SELF GUIDED TOUR
The perfect way for the independent explorer to see our hidden gems & discover the many paths less travelled.
7 nights stay, 5/6 days hiking
Participants need to have a good level of fitness and previous hiking experience is recommended.
“Great company to work with, helpful information, well organised, regular contact. Appreciated the flexibility of being able to add extra days where we wanted to stay longer.”
– Anna, Netherlands, 2016
The Dingle Peninsula is one of the most spectacular regions on Ireland’s West Coast. Moreover it is steeped in history, mythology and traditional Irish culture. There is no other landscape in Western Europe with the same density and variety of archaeological monuments. This mountainous finger of land, jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, has supported various tribes and populations for at least 6,000 years. Because of its remote location – and lack of specialised agriculture – there is a remarkable preservation of over 2000 monuments. It is impossible to visit the Dingle Peninsula and not be impressed by its archaeological heritage, which ranges from prehistoric times through the Early Christian period to the Middle Ages.
Throughout the region there are magnificent views in all directions. Incredibly green pastures stretch as far as the eye can see, completely empty save for small herds of sheep or goats. At almost every turn there are spectacular views of mist-covered mountains and wild stretches of uninhabitable coastline where deep fissures have been carved, over the centuries, by the pounding waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The tip of the peninsula, west of Dingle town, is a stronghold of the Irish language and many traditions and customs have been preserved here along with the language. This is a delightful one-week walk and along the way you’ll enjoy plenty of good Irish cheer.
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Arrive in the lovely fishing village of Dingle on the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula for the first night. This mountainous finger of land which juts into the Atlantic Ocean, is a “lively” village, facing comfortably onto a sheltered harbour, with plenty of excellent restaurants and good pubs. Music and song have a long tradition on the Peninsula, with Irish music sessions being available most nights of the week throughout the year. You will find something to suit every palette and budget. Seafood is naturally a speciality in Dingle with the Atlantic Ocean on their door-step, however the region is also acclaimed for its excellent meat and fresh dairy produce. Access to Dingle is via a bus service from either Tralee or Killarney, with all details available on www.buseireann.ie or from Ireland Walk Hike Bike. Overnight in Dingle
Transfer to Annascaul by public bus. Leaving the village of Annascaul, you head for Dingle. The route passes through Minard, with its 16th century castle, and the Gaeltacht village of Lispole. It then takes old, narrow country lanes through Lisdargan and Ballingarraun before joining the old military road below the Connor Pass, and on into Dingle. Overnight in Dingle.
Walk Details: Distance: 20kms. Max. Height: 300m. Country lanes, grass tracks and some road walking. Boots essential.
Your route today starts just outside Dingle, passing the Early Christian site of Kilcolman and continuing to the glorious sweep of Ventry beach. From here it takes you on a beautiful and very historic walk around Slea Head, finishing Dunquin. This walk offers an opportunity to see ‘beehive huts’ at close quarters, and also a full view of the Great Blasket Islands, the most westerly point in Europe, and the largest of a group of islands located 3 miles off the tip of the Dingle Penninsula. Overnight in Dingle.
Walk Details: Distance: 19kms. Max. Height: 350m. Rocky & grass tracks, some beach & road walking. Boots essential.
Today is your free day where you have the option to relax and read a book, ramble around the many craft shops in Dingle or sit and watch the fishing boats as they land their catch in Dingle harbour. For those who wish to walk you have the option to walk on the Conor Pass or take a boat-trip across to the Great Blasket Island and enjoy a walk on this fantastic Island which is now uninhabited since the 1950’s. Overnight in Dingle.
Transfer to the tiny hamlet of Tiduff. Walk from here along an old military road to the eastern side of the Brandon massif, finishing in the village of Cloghane. This is a remote but spectacular walk – full of history and through country only accessible on foot. Overnight in Cloghane.
Walk Details: Distance: 22kms. Max. Height: 650m. Grass mountain tracks with some rocky sections. Gravel tracks and some road walking. Boots essential.
From Cloghane follow in the footsteps of pilgrims to climb the Holy Mount Brandon.
Overnight in Cloghane.
A wonderful walk along one of the longest and most unspoilt stretches of beach in Kerry. The route follows the sweeping coastline of Brandon Bay with its enormous waves. The mountains of Beenoskee and Caherconree form a majestic backdrop. At the tip of the Magharees Peninsula you pass the historic island of Illauntannig with its 10th century monastery ruins. From here you turn south, flanking the east coast of the Magharees to finish your walk in the village of Castlegregory. Transfer back to Cloghane for overnight stay.
Walk Details: Distance: 21kms. Max. Height: 100m. Beach walking and some road walking. Boots recommended.
Departure from Cloghane to Tralee town by private transport. From Tralee, connections by bus and train are frequent to Cork, Limerick, Shannon or Dublin.