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Self-Guided Walking : Europe

Ireland: Cork & Kerry

Easy to Moderate Terrain: 4-9 Miles Daily

Ireland: Cork & Kerry

Walk apace with history on this Irish adventure, as you meander between coastal marvels and inland wonders. Ice Age landmarks and medieval sites coexist with modern pleasures in colorful towns. Begin in the mountain wilds of Gougane Barra Forest Park, where valley vistas sweep to lakeshores. Sample local flavors in the golfing and shopping haven of Kenmare, before a splendid interlude in Killarney National Park where waterfalls and red deer await. Victorian elegance is on display in the restored Muckross House and Gardens, while the Muckross Traditional Farms re-create 1930s rural life. Take a horse-drawn carriage to the Gap of Dunloe, one of County Kerry’s most beautiful sights. Visit 15th-century Ross Castle and 4,500-year-old Bronze Age mines. Discover beaches and Neolithic beehive huts on the Dingle Peninsula, where you can sail to the Blasket Islands, go whale-watching, and sing along in local pubs as fine Irish tradition warms your heart.


Tour Highlights:
  • Follow the beautiful Dingle Way along pristine coastline, enjoying views of the Blasket Islands and passing by Neolithic beehive stone huts, before popping into a local pub for a pint.
  • Enjoy an insider perspective on the surrounding countryside when you stay at the locally owned Gougane Barra Hotel, where your hosts are eager to share their knowledge of the region.
  • Delight in views first celebrated by Queen Victoria as you walk from Ladies’ View—looking out over the Killarney lakes—through Killarney National Park.
  • Explore a beautifully preserved country estate when you visit Muckross House, the centerpiece of Killarney National Park.
Tour Only

8 days, 7 nights

FROM $2,598 USD

per person, double occupancy



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Why Walk With Us

  • Trust our expertise with 36+ years in active travel.
  • 24/7 support from a local representative.
  • Generous inclusions: all breakfasts, many meals, and luggage transfers.
  • Your departure is always guaranteed.
  • We take care of our solo travelers.
  • Past guests and referrals always save.

Itinerary & Accommodations

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Day 1

Arrival in Cork & Transfer to Gougane Barra

Arrive at your family-run hotel in the peaceful hamlet of Gougane Barra—situated on a small island in a lake surrounded by heather-clad mountains.

Accommodation: Gougane Barra Hotel, Gougane Barra

On the shores of tranquil Lake Gougane Barra, this traditional three-star hotel, in the same family for five generations, is adjacent to a national forest park with a large network of trails. Comfortable modern rooms in warm colors have either lake or mountain views. Available for guests’ use are boats and bicycles, also several cozy sitting rooms, and a bar. An excellent restaurant serves updated traditional fare. The stone remains of a 7th-century monastery are on an island in the middle of the lake.

Day 2

Gougane Barra Forest Park

Fueled by a full Irish breakfast, explore the trails of Gougane Barra Forest Park, enjoying spectacular panoramas of mountains, streams, and glacial lakes. The surrounding valley is revered as the spot where Finbarr, Cork’s patron saint, established his 6th-century monastery.

Accommodation: Gougane Barra Hotel, Gougane Barra

On the shores of tranquil Lake Gougane Barra, this traditional three-star hotel, in the same family for five generations, is adjacent to a national forest park with a large network of trails. Comfortable modern rooms in warm colors have either lake or mountain views. Available for guests’ use are boats and bicycles, also several cozy sitting rooms, and a bar. An excellent restaurant serves updated traditional fare. The stone remains of a 7th-century monastery are on an island in the middle of the lake.

Day 3

The Beara Way: Bonane to Kenmare

Today’s walk on the Beara Way leads from Bonane Heritage Park—with its amazing Bronze Age stone circle—to Kenmare, a “Heritage town” that boasts one of Ireland’s finest wool shops, abundant pubs and restaurants, and countless outdoor recreation opportunities.

Accommodation: Shelburne Lodge, Kenmare

Originally the country home of Lord Shelburne, a Dublin-born landowner who was commissioned with the design of the modern town of Kenmare, this charming 18th-century stone guesthouse has been run as a highly-rated B&B by the Foley family for the past 20 years. Set at the edge of town amid manicured grounds and lovely gardens, it is the oldest house in Kenmare and displays great style and attention to detail; spacious common rooms include an elegant, comfortable guest sitting room with plenty of seating, a log fire, and interesting books to read. Inviting guestrooms are individually decorated with color schemes of yellow and peach, antique furnishings, and polished old wooden floors. The large dining room serves a legendary full Irish breakfast using the finest local produce. A planned 17th-century town, Kenmare is not only a center for outdoor activities such as golf, walking, and horseback riding, the charming town also has interesting shops (including Quills Woollen Market), services, and several excellent restaurants within walking distance of Shelburne Lodge.

Day 4

Derrycunnihy Church to Killarney

Enjoy spectacular views over the Killarney Lakes as you cross Moll’s Gap into Killarney National Park. Today’s walk through the mountains passes Torc Waterfall en route to Muckross House, a splendidly restored Victorian mansion with rhododendron-filled gardens. Continue into Killarney on foot, or take the famous “jaunting car,” a local horse-drawn carriage.

Accommodation: Victoria House Hotel, Killarney

This welcoming, family-run boutique hotel is situated in an ideal location, on the scenic Muckross Road in Killarney, to access both the national park and the town. Guest rooms are stylishly updated cozy retreats, with goose-down comforters and pillows. The convivial fine-dining restaurant serves locally sourced fare. The hotel’s bar has two fireplaces and, on certain nights, traditional music.

Day 5

Layover day in Killarney

Optional walking destinations today include the Gap of Dunloe, a long, narrow mountain pass which contains five lakes, and 15th-century Ross Castle. Later, explore Killarney’s vibrant town center, with its tall-spired cathedral and long tradition of late-evening shopping.

Accommodation: Victoria House Hotel, Killarney

This welcoming, family-run boutique hotel is situated in an ideal location, on the scenic Muckross Road in Killarney, to access both the national park and the town. Guest rooms are stylishly updated cozy retreats, with goose-down comforters and pillows. The convivial fine-dining restaurant serves locally sourced fare. The hotel’s bar has two fireplaces and, on certain nights, traditional music.

Day 6

The Dingle Way: Ventry to Dunquin

Today’s walk on the Dingle Peninsula begins with a stroll along Ventry Beach, then reveals spectacular views over the Blasket Islands and the Atlantic Ocean as you pass beside Neolithic beehive stone huts. Back in Dingle, savor a pint of Guinness at one of the town’s 52 pubs.

Accommodation: Benners Hotel, Dingle

In the heart of the town of Dingle, this luxurious, family-run town hotel is a local landmark. Spacious guestrooms blend traditional antique-style furniture with elegant comforts. The bar and common rooms are richly decorated with antique furnishings and have fireplaces. Bustling Dingle’s many restaurants, shops, harbor, and walking routes are all easily reached on foot.

Day 7

Layover day in Dingle

Explore Dingle, with its colorful houses, inviting shops, and lively fishing port. Recreation options include walks, whale-watching boat trips, and deep-sea fishing excursions. The town is also a renowned center for traditional Irish music.

Accommodation: Benners Hotel, Dingle

In the heart of the town of Dingle, this luxurious, family-run town hotel is a local landmark. Spacious guestrooms blend traditional antique-style furniture with elegant comforts. The bar and common rooms are richly decorated with antique furnishings and have fireplaces. Bustling Dingle’s many restaurants, shops, harbor, and walking routes are all easily reached on foot.

Day 8

Departure from Tralee

Transfer to Tralee for onward travel connections.

Download Full Itinerary
Download Full Itinerary
Day 1

Arrival in Cork & Transfer to Gougane Barra

Arrive at your family-run hotel in the peaceful hamlet of Gougane Barra—situated on a small island in a lake surrounded by heather-clad mountains.

Accommodation: Gougane Barra Hotel, Gougane Barra

On the shores of tranquil Lake Gougane Barra, this traditional three-star hotel, in the same family for five generations, is adjacent to a national forest park with a large network of trails. Comfortable modern rooms in warm colors have either lake or mountain views. Available for guests’ use are boats and bicycles, also several cozy sitting rooms, and a bar. An excellent restaurant serves updated traditional fare. The stone remains of a 7th-century monastery are on an island in the middle of the lake.

Day 2

Gougane Barra Forest Park

Fueled by a full Irish breakfast, explore the trails of Gougane Barra Forest Park, enjoying spectacular panoramas of mountains, streams, and glacial lakes. The surrounding valley is revered as the spot where Finbarr, Cork’s patron saint, established his 6th-century monastery.

Accommodation: Gougane Barra Hotel, Gougane Barra

On the shores of tranquil Lake Gougane Barra, this traditional three-star hotel, in the same family for five generations, is adjacent to a national forest park with a large network of trails. Comfortable modern rooms in warm colors have either lake or mountain views. Available for guests’ use are boats and bicycles, also several cozy sitting rooms, and a bar. An excellent restaurant serves updated traditional fare. The stone remains of a 7th-century monastery are on an island in the middle of the lake.

Day 3

The Sheep's Head Way

Today’s walk on the Beara Way leads from Bonane Heritage Park—with its amazing Bronze Age stone circle—to Kenmare, a “Heritage town” that boasts one of Ireland’s finest wool shops, abundant pubs and restaurants, and countless outdoor recreation opportunities.

Accommodation: Shelburne Lodge, Kenmare

Originally the country home of Lord Shelburne, a Dublin-born landowner who was commissioned with the design of the modern town of Kenmare, this charming 18th-century stone guesthouse has been run as a highly-rated B&B by the Foley family for the past 20 years. Set at the edge of town amid manicured grounds and lovely gardens, it is the oldest house in Kenmare and displays great style and attention to detail; spacious common rooms include an elegant, comfortable guest sitting room with plenty of seating, a log fire, and interesting books to read. Inviting guestrooms are individually decorated with color schemes of yellow and peach, antique furnishings, and polished old wooden floors. The large dining room serves a legendary full Irish breakfast using the finest local produce. A planned 17th-century town, Kenmare is not only a center for outdoor activities such as golf, walking, and horseback riding, the charming town also has interesting shops (including Quills Woollen Market), services, and several excellent restaurants within walking distance of Shelburne Lodge.

Day 4

Derrycunnihy Church to Killarney

Enjoy spectacular views over the Killarney Lakes as you cross Moll’s Gap into Killarney National Park. Today’s walk through the mountains passes Torc Waterfall en route to Muckross House, a splendidly restored Victorian mansion with rhododendron-filled gardens. Continue into Killarney on foot, or take the famous “jaunting car,” a local horse-drawn carriage.

Accommodation: Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney

The former estate of the Earls of Pembroke, this hotel was built in 1877 amidst tranquility and lush greenery on the doorstep of Killarney National Park and a 15-minute walk from the center of town. The country manor’s deluxe rooms and inviting common areas are decorated in Victorian style. The property also boasts an award-winning restaurant as well as bistro-style dining in the old wine cellar.

Day 5

Layover day in Killarney

Optional walking destinations today include the Gap of Dunloe, a long, narrow mountain pass which contains five lakes, and 15th-century Ross Castle. Later, explore Killarney’s vibrant town center, with its tall-spired cathedral and long tradition of late-evening shopping.

Accommodation: Victoria House Hotel, Killarney

This welcoming, family-run boutique hotel is situated in an ideal location, on the scenic Muckross Road in Killarney, to access both the national park and the town. Guest rooms are stylishly updated cozy retreats, with goose-down comforters and pillows. The convivial fine-dining restaurant serves locally sourced fare. The hotel’s bar has two fireplaces and, on certain nights, traditional music.

Day 6

The Dingle Way: Ventry to Dunquin

Today’s walk on the Dingle Peninsula begins with a stroll along Ventry Beach, then reveals spectacular views over the Blasket Islands and the Atlantic Ocean as you pass beside Neolithic beehive stone huts. Back in Dingle, savor a pint of Guinness at one of the town’s 52 pubs.

Accommodation: Benners Hotel, Dingle

In the heart of the town of Dingle, this luxurious, family-run town hotel is a local landmark. Spacious guestrooms blend traditional antique-style furniture with elegant comforts. The bar and common rooms are richly decorated with antique furnishings and have fireplaces. Bustling Dingle’s many restaurants, shops, harbor, and walking routes are all easily reached on foot.

Day 7

Layover day in Dingle

Explore Dingle, with its colorful houses, inviting shops, and lively fishing port. Recreation options include walks, whale-watching boat trips, and deep-sea fishing excursions. The town is also a renowned center for traditional Irish music.

Accommodation: Benners Hotel, Dingle

In the heart of the town of Dingle, this luxurious, family-run town hotel is a local landmark. Spacious guestrooms blend traditional antique-style furniture with elegant comforts. The bar and common rooms are richly decorated with antique furnishings and have fireplaces. Bustling Dingle’s many restaurants, shops, harbor, and walking routes are all easily reached on foot.

Day 8

Departure from Tralee

Transfer to Tralee for onward travel connections.

Download Full Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Seasonal Tour Pricing

2016 Dates Number of Travelers
2 3 4 5 6 Single Supplement
more info
Solo Surcharge
more info
Jul 1 - Aug 31 $2,698 $2,698 $2,698 $2,698 $2,698 $545 $975
Sep 1 - Sep 30 $2,598 $2,598 $2,598 $2,598 $2,598 $495 $945
*All prices are per person, based on double occupancy.

Seasonal Tour Pricing

2017 Dates Number of Travelers
2 3 4 5 6 Single Supplement
more info
Solo Surcharge
more info
Apr 15 - Jun 30 $2,698 $2,698 $2,598 $2,598 $2,598 $440 $855
Jul 1 - Aug 31 $2,798 $2,798 $2,698 $2,698 $2,698 $485 $885
Sep 1 - Sep 30 $2,698 $2,698 $2,598 $2,598 $2,598 $440 $855
This tour is available daily, on request, from April 15 through September 30, 2017. Please note that the tiered tour price is based on a guarantee of a specified number of guests—should your group decrease in size, we reserve the right to alter the per person price if necessary as reflected in the Tour Price table. Please also note that the tour price includes one arrival transfer from Cork to Gougane Barra on Day 1 of the tour and one departure transfer from Dingle to Tralee on Day 8 of the tour. If traveling in a group of two or more with separate arrival and/or departure times, additional charges will apply for multiple transfers. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy.

Photos

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