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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 11

4 star 2

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

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

by Marni McCarthy 25/09/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Louise is amazing! All pre-trip interactions were courteous, prompt and, made us feel like we were in very good hands!
Trip Comments
Our trip with Wilderness Ireland was amazing. Beautiful hikes intertwined with music, culture and, history. Guided by Donncha we expereinced the wilds of Ireland to a soundtrack of crashing waves, raindrops, wind and Irish songs borrowed from another time. In a word; breath-taking.
Accommodation and Food
Casey's was incredible for its hospitality and convenience. This will is a place I will recommend and return to on my next Ireland adventure.
Your Guide
Donncha was an incredible guide- his knowledge of the trails and his love of Ireland was clear throughout each history lesson, Irish translation and song he graciously shared with us. Our trip felt seamless- each trail, meal and van ride unfolded softly and organically into a treasured experience of Ireland.
The Bottom Line
We had the pleasure and good fortune to have both Donncha and Louise on our trip. Louise was amazing and while I am sure she is treasured in the office- she would be a fantastic guide! Louise went above and beyond on our trip- ensuring all hikers were enjoying their Wilderness Ireland experience. I cannot express enough my gratitude for her help pre-trip and during the trip! Many thanks to both Louise and Donncha for their generosity of knowledge, culture and spirit on this trip.

by Richard de Beaudrap 24/09/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
The food provided and the recommendations for where to eat weere great. We felt the absence of firm beds in the second to last stay.
Your Guide
Donncha was informing and entertaining.
The Bottom Line
A lovely trip. Even though weather intervened on some of the planned activities, our guide came up with alternatives that pleased us.

by Geoffrey Foster 28/08/2018

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Jean Foster 27/08/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Very friendly and helpful. The only negative was that they forgot to apply the €500 discount I had been promised.
Trip Comments
For me, the highlight was when Donncha changed the plan slightly on Great Blasket so we could go down to the beach and see the extraordinary group of seals gathered there. That also meant I got the chance to paddle, which was a bonus.
Also, Climbing to the top of Skellig Michael was an unforgettable experience, though I’m not sure I’d want to do it again!
Accommodation and Food
The hotel in Baltimore was particularly good as it had a bar, which meant that even if members of the group had been to different places to eat they could meet up after for a drink and a chat.
The B&B in Galway was lovely.
Your Guide
Donncha was great. His stories and songs were very entertaining. He was helpful without being bossy. He obviously had a real passion for Ireland in general and that region in particular and was able to communicate it to us.
The Bottom Line
It was our first Wilderness Ireland trip but we have been on several Wilderness Scotland trips and found it similar. The group size is good and we’ve always found our fellow travellers to be very congenial.
There was a good balance between organised activity and a bit of space to do your own thing.

by Subathirai Sivakumaran 27/08/2018

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I think it was because I was busy, but on the original email that sent a link to the dossier and trip, there was no equipment list. upon arrival i found that some of the others had been sent an equipment list. This could have been my oversight however. Louise was excellent and very helpful, as I did ring her and ask her in general what was needed. I also had allergies to various technical garments so was stuck wearing cotton most of the time!
Trip Comments
Donnecha was a great guide, relaxed and knowledgeable and kept a good pace for the trip - can't recommend him highly. Places were so beautiful and everything was organized really well. Particularly appreciated that most places were selected based on the fact that it would not be crowded in the middle of August!
Accommodation and Food
The first two accommodations were excellent but the 3rd one Cill Bhreac did not quite meet the standards of the other two and would recommend changing this location to be within the higher standards of the other two.
Your Guide
Donnecha was an excellent, knowledgeable kind and warm guide. Would recommend him highly. Eimear was also on the trip and was an absolute delight. Benefited from having both of them!
The Bottom Line
It ended up being one of the best trips I've ever been on. It was my first time on a trail holiday and it was so stunning and beautiful, with a great bunch of people that I was really grateful for everyone at Wilderness ireland for making it so!

by Ellen Wasiuta 27/07/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
All of my questions were answered by Louise K. Helpful advice to set up train travel.
Trip Comments
Simply put... WOW! So glad my son and I went with Wilderness Ireland around Cork and Kerry hiking. Great food ALL of the time. Nice people to travel with.
Accommodation and Food
Excellent food! The breakfasts were outstanding; both my son and I enjoyed the food. The accommodations were wonderful. The hosts were very cordial.
Your Guide
Donncha O'Brien was a wonderful guide, very personable, highly competent, and had a lovely singing voice!
The Bottom Line
Verdict? Outstanding and worth every penny.

by Sarah Leonard 26/07/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Louise was most helpful. I would, however, have benefitted by knowing that the train from Tralee to Dublin would be cheaper if booked in advance(at least half as much as it cost "on the spot".)
Trip Comments
excellent trip! Highlights: Skellig Michael/ Sheep's Head Way/ Cape Clear Island / loved all of the hikes and lodging! Onel highlight was Donnech's singing "Song of
Ireland" at a mid point of a hike.
Accommodation and Food
The accommodations kept getting better and better. Shelbourn Lodge(Manor) in Kennemare was especially inviting and Heaton House in Dingle was super (with a breakfast to die for! )
Your Guide
Our guide was knowledgeable, accommodating, took good care of us, and gave us much insight into Ireland. His singing was an additional bonus. He had us all joining in and we loved it. It added a lot to my feeling for and admiration for "Irish soul".
Donnech(spelling?) was delightful, upbeat, always helpful, and a good driver on the narrow roads.
The Bottom Line
I was impressed by the trip, the scenery was amazing and the hikes/walks beautiful.
The drives between hikes sometimes seemed a bit long but when we arrived we were delighted at where we'd come. I shall return to Ireland and hopefully via Wilderness Ireland. My one comment (already made) is that I wished I'd known that I should have booked train travel from Tralee to Dublin one line so as to save on the cost. Lovely trip, beautiful venues, super guide, and extra nice accommodations and meals

by Kathryn Moore 22/08/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The WI Office team were very helpful in answering our many questions. The advance itinerary was received in plenty of time to allow us to do some research on our locations. The WI website is very easy to navigate.
Trip Comments
The trip was exactly what we were looking for. A great mix of fresh air, food, scenery, walking, music. Our travelling companions were terrific! We would do it again in a heartbeat.
Accommodation and Food
Overall, the accommodations were nice and a notch above what we were expecting when we signed up. Without exception, the B&B owners were very pleasant and helpful. We ate extremely well, thanks to great recommendations from our guide.
Your Guide
Donncha was outstanding. A keen listener (there seemed to be an endless supply of dark chocolate - thank you!), his love for the countryside and fun personality were inspiring. We particularly appreciated his recommendations to beat the weather or avoid long drives in order to maximize our time outside, even if it meant deviating from the planned itinerary.
The Bottom Line
We loved the trip and made memories to last a lifetime. Future travelers might consider having Gravol/anti-nauseant on hand for the boat trips. Dinners were definitely not dressy - a clean shirt and pants were perfectly acceptable. The scenery is beautiful! We would not hesitate to go again.
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
 
25th May - 31st May 2019
€1,795
2 place(s) left
8th Jun - 14th Jun 2019
€1,795
3 place(s) left
29th Jun - 5th Jul 2019
€1,795
7 place(s) left
13th Jul - 19th Jul 2019
€1,795
7 place(s) left
3rd Aug - 9th Aug 2019
€1,795
8 place(s) left
24th Aug - 30th Aug 2019
€1,795
6 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: 25th May

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & Dates Make This Tour Private

Location: South West – Cork & Kerry

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 2

13 review(s)

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
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!

Claudia Schultz
06/10/2018

5

Linda de Beaudrap
25/09/2018

5

Rated 4.85 out of 5 based on 13 review(s) of Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry

5 star 11

4 star 2

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

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