Slieve League, Shanbally, Ireland
The Cliffs of Moher get more publicity, but the cliffs of Slieve League are higher. In fact, these spectacular sea cliffs are among the highest in Europe, plunging some 600m to the sea.
From Teelin, a road through the stark landscape leads to the lower car park (which has signs with hiking maps) beside a gate in the road; you can drive another 1.5km to the upper car park (often full in summer) right beside the viewpoint. From the upper car park, a rough footpath leads up and along the top of the near-vertical cliffs to the aptly named One Man’s Pass, a narrow ridge that leads to the summit of Slieve League (595m; 10km round trip). Be aware that mist and rain can roll in unexpectedly and rapidly, making conditions treacherous. Also, just walking the first 500m will give you spectacular views.
It’s also possible to hike to the summit of Slieve League from Carrick via the Pilgrim Path (signposted along the minor road on the right before the Slieve League cliffs road), returning via One Man’s Pass and the viewpoint road (12km; allow four to six hours). The cliffs are particularly scenic at sunset when the waves crash dramatically far below and the ocean reflects the last rays of the day. Looking down, you’ll see two rocks nicknamed the ‘giant’s desk and chair’ for reasons that are immediately obvious