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Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry

  • Guided gentle hikes & island hopping along the spectacular 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
  • 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, starting in Cork and finishing in Tralee
  • 6 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

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?

 

As you hop from island to island, relax in a cosy, home-away-from-home each night. This trip features accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort. 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 €250 but this is subject to availability.

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

Customer Kudos

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.

5 star 19

4 star 2

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Elizabeth (Liz) Ward 02/08/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Would have appreciated getting our vests before we left. Useful for the trip. A more expansive day to day program would have been useful. I.e. which days would be picnics, how the day was expected to run.
Trip Comments
It was all excellent. Perhaps we we're lucky to have a gro that just went with the flow.
Accommodation and Food
Great accommodation. Advice about dining was very good. Meals included also excellent. One picnic lunch was a little impractical, dropped everywhere.
Your Guide
Very well informed, went the extra mile, seemed to really enjoy his work. Very much appreciate all that was shared.
The Bottom Line
Group size good, much easier getting around, able to use the smaller van. I now appreciate a part of Ireland unknown to me previously. The accommodation was centrally located which was excellent for the evenings. A well thought out itinerary with enough activity to fill the day. Highly recommended. We hope to participate in another WI trip in the near future. Having mild weather added to the enjoyment!

by Annie Lord 30/07/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Quick responses by email. Given the nature of this trip, info on potential laundry facilities would have been helpful.
Trip Comments
Ciaran is a great guide: intelligent, knowledgeable and articulate, as well as patient and good with logistics. He set a good tone and we had a compatible group. Hotels and food were great.
Accommodation and Food
All 3 hotels were lovely and I sure wasn't ready to leave the Greenmount. Such a great location and even in the rain, a beautiful spot. And they had a drying room!! The food, especially our final dinner at the Chart House in Dingle was excellent. Good packed lunches and many thanks to Ciaran for acceding to our wishes for Taytos! I certainly didn't need quite so much food, but, hey, I was on vacation.
Your Guide
As I've said previously, Ciaran was excellent. I especially liked the rainy day when he suggested we hike in silence for awhile. Appropriate to the day, the location and the group. I also enjoyed his recounting of Irish history, even if I cannot remember much of it.
The Bottom Line
This trip was excellent. I would have liked a day or 2 more on the south coast, but as it were, it was graded correctly and had a good pace.

by Jenny from Australia 27/07/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I appreciated personalised emails, comprehensive and correct details in brochure (not enhanced photos), quick response :-)
Trip Comments
One of the best walking trips ever. The hotels & meals were top class and each day was well organised but it was the walks, with each day different, lots of variety in a beautiful part of the world, that I really enjoyed.

Our guide, Ciaran, was a natural. Well organised and he had lots of natural and social history which i found really interesting. Flexible and funny.

While Erin wasn’t officially our guide we really appreciated having her along and helping us as we went along. That girl has a beautiful singing voice and she and Ciaran entertained us with their singing and good humour. We really had a great time! (Oh, I’ve said that already, but we really did).
Accommodation and Food
Excellent. The hotels were in great locations, each one different but great quality. Lovely rooms and breakfasts.
Your Guide
Ciaran was well organised but relaxed. I didn't feel I was being herded about (we did have a great group with everyone on time). He had lots of natural and social history which made the landscape and the political history very interesting to me.

Flexible, prepared to adapt the itinerary if we could fit something extra in. Excellent driver (very important on narrow Irish roads!!)
The Bottom Line
These guys deliver. The walks match the gorgeous images in this beautiful part of the world. Each day is a different adventure on both water and land.

Intelligent, well organised guide rounded out the experience with natural and social history. Excellent hotels & meals. What is there not to love?

by Mary Kay Thomas 27/07/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Always prompt and efficient
Trip Comments
This was Kerry and Island Hopping..fantastic.
Accommodation and Food
Every place we stayed was just GREAT
Your Guide
Ciaran Thornton..once we finally figured out how to say your name....
He was GREAT.. from totally informing us of plans, to starting the day off with poetry, to singing in the pub and then singing in the van...so many extra touches.
The Bottom Line
It was super..highly recommended..and Wilderness Ireland is to be applauded in their expertise in planning.

by Mercedes Lawry 25/07/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Staff were extremely helpful when I needed to change dates and when the credit card had a hiccup. They took all the stress away and made me feel comfortable and welcome.
Trip Comments
This trip was among the best experienes of my life - no kidding. Aside from the magnificence of the country's beauty, the varied and interesting experiences each day and the comfortable accomodations, Ciaran, our guide, was truly an extraordinary person. Not only staggeringly knowledgeable about - well, every subject, but also utterly authentic, kind, funny, enjoyable and thoughtful. I truly feel lucky to have met him and spent time with him. Our group got along very well and I felt enriched by getting to know them. I was the least capable but everyone was patient with me and encouraging. Having Erin along was like winning the lottery. Also so smart, kind, helpful and interesting and somehow especially beautiful every evening we saw her. Believe me, this is not the tune I usually sing and I will be appreciative of this experience at least until my memory fully goes. Having "real" converstions about issues, laughing so hard I cried.....every single day was great.
Accommodation and Food
Each place we stayed got better and better - altho all were lovely and comfortable and food was always grand. I was actually a bit astonished at how nice the accommodations were. But grateful!
Your Guide
I've already written a bit about Ciaran as you'll see. I fear I will sound like a groupie or obsessed old woman if I go on but again, I can't imagine there is a better guide. Take note that at the last group dinner, everyone agreed we'd love to repeat the experience on another tour, if Ciaran was the guide.
The Bottom Line
I have already raved about Wilderness Ireland to people I met my last few days in Ireland, to people on the planes home, to friends here at home. The only cumbersome moment was having our lunch in a plastic container that didn't fully seal so there was some leakage into the backpack....how's that for a privileged complaint? Seriously, I was well aware I had stumbled on (I'm still not sure how I discovered Wilderness Ireland....I think an email...) an experience I would forever cherish. I'm still processing. I know travel enhances us but this trip did so in ways I could not have imagined. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

by Jane Mary Cheshire 19/06/2019

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Ciaran was excellent even went back to the van to get me some walking poles
He flawlessly changed the itinerary when we could not go out to the islands, which was the main reason we chose the trip
The Bottom Line
Disappointed that we could not go out to the islands the main reason we did the trip but really enjoyed the walks which we did instead.A good introduction to walking in Ireland we will go to Ireland again but probably on our own as we now know what to expect

by Mike Cheshire 17/06/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Ciaran went out of his way to be helpful, arranging alternatives to Island visits, which were cancelled, boats unable to put to sea. Knowledgeable about nature, history and local places to visit.
The Bottom Line

by Benita (Bonnie) Jones 03/06/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Lovely country. Tom, our guide was pleasant and very informative. He added a special touch playing his guitar for us on several occasions. Lots of boat travel was a surprise, I had not read the itinerary, but well enjoyed. Second trip with the Wilderness group and both trips were great and worth the price.
Accommodation and Food
Great accommodation and food.
Your Guide
Tom did a great job. An 11 out of 10.
The Bottom Line
Great!!!!

by Claudia Schultz 06/10/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Louise was extremely helpful. Answered all questions. Sent literature when requested. And stayed on top of everything.
Trip Comments
Gooe people, good hiking, beautiful, beautiful scenery and the freshest seafood ever!
Accommodation and Food
Most enjoyed the B and B in Baltimore. Good to have a restaurant attached.
Your Guide
He was fun and careful and made sure everyone had a good time. Knew the area completely so changing plans was no problem. Especially loved the “rest stops" that always included a story or a song! (Having Louise there too was an added attraction!)
The Bottom Line
I have now traveled with both WS and WI and find both companies run really well. Great guides, accomodations, food, etc. Scenery beautiful. Had a wonderful trip each time. Highly recommend!

by Linda de Beaudrap 25/09/2018

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Beautiful walkingcountry and a knowledgeable and entertaining guide. Our guide ensured that there were enjoyable alternatives when weather prevented us from completing the activity scheduled for the day.
Accommodation and Food
The accomodations were excellent, aside fromt the beds at The Lodge in Kinmare, which were to soft.
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
100% satisfaction guarantee - We beleive our tours are world class. To back that up, we are the only Irish travel company to offer a no strings attached, 100% satisfaction guarantee

Trip Details

Join us on a unique hiking tour to the spectacular southwest of Ireland. On foot and by boat, we’ll discover Ireland hiking trails of Kerry and Cork that explore the wildest corners of this striking landscape.

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

By day, experience scenic coastal hikes, ancient historical sites and stunningly beautiful mountain passes of Ireland’s breathtaking southwest. In the evenings, relax and enjoy some of the best restaurants and music-filled pubs in Ireland!

Your knowledgeable guide will provide a fascinating insight into the rich cultural and geological history. Spot marine life as you travel to the islands – 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!

Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry

Day 1 – Baltimore

Meeting in Cork city, we travel to the historic fishing town of Baltimore in remote West Cork. We’ll stretch our legs in this vibrantly colourful heritage town while hearing tales of conquests, abductions and pirates courtesy of the town’s exotic visitors over the centuries. Enjoy the view of the magical Carbery’s 100 Isles scattered across Roaring Water Bay on an evening stroll. (L,D)

Distance: 3 miles/5km, 2hrs.

Day 2Hiking on Cape Clear Island

Off the coast of Baltimore lies Ireland’s southernmost inhabited island. Cape Clear is a narrow, Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) island overlooked by the iconic silhouette of the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse rising from a pinnacle in the sea. Hiking across the Cape Clear Island, we’ll explore its ancient sites, admire the spectacular bird life, drink in spectacular ocean panoramas and perhaps even visit a herd of goats to taste some of their very own ice-cream! (B,L)

Distance: 4.5 miles/7km, 3hrs. 

Day 3Hiking the Sheep’s Head Way

Heading north, we’ll discover an unspoilt, rolling landscape so impressive it’s been named a European Destination of Excellence. Some Ireland’s best dairy products come from Sheep’s Head – sampling is a must! On our hike, which takes in sections of the Sheep’s Head Way, we will experience some breathtaking views of the ocean horizon before continuing to our accommodation in the vibrant town of Kenmare. (B,L)

Distance: 5 miles/8km, 3 – 3.5hrs.

Day 4The Ring of Kerry and the Incredible Skellig Michael

Calling all Star Wars fans! Today, we’ll follow in the footsteps of 7th century Irish monks to their dramatic island retreat, Skellig Michael. Two rock pinnacles jutting out of the wild Atlantic Ocean, explore the iconic stone beehive huts once used by the monks on Skellig Michael, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Star Wars filming location. The small Skellig is equally renowned as the home of some 27,000 pairs of gannets, the second largest colony in the world.(B,L)

The hike on Skellig Michael is short but involves climbing 618 ancient stone steps. It’s so worth the effort!

Day 5The 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, 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)

Distance: 4 miles/6.5 km, 3hrs. 

Day 6Dingle and the Blasket Islands

A visit to the Blasket Islands is like a visit back in time. Evacuated in the 1950s due to harsh conditions, the Blaskets once sustained a remote island population of about 100 people. Our final hike weaves across the Great Blasket as we learn about this long-lost community, while keeping an eye out for nesting seabirds, whales, dolphins, seals, and more. Back on the Dingle Peninsula, we’ll spend our evening in the quaint Dingle town, one of the strongest bastions of traditional Irish music. We’ll join the locals in one of the pubs to experience some real ‘craic agus ceoil’ to mark our last night together. (B,L,D).

Distance 4 miles/6.5km, 3hrs.

Day 7 – Depart

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. 

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Prices and Dates

2019 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
24th Aug - 30th Aug 2019
€1,795
1 place(s) left

2020 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
23rd May - 29th May 2020
€1,795
8 place(s) left
6th Jun - 12th Jun 2020
€1,795
8 place(s) left
27th Jun - 3rd Jul 2020
€1,795
8 place(s) left
11th Jul - 17th Jul 2020
€1,795
8 place(s) left
18th Jul - 24th Jul 2020
€1,795
8 place(s) left
8th Aug - 14th Aug 2020
€1,795
8 place(s) left
22nd Aug - 28th Aug 2020
€1,795
8 place(s) left
5th Sep - 11th Sep 2020
€1,795
8 place(s) left
Get a group of friends together and make this trip private
100% satisfaction guarantee - We beleive our tours are world class. To back that up, we are the only Irish travel company to offer a no strings attached, 100% satisfaction guarantee

Price from: €1,795

Next trip: 24th August

Duration: 6 night(s)

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Location: South West – Cork & Kerry

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 2

21 review(s)

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
Group size good, much easier getting around, able to use the smaller van. I now appreciate a part of Ireland unknown to me previously. The accommodation was centrally located which was excellent for the evenings. A well thought out itinerary with enough activity to fill the day. Highly recommended. We hope to participate in another WI trip in the near future. Having mild weather added to the enjoyment!

Elizabeth (Liz) Ward
02/08/2019

5

This trip was excellent. I would have liked a day or 2 more on the south coast, but as it were, it was graded correctly and had a good pace.

Annie Lord
30/07/2019

5

Rated 4.90 out of 5 based on 21 review(s) of Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry

5 star 19

4 star 2

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

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