Begin your Guided hiking holiday in the bustling town of Killarney which sits on the shores of the Three Lakes of Killarney and Killarney National Park. Your holiday takes you to the western tip of the Ring of Kerry to Derrynane – home to one of Ireland most important historical figures Daniel O’Connell and one of the most beautiful parts of the Kerry Way.
From here, you reach the Skellig Ring to hike the hills near Cahersiveen and if weather permits you may be able to visit the Skellig Islands – home to a 6th Century Monastic Settlement and more recently to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars…!! From there you then hike the Dingle Way on the magnificent Dingle Peninsula – also part of the Kerry Camino hiking trail.
Your final nights are spent in Dingle town – well known for Traditional Irish music and also a cultural centre for Gaelic traditions and the Irish language. If this is your first Guided Walking Holiday in Ireland then this is everything you could wish for. For those that have visited these regions before, then Kerry will always be a favourite destination.
Day 1: Arrive in Killarney - You arrive to Killarney for your first 2 overnights & settle into your accommodation just outside the town. Your Guide will meet you at 5pm, introduce you to your group & brief you on the coming days of your holiday. You will then walk to a nearby restaurant for your first dinner together, Following dinner you can get to know you fellow hikers while enjoying a pint in one of the many great pubs in Killarney. Not to many though as you have some hiking to do tomorrow.
Day 2: Ross Castle & Muckross House - After a scrumptious breakfast and armed with your picnic lunch, you will depart from your accommodation to reach Ross Castle – an ancient Gaelic Chieftains home dating back to the 15th century. From there, a glorious boat journey through the Three Lakes of Killarney brings you to an old “Hunting Lodge” known as Lord Brandon’s Cottage.
Following along the lake shore, you take a forestry trail along an ancient Mass Path to reach an old Church known as Derrycunnihy Church at Galway’s Bridge. From here, you continue through Killarney National Park following an old Butter Road through “Esknamucky Glen” to reach Muckross House & Gardens where you will have time to explore the wonderful gardens & avail of an optional tour of the house.
After your walk, you will take a short transfer by minivan to return to Killarney for your dinner & overnight.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 16kms. Highest point: 300mts. Forestry tracks with rocky & uneven sections, stepping stones, board walks & boggy underfoot conditions. Paved footpaths towards Muckross House.
Day 3: Derrynane & Abbey Island - Leaving the town of Killarney this morning, you travel west by minivan to reach one of the most glorious views of this region – overlooking the western tip of the Ring of Kerry Peninsula. Passing through the lovely colourful village of Sneem, your day of walking begins.
Following the Kerry Way walking route to begin, you continue on a wonderful track into the hills above Kenmare Bay. With stunning views all around the western tip of the peninsula, south over the Beara Peninsula and north across Lough Currane, and Waterville, you will have time to enjoy this idyllic wilderness of stunning beauty. At the end of your hike, you will continue around the western tip of the Peninsula, to reach your accommodation in Caherciveen for your dinner & overnight.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 20kms. Highest point: 550mts. Mountain tracks with rocky & uneven sections, off trail walking in open hillside with high growth & bogland – uneven & wet at times underfoot. Some paved roads.
Day 4: Skellig Michael - Your base in Caherciveen offers you several choices for today – the most impressive for those who wish to avail of the opportunity – being a trip to the amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Skellig Islands. This is an impressive 6th Century Monastic Settlement in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean which still looks almost the same as when the monks left it approx 1,200 years ago. This trip is very weather dependent and must be booked in advance. For those of you who prefer to stay on dry land the following walk is our preferred option for today.
North of Caherciveen lies the beautiful Dingle Bay & some of the coastal walking overlooking this Bay and the Dingle Peninsula is most impressive. Taking to the hills around Caherciveen, you will be enthralled by the beauty, history & amazing solitude that can be reached so easily on foot leaving the more popular places behind. Weather permitting, your walk will take you to the top of one of our well known Pilgrim Mountains – Knocknadobar. If cloud cover is low on the day, a spectacular coastal walk on the lower surrounding hills is a stunning alternative option. Return to your accommodation in Caherciveen for your overnight & a free evening at your leisure.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 12kms. Highest point: 690mts. Mountain tracks with rocky & uneven sections, off trail walking in open hillside with high growth & bogland – uneven & wet at times underfoot. Some paved roads.
Day 5: Dingle Peninsula - Leaving the Ring of Kerry today, you travel by minivan to the Dingle Peninsula – north of the “Ring”. Following inland to the centre of the peninsula, you reach one of our historical inland promontory forts.
Ascending across open mountain, you reach the impressive Caherconree and an ancient Promontory Fort dating back to the Iron Ages. From here, there are magnificent views across the whole of the Dingle Peninsula and it is easy to see why our early settlers came here. Descending via the same route, you then re-join your minivan to continue to Dingle Town your overnight location for your next 3 nights & you can enjoy this bustling town at your own leisure this evening.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 12kms. Highest point: 590mts. Paved roads, open hillside with rocky sections which are overgrown & can be wet underfoot. Some steep climbs up & down.
Driving further west, with a short stop at the beautiful Inch Beach, you reach the town of Dingle. This is your overnight location for your next 3 nights & you can enjoy this bustling town at your own leisure this evening.
Day 6: Slea Head - Today – a treat is in store as you walk around the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula on possible the most impressive walk of your holiday.
From the southern slopes of Slea Head, you start to climb the beautiful Mount Eagle with panoramic views across the Blasket Islands, the Wild Atlantic and 360 degree views over north and south Kerry. This is a stunning walk that is a personal favourite of many of our Guides. At the end of your walk, if time allows, the opportunity to enjoy visits to some of the ancient monastic sites that abound on this peninsula – with Gallarus and Reask as two of the most impressive. Returning to Dingle for your overnight you have the opportunity to enjoy the many wonderful restaurants – or perhaps a traditional fish & chips “on the hoof”.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 12kms. Highest point: 520mts. Rocky trails, open hillside with rocky sections which are overgrown & can be wet underfoot. Some steep climbs up & down.
Day 7: The Brandon Range - Driving to the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula, todays routes take you to those parts that only walkers discover and you are well rewarded with beautiful and peaceful views all around you.
Those that still have energy, will enjoy a magnificent walk up one of Ireland’s famous Pilgrim Mountains – Mount Brandon. This is where St. Brendan received his inspiration for his journey of discovery which lead him to reaching America back in the 6th Century. From the top of this impressive mountain it is clear to see how so many have been inspired to achieve great things. At the end of your walk, you return to the delightful village of Cloghane to enjoy some light refreshment before continuing back to Dingle. Your final farewell dinner together is a great way to compare stories, reminisce and enjoy some great music before your onward journeys tomorrow.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 10kms. Highest point: 960mts. Paved roads, open hillside with rocky sections which can be wet underfoot. Narrow rocky trails & sections with no trails. Some steep climbs up & down.
Day 8: Departure - After your final Irish Breakfast, you will be taken by minivan to reach the bus & train station in Tralee. For those that need earlier transfers – a public bus service is also available back to Tralee. From here, you can then avail of the excellent bus/train service to all major airports, cities & ferry ports in Ireland. Your estimated arrival time to Tralee is approx.10am.