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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. 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

    Deluxe Bike Tour - The Kerry Peninsulas11th May - 17th May 2024€3,4508 place(s) leftBook Now
    Deluxe Hiking - The Kerry Mountains18th May - 24th May 2024€2,6407 place(s) leftBook Now
    Bike Tour - Wild Atlantic Way1st Jun - 14th Jun 2024€5,5605 place(s) leftBook Now
    Hiking and Island Hopping - Cork and Kerry22nd Jun - 28th Jun 2024€2,4606 place(s) leftBook Now
    Deluxe Hiking - The Kerry Mountains29th Jun - 5th Jul 2024€2,6408 place(s) leftBook Now
    Hiking and Island Hopping - Cork and Kerry13th Jul - 19th Jul 2024€2,4608 place(s) leftBook Now
    Deluxe Bike Tour - The Kerry Peninsulas20th Jul - 26th Jul 2024€3,45010 place(s) leftBook Now
    Hiking and Island Hopping - Cork and Kerry27th Jul - 2nd Aug 2024€2,4608 place(s) leftBook Now
    Hiking and Island Hopping - Cork and Kerry10th Aug - 16th Aug 2024€2,4608 place(s) leftBook Now
    Deluxe Hiking - The Kerry Mountains17th Aug - 23rd Aug 2024€2,6408 place(s) leftBook Now
    Hiking and Island Hopping - Cork and Kerry31st Aug - 6th Sep 2024€2,4603 place(s) leftBook Now
    Deluxe Hiking - The Kerry Mountains31st Aug - 6th Sep 2024€2,6406 place(s) leftBook Now
    Deluxe Bike Tour - The Kerry Peninsulas14th Sep - 20th Sep 2024€3,45010 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.”

    View profileMore by Duncan

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