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Top 5 Reasons to Visit South West Ireland

By Duncan Warner
More by Duncan

Here in Ireland we feel we know what special ingredients are needed to create a compelling adventure holiday experience.

Here are 5 key ingredients to make your next adventure holiday in Southwest Ireland exciting and monumental!

No 1: The Wild Atlantic Way

This route is the world’s longest touring itinerary –  2,636 km or 1,636 miles of wild land meeting sea along Ireland’s Atlantic coast. Next stop America! This new route encompasses the best of West Ireland from north to south and south to north, connecting castles, villages, towns, cliff sides, islands, monuments, paths, mountains and other phenomenal features.

In the southwest specifically, you’ll visit some of the coolest seaside towns like Baltimore, Kinsale,and Sneem, as well as remote peninsulas like Sheep’s Head and Beara and Mizen Peninsulas, and rural islands like Cape Clear, Dursey and Sherkin, as well as many others.

As you cross this mammoth swathe of Irish countryside, you can really experience how our people and culture have been influenced and shaped by our island location for over 7,000 years.

Wild Atlantic Way - Conor Pass - Southwest Ireland

Cycling along the Wild Atlantic Way in southwest Ireland – specifically, the amazing Conor Pass.

No 2. Travel Southwest Ireland by foot, bicycle, car…or even boat!

Sherkin Island Hiking - Wilderness Ireland - southwest Ireland

Hiking Sherkin & Cape Clear Islands in the far southwest Ireland


Whether you travel by footbicyclekayak, horse or car, the opportunities to see, explore and experience landscapes, villages and communities, beaches, harbours & sea-life are everywhere. Go with the method that works best for you – or even combine various travel methods to spice up your adventure in southwest Ireland even more!

No 3. Meet our local Wildlife

Puffins in Ireland

Spot the iconic puffin


Ireland is a designated whale and dolphin sanctuary, so if you’re lucky, you may get to meet one of our friendly ocean residents! On the Dingle Peninsula, infamous resident, Fungi the Dolphin has been in Dingle for 25 years. Fin whales – the world’s second-largest whale – tend to gather in June, and other types such as KillerMinke and Baleen whales swim our waters year round.

Other local ‘residents’ include blubbery seals, adorable puffins (spot them on the Skellig Islands), and the beautiful red deer of Killarney. For bird lovers, southwest Ireland is also a great place to spot a great variety of sea birds. Of over eighty species of cetacean recorded worldwide, over twenty-five have been spotted in Irish waters.

No 4. Hit the waves!

Inch Strand, Co Kerry - southwest Ireland

Waves on the beach at Inch Strand, Co. Kerry


Rossbeigh on the Ring of Kerry is one of our many Atlantic beaches used for international surfing competitions. Across the bay, Inch Beach was one of the film locations in Ryan’s Daughter, featuring Oscar-winning cinematography taking in much of the Dingle Peninsula.

No 5. Southwest Ireland is a hotspot for Irish tradition

Learning can be fun too! Southwest Ireland has several pockets where the Irish language is spoken (notably, in rural and island communities) so why not learn a few words of the ancient language of Irish Gaelic? Called the ‘Gaeltacht’ (Irish-speaking communities), a few regions that stand out are Cape Clear Island, western Dingle, and southwest Kerry (especially out by Caherdaniel and Ballinskelligs).

For music enthusiasts, try your hand at playing a traditional musical instrument in a pub called the bodhran (a type of drum). Don’t forget Irish dancing – this is a true adventure!


Itching to explore the beautiful Southwest area of Ireland?

Then just take a look at the many incredible and varied adventure trips below that Wilderness Ireland has to offer. Truly an unforgettable journey – whichever type of travel you choose

Trip Date Price Availability Book
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 6th Jun - 12th Jun 2020 €1,9104 place(s) leftBook Now
Deluxe Bike Tour - The Kerry Peninsulas 27th Jun - 3rd Jul 2020 €2,6008 place(s) leftBook Now
Deluxe Hiking - The Kerry Mountains 4th Jul - 10th Jul 2020 €2,0903 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 11th Jul - 17th Jul 2020 €1,9107 place(s) leftBook Now
Deluxe Hiking - The Kerry Mountains 8th Aug - 14th Aug 2020 €2,0906 place(s) leftBook Now
Bike Tour - Wild Atlantic Way 8th Aug - 21st Aug 2020 €4,2008 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 22nd Aug - 28th Aug 2020 €1,9102 place(s) leftBook Now
Deluxe Bike Tour - The Kerry Peninsulas 29th Aug - 4th Sep 2020 €2,6007 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 5th Sep - 11th Sep 2020 €1,9106 place(s) leftBook Now

Meet the Author: Duncan Warner

“Working in the outdoors for the last ten years, Duncan is passionate about hiking, biking and kayaking. As Wilderness Ireland's Head of Guides & Training, Duncan loves nothing more than to show off Ireland's beautiful landscapes, find the best local pubs and traditional Irish music sessions, and tell its fascinating stories and legends to visitors.”

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