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‘Hidden gem’ Irish trail named one of the most beautiful in the world


A remote Irish hiking trail has been named as one of the most beautiful in the world.

Kerry’s Dingle Way, a 162km long-distance route around the Dingle Peninsula, is the world’s 34th most photographed trail with 96 photos per mile, according to Instagram data.

The research, conducted by outdoor sports specialists Zalando, analysed nearly five million Instagram hashtags from the world’s most famous hiking trails.

“As people look to reconnect with the Great Outdoors following months spent at home, walking holidays are set to be the choice of getaway for many this year,” a spokesperson for Zalando said.

"This year has seen spikes in online searches for ‘best hikes’, with up to 89pc the number of searches when compared with 2019.

“As Ireland's most photogenic hiking trail, the Dingle Way offers a diversity of landscapes, from awe-inspiring mountains to glistening waves,”

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The trail is a circular route that begins and ends in Tralee, with village stops for refreshments along the way.

The data revealed the Inca Trail in Peru to be the world’s most picturesque, followed by Spain’s Camino de Santiago and the Refugio Frey and Cerro Catedral trail in Argentina.

The Inca Trail is famed for its spectacular views of Machu Picchu, perched high up in the Andes.

Second on the list, the Camino de Santiago is a medieval pilgrimage route ending at Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in north-western Spain.

There are many well-trodden routes, but the most popular one winds 472 miles through France, the Pyrenees and historic cities such as Pamplona, León and Burgos.

The third most photographed trail is Refugio Frey and Cerro Catedral, which takes hikers through Argentina’s stunning Nahuel Huapi National Park.

The West Highland Way in Scotland ranks 6th with 1,180 photos per mile, more than twice the amount for Tour du Mont Blanc in the French Alps.

Retail Manager for Zalando Taeeun Lee said the lockdowns have “given people a new appreciation of time spent outdoors” and because international travel has largely been off the menu, many have come to look closer to home for a getaway.

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