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Wild Atlantic Way Walking Tour in Ireland

This tour is designed to bring you from Dublin to enjoy some of the best walks in the South West of Ireland and explore the Wild Atlantic Way. The tour is fully guided and you will also visit many places of historical interest along the way. You will be visiting places such as Dingle, Mt Brandon, Killarney, The Gap of Dunloe and the Lakes of Killarney. You’ll walk Ireland’s highest peak, Carrauntoohil. Explore the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher, and some of Ireland’s ancient monuments. This tour follows along the South West section of the Wild Atlantic Way of Ireland’s coastline, bringing you to some of Ireland’s most wild and most beautiful locations.

Meet the instructors

Gillian & Terry
Read more

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Dublin
  • 7.5 - 13 kilometres / 4.7 - 8 miles of daily walks: Mixed levels
  • Variety of terrains: From grass, and open mountain to rocks and loose stone
  • Great guides who are ready to inform and assist you
  • Full-day visit to Aran Islands and bike hire
  • Listen and enjoy the best of Irish traditional music
  • 6 nights of great quality accommodation with breakfast
  • Pickup and transport for 7 days included

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

7 days with instruction
Group size: 4-16 participants
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Accommodation

The accommodations are chosen very carefully with a mix of quality guest houses and hotels. There is free Wi-Fi in all the accommodations. All the rooms are en-suite.

The accommodations are well used to Hill Top Treks' bringing them guests after a day’s walk and knowing that they are somewhere comfortable to relax and freshen up.

Program

Day 1: Drive from Dublin to Kerry - Visit the South Pole Inn Pub - Coastal Walk - Stay in Dingle

  • Dingle coastal walk: Grade: Easy, Length: 8 kilometers / 5 miles, Duration: 2 hours, Ascent: 120 meters, Terrain: Grass tracks

Morning / afternoon: After your pickup in Dublin, you travel south to Dingle in County Kerry. On the way, you will take a stop to visit the picturesque town of Adare in Limerick. This town has to be seen to be believed with its small thatched cottages and brightly colored buildings. It is home to Adare manor which was once home to the Earl of Dunraven. You will stop here to explore this town and stretch your legs.

Continuing on your way to Dingle, you will stop again to visit the town of Annascaul which is famed for being the home town of Tom Crean. The great Irish explorer who shared voyages with Scott and Shackleton to the great Antarctic. On his retirement from the British Navy, he returned home to Ireland and founded a Pub called “The South Pole Inn.” You will visit the pub for a drink or a coffee.

When you are close to Dingle, the guide will bring you to Beenbane beach. From there, you can enjoy a short cliff walk in towards the village of Dingle, which is a fantastic way to arrive!

Evening: Dingle or “An Daingean” which is its Gaelic and original name is a fantastic small village known for its small quaint pubs, live Irish music, and relaxed atmosphere. There is plenty to see and do in his small town with great restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, craft stores, etc. You may also be surprised when you enter some pubs in Dingle that you can also buy a pair of shoes or get yourself a new measuring tape.

Day 2: Walk the sacred Mount Brandon - Stay in Dingle

  • Walk on Mount Brandon: Grade: Moderate - strenuous, Length: 8 kilometers / 5 miles, Duration: Approximately 4 hours, Ascent: 750 meters, Terrain: Open mountain tracks

Morning / afternoon: After a hearty breakfast, you will get yourself ready for one of your guide's favorite walks in this area, Mt Brandon. Which is named after Saint Brendan the voyager; some think he even got as far as North America.

Is it right or left for Gibraltar

What track do I take for Mizen Head?

I’d love to settle down near Ventry Harbour,

(St Brendan’s Voyage)

Mount Brandon is a sacred mountain and there is a pilgrim to its summit each year, which many of the locals do. It is less than 1,000 meters but even though it is a pilgrim walk, it is quite a challenge. The walk will take about 4 hours and the views from its summit are breathtaking.

From the summit, you can see the Wild Atlantic all around you. You can also see the Blasket Islands, the Skellig Island’s (Star Wars fame), and Ireland’s highest mountain range on the Iveragh Peninsula.

Evening: After your walk on Mt Brandon, you will make your way back to Dingle, you could visit some of the craft shops, enjoy some of the local seafood, or just relax.

Day 3: Killarney - Gap of Dunloe Walk - Boat across the lakes of Killarney - Stay in Killarney

  • Gap of Dunloe Walk: Grade: Moderate, Length: 13 kilometers / 8 miles, Duration: approximately 4 hours, Ascent: 250 meters, Terrain: Small roads and hill trails

Morning / afternoon: This morning, you leave Dingle early and make your way to Killarney and its beautiful lakes at the National Park. You will take a boat from the 15th-century Ross Castle across the lakes to Lord Brandon’s Cottage.

From there, you will start your walk through the Gap of Dunloe. This is a wonderful walk and one of the finest in Kerry with Purple mountain sitting above you to the left as you make your way through this wonderful valley. Finally, at the top of the valley and on completion of your walk, there is Kate Kearney’s cottage. There, you can enjoy a well-earned break before you make your way back to Killarney by bus.

Evening: You will arrive back to your accommodation for an early night to recharge the batteries for tomorrow’s big adventure.

Day 4: Ireland’s Highest Point - Killarney National Park - Stay in Killarney

  • Walk on Carrauntoohil, County Kerry: Grade: Strenuous, Length: 12 kilometers / 7.5 miles, Duration: Approximately 6 hours, Ascent: 850 meters, Terrain: Old mountain roads, rocks, and loose stone

Morning / afternoon: Today is the big walk of the tour so it’s an early start to get over to Killarney. The walk on Carrauntoohil is weather permitting as your safety is paramount to the guide and the team. An alternative suitable walk will be chosen by your guide in the Killarney National Park depending on the weather and the group's abilities.

Now, all going well and the weather is good, then you will do the walk as planned. Carrauntoohil is 1,039 meters in height so all due care must be taken. Thousands of locals and visitors climb this every year and you feel a great sense of achievement on getting to the top.

Evening: After you get back down and catch your breath, you will make your back towards Killarney. The town of Killarney is the most visited town in Ireland. There are many places to visit here such as Muckross House, the lakes of Killarney, Ross Castle, Torc Waterfall, and more. As well as all its scenic beauty, there are numerous restaurants, cafes, shops, and pubs with live Irish music.

Day 5: Lahinch - Cliffs of Moher Walk - Stay in Doolin

  • Cliffs of Moher – Cliff Walk: Grade: Easy / moderate, Length: 8 kilometers / 5 miles, Duration: 2.5 hours, Ascent: 100 meters, Terrain: Grass tracks

Morning: This morning you travel up along the west coast of Ireland known as the “Wild Atlantic Way,” crossing the River Shannon at Terbert. The River Shannon is named after an ancient Celtic Goddess and is Ireland’s longest and most impressive river.

As you cross the mouth of the Shannon on the ferry, keep an eye out for the schools of dolphins to be seen everywhere. When you dock on the far side, you will be in County Clare.

Afternoon: Once you are in County Clare, you will follow the coast road up towards the town of Lahinch. This coastal town is a surfer’s paradise and has become more popular due to the great waves here. It’s also a great holiday destination for Irish families with many other activities on offer as well. %Making your way northwards, you will visit Brigid’s well before you start your cliff walk towards the Cliffs of Moher. The walk is fantastic and the cliffs themselves are a true treat for all the senses.

Evening: You will be staying in Doolin tonight, the capital of Irish traditional music in the west. This is a tiny little fishing port made popular due to its importance in Irish music and dance.

Doolin is also in another “Gaeltacht area” (Irish-speaking region) so you can try your newly learnt language skills on the locals, they'll surely be impressed. There, you can relax and enjoy a bite to eat, while listening to some of the best Irish musicians in the world.

Day 6: Visit the Aran Islands and stay in Doolin

Morning / afternoon: Today, you will take a break from walking and visit one of the most spectacular places in all of Ireland the Aran Islands. You will take a ferry from Doolin to Inis Mor, the largest of the three Aran Islands. This is a Gaeltacht area where Irish is still the main language.

The island is full of wonder and absolutely beautiful, you will definitely not want to leave. You can hire some bicycles at the port as this is the best way to explore the island. You can visit the world heritage site of Dun Aonghasa Fort which stands over a dramatic 300 feet cliff. There are also some wonderful beaches on the Island if you fancy a dip in the Atlantic.

Evening: After you visit the Aran Islands, you will make your back to your accommodation and get freshened and enjoy a meal in one of the fine pubs or restaurants close by.

Day 7: Walk in the Burren - Return to Dublin

  • Burren Loop Walk: Grade: Easy / moderate, Length: 7.5 kilometers / 4.7 miles, Duration: 3 hours, Ascent:140 meters, Terrain: Limestone karst, smooth rocky surface

Morning / afternoon: This morning, you will make your way to one of the strangest landscapes in Ireland, The Burren. This is a limestone karst and was sitting at the bottom of the sea many years ago, but you can still see that clearly today.

The term “Burren” is derived from the Gaelic for “stony place.” The Burren is also famous for its many different and varied types of flora which are unique to this area. You will take a walk here in this unique landscape with its stone walls and stone floors.

If there is some time in the afternoon, you could visit Galway city “city of the tribes.” This is a great little city known for its relaxed and bohemian feel. You can spend hours just walking about the small streets while listening to and watching street performers of all types

Today, unfortunately, you will be saying goodbye to the west of Ireland for a while as you make your way back to Dublin. You should arrive back in Dublin at 6 pm, depending on traffic. Hill Top Treks hopes that you loved this South West of Ireland Walking Holiday.

Slan agus beannacht (Goodbye and blessings).

Walks and fitness levels

  • The walks on this tour are of a mixed level with the option on some days to shorten
  • All the walks are taken at a pace to suit the group
  • The groups can range from 6 to 16 people in size with a mixed level of fitness and age usually
  • If the weather is too bad on a certain day to do the suggested walk, then the guide will suggest an alternative one
  • The guide will have the final say on the day about the walk for the safety of the group

Instructors

Gillian Duggan

Terry Lambert

Location

During this walking tour of South West Ireland, you will explore Ireland's hidden treasures including Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, Dingle, Mount Brandon, Slea Head, The Wild Atlantic Way, Carrauntoohil, Killarney National Park, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, and The Burren.

Food

The evening meal on your first night and daily breakfasts are included. For breakfasts, there is a wide selection to choose from including full Irish, fruit, cereals, etc.

For lunches during the walks, you will visit some local shops to get supplies and later in the day, a known restaurant or pub will be suggested for evening meals in the places and towns you visit. There are many places in Ireland that accommodate both vegan and vegetarian diets.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 7 fully guided days exploring Ireland’s hidden treasures
  • Guided walks with great guides to inform and assist you
  • 6 nights of great quality accommodation with breakfast
  • Pickup and transport for 7 days
  • Boat across the lakes of Killarney
  • Ferry to Aran Islands and bike hire
  • The best of Irish traditional music

What's not included

  • Lunches
  • Evening meals
  • Optional entry fees and extra activity options
  • Gratuities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Dublin Airport (DUB). From the airport, you will need to make your way to the pickup point. Your tour begins at 09:00 am with a pick up at the Molly Malone Statue on Suffolk St (Dublin City Center).

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
7 days / 6 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

Sunday August 18, 2024
(7 days / 6 nights)

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