The nearby lakes lie still and peaceful. At the truly spectacular Gap of Dunloe, you will walk one of Kerry’s prettiest lanes, sharing it with horse-drawn carriages. Afterwards, you will follow the Dingle Way through a realm of pristine beaches and crystalline seas, where old Irish ways are celebrated daily, in life and language.
Noble Mount Brandon rises from rocky fields, its peak wreathed in clouds. You can then take a boat to the precipitous monastic retreat of Skellig Michael – the island home of Coptic monks from 500 to 1200 A.D. despite frequent Viking raids. Gannets and puffins break the meditative solitude now. In one week, you will earn a true appreciation for why Ireland is loved by people from all over the world! Come and be enchanted.
Highlights: The Dingle Peninsula, The Iveragh Peninsula, The Dingle and Kerry Way, Ring of Kerry, Killarney National Park, The Gap of Dunloe.
Day 1: Arrival
Meet at Shannon Airport Arrivals Information Desk at 12:00 noon, for a short transfer to Killarney to meet your guide and traveling companions. Your guide will give you an orientation to your adventure and Ireland. Killarney is nestled between deep, lake filled valleys with astounding sights such as the famous Ladies’ View and MacGillicuddy Reeks – Ireland’s largest mountain range and home of Carrauntoohil, the highest peak. After dinner, visit a traditional Irish pub for music and fun. LD
Coolclogher House; or
Carrig Country House, Killorglin
Day 2: Walk up to 14km/9miles. Irish Oak Forest & Gap of Dunloe
After a good hearty Irish breakfast, transfer to Ladies’ View, made famous by Queen Victoria, for our walk through the 400-year-old Irish Oak Forest into Black Valley and the spectacular Gap of Dunloe. Finish at Kate Kearney’s cottage for refreshments, and a short transfer back to your inn. BLD
Day 3: Walk up to 15km/9½ miles. Killarney National Park
Today’s adventure will take you to the historic Muckross House, with its beautiful country gardens and lakeshores. After a tasty picnic, amble through Killarney National Park toward Peakeen Mountain, and enjoy glorious views over Kenmare Bay. We almost always see native Irish deer as we walk the “Old Kenmare Road”, used by the gentry during pre-famine times. After dinner in Killarney, there is an option to enjoy entertainment in the town of Killarney. BL
Day 4: Walk up to 10km/6 miles. Dingle & Inch Beach
Say goodbye to your hospitable innkeepers and head out to the town of Dingle. Stop along the way to walk the spectacular shores of Inch Beach, where movies such as “Ryan’s Daughter” and “Far and Away” were filmed. The water lapping the miles of golden sand here is warmed by the Gulf Stream and may entice you to swim and revel in the surrounding Irish beauty. This evening offers another opportunity to do an Irish jig and listen to the music of a culture whose love for life and everything Irish comes through in their songs. Sitting down all evening is impossible! BLD
Castlewood House, Dingle
Day 5: Walk up to 16km/10 miles. Slea Head & Kerry Peninsula
Today’s walk will leave you with fond memories and a strong impression of your visit to Ireland. This remote and absolutely gorgeous peninsula has pockets of soft white sand, and rolling fields overlooking a sea full of islands. The walk around the magnificent Slea Head - the nearest parish in Europe to North America - is also one of the richest areas of archaeology in Ireland, with numerous beehive huts and promontory forts from which you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Blasket Islands and Kerry Peninsula. Return to Dingle for the night. BL
Day 6: Boat trip to Skellig Michael. Optional alternatives: a)Walk 10km (6 miles), b)Walk 16km (10 miles), or c)Great Blasket Island visit, with walks and scrambles to historic sites.
Today there is a choice of alternatives for those who do not want to brave the elements on a boat trip to climb the steep staircase at spectacular Skellig Michael – a very isolated and precipitous island where the steep climb to the monastic retreat will be possible only if the weather is fit for landing. Alternative option #1: Weather permitting, do a circular walk in the mountains behind the town of Dingle, with unrivalled views north to the Shannon River and south to the Beara Peninsula. Option #2: We can walk the Dingle Way to Annascaul along the north shore of Dingle Bay. Option #3: We can visit the Blasket Islands - a must for those who have Irish/American interests and connections, and a bit more accessible if weather is a challenge. Regardless of which option we choose we’ll have a memorable experience to round off our week of walking the magical Southwest corner of Ireland. Enjoy dinner and our last night in the pretty town of Dingle. BLD
Day 7: Farewells and transfer
This morning after another hearty Irish breakfast, say farewell to your guides and friends in Ireland, and transfer to the town of Tralee (45 minutes), where an excellent bus and rail service is available for towns/cities/airports. Private transfers can also be arranged to Shannon, Kerry or Cork International Airports. B
Start: Shannon airport arrivals at 12:00 on day 1
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