Scenic Drive from Dublin, Walk in Glendalough, Monastic site of St Kevin.
Glendalough Valley Walk – Loop Walk – 9Km – Approx 3.5hrs – ascent 380m
Morning / Afternoon: Your adventure starts with a pickup in Dublin where you will meet your guide. Then it’s of to county Wicklow “the garden of Ireland” just south of Dublin. County Wicklow is known for its scenic beauty and its here where Hollywood come to make most Irish films e.g. “P.S. I Love You” and “Brave Heart”. Wicklow is a great place for many outdoor activities and its where people from Dublin like to spend their weekends exploring the hills cycling or walking before relaxing over a great meal and a fresh pint.
We will be taking a scenic route on our way to Glendalough where you will be spending the first night. Along the way we will visit some of north Wicklow’s scenic highlights such as the Wicklow Mountains National Park, The Sally Gap, the beautiful Lough Tay and the Guinness family estate to name a few. The guide will give you some of the local folklore and history of the places. It’s also a chance for you all to get to know each other a little. When we arrive in Glendalough and organise ourselves into our accommodation we will go for our first walk. The walk will be approx 3 hours in the glacial valley of Glendalough. This valley is the gem of the Wicklow Mountains National park and ideal for walking. We will also visit the monastic site of St Kevin, which this valley is famed for.
Evening: When we return from our walk we have some time to relax in our accommodation before dinner and a drink in the local tavern.
Kerry, South Pole Inn Pub, Cliff Walk, Dingle, Unique Pubs.
Dingle Coastal Walk – Linear – 8Km – 2 hrs – Approx 2 hrs – ascent 120m
Morning: Today after breakfast we will be travelling south all the way down to Dingle in County Kerry. On the way we will be take a stop to visit the picturesque town of Adare in Limerick. This town has to be seen to be believed with its small thatched cottages and brightly coloured buildings. It is home to Adare manor which was once home to Earl of Dunraven. We will be staying in the small fishing town of Dingle.
Afternoon: On our way to Dingle from Adare we will stop along the way to visit the town of Annascaul which is famed for being the home town of Tom Crean, the great Irish explorer who shared voyages with Scott and Shackleton to the great Antarctic. On his retirement from the navy he returned home and founded a Pub called “The South Pole Inn” which is still there today. The guide will drop you all of at Beenbane beach so you enjoy a cliff walk in towards the village of Dingle – a fantastic way to arrive !
Evening: Dingle or “An Daingean” which is its Gaelic and original name is a fantastic small village known for its small quaint pubs, live Irish music and relaxed atmosphere. There is plenty to see and do in his small town with great restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, craft stores etc.
What it is really well know for though is its friendly dolphin called “Fungie” which has been in Dingle harbour for years and visited by thousands of curious guests. You may also be surprised when you enter some pubs in Dingle that you can also buy a pair of shoes or get yourself a new measuring tape.
Connors Pass, Mt Brandon, Stay Dingle
Mt Brandon – Linear Rtn – 8Km – Approx 5hrs – ascent 750m
Morning / Afternoon: After a hearty breakfast we will get ourselves ready for one of my favourite walks in this area, Mt Brandon. Which is named after Saint Brendan the voyager; some think he even got as far as North America. On the way to Mt Brandon we go over the famous Connor Pass with its incredible views across the Atlantic Sea and the Dingle Peninsula.
“Is it right or left for Gibraltar”
“What track do I take for Mizen Head?”
“I’d love to settle down near Ventry Harbour”,
St. Brendan to his albatross he said. (St Brendan’s Voyage)
Mount Brandon is a blessed mountain and there is a pilgrim trail to its summit and is one if Irelands holiest. It is less than 1000m but even though it is a pilgrim walk it is quite a challenge. The walk will take about 4hrs and the views from its summit are breathtaking. From it you can see the Atlantic all around you on the Dingle Peninsula, the Blasket Islands and Ireland’s highest Mountain range on the Iveragh Peninsula.
Evening: After our walk on Mt Brandon we will make our back to Dingle where you can see Fungie for yourself, meet some locals, visit some of the craft shops, enjoy some of the local seafood or just relax.
Slea Head Drive, Cliff walk to Ballyferriter, ‘Hurling’ on the beach , Stay Dingle
Cliff Walk – Linear – 8Km – Approx 2hrs – ascent 150m
Morning: The Dingle Peninsula drive is one of the most scenic in Ireland and the National Geographic placed it in one of the top 10 drives in the world and when you do it you’ll appreciate why. We will follow this drive from Dingle to the Slea head and onto the view point for the Blasket Islands. The Islands are famous for their Gaelic writers and the whole area of Dingle is what’s called a “Gaeltacht” an Irish language speaking region. So the guide will teach you a “cúpla focal” (couple of words).
Afternoon: The walk today is nice and easy along a great cliff walk with views across the Atlantic which will bring you to the village of Ballyferriter. This is the closest point you can get to America in Europe. After our walk we will head down to the local beach for a game of “Hurling” ancient Gaelic game played with sticks and a hard leather ball called a “sliotar”, quite similar to hockey. Well you can try hit the ball with stick if you can.
Evening: So after our playing about on the beach while taking in the views and learning some Irish and hurling. We will make our back to our accommodation for an early night to recharge the batteries for tomorrow’s big adventure.
Ireland’s Highest Point, Killarney National Park, Stay Killarney
Carrauntoohil – Linear Rtn – 12Km – Approx 6hrs – ascent 850m
Morning/Afternoon: Today is the big walk of the tour so it’s an early start to get over to Killarney and drop our bags into our new accommodation before heading across to Carrauntoohil. This walk is weather permitting as your safety is paramount to the guide and us. An alternative suitable walk will be chosen by your guide in the Killarney National Park depending on the weather and the groups abilities.
Now all going well and the weathers good then we will head to the summit as planned. Carrauntoohil is 1039m tall, which is small if you live in the Alps but huge if you live in Holland so all due care must be taken. Thousands of locals and visitors climb this every year and you feel a great sense of achievement on getting to the top.
Evening: After we get back down and catch our breath we will make our back towards Killarney. The town of Killarney is the most visited town in Ireland with the Muckross House and Gardens, its beautiful lakes, Ross Island and more it is a true treasure and one that I’m sure you’ll love. As well as all its scenic beauty there are numerous restaurants, pubs with live Irish music, areas to shop and places to chill over a coffee so you wont be stuck for something to do.
Lahinch, Cliffs Of Moher Walk, Stay Doolin
Cliffs of Moher Walk – Linear – 8Km – Approx 2.5hrs – 100m
Morning: This morning we are on the road again taking a route up along the west of Ireland known as the “Wild Atlantic Way” crossing the River Shannon at Terbert. The river Shannon is named after an ancient Celtic Goddess and is Ireland’s longest and most impressive river. As we cross the mouth of the Shannon on the ferry keep an eye out for the schools of Dolphins to be seen everywhere. When you dock on the far side you will be in County Clare.
Afternoon: Once we are in County Clare we will follow the coast road up towards the town Lahinch. This coastal town is a surfer’s paradise and has become more popular due to the great waves here. It’s also a great holiday destination for Irish families with many other activities on offer as well. Making our way northwards we will visit Brigid’s well before we start our cliff walk towards the Cliffs of Moher. The walk is fantastic and the cliffs themselves are a true treat for all the senses.
Evening: We will be staying in Doolin tonight, the capital of Irish traditional music in the west. This is a tiny little fishing port made popular due to its importance in Irish music and dance. Doolin is also in another Gaeltacht area so you can try your new learnt language skills on the locals, I’m sure they’ll be impressed.
Here we can relax and enjoy a few well deserved drinks while listening to some of the best Irish musicians in the world.
Walk in the Burren, Corcomroe Abbey, Galway City.
Burren Walk – Loop – 7.5Km – Approx 3hrs – 140m
Morning: This morning we will make our way to one of the strangest landscapes in Ireland and there are a few, The Burren. This is a limestone karst and was sitting at the bottom of the sea many years ago, but you can still see that clearly today. The term “Burren” is derived from the Gaelic for “stony place”. The Burren is also famous for its many different and varied types of flora which are just unique to this area.
We can enjoy our last walk together on this moon like terrain before we say good bye to the west and all its wonderful adventures.
Afternoon: We make our way to Galway city “city of the tribes”. This is a great little city know for its relaxed and bohemian feel. You can spend hours just walking about the small streets while listening and watching street performers of all types.
Today unfortunately we will be saying farewell to some of the friends made in the west of Ireland as we make our way back to Dublin…
Slan agus beannacht (Goodbye and blessings) You will be dropped back to Dublin.