Coastal, Mountain, and Island Hikes in Cork and Kerry

Overview

To hike Ireland’s gorgeous landscapes with our beloved Trip Leaders Con Moriarty and Ann Curran is to experience the mystical, spiritual, and wild side of this amazing island in ways not possible on an “ordinary” tour. We’ll explore remote Sheep’s Head Peninsula, discover the mysterious stone circles and pilgrim trails of the Dingle Peninsula, boat out to the island-monastery of Skellig Michael, and hike on Ireland’s highest peak, Corrán Tuathail (3,414'), on whose slopes Con’s family has guided for generations. Along the way, we hear tales of clans and chieftains, enjoy pub evenings, savor the farm-to-table Irish culinary scene, and meet artists, shepherds, and singers. Come experience days of full magic—and the spirit of Ireland.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Cork / Sheep’s Head Peninsula

In the lush beauty of West Cork, we enjoy a wonderful hike and a warm welcome at our country manor house. On the narrow ridge of the Sheep’s Head Peninsula, a place of breathtaking beauty and home to some 600 souls (a mix of farmers and fishermen), our airy hike offers views at every turn, from Dunmanus Bay in the south to Bantry Bay in the north.

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Days 3-5
Beara Peninsula / Killarney National Park / Kerry Way

As early as 4,000 years ago, Bronze Age people recognized the power and sanctity of the Beara Peninsula and located some of Ireland’s most beautiful stone circles here. We hike through this wild valley, then follow the Kerry Way to Killarney Lakes, with a spectacular descent into the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow pass between MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountain. Con’s grandfather guided Victorian travelers through this stunning Kerry landscape. He describes this area as “a powerful place of great shapes, nature, history, and stories.”

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Days 6-9
Skellig Michael / Dingle Peninsula / Great Blasket Island

We boat out to dramatic Skellig Michael, an 8th century monastic outpost, then head to the Dingle Peninsula, a spine of mountains notched with bays and pre-Christian antiquities. On Mount Brandon, a spiritual anchor point on Ireland’s Atlantic seaboard, we follow a pilgrim route past spectacular sea cliffs. Our grand finale finds us on mesmerizing Great Blasket Island, the westernmost point in Europe, where we’ll have a sense of walking near the edge of the world. Depart on Day 9 via Cork.

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Highlights

Highlights

Enjoy an insider’s introduction to Ireland’s rich traditions and powerful history
Hike the Kerry Way, Beara Peninsula, and legendary MacGillicuddy’s Reeks, with easy or moderate options
Meet shepherds, artists, poets, musicians—our Trip Leaders seem to know everyone!
Summit Corrán Tuathail, Ireland’s highest mountain, and hike sacred Mount Brandon
Savor Ireland’s superb culinary scene
Hear traditional music and song (our leaders bring you to hear the finest local musicians)

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $5395  
Arrive: Cork, Ireland
Depart: Shannon, Ireland
Lodging: 8 nights charming inns and hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

A mix of moderate walks and hikes, 4-6 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike)