Duration: 6 night(s) From €2,000
Trip created by Erin Elliott
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From Cork’s hidden inlets, a unique foraging expedition on the Ring of Kerry to the wilds of the Beara Peninsula and a paradisal garden, this trip explores the secrets of Ireland’s beloved southwest regions of West Cork and Kerry on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Southwest Ireland has become a foodie hotspot in the last few years. Tickle your tastebuds on this Wild Atlantic Way culinary adventure through some of Ireland’s most delicious towns and villages, culminating in a visit to the vibrant town of Kinsale, the gourmet capital of Ireland. Though Cork and Kerry are some of Ireland’s most popular regions, we’ll take you off the beaten track to visit several of the most intriguing yet off-the-map locations favourited by locals.
On our Self Drive trips, enjoy the flexibility to travel at your own pace as well as benefit from passionate, local guides on certain days (marked G) who will interpret the landscape and introduce you to the culture and history of Ireland. Leave the planning and reservations to us – we’ve identified the very best of each region to get a great sampling of the nature, history and culture of Ireland. Hikes and other outdoor activities are matched to your ability levels. Minimum group size is 2.
Killarney National Park is the most famous of Ireland’s national parks – and with good reason! Discover some of Killarney’s most breathtaking mountains, lakes and waterfalls. Historic manor houses and abbeys makes for an interesting visit but Killarney is best explored via its beautiful looped forested and mountain hikes or by heading out onto the lakes of Killarney in a traditional boat. (B)
Into the southern part of the Ring of Kerry, the landscape becomes wilder and more rugged. At a secluded bay, meet a local foodie whose passion is uncovering the Kerry Coast’s edible gems, such as various seaweeds and coastal plants. Together, spend the morning fishing in Kerry’s quiet waters before learning how to make sushi and ceviche from your catch as you enjoy an island picnic with views across the Skellig Coast and beyond. (B,G)
The least visited of Kerry’s peninsulas, the Beara Peninsula is wonderfully wild. Along the way to an even wilder mountain pass, opt for the scenic rather than most direct route south which brings you to a paradisal island garden or even head over to an island accessed only by cable car. (B)
Crafters, artists and artisan food producers have long since retreated to West Cork, creating a fascinating cultural mix in a magical setting. Explore West Cork’s remote corners with an expert guide on a hike best suited to your fitness level, coupled with a visit to some artesian galleries and delicatessens that add vibrancy to the region. Be sure to sample some of West Cork’s tasty cheeses! (B,G)
A foodie haven and the end of the Wild Atlantic Way, Kinsale is a bolthole for Ireland’s most culinary-minded and its pretty harbour with mystical sea views is an idyllic place for an adventure. Follow a jaw-dropping coastal route through southwest Ireland as you learn of pirate invasions, famine and conflict. A visit to 17th century star-shaped Charles Fort or a sunset stroll along a waterside walkway is a perfect end to your day’s touring. (B)
Meet an expert kayak instructor to explore the tranquil waters of Kenmare Bay, paddling alongside hidden coves and beaches in the remote peninsulas of West Cork. Keep an eye out for the wildlife that frequents these waters while your guide regales you with tales of conquests, wine smugglers and battles of old. On your final evening, enjoy some of Ireland’s best sea food at a restaurant over looking the magical harbour. (B,G)
Today, say goodbye to the wilds of southwest Ireland and the southern expanses of the Wild Atlantic Way. From here, you may head straight to the airport or link it to our Ireland’s Ancient East itinerary. We will provide interesting stops such as ancient ruins, charming towns and breathtaking vistas along the way. (B)
This self drive trip is graded Deluxe, meaning you can expect 4* and 5* boutique hotels, castles, manors and deluxe guesthouses – the perfect balance between comfort, charm and uniqueness. Accommodations have been carefully selected by our expert trip designers for their excellent location, services, amenities and comfort.
This itinerary is designed to start and finish at Dublin or Shannon Airport or to be joined up with our other self-drive trips such as Connemara, Dingle & the Cliffs of Moher or Ireland’s Ancient East. Detailed driving directions during the trip will be provided as part of your information pack.
Originally hailing from the wilds of Canada, Erin was drawn to Ireland’s emerald hills, rugged coasts and big waves in 2014 to surf, practice yoga and travel. Joining Wilderness Ireland in 2017, Erin draws from her own experiences travelling and living in North America and Ireland to create magical Ireland adventures. From Donegal to Clare to Cork, Erin knows all the best spots along the Wild Atlantic Way!
- Erin ElliottAsk Erin a Question
At your Own Pace
Discovery journeys are self-drive with personal activity experiences tailored to your own personal activity level. They allow you to discover Ireland with one-to-one meet ups with local guides and experts who can lead you through activities and hikes at you own pace. They also include overnight stops at the very best local 4 and 5 star accommodations. For the days you are self-guided, we will provide you with suggestions of places to stop, eat and things to see along with maps and directions.
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