The 17th Century Book of Survey and Distribution has described much of this Peninsula as “being all rocky and frequented only by eagles and birds – never to be inhabited by reason of the rough incommodities”… sounds like the perfect walking terrain!
West Cork is truly a world apart, seemingly remote from the constant hub of modern life yet discreetly offering quiet time to breathe in the freshest sea- salt air. In a landscape festooned with little ports, bays, inlets and harbours, the ocean is never more than a thought away!
Day 1: Arrive in Bantry and collect “Walk Information Pack” from your first house accommodation.
Bantry is a busy, bustling market town at the head of the famous and beautiful Bantry Bay is the heart of West Cork. It has a population of approximately 5,000. The main industries are tourism and mari-culture (Bantry Bay mussels are exported worldwide and the annual Mussel Festival held each May attracts thousands of visitors). Historic Bantry House and gardens are open to the public and the annual music festivals held in Bantry House bring thousands to the town each year. Your first night is spent 5 km from Bantry at the start of the Sheep’s Head Way in order to you allow you get the best from the first days walking. Overnight near Bantry.
Day 2: Walk from the start of the Sheep’s Head Way to Glanlough. Overnight in the village of Kilcrohane which lies under the shadow of ‘Seefin’, the Peninsula’s highest point. Kilcrohane has an all year round population of approximately 300 persons but this number more than doubles during the busy summer season.
Day 3: Walk from Glanlough along the Northern shores of the Peninsula to Cahergal. Overnight again in Kilcrohane which takes its name from the Church of St. Crohan founded in the 8th century.
Day 4: You will be transferred back to Cahergal from where you walk out along to the Lighthouse (look out for the Dolphin and Whale viewpoint), continuing back the Sheep’s Head route on the southern side of the Peninsula to Kilcrohane. Overnight in Kilcrohane.
Day 5: Walk from nearby Ahakista to Durrus along the Sheep’s Head route. Overnight at Durrus which is a very pleasant village located at the head of Dunmanus Bay. Ahakista is the site for a Memorial to those who lost their lives off this coast in the Air India air crash in 1985.
Day 6: Walk from Durrus back to Bantry for your overnight.
Day 7: From Bantry you can return by bus to Cork city and by bus from there to the airport. Alternatively, you can make your way from Bantry to Killarney by bus, and from Killarney a bus or train to Cork, Limerick, Shannon or Dublin.
Single Room Supplement: 7-day €210.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Ireland Outdoor: Land Rambler Walking Tours