Crashing seascapes, emerald valleys, the twining music of the fiddle, the rhythm of the language, and a people who offer one of the warmest welcomes in the world. This is the magic of Ireland, and in the exuberant company of Con Moriarty and Ann Curran, you’ll enjoy an insider’s view while hiking the most spectacular mountains and coasts of southwest Ireland, from Sheep’s Head Peninsula to the stone circles and pilgrim trails of the Dingle Peninsula and extraordinary Skellig Michael. Along the way, you’ll hear tales of clans and chieftains, enjoy pub evenings among new friends, and meet artists, traditional dancers, shepherds, singers, and more.
The Spirit of Ireland was fantastic! This is truly a beautiful experience, and Con and Ann are amazing. Thank you for all you do for travelers like us! I wish I had a way to describe this experience to you!
— Roy G., Sunriver, OR
Cork / Sheep’s Head Peninsula
After walking in the footsteps of saints, scholars, and rebels in the hill country of West Cork, head to a pub for a chance to hear traditional sean-nos—a cappella solos sung in Gaelic. The next day’s hike is on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula, with its panoramic views, poetic lighthouse, and small community of farmers and fishermen.
Beara Peninsula / Killarney National Park / Kerry Way / Skellig Michael
Hike a high ridge on the rugged Beara Peninsula, a wild place where great ribs of rock stretch 30 miles into the Atlantic, then follow the Kerry Way to Killarney Lakes, with a spectacular descent into the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass between Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountain. Con’s family has lived in these hills for generations. After boating out to dramatic Skellig Michael, a Christian monastic site set atop a rock pinnacle, hike over one of the giant headlands that protrude in the Atlantic from this corner of Ireland, a hidden gem of a place and favorite of our guides.
Dingle Peninsula / Great Blasket Islands
Hike the Dingle Peninsula, a mist-shrouded spine of sandstone mountains notched with bays, beaches, and hidden troves of pre-Christian antiquities. Enjoy a perfect final day exploring the beautiful Blasket Islands, the westernmost point in Europe. Hiking ancient green paths here, you’ll have a sense of being near the edge of the world. Depart on Day 9 via Cork or Shannon.