Expert Guide on tour for the tour duration.
7 nights stay, 6 days hiking
Comfortable Tour – ideal for beginners.
“Wonderful experience. Knowledgeable guides and pleasant group members made such a difference.”
– Terry, USA, 2016
Southwest Ireland boasts some of the most inspiring landscapes imaginable. Your guided hiking holiday starts on the shores of Kenmare Bay on the Ring of Kerry. This is coastal scenery at its best with views across the Irelands highest mountain range the McGillycuddy Reeks and Bantry Bay.
Discover this part of the “Ring”, walk part of the Kerry Way and then move south to the Beara Peninsula and hike the historical Beara Way.
Visit Dursey Island, travel as far west as you can with the opportunity to spot migrating whales. You complete your guided hiking holiday on the idyllic Sheeps Head peninsula overlooking Roaring Water Bay and the Fastnet Rock. Enjoy the Sheeps Head Way as weaves you through some of the most beautiful scenery you can think of. If you enjoy coastal scenery then this is the guided hiking holiday is perfect for you.
Not Included: Personal drinks, medical expenses or gratuities.
Above pricing does not include single room supplement.
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Your holiday starts in the town of Killarney, where you meet at the old railway station hotel known today as the The Great Southern Hotel. Here – your Guide will meet you at 16.30hours and a courtesy transfer by minivan takes you to the heritage town of Kenmare. On arrival, you will have time for introductions with your group as your Guide goes through some more details for your holiday with you & your group. You then enjoy your first evening meal together & your first 2 overnights are spent in this lovely heritage town of Kenmare.
A short drive outside Kenmare, takes you to an impressive valley where you get the best of Ireland all in one…..a beautiful waterfall, coastal views with surrounding hills & mountains to explore, fields in the valley dotted with snow-white sheep and one of the most peaceful stone circles to contemplate.
Following a lovely trail around the lower foothills of Gleninchaquin, you will reach an old famine cottage before continuing on through pastures to enjoy the delights of this place. With an opportunity to chat with a local farmer, learn more about the region & farming in Ireland, you come away with a rich & intimate knowledge of life in rural Ireland.
At the end of your walk, some light refreshments can be enjoyed before you return to Kenmare with some time to explore this wonderful town. Evening at your leisure to enjoy some of the world class restaurants in the town.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 8kms. Max. Height: 250m. Paved roads & gravel tracks with rocky & uneven sections, can be wet & boggy underfoot. Some sections will require stepping stones over streams & climbing up & down steps.
Travelling south today, your walk takes you to another old Irish farmstead. Here, you will have the opportunity to learn how to make Irish soda bread (and possibly the illicit drink called “poteen”) before enjoying a super walk overlooking west Cork & south Kerry.
Walking through this old farm, you see many remnants of days gone by which is fascinating to see & learn about. Continuing through the farm, and crossing over a small river, you then have a lovely walk following small “boreens” and trails to enjoy a beautiful walk around the foothills of the Caha Mountains. On completion of your circuit, you have the opportunity to continue to the village of Glengarriff, where you can enjoy some free time & refreshment before journeying in your minivan to the town of Castletownbere on the southern shores of the Beara Peninsula where you enjoy your dinner & overnight.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 7kms. Highest point: 200mts. Gravel tracks with rocky & uneven sections, can be wet & boggy underfoot. Paved roads & some steps to climb up & down.
From your accommodation, a short walk takes you to the ferry for Bere Island. Once a military stronghold – this glorious island offers both history, magnificent scenery & fascinating stories from the past.
Walking around the western end of the island, you reach a lighthouse that has guided boats into the haven of Castletownbere harbour for 100’s of years. From here, you follow across moorland to reach an old signal tower & then descend to re-join a road & return to the ferry. With time afterwards to enjoy the surrounding beauty of Castletownbere – your Guide will take you to the old O’Sullivan stronghold at Dunboy Castle that offers a rich insight into bygone days. On your return to Castletownbere, you can enjoy an evening at your leisure. A must see in Castletownbere is the famous Murphys bar.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 10kms. Highest point: 250mts. Paved roads & gravel tracks with rocky & uneven sections, can be wet & boggy underfoot. Grassy trails & open hillside with no trails.
If weather permits – today will take us to the very western tip of the Beara Peninsula and the delightful Dursey Island. Crossing over by Ireland’s only Cable Car, you can then enjoy a beautiful walk around this glorious place.
Following the main island track, you continue west, passing the island’s only graveyard and also a place of historical significance with the O’Sullivan Bere Clan. From there, you continue west to reach the tip of the island – a place often frequented by migrating whales & dolphins. Return along the same route to take the Cable Car back to your minivan.
With an option to enjoy learning more about this fascinating island from a local historian, at the end of your walk, if time allows, a short visit to the village of Allihies & the Copper Mines Museum will give you a greater insight into the importance of the mining industry to the region.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 12kms. Highest point: 200mts. Gravel tracks which can be wet & boggy underfoot in places. Some grassy sections with no trails.
Leaving Castletownbere after breakfast, you drive east to arrive at the market town of Bantry. A short drive outside the town brings you to the start of your walk. From here, you are spoilt for choice as you enjoy stunning walks along hills that form the central spine of the Sheeps Head Peninsula with the Wild Atlantic lapping at both the northern & southern shores of the peninsula. A super walk today takes you west along the hills that form the highest point of this peninsula.
Following a trail across open mountain, with some rough underfoot conditions, you continue west to reach a small road. From here, you follow back to your minivan to continue your journey west to reach your overnight stop on the southern shores of the Sheeps Head Peninsula. On arrival to your accommodation, you will have time to enjoy the delights of the quaint village of Kilcrohane towards the western end of the peninsula. Dinner and overnight here.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 10kms. Highest point: 230mts. Paved roads, gravel tracks and open hillside with no tracks, uneven & rocky underfoot & can be wet & boggy in places.
The ultimate walk, and a super finale, takes you from ancient Copper Mines to modern day Lighthouses as you enjoy one of the most glorious walks this region of Ireland offers.
Reaching the tip of this Peninsula – as far as you can drive, you start your walk following a lovely trail through the hills to reach the northern coast of Sheeps Head. From here, you follow west to the tip of the peninsula and the picturesque lighthouse that was assembled by Gulf Oil to protect its tankers. This is a favourite look out point for whales, sharks & dolphins. Continuing east, you then complete your circuit with an optional walk to an impressive Signal Tower before you finish. Your final dinner & overnight in Kilcrohane is a super way to finish your holiday, exchange memories & discuss all the highlights of your week.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 8kms. Highest point: 150mts. Gravel tracks & open hillside with uneven & rocky sections, some of which can be wet & boggy underfoot in places.
After breakfast, a courtesy transfer by minivan bring you back to Bantry town, arriving at approx. 10am. From here, a good bus service returns you to Cork City where you can then avail of an excellent service of trains, buses, ferry or airports for your onward journey.