Spirit of Ireland

Coastal, Mountain, and Island Hikes in Cork and Kerry

Trip Level

The trip is Level 3, Moderate, according to our trip grading system. As we explore Ireland and Gaelic life both on the mainland and on islands, we will be hiking 6-10 miles per day (4-6 hours) over varied terrain ranging from flat and boggy to rocky. Some hikes will be shorter. You carry only a daypack with the essentials: rain gear, fleece sweater, water bottle, and camera. For your own enjoyment, we recommend you make a special effort to be in good physical condition. Daily brisk walking and/or regular hiking (or using a stair-climbing machine at your gym) are excellent preparatory exercises. The itinerary is flexible and adjusted by the Trip Leader’s knowledge and by weather conditions. A day of rain may make one route more desirable than another, for both safety and comfort. Please also note that rough seas can sometimes make the boat trips to Skellig Michael and/or the Blasket Islands impossible to do, in which case the Trip Leader will arrange an alternate hike/activity on the mainland.


We have timed this trip for when Ireland has some of its best weather. This being the Emerald Isle, however, you must be prepared for rain showers and the possibility of muddy trails. Ireland’s weather is dictated by the pressure systems coming in from the Atlantic and is notoriously variable. Gore-Tex outerwear and proper boots will make for comfortable walking in a fine mist or light rain. Overall, Ireland’s climate is milder than Britain’s, thanks to the Gulf Stream, and a morning of rain can easily be followed by a brilliant blue sky and abundant sunshine. Our departures feature spring wildflowers, summer solstice, and in September, the start of the fall colors on the heath.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.