Walking in Ireland (Wicklow and Killarney)

Walking in Ireland (Wicklow and Killarney)

Ireland’s famous walking ‘ways’ offer a unique vantage point to take in this country’s breathtaking scenery.

The beautiful Wicklow Way is Ireland’s classic hiking trail; It takes walkers on peaceful paths through ancient forests, open mountain trails and Irish country towns and villages where you can experience real Irish hospitality.

The Kerry Way is also recognized as one of the country’s most scenic walking routes. With breathtaking views over the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains of Kerry, the walk features stunning natural beauty and small villages with cosy pubs and friendly locals.

We will follow a variety of trails from quiet country roads to forests, mountain paths and bogs. Walks cover a daily average of 10 – 13km with total ascents of 400-700m, led by experienced, expert walking guides. The terrain can be demanding in areas but should pose no difficulties for regular walkers with average fitness. If you do take on the challenge, you will be rewarded with fantastic scenery, history and legendary Irish warmth and hospitality.

Hotels and Guesthouses have been carefully selected for their location, comfort, character, food and the friendliness of the staff.

Tour Highlights:

• Glendalough National Park
• The wilderness and beauty of the Wicklow Mountains
• Annamoe Sheep Dog Centre
• Powerscourt House and Gardens
• Blarney
• The scenic Ring of Kerry, part of the Wild Atlantic Way
• Ancient castles, forts and abbeys along our route
• Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens
• The culture and history of Dublin City

**Those participating on this walking tour must be able to complete up to 13 km of walking.

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1: Depart

We depart for Dublin

Day 2: Wicklow

Fáilte Dublin! Upon arrivel we transfer to Glendalough in Wicklow, a remarkable place that has inspired visitors for generations and one of Ireland’s most beautiful destinations. There will be time to relax and acclimatize before our Welcome Dinner.

Day 3: Glendalough (Walk 10-12 km with 400m of ascent)

We begin our walking with a looped walk in the valley of Glendalough, the longest glacial valley in the British Isles. We will walk leisurely today to make the most of this spectacular scenery with time to explore the world-renowned heritage site of Glendalough.

Day 4: Glendalough to Roundwood (Walk 13km with 670m of ascent)

We walk on peaceful forest trails to the village of Laragh, with time to explore this lively village. We rejoin the Wicklow Way, continuing on mountain paths and boreens until we reach the town of Roundwood. Here we enjoy a Sheep Dog demonstration by a renowned sheepdog handler. See the working border collies in action.

Day 5: Roundwood to Enniskerry (Walk 10km with 700m of ascent)

This lovely section of the Wicklow Way takes us across tops of mountains with amazing views of the hills and coast. We’ll have the perfect vantage point to view Loch Tay - a peaty lake flanked on one side by a white sandy beach, which resembles a pint of Guinness (fittingly this area is owned by the Guinness family). We also take in White Hill and Djouce Mountain (Wicklow’s best known mountain) ending at Powerscourt Estate where we’ll have time to visit. Then we transfer to Kilkenny for our overnight.

Day 6: Kilkenny to Killarney

A day without walking. We will have some free time in the medieval town of Kilkenny, then proceed to Killarney. En route we stop in Blarney, where you may want to relax in one of the many pubs or café’s, shop at the Woolen Mill or you may choose to kiss the Blarney Stone! Later we arrive at our luxurious B&B located minutes from the lively town centre.

Day 7: Glencar to Glenbeigh (Walk 13km with 370m of ascent)

We start walking the Kerry Way following the River Caragh along rural roads and forest trails until reaching Drombrane Lough. Then we continue on boreen and forest trail as we slowly ascend to the ‘col’ (lowest point of the ridge between mountains) between Seefin and Coolroe Mountains, where we’ll have an excellent view of Inch Point and its beaches and the Glenbeigh coast.

Day 8: Waterville to Caherdaniel (Walk 13km with 370m of ascent)

Today’s section of the Kerry Way is quite relaxed, along lanes and mountain trails. This area is dotted with historic sites, such as standing stones, Chillin (Irish for little church or burial ground), Megalithic tombs and Ogham stones. Along the coast we’ll enjoy excellent sea views before reaching the quaint town of Caherdaniel.

Day 9: Killarney

A perfect place to enjoy a day at leisure. This vibrant town and the incredibly beautiful surrounding countryside make Killarney a very special place. The town is packed full of sights to see and is alive with Irish history and culture. Appropriately known as ‘Nature’s Paradise’, the views and scenery are simply breathtaking.

Day 10: Caherdaniel to Sneem (Walk 12km with 500m of ascent)

Our walk today is slightly hilly (although nothing is too steep or high for comfort). The route is on boreens, forest tracks and mountain trails. Ascending these hills and gaining elevation will open up spectacular views of the small islands off the coast as well as the Berra Peninsula with its weathered coastline and sheltered harbours. Tonight we enjoy a Traditional Irish Night of delicious food, traditional music and costumed dancers - a perfect way to celebrate the end of our walking!

Day 11: Dublin

Making our way back to Dublin, we stop at the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens. This unique attraction is home to some of world’s most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens. Later we arrive in Dublin where we’ll have a sightseeing tour onboard the coach.

Day 12: Dublin

With a myriad of attractions to suit all interests, you have no shortage of ways to spend a day in Dublin. Maybe the Guinness Storehouse is on your list, or perhaps the National Gallery of Ireland? You may want to spend time wandering the cobbled streets of Temple Bar and relax at one of the inviting pubs and cafes. Tonight our Farewell Dinner is a unique opportunity to experience traditional Irish music, dance and food.

Day 13: Depart for home

We make our way to Dublin airport and say Slán leat to Ireland!

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Cost per person: $5197
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