Wicklow Mountains & Glendalough Monastic Site
Your Adventure Begins! After leaving Dublin, you will travel through the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains, over the Sally Gap, and view the Guinness Lake (where a member of the Guinness family lives). Make your way to your guest house in Glendalough. Once you get booked in, you'll get your gear ready for your first walk! Glendalough is a majestic place, a previously important religious centre in ancient Ireland where St. Kevin resided and lived with his fellow Christians. It might have been a happy time here before the Vikings were marauding around their monasteries! After your walk, which is about three hours and all around the valley, you will come back to relax at the guest house.
Highlight of the day: Visit the 6
th Century Glendalough Monastic Site
Overnight : Laragh Village - Wicklow
Restaurant Suggestion: The Wicklow Heather Restaurant
Dingle Village & The South Pole Inn
Today travel to the south west of Ireland to the kingdom of Kerry. On route you will stop in the cute Irish village of Adare before you head directly for Dingle. On your approach, drive through Annascaul Village and make a stop for a quick drink in the South Pole Inn. This pub was owned by the great Antarctic explorer, Tom Crean, who was an important member of both the Scott and Shackleton South Pole expeditions. You can enjoy a drink here before your guide will stop at Beenbane beach and you can take the cliff walk into Dingle Village - a wonderful way to arrive to this magical little corner of Ireland.
Highlight of the day: Cliff walk into Dingle
Overnight: Dingle Town
Restaurant Suggestion: An Canteen
Mount Brandon & Conor Pass
Today get yourselves ready for an amazing walk up Mount Brandon. On the way to the start of your trek, drive over the famous Conor Pass where you will enjoy amazing views of the Dingle peninsula and Mt Brandon. From the top you can see down to the Blasket Islands on one side and all the way to Tralee on the other. It is one of the most scenic mountains in Ireland. This walk is not difficult with an easy slop to the top. The summit is 1000m and should take no longer than 4 hours. After your great adventure, head back to Dingle and you will have the option to see, swim or kayak with Fungi , a wild dolphin that calls Dingle his home.
Highlight of the day: Climbing up Mt Brandon
Overnight : Dingle Town
Restaurant Suggestion : Walkers Bar & Restaurant
Slea Head Walk & Views of The Blasket Islands
Slea Head lies ahead of us today. National Geographic has put this peninsula in the top 10 dives in the world and I would put it in the top 3! Drive slowly through the gorgeous fuchsia lined roads of Slea Head and follow the cliffs around to your view point of the Great Blasket Island. There are more megalithic relics on this peninsula than on the rest of the island, it is an archaeologist’s heaven. Your walk is nice and easy today, with spectacular views out to the Atlantic and Dead Man’s Island. This is the closest you can get to America in Europe. Your walk will finish in the village of Ballyferriter, a Gaeltacht area, where all the locals speak in Ireland’s native tongue.
Highlight of the day: Hike Slea Head
Overnight: Dingle Town
Restaurant Suggestion: The Chart House
Killarney National Park & The Gap of Dunloe
Today you will experience one of the most beautiful walks you will find in all of Ireland through The Gap of Dunloe. The 'Gap' stretches through the highest mountain range in Ireland called the MacGuillicuddy Reeks. This spectacular glacial valley simply must be experienced to be fully appreciated. The walk will take you through the gap and you will finish on the far side. From there a river boat will take you for an hour long boat ride through the lakes of Killarney finishing at Ross Castle a short walk from Killarney village.
Highlight of the day: The Gap of Dunloe & the lakes of Killarney
Overnight : Killarney
Restaurant Suggestion: Bricin Restaurant
The Cliffs Of Moher Walk
Make your way up the west coast and cross the river Shannon by ferry at Tarbert. The river Shannon is the spine of Ireland, dividing the land in two. It won’t be long before arriving in the Burren and getting to see the Cliffs of Moher. Heading just up the road, you may stop at Brigid’s Well before you get a start on your walk along the amazing Cliffs Of Moher. Living on the edge is fantastic but at these cliffs, it is advisable to stay away from the 214m high cliff edges.
Highlight of the day: Cliffs Of Moher
Restaurant Suggestion: The Cornerstone
The Burren & Galway City
This morning walk through this karst limestone region that covers 250 square miles. Because limestone is one of the most permeable rocks, there are many subterranean caverns in the area. You can walk these pavements and feel like you are walking on the moon! After leaving Doolin early in the morning, follow the coast all the way to Galway. Unfortunately, you will be bidding farewell to some of your brave adventurers today as Galway is the final stop for the people of the 'Southern Gem tour'. However, it is also the beginning for your new friends who wish to do the Northern part of the tour. You will have a few hours to spend in Galway to do some shopping or enjoy the many sights this wonderful city has to offer.
Highlight of the day: Walk through The Burren
Restaurant Suggestion: Ardagh Restaurant
Connemara & Kylemore Abbey
Today, have a few options today to hike Benbaun and Kylemore Abbey. As you ascend this mountain, you will have unrestricted views of the lakes of Connemara made famous in the song by Marcel Sardou. There are lots of wild mountain goats in this part of the country and you may be lucky to see a Connemara pony rambling beside you. After your 4-hour walk, you will take you on a guided tour of Kylemore Abbey, seen as one of the most romantic places in all of Ireland. The chapel in the grounds is a miniature replica of Norwich Cathedral and the gardens are immaculately kept.
Highlight of the day: Kylemore Abbey
Restaurant Suggestion: Guy’s Bar & Snug Restaurant
Connemara & Killary Fjord
After breakfast, your tour guide will bring you to a spot where you can get the most out of the sights and views from this magnificent landscape. The 'famine walk runs along the shores of Killary Harbour. You will be walking on an old famine road that was built by the starving Irish during the great famine 1845-1849. On the route, you will clearly see the ruins of famine villages and 'lazy beds', the name given to the potato ridges where the starving Irish peasants tried to provide food for their families. This walk finishes at a beach and is around 12k long.
Highlight of the day; Killary Fjord
Restaurant Suggestion: Guys Bar & Snug
Sligo & Amazing Beach Walks
After your hearty Irish breakfast, first visit the Country Life Museum where you will learn all about life in rural Ireland about 150 years ago. Then, you will take a nice relaxing stroll along a secluded beach at Mullagmore ! As you travel further north, you will make a stop at the grave of WB Yeats which lays at the foot of Ben Bulben, a spectacular last resting place. You will then travel through Sligo and stop in Donegal for a walk around the town, which includes entry into Donegal Castle.
Highlight of the day: Walk along Mullagmore Beach
Restaurant Suggestion: The Harbour Restaurant
Donegal & The Mighty Slieve League Cliffs
This morning, head to the highest sea cliffs in Europe at Slieve League. This is a truly a magnificent sight to see. Because of the cliffs location and height, winds can get very strong here so your guide will make a call as to whether it's safe to walk along the top. If it's not, there is an alternative at Glen Colm Kill, which will give you spectacular sights of the cliffs from below.
Highlight of the day; Slieve League Cliffs
Restaurant Suggestion; The Village Tavern
Glenveagh National Park
Donegal is one of the most unspoiled landscapes in Europe. It’s famous for its beautiful scenery, coastline, impressive mountain ranges, glens and lakes, and rich reminders of a historic past. Travel to Ireland's most northerly national park: the great Glenveagh National Park. It is a wonderful place that even breeds wild eagles. If you're lucky enough, you might catch a glimpse. After your hike through the national park, you will give you a guided tour of Glenveagh Castle. A magical fairy tale place set on the banks of the lough. Once owned by a rich American of Irish ancestry, after his death he donated the castle to the state.
Highlight of the day: Hike through Glenveagh National Park
Restaurant Suggestion : Manhattan Steakhouse
Derry & Dunluce Castle
Today, enter into Northern Ireland for the first time on your tour. First visit the ancient fort at Grianan An Aileach before visiting a city which dominates the North-western landscape of Ireland, the City of Derry. Meander through the bustling streets of the only completely walled city in the UK and listen to the echoes of 1450 years of history. Stroll along its 17th century walls, and marvel at the ever-changing skyline of a city which is constant only in the warmth of its welcome. Ttravel along one of the most northerly roads in Ireland. You will stop at Dunluce Castle once owned by the infamous McDonnell Clan from Scotland who came to Ireland to increase their power.
Highlight of the day; Walk along Derry City Walls
Restaurant Suggestion: The Fullerton Arms
The Giant’s Causeway & Coastal Walk
Get ready to experience the Giant’s Causeway today! The coastal scenery adjacent to the causeway is some of the most beautiful and awe inspiring that you are likely to find anywhere. You will walk from the harbour at Balintoy made famous by the ‘Game Of Throne’s and hug the coast all the way to the UNESCO world heritage site of the Causeway. Many ships have foundered below these towering cliffs, but none as tragic as that of Girona, a ship of the Spanish Armada. Carrying the crews from two previous Armada shipwrecks, the Girona was on passage from Killybegs and trying to reach the relative safety of Scotland. As she rounded Inishowen peninsula, heavily over laden and in deteriorating sea conditions, her rudder failed. In the teeth of a full blown north-westerly gale, the crew battled to keep her off the coast but she finally struck Laca Point in view of the Giant’s Causeway at midnight on October 30th, 1588 with the loss of over 1,200 men!
Highlight of the day: The Giant’s Causeway Coastal Walk
Restaurant Suggestion: The Fullerton Tavern
Belfast City & Return to Dubin
This is the day everyone dreads for the whole trip, it’s the day you return to Dublin. On route, stop in Belfast city and do a tour around the centre and the divide that exists between the Catholic and Protestant communities that live so close together. It is quite fascinating to learn about! After your visit to Belfast you will travel through Co. Meath where the High Kings of Ireland once ruled the country from before you arrive back in Dublin.
Highlight of the day: Belfast City