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    Hiking & Island Hopping

    Cork & Kerry

    46 review(s)

    Next Trip: 13th - 19th May 2023 Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

    From €2,180 View Prices & Dates

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    Trip created by Louise Kavanagh
    View Louise's Profile

    Region: South West – Cork & Kerry
    Trip Type: Hiking
    Accommodation: Classic
    Max Group Size: 8
    Confirmed: When 2 Travellers Book
    Deposit From €545.00 €545.00

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    Carbon Footprint: 164kg ? What does this mean?
    Click here to find out about our carbon labelling project and what we're doing to be more sustainable.

    All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

    Download Itinerary

    Join us on a unique hiking tour to the spectacular southwest of Ireland. On foot and by boat, we’ll discover the wildest coasts and islands of beautiful Cork and Kerry. 

    Make the unforgettable journey through Ireland hiking trails in Cork and Kerry, from the historical town of Baltimore known for its tales of pirate invasions, to the most westerly inhabited island in Europe, rich in literary history.

    By day experience scenic island and coastal hikes, ancient historical sites, diving seabirds and stunningly beautiful mountain pass in Ireland’s breathtaking southwest. By evening, dip into Kerry’s culinary heritage at some of the most delicious eateries and music-filled pubs in Ireland.

    Your knowledgeable guide will provide a fascinating insight into the rich cultural and geological history. As you sail to the islands, scan the swirling waves to spot marine life such as gannets, puffins, basking sharks, whales and dolphins.  And don’t forget the colourful characters of rural Ireland that they are bound to introduce you to along the way!

    Trip Highlights

    • Coastal hikes & island hopping along the Wild Atlantic Way coastline and islands of southwest Ireland.
    • Climb Skellig Michael, UNESCO World Heritage, and now a Star Wars filming location.
    • Explore remote islands where the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) culture & tradition is still strong.

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 – Baltimore

    After meeting in Cork, we travel to the historic fishing town of Baltimore. We’ll stretch our legs with a short hike en route to this vibrantly colourful heritage town known for tales of conquests, abductions and pirates thanks to the town’s exotic visitors. Relax before dinner or stroll along the shore with views of the magical Carbery’s 100 Isles scattered across the aptly-named Roaring Water Bay. (L, D)

    Hike Details: 3 miles/5km | approx. 2hrs.

    Day 2 – Cape Clear Island

    Off the coast of Baltimore is Ireland’s southernmost inhabited island, and traditionally the last glimpse of Europe for those who once sailed to North America by ship. Cape Clear is a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) island just 5km long and 2km wide. Hiking across the island, we’ll explore its ancient sites, spot the rich birdlife and perhaps even visit a herd of goats to taste some of their very own ice cream. On most days, the iconic silhouette of the dramatic Fastnet Rock Lighthouse can be seen to the northwest of the island. (B, L)

    Hike Details: 4.5 miles/7km | approx. 3hrs.

    Day 3 – Sheep's Head Peninsula

    Heading north, we discover an unspoilt, rolling green landscape so impressive it has been named a European Destination of Excellence. In fact, some of Ireland’s best dairy produce comes from this region – sampling the local cheese is a must. This timeless region never ceases to surprise where dramatic views, lush emerald hills and charming farmland abound. On our hike, which takes in sections of the Sheep’s Head Way, we will experience some breathtaking views of the headland before continuing to our accommodation in the vibrant town of Kenmare. (B, L, D)

    Hike details: 5 miles/8km | approx. 3-4hrs.

    Day 4 – The Ring of Kerry & Skellig Michael

    Ireland’s most famous islands, the Skelligs are two jagged rock pinnacles rising above battering Atlantic waves. It was on the UNESCO site Skellig Michael that the monks of yesteryears once lived and prayed in stone beehive huts which still cling to the island’s rocky slopes. Today, we’ll follow in the footsteps of these 7th-century Irish monks to their dramatic island retreat. The small Skellig is equally renowned as a home to 27,000 pairs of gannets, the second-largest colony in the world. The islands have famously been used as a filming location for the 2015 and 2017 Star Wars movies. (B, L)

    Hike details: The Skellig Michael hike is short but involves climbing 618 ancient steps.

    Day 5 – The Old Kenmare Road

    Leaving the coast behind, we spend a day enjoying part of one of Ireland’s best long distance trails, the Kerry Way. Following part of a 17th-century military road built to move soldiers from Kenmare around the majestic mountain range the Macguillycuddy’s Reeks, the Old Kenmare Road is one of Kerry’s most spectacular places to walk. After enjoying views across Kenmare Bay and a splendid horseshoe of mountain peaks, we’ll descend towards the lush green oak woods on the outskirts of Killarney National Park. (B, L)

    Hike Details: 4 miles/6.5 km || approx. 3hrs.

    Day 6 – Dingle and the Blasket Islands

    On our final hike, we’ll explore the narrow paths that weave across the rich fabric of landscape on the largest of the Blasket Islands, the Great Blasket. Inhabited until the 1950s by a small island community who left behind a strong literary legacy, today the islands are eerily silent, with abandoned cottages still huddled on the island’s slopes. The remote island cliffs are home to a myriad of seabirds, and whales, dolphins and seals are regular maritime visitors. Back on the Dingle Peninsula, spend the evening in Dingle town, a bastion of traditional Irish music. Join the locals in a cosy pub to experience some real ‘craic agus ceoil’ to mark our last night together. (B, L, D).

    Hike Details: 4 miles/6.5km | approx. 3hrs.

    Day 7 – Dingle Town & Departure

    This morning after a relaxing breakfast, we’ll get the chance to explore the vibrant and colourful Dingle town, home to many interesting craft shops and cafes. We then will bid farewell to our fellow travellers at Limerick Railway Station, where there are regular train connections to Dublin. (B)

    *This itinerary is subject to changes and improvements. 

    X
    Hiking
    Cork & Kerry

    To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

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    Trip Dates & Prices

    Trip Dates for 2023AvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    13th May - 19th May 20231 place leftCONFIRMED€2,180Book Now
    10th Jun - 16th Jun 20235 places leftCONFIRMED€2,180Book Now
    15th Jul - 21st Jul 20235 places leftCONFIRMED€2,180Book Now
    12th Aug - 18th Aug 20236 places leftCONFIRMED€2,180Book Now
    2nd Sep - 8th Sep 20235 places leftCONFIRMED€2,180Book Now

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    As you hop from island to island, relax in a cosy, home-away-from-home each night, hand-picked by for their excellent location, service and comfort. Relax in cosy libraries in front of a warm peat fire after an exciting day out hiking the islands. All accommodations provide breakfast.

    We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However, you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you specifically require a single room you will have to pay the single supplement charge of €300 but this is subject to availability.

    Meals Read More

    Most meals are included in the price of this trip. Breakfast is provided each morning, as well as lunch and snacks throughout the trip. Dinner is provided the first and last night. Other evenings, can dine where you choose – your guide can help you by making recommendations and reservations. Local pubs and restaurants offer a wide choice of local dishes.

    On this trip, we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.

    Inclusions Read More
    • 6 nights accommodation in unique and cosy guest houses and hotels
    • Most meals during the trip (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
    • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable hiking guide/driver throughout
    • Pickup and transport throughout the trip
    • 7 days of hiking on the breathtaking peninsulas and rugged islands of Ireland’s southwest
    • All boat/transfers to each island on the itinerary
    • Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary
    Trip Grading Read More

    Green Graded 1-3

    Our green graded trips include shorter hikes, with few ascents, and are generally over smoother (but usually not paved) terrain. We include more cultural stops along the way and walk at a leisurely pace.

    Often our green graded trips include hikes in flatter coastal areas or in valleys and will last around 2-4 hours each day. To help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

    Can you comfortably hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascents, over generally good terrain?

    Travel – Arrival and Departure Read More

    You will be met by your Wilderness Ireland Guide at Cork Kent Train Station at 12.00 pm on Day 1 of your trip. You will be dropped off at Limerick Colbert Train Station by 1.00 pm on the last day of your trip. For full details on how to get to Cork, please see our Travel to Ireland section here.

    Photo Gallery

    Make This Trip Private

    Fancy this trip just for your group? Get together with family and friends spend quality time exploring wild places. A private trip allows you to benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides but with the advantage of the flexibility to tailor the days to your group. Make the trip more or less challenging depending on your experience or choose to add in some optional extras like castle or distillery visits depending on your interests. The price of a private trip will depend on the number of travellers in your group. Let us know your prefered departure date and we'll take care of the rest.

    Speak to an Expert

    Louise Kavanagh

    From scuba diving to motorbikes to hiking, Louise is no stranger to adventure. Born and raised in County Sligo, Louise has a love for Ireland’s West Coast – particularly the northwest. Joining the Wilderness Ireland team in 2017 as an Adventure Consultant, Louise is one of the team’s expert trip designers – ready to help you explore Ireland’s wild places. When not at work, Louise can usually be found underwater exploring Ireland’s unique coastlines or else zipping through the countryside on her motorbike.

    Ask Louise a Question

    Meet Your Guide

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Green Grades 1-3

    Our hiking trips range from very straightforward low-level hikes to trips that include more challenging itineraries which will take you to a new mountain top each day.

    Our green graded trips include shorter hikes, with few ascents, and are generally over smoother (but usually not paved) terrain. We include more cultural stops along the way and walk at a leisurely pace.

    Often our green graded trips include hikes in flatter coastal areas or in valleys, and will last around 2-4 hours each day. To help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

    Can you comfortably hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascents, over generally good terrain?

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 4.93 out of 5 based on 46 review(s) of Hiking & Island Hopping – Cork & Kerry

     

    Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us. Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

    That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

    SW

    Susan Bostrom Wong

    Reviewed on 31/08/2022

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: United States
    Trip Date: 13/08/2022
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    I loved this trip.

    RP

    Ruth Palmer

    Reviewed on 29/08/2022

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: United States
    Trip Date: 13/08/2022
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    It was a memorable, beautiful trip in every way. We had some weather-related changes in schedule, which meant we missed a couple of island hikes that sounded very special. But our guide always found an interesting and beautiful alternative. What a wonderful way to get a close look at part of this stunningly beautiful country! Our guide Werner and Claire, who came along as a guest/helper created a very friendly and comfortable process among the members of our group, and we had fun whatever we were doing. They were also very well informed about the geology, the history, and the social fabric of Ireland, and shared what they knew with good humor and warmth. My only caveat is that the description of the hikes as "easy" did not always seem accurate. They were not too long- usually 6 miles or less- but did involve a lot of up and down, and at times scrambling over rocks on rather steep paths. Those days were a bit outside my comfort zone, and would have been very challenging for me without the help and support from our guide Werner. Otherwise, this was a simply wonderful experience in every way, and I would highly recommend Wilderness Ireland to anyone seeking an active and rich experience of the countryside in Ireland.

    JB

    Jacquie Brisbout

    Reviewed on 25/08/2022

    Age: 60 - 70
    Trip Date: 13/08/2022
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    I would definitely sign on again and joined this trip as all the others were full, so my choice ultimately. However next time I would choose a tour that was more active & where all members would be fit enough to walk & hike without help. It must be hard to assess fitness levels but next time I would enquire about the dynamic & appropriateness of the group. I was expecting a higher fitness level. While I was happy with everything it was very slow going at times due to certain members and some walks were shortened and ferries nearly missed. Still a lovely bunch of people and I respected everyone.

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