdowns and the Nagles. The area reachs from the mid-west southwards to the sea through the counties of Tipperary, Waterford, Cork and Limerick. From my house along the golden vale drive will take the guts of a day if you take the full route in.
You can hike to the five highest points of the Munster Vales to experience lush valleys, rivers, cascading waterfalls and rugged coastline. When passing through, the history of our people comes to life. Ancient settlements, working castles, stately homes, and humble cottages.
It is only an hour and 15 mins from Balally House B&B to the Galtee Mountains. We are only 35 mins to Lough Gur, which is the start of the Munster Vales region. Lough Gur is the only area in Ireland where you will see visible remains of every age of mankind across 6000 years. The stone circle on the site is the oldest and largest in Western Europe. They have a nice visitor centre here and my kids love the fairy trail. Great place to grab a picnic. Easy 20 min walking routes to stretch the legs.
Ballyhoura – Attychrann Loop. This is an hour and 10 mins drive from Balally House
Distance is 5km
Grade is Easy
Nearest Town: Kilbehenny
Ballyhoura – Black Rock Loop. This is only 50 mins drive from Balally House
Distance is 11 kms
Grade is hard
Nearest Town: Ardpatrick
Ballyorgan Loop. This is only a 50 mins drive to Balally House
Distance is 20 kms
Grade is moderate
Nearest town: Ballyorgan
Darbys Bed Loop. This is only 50 mins to drive Balally House
Distance is 7kms
Grade is Moderate
Nearest town: Galbally/Michelstown
Indeed if you prefer to bike, you can hire a mountain bike from Trailriders Bike rental and take off the 92km if trails in Ballyhoura Mountain Bike park, E-bikes also available to hire.
My favourite site to visit is The Rock of Cashel which is on an outcrop of Limestone. It’s very impressive. It is an hour and 10 min drive from Balally House. It has a 12th Century round tower ,a Romanesque chapel and a Gothic Cathedral.
You could travel the extra 15 min drive to see Cahir Castle. It is a medieval Castle on the River Suir. It’s very well preserved. Pop into The Apple Farm in Cahir while you can pick some fresh apples for your travels or buy some Irish Honey from Galtee Honey Farm at Glengarra wood in Cahir also. Indeed while we are talking about food, you can also drive to Fethard on your way home to Balally House and stop in Cashel Blue Cheese Visitor centre. Please pick me up some if you do