The bus will leave Dublin city centre at 9am on Monday morning. If you are flying into Dublin airport on the Monday morning, please let us know and we will stop there and pick you up if it fits with the schedule. (Contact us via email for more details on this.)
Once leaving Dublin City we will drive south in the direction of Cork City (we can also pick you up here). It’s a long drive to Cork so we will break it up with a stop in Wicklow (known as Ireland’s Garden County), where we will do a short hike (approximately 2 hours) in the Wicklow Mountains, visit some of the local attractions such as St. Kevin’s monastery at Glendalough and Powersourt Waterfall and then get some lunch.
When we arrive in Cork, we will check into the hotel. And following this, the evening is all yours. Don’t consume too much Murphy’s or Guinness on your first night on the tour because we have an action-packed day on Tuesday!
Following breakfast on Tuesday morning, the bus will leave Cork City and take us to the wilds of West Cork. This is a full day of hiking in some of the most breathtaking landscapes you’ll see anywhere. By evening time we’ll be in Kenmare, which is on the famous Ring of Kerry, and this is where we will stay for the night.
We’ll do another good day of hiking the trails of this part of Ireland. This time in the McGillycuddy Reeks range, which contains Ireland’s highest mountain, Currán Tuathal (this is also spelled Carrauntoohill on some maps).
By the end of Wednesday, you’ll be physically tired so we have you checked in to some five star accomodation in Killarney where you’ll be able to unwind and relax your weary limbs.
Thursday is a less intense day. We’ll take to the bus again and visit a number of famous attractions in Kerry, such as the UNESCO heritage site of the Skellig Islands, the home of man known as Ireland’s Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, at Derrynane, the beautiful Muckross House and Gardens in Killarney and much more. We’ll visit some of Ireland’s finest beaches along our way and if there is time and weather permits we can go surfing too.
By Thursday evening we will have arrived at the fishing village of Dingle, the largest town in the West Kerry Gaeltacht (Irish speaking region). There’s lots to see and do here, and some fine restaurants too. There’s options to visit Slea Head and Coumeenole Beach, made famous by the film Ryan’s Daughter. If time and weather conditions allow we can take a boat to the Blasket Islands which are no longer inhabited but were once a hotspot of Gaelic literature. Don’t retire to bed without first checking out a traditional music session in one of Dingle’s quaint old pubs.
On Friday morning we will trek over Mount Brandon. It is from the base of this mountain where it meets the Atlantic Ocean (Brandon Creek) that Saint Brendan the Navigator is thought to have set sail in the 5th Century in a small open boat with a crew of other early Christian monks towards what we now know as America. If we get a clear day, this hike is likely to be one of the highlights of the trip.
When we get down from Mount Brandon we will have a pint and some food in the village of Clochán and then head for West Clare and the world famous karst landscape known as The Burren. That evening we’ll be able to check out the beautiful Cliffs of Moher, in time for sunset and we’ll stay the night in the small village of Doolin.
Next morning we’ll hike around the Burren, visit the old fishing villages of Ballyvaughan and Kinvara and make our way towards Galway City in the afternoon. The rest of the day and evening are yours to so as you please in The City of the Tribes.
Sunday is the last day of the trip. We’ll leave Galway and head east across the country towards Dublin. Our schedule includes a stop at the early Christian monastic settlement of Clonmacnoise on the banks of the Shannon River. We aim to be back in Dublin at 6pm.