Trip Type : Group Tour
Water View of Rings of Kerry, Ireland

Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry

Wilderness Ireland
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
7 days
From: $ 1,894 $ 271 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Enjoy guided hikes along the spectacular coastline trails of Southwest Ireland.
  • Climb up the bare rock steps of the UNESCO World Heritage site Skellig Michael.
  • See home of Christian monks, and now a filming location for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
  • Travel on Ireland’s only cable car
  • Visit remote Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) islands, where each stone tells a story of its rich cultural past.

Short Description

Make the unforgettable journey through Ireland hiking trails in the counties of Cork and Kerry starting out from the historical town of Baltimore, with its tales of pirate invasions, to the most westerly inhabited island in Europe, rich in literary history. By day, experience the scenic coastal hikes, ancient historical sites and stunningly beautiful mountain passes of Ireland’s breathtaking SW. In the evenings relax and enjoy some of the best restaurants and music-filled pubs in Ireland!

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Cork city
End City Blasket Islands

Trip Includes

  • 6 nights accommodation in unique and cosy guest houses and hotels
  • Most meals during the trip (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable hiking guide/driver throughout
  • Pickup and transport throughout the trip, starting in Cork and finishing in Tralee
  • 6 days of hiking on the breathtaking peninsulas and rugged islands of Ireland’s southwest
  • All boat/transfers to each island on the itinerary
  • Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary

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Itinerary

Day 1: Kinsale and Baltimore

Meals: Dinner

Distance 2 miles/3km, 2hrs.

We meet in Cork city and travel to the historical fishing town of Kinsale. We’ll stretch our legs in this vibrantly colourful heritage town while hearing tales of conquests, wine smugglers and the town’s exotic visitors over the centuries. We then travel onto the West Cork village of Baltimore. If there’s time we could enjoy the Ireland hiking trails that will give us a peek at our route ahead; the magical Carbery’s 100 Isles scattered across Roaring Water Bay.

Day 2: Hiking on Cape Clear Island

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Distance 4.5 miles/7km, 3hrs.

13km off the coast lies Ireland’s southernmost inhabited island. Cape Clear is a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) island only 5km long and 2km wide. Hiking across the island we’ll explore its ancient sites, admire the spectacular bird life and perhaps even visit a herd of goats and taste some of their very own ice-cream! On most days, the iconic silhouette of the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse can be seen to the northwest of the island.

Day 3: Hiking the Sheep’s Head Way

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Distance 5 miles/8km, 3 – 3.5hrs.

After breakfast, we head north to discover an unspoilt, rolling green landscape so impressive it has been named a European Destination of Excellence. Stopping at a local producer’s market you will get a chance to browse and sample some of the best of their wares.  On our hike, which takes in sections of the Sheep’s Head Way, we will experience some breathe taking views of the wild Atlantic before continuing to our accommodation in the vibrant town of Kenmare.

Day 4: The Beara Peninsula and Dursey Island

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Distance 8 miles/14km, 4hrs.

Today we explore the Beara Peninsula, an area with a rich cultural and natural heritage.   We venture to Dursey Island, via Ireland’s only  cable car – a unique experience in itself! We then hike around this sparsely inhabited island which offers an undisturbed tranquility, with a stark and wild beauty.  The rugged coastline, high cliffs and a patchwork of fields divided by dry stone walls and ditches is a birdwatchers heaven and our guide will point out some of the species we spot while hiking.

Day 5: The Ring of Kerry and the Incredible Skellig Michael

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today we follow in the footsteps of a group of 7th Century Irish monks to their dramatic island retreat. The Skelligs are two rock pinnacles which stand bare above the battering Atlantic Ocean. It was on Skellig Micheal, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that monks lived and prayed in stone beehive huts centuries ago. The small Skellig is equally renowned as the home of some 27,000 pairs of gannets, the second largest colony in the world. The islands have famously been used as a filming location for the latest Star Wars movie.

The hike on Skellig Michael is short but involves climbing 618 ancient stone steps. It’s so worth the effort!

Day 6: Dingle and the Blasket Islands

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Distance 4 miles/6.5km, 3hrs.

On our final hike, we will explore the Ireland hiking trails and tracks that criss-cross the largest of the Blasket Islands – The Great Blasket or An Blascaod Mór. The islands cliffs are home to a myriad of seabirds and the waters host whales, dolphins, seals and sharks.  Back on the mainland, our evening will be spent in Dingle, arguably one of the strongest bastions of traditional Irish music. We’ll join the locals in one of the pubs to experience some real ‘craic agus ceoil’ to mark our last night together.

Day 7: Depart

Meals: Breakfast

This morning after a relaxing breakfast we will bid farewell to our fellow travellers at Tralee Railway Station.

Availability

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Price From $ 1,894
Price Per Day: $ 271 per day
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Accomodations

  • A fine place to dine in a region that’s a foodie hotspot!
  • Upscale dining in Co. Kerry
  • Charming, antique library
  • Home away from home in Co. Cork! Photo: Alan Place.
  • Cosy, old-world atmosphere in Co. Cork
  • An upscale place to sleep in southern Ireland

As you hop from island to island, relax in a cosy, home-away-from-home each night. This trip features accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort. All accommodations provide breakfast.

We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However, you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you specifically require a single room you will have to pay the single supplement charge of $297 but this is subject to availability.

Cancellation Policy:

Any cancellation must be notified in writing by the person who made the booking. If you cancel your holiday:

a) more than 56 days prior to the start of your holiday, you will only be charged your deposit plus any insurance premium paid.

b) between 56 and 30 days, you will be charged 50% of the holiday cost plus any insurance premium paid.

c) less than 30 days before the start of your holiday or on or after the commencement of the holiday, you must pay the full holiday price plus any insurance premium paid.

Note: We appreciate that wholly unforeseen events may result in cancellation. We therefore strongly advise you to take out insurance against irrecoverable cancellation cost (see Point 8 below). You will be advised of the exact amount of any cancellation charge prior to the cancellation being finalised.

Trip ID#:

HikIslWil

Meals Included:

6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 2 Dinners

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