The weather was absolutely perfect for a hike and the beach! We went back to Sligo, Ireland for one of the most popular hikes at Knocknarea. The megalithic tomb, at the summit of the mountain, is called Queen Maeve's Grave.
Who is Queen Medb (Maeve)?
The short answer is an absolute LEGEND - in both senses! She is an Irish Mythological character who would have historically ruled around sometime between 50 BCE – 50 CE. Queen Medb was a Warrior and ruler of Connacht, the western province of Ireland, for 60-years. Legend has it that she was a decisive and forceful leader. Arguably, she was the greatest of all Irish warriors! Some Irish believe this is her true grave based on the type of stone and the magnitude of the grave.
Note: Her name in old Irish would be Medb but has been anglicized to Maeve.
The Trail to Queen Medb's Grave
The starting point
As soon as you start the walk there is an immediate incline! While only really taking 15 minutes, you may need to stop and take a breather - and enjoy the view:
View from the top of the stairs
We had to climb the boardwalk after that. This was difficult because every step had an incline! There were signs along the pathway asking people to take their time and not rush, emphasizing how steep the path was; taking us around 45 minutes to complete. In Ireland, we've rarely seen boardwalks that stretch most of the length of a trail. As a result, we owe a big debt of appreciation to whoever installed and maintains these, as they made an otherwise challenging hike a little easier!
There's a nice resting spot after the boardwalk finishes, and the single trail to the grave starts, where you can see out to Rosses Point Beach, Coney Island, Maguins Island, Benbulbin, and the rest of the northern coast of Sligo:
View of the Northern Coast of Sligo
There was a little of a plateau at the top of the hill, where you could only take a single trail to Queen Medb's Grave.
Queen Medb's Grave
We returned along the same trail after circling the site and eating lunch, as Strandhill is only a 30-minute walk down the road from the starting location.