At 919M, Galtymore Mountain is the highest point of counties Tipperary and Limerick. In this guide, we’re going to tell you how to tackle it!
Galtymore is part of the Galtee Mountain range which runs 20 Km east to west in between the M7 motorway and the stunning Glen of Harlow.
It’s one of the more rewarding hikes in Ireland, but proper planning is required. And that’s where this guide comes in!
It has been written in partnership with James Foley, a guide that takes groups on guided hikes of Galtymore. Find everything you need to know below!
Some quick need-to-knows about the Galtymore hike
So, the Galtymore hike isn’t as straightforward as many of the other walks in Ireland. Please take a 30 seconds to read through the below, first.
Galtymore Mountain is easily accessed from the M7 motorway, it is an hour from Cork City and 2 hours from South Dublin. Take exit 12 of the M7 and drive 1 Km to the village of Kilbeheny. From Kilbeheny drive north on the R639 for 5Km. Turn left at the crossroads, there is a brown sign “Slí Chnoc Mór na nGaiblte / Galtymore climb” marking the junction. Drive 3Km to the end of this road.
There is a very small carpark (here on Google Maps) at the beginning of the hike with room for just 4 cars. There is additional roadside parking with room for about 20 cars, but please park with consideration to the local landowners and never block it!
The Galtymore hike is 11 Km and takes approximately 4 hours. The first 2.5 km are on an old mountain road which leads to open mountain. There is a sustained steep section towards the mountain summit. The hike includes the summit of Galtymore and Galtybeg.
4. Difficulty (+ warning)
This is a moderately difficult hike on a mix of track and open mountain. There are steep sections with exposed cliffs. In clear weather navigation is relatively straight forward however, in poor visibility, navigational skills are required. The hike should only be undertaken if you have hiking and navigational experience.
5. Guided walks
Now, if you don’t fancy tackling the Galtymore hike on your own, fret not – James from Beyond The Glass Adventure Tours offers excellent guided hikes around Galtymore Mountain, and his reviews online are excellent. More on this below.
About Galtymore Mountain
Galtymore Mountain is 918 meters high, making it the highest point in the Galtee Mountain range and the highest inland mountain in Ireland. At just over 3,000 ft it is one Irelands 14 Munroes.
The southern side of the Galtee Mountains are characterised by their gentle slopes and lush secluded valleys with gently flowing streams.
The northern side has been carved by ice, leaving it with precipitous cliffs falling to Corrie lakes. There is ample hiking in the area, with a choice of looped mountain walks and forest trails.
The Galtee Mountains are mapped in Ordinance Survey Ireland discovery series sheet number 74.
The closest towns are Mitchelstown in Co Cork and Cahir in County Tipperary. The Glen of Aherlow to the Mountains North is one of Ireland’s hidden gems.
Other place to visit in the area are Cahir Castle, Mitchelstown Caves and the Rock of Cashel.
An overview of the Galtymore hike
The next section of our guide is going to break down the different stages of the Galtymore hike to give you a sense of what to expect while you’re there.
If you’re not feeling confident in the climb, you’ll find info at the end on some highly reviewed guided hikes.
Starting the walk
This version of the Galtymore hike kick-starts from the car park mentioned at the beginning of this guide. From there, take the path leading northwards through a narrow laneway.
After 100 meters you will pass through the first of two gates.
The path, known as ‘the Black Road’, continues for about 2.5Km. After passing through the gate the path widens and continues under about a dozen beach trees.
It is important that you keep to the path and not walk cross the fields, which often have cattle grazing in them. Follow the path as it rises gently uphill, after 10 minutes you will pass through a second gate.
The path continues uphill and ahead to the left you will be able to see Galtymore Mountain. Galtymore has a long concave top known as Dawsons Table. Soon you will also be able to see a smaller mountain to its right – Galtybeg.
Monuments, cairns and mountain views
As you pass on the western side of Knockeenatoung the path begins to flatten. After about 250 meters the peak of Greenane (to the east) will now also be in view. To your right you will see an area of flat ground with a stone monument.
The monument, which has recently been restored, was erected in memory of four members of the Abbeyshrule Aero Club who died when their small aircraft crashed into the mountain close to this spot in 1976.
From the monument continue uphill on the path. The path cuts back right and then again flattens. You’ll soon reach a Y junction in the path. The junction is marked by a large cairn, from where you will be able to see Galtymore and Galtybeg.
From the junction take the left-hand branch of the path for about 100 meters – Galtymore will be straight ahead while Galtybeg will be to your right. Before the path peters out, turn right and walk towards Galtybeg on a wide section of stony ground.
Before the gradient of the ground up to Galtybeg increases, turn left and aim for the Col (the low point) between Galtymore and Galtybeg. Follow one the indistinct tracks running along the lower slopes of Galtybeg towards the Col.
In wet weather the ground here is particularly boggy and in poor visibility the tracks may be hard to find. As you approach the Col, find a safe place to step down off the turf bank to the solid ground where the turf has been washed away.
Walk up towards the highpoint of the Col. From the Col you will see the cliffs on the North face of Galtymore.
Pay extreme care at the next point
Care is required here as there is a steep drop down to the Corrie lake, Lough Dineen, below. From the Col follow the curve of the ground along the top of a gully running up from lough Dineen and then follow a well-worn path up towards Galtymore. The path runs close to the cliffs, so extreme care is required here.
Roughly halfway up the slope, before the path runs out and just after passing the top of an obvious gully to your right, veer to your left and come oof the path. Continue to walk uphill. The ground on the second half is steeper but it has some natural steps to help you on your way up Galtymore.
After about 35 minutes of leaving the col (2 hours walking from the carpark) the ground eases as you reach the eastern summit of Galtymore Mountain.
Reaching the summit
This is marked by a cairn and a trig point; the western summit is also marked by a cairn. In the middle of the concave plateau there is a white Celtic Cross. There are panoramic views from the summit, on a clear day you can see Carrauntoohil to west, the Glen of Aherlow and the Golden vale of Limerick to the North, the Wicklow mountains to the east and Knockmealdown and Commeraghs to the Southeast.
The summit is strewn with large boulders made up of the distinctive sandstone conglomerate rock local to the area.
Making your way back down
On the decent off Galtymore Mountain take care to descend on the same route you came up. Firstly, aim for the Col between Galtymore and Galtybeg. At the col there is the option to climb Galtybeg or alternatively return to the Black Road by taking the path across the lower face of Galtybeg to the large stone cairn at the Y junction.
If you are climbing Galtybeg, from the Col with your back to Galtymore and lough Dineen, follow the path up the ridge in front of you. This leads to Galtybeg, which is 799M high and has a short but dramatic ridge.
At approximately the midpoint of the summit turn to your right to descend the southern slope of Galtybeg. There is an indistinct track running down the mountain, aim for the stone cairn in the Y junction of the black road.
From the Cairn, follow the path back to the car. On the walk back to the carpark stay on the path, this will help prevent erosion of the mountain and help prevent damaging the farmers’ fields.
Guided Galtymore walks
Beyond the Glass Adventure Tours offer guided hikes in the Galtee Mountain range. Their most popular hike is a looped walk which includes Galtybeg and Galtymore, the Galtee wall and Knockduff. This hike takes approximately 4.5 hours.
Another popular hike is the approach from the northside of Galtymore from the Glen of Aherlow. This is a more challenging hike that includes Cush, Galtybeg and Galtymore and Slievecushnabinna. This hike takes approximately 5.5 hours.
The price of the hikes start at €40 per person for groups of 4 or more. Beyond the Glass Adventure Tours also run hikes in the mountains of Munster. Mountains covered including the Knockmealdown Mountain, Mangerton Mountain and Carrauntoohil. Contact James [email protected] or 00353863850398.
FAQs about climbing Galtymore Mountain
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Are dogs allowed on Galtymore?’ to ‘Where do you climb Galtymore from?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is Galtymore hard to climb?
This is a moderately difficult hike on a mix of track and open mountain. There are steep sections with exposed cliffs, so a decent level of fitness is needed.
How long does it take to climb Galtymore?
If you tackle the Galtymore hike we outline above, it’ll take you 4 hours to complete the entire 11kms.
Where do you park for the Galtymore hike?
At the start of the guide above, you’ll find a link to the location where you can park on Google Maps (take note of the warnings!).
Friday 22nd of April 2022
I did a sunrise hike this morning with just this as the guide and it was so easy to navigate, great job!!