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The only thing more inviting than Ireland’s emerald expanses is the boundless warmth of its people.

Ireland’s southwest coast stretches before you as you leave the graceful arc of Ventry Beach and set off on the Dingle Way. Verdant fields slope down to meet black cliffs, lashed by the pounding surf. Far to the south rise MacGillycuddy’s Reeks—Ireland’s highest mountains; due west lie the Blasket Islands, with the unbroken Atlantic beyond. Walking Ireland’s wide-open landscapes on this walking tour in Cork and Kerry has filled you with a sense of boundless freedom. This land breathes history, from the prehistoric beehive huts beside your path to Gougane Barra’s ancient lakeside monastery. Even more timeless is the warmth of the Irish people: your welcoming innkeepers, fellow walkers, and the spirited denizens of Dingle’s pubs, where good music and good cheer last long into the night.

Highlights

  • Follow the Dingle Way along pristine coastline, enjoying views of the Blasket Islands and passing by Neolithic clochán—beehive-shaped drystone huts.
  • View the countryside through Irish eyes, as your friendly hosts share their knowledge of the area during stays at locally owned accommodations.
  • Admire the same view of the Killarney Lakes that impressed Queen Victoria in 1861, as you walk from Ladies’ View further into Killarney National Park.
  • Explore the beautifully preserved 19th-century country estate of Muckross House, one of County Kerry’s famous historic homes.

Positive Impact

Country Walkers is proud to support Wine to Water with a donation on behalf of each guest on this tour. Wine to Water is an international organization providing access to clean drinking water and emergency supplies in water-challenged regions. We believe in giving back to the places that have enriched the lives of our guests. We’re committed to identifying and supporting sustainable initiatives in a variety of areas including education, world health, economic equality, safe drinking water, the environment, and the preservation of cultural traditions.

On all Self-Guided Adventures you can count on...
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A local representative available 24/7
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Detailed maps & route notes featuring turn-by-turn directions and places of interest
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Delicious meals—many are included
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Scheduled taxi transfers to bring you to and from each day’s walks (excluding self-drive adventures)
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Gracious accommodations that are a clean, comfortable home away from home
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Experts to handle all the details, including moving your luggage between hotels while you’re out exploring
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Access to a Self-Guided Flight Concierge—ask our knowledgeable team to find flights that sync with your planned trip

Itinerary

Sat, May 18 to Mon, May 27 - 2024

Show Itinerary:

Depart home for Ireland. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival in Cork, make your own travel arrangements to your centrally located hotel downtown. For details, refer to your Vacation Preparation Handbook. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure—perhaps explore the city, rest up in the hotel, or select a local restaurant for lunch and dinner. We provide detailed city information to help you plan your day. Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 3:00 p.m., in which case you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

2.5 miles, easy

From your meeting point in Cork, you are driven to the small hamlet of Gougane Barra in western Cork, a wonderfully pristine part of Ireland. Your lakeside family-run hotel overlooks St. Finbarr’s Oratory on a small island. Surrounded by heather-clad mountains, the lake is a beautiful and peaceful place, and there is a lovely walk available to stretch your legs. A memorable dinner of refined Irish country cooking is included nightly during your stay here in the wilds of County Cork.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

6 miles, easy to moderate

Awakening to lakeside tranquility and a full Irish breakfast today, you explore the Gougane Barra Forest Park, which offers a range of trails of varying distances and degrees of difficulty. Each one has a specific theme that best showcases the spectacular panoramas of mountains, valleys, streams, and lakes. Developed as a forest park in the early 1960s and officially opened in 1966, the Gougane Barra valley and lake owe their dramatic geology to glacial origins. The Forest Park of over 350 acres was planted in the late 1930s over what was once farmland. Now, you walk amid impressive stands of lodgepole pine, Sitka spruce, and light green Japanese larch. Finbarr, the founder of Cork, established a monastery here in the 6th century, as well as a hermitage on the small island in Gougane Barra Lake (Lough an Ghugain), which can be reached by a short causeway.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

7 miles or 9 miles, easy to moderate, 850-ft. elevation gain and 1,050-ft. elevation loss

Today begins with a drive (just over an hour) over Moll’s Gap, with the famous Ladies’ View over the Killarney Lakes, and to the start of your walk at Derrycunnihy Church on Galway’s Bridge. The route takes you through the Killarney National Park, home to the only natural herd of red deer in Britain or Ireland. You continue through the mountains to the Torc Waterfall and on to Muckross House and Abbey, where Queen Victoria paid a visit to the Herbert family in 1861. Today, many of the rooms in this magnificent mansion have been restored to their original Victorian splendor, and between the months of April and July, the mature rhododendrons of Muckross Gardens are in spectacular bloom. Adjacent to the house are the Muckross Traditional Farms, which portray the farming methods and way of life in a typical rural community of the 1930s. The workshops, shops, and restaurant are all worth exploring. From here, a taxi delivers you to your accommodation for the next two nights in Killarney. Enjoy dinner on your own tonight, either at your hotel or at a local restaurant of your choosing.

Included Meals: Breakfast

At your doorstep you have a plethora of things to do in and around the town of Killarney, from a range of walks, to castle touring, town strolling and shopping, bike riding, or pony trekking. Perhaps one of the best-known natural sites is the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass between Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountain. About seven miles in length from north to south, within it are five lakes—Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake, and Black Lough—all linked by the River Loe. Connecting the first two lakes is the Wishing Bridge, so-called because it is said that wishes made while upon it are destined to come true. Nearby is Ross Castle, standing on the shore of Lough Leane. The original home of the O’Donoghue Ross Chieftains in the 15th century, the castle has been magnificently restored. The site holds evidence of human habitation going back 9,000 years, with one of Europe’s earliest Bronze Age copper mines dating back some 4,500 years. One walking option here is a 90-minute route around the archaeological sites of Ross Island. You can also walk into the vibrant and charming town center of Killarney, with the tall-spired St. Mary’s Cathedral, as well as a Gothic Franciscan church. While in Killarney, enjoy the town’s long tradition of late-evening shopping.

Included Meals: Breakfast

7.4–9 miles, easy to moderate, 900-ft. elevation gain and loss

This morning’s destination is the Dingle Peninsula, just over an hour’s drive away. A first short stop is at the fabulous Inch Beach, made famous in David Lean’s 1970 film, Ryan’s Daughter. The drive takes you past Dingle (you’ll have plenty of time upon your return to explore the town and surroundings) and on to Ventry Beach, where you begin the day’s walk. The route starts along the beach before rising slightly to skirt the base of Mount Eagle. Here, spectacular views open up over the Blasket Islands and the Atlantic Ocean as you pass beside Neolithic clochán, beehive-shaped drystone huts. The walk ends at the excellent Blasket Islands visitor center, which provides an informative overview of the communities that once lived on the remote islands. You soon return to Dingle, perhaps for a pint of Guinness at one of the town’s 52 pubs, before walking to dinner at a restaurant of your choosing.

Included Meals: Breakfast

The town of Dingle invites exploration, with its colorful houses, lively fishing port, pubs and restaurants, quaint shops, and livestock market. Nearby are local walks, as well as boating options. A vibrant town of only 2,000 residents, it is a flourishing tourist, fishing, and agricultural center. Boat trips from Dingle include whale-watching excursions and deep-sea fishing. As it is a market and fishing town, its numerous pubs not only provide delicious food and drink, but some also specialize in selling items from Wellington boots to sheets, blankets, and fertilizer! The town is a center for traditional music, and you can listen to it in the pubs in the evening. By day, perhaps visit the Dingle Record Shop on Green Street, or the Dingle Music School, dedicated to making Irish music as accessible as possible. Pottery is another local craft.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, an included three-hour taxi ride is provided from Dingle to Bunratty, where you are free to enjoy a final day of exploration (lunch and dinner are on your own).

Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast*, make your own independent travel arrangements to Shannon Airport for your onward travels. For details, refer to your Vacation Preparation Handbook.

*For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Mon, May 20 to Sun, May 26 - 2024

Show Itinerary:

2.5 miles, easy

From your meeting point in Cork, you are driven to the small hamlet of Gougane Barra in western Cork, a wonderfully pristine part of Ireland. Your lakeside family-run hotel overlooks St. Finbarr’s Oratory on a small island. Surrounded by heather-clad mountains, the lake is a beautiful and peaceful place, and there is a lovely walk available to stretch your legs. A memorable dinner of refined Irish country cooking is included nightly during your stay here in the wilds of County Cork.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

6 miles, easy to moderate

Awakening to lakeside tranquility and a full Irish breakfast today, you explore the Gougane Barra Forest Park, which offers a range of trails of varying distances and degrees of difficulty. Each one has a specific theme that best showcases the spectacular panoramas of mountains, valleys, streams, and lakes. Developed as a forest park in the early 1960s and officially opened in 1966, the Gougane Barra valley and lake owe their dramatic geology to glacial origins. The Forest Park of over 350 acres was planted in the late 1930s over what was once farmland. Now, you walk amid impressive stands of lodgepole pine, Sitka spruce, and light green Japanese larch. Finbarr, the founder of Cork, established a monastery here in the 6th century, as well as a hermitage on the small island in Gougane Barra Lake (Lough an Ghugain), which can be reached by a short causeway.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

7 miles or 9 miles, easy to moderate, 850-ft. elevation gain and 1,050-ft. elevation loss

Today begins with a drive (just over an hour) over Moll’s Gap, with the famous Ladies’ View over the Killarney Lakes, and to the start of your walk at Derrycunnihy Church on Galway’s Bridge. The route takes you through the Killarney National Park, home to the only natural herd of red deer in Britain or Ireland. You continue through the mountains to the Torc Waterfall and on to Muckross House and Abbey, where Queen Victoria paid a visit to the Herbert family in 1861. Today, many of the rooms in this magnificent mansion have been restored to their original Victorian splendor, and between the months of April and July, the mature rhododendrons of Muckross Gardens are in spectacular bloom. Adjacent to the house are the Muckross Traditional Farms, which portray the farming methods and way of life in a typical rural community of the 1930s. The workshops, shops, and restaurant are all worth exploring. From here, a taxi delivers you to your accommodation for the next two nights in Killarney. Enjoy dinner on your own tonight, either at your hotel or at a local restaurant of your choosing.

Included Meals: Breakfast

At your doorstep you have a plethora of things to do in and around the town of Killarney, from a range of walks, to castle touring, town strolling and shopping, bike riding, or pony trekking. Perhaps one of the best-known natural sites is the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass between Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountain. About seven miles in length from north to south, within it are five lakes—Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake, and Black Lough—all linked by the River Loe. Connecting the first two lakes is the Wishing Bridge, so-called because it is said that wishes made while upon it are destined to come true. Nearby is Ross Castle, standing on the shore of Lough Leane. The original home of the O’Donoghue Ross Chieftains in the 15th century, the castle has been magnificently restored. The site holds evidence of human habitation going back 9,000 years, with one of Europe’s earliest Bronze Age copper mines dating back some 4,500 years. One walking option here is a 90-minute route around the archaeological sites of Ross Island. You can also walk into the vibrant and charming town center of Killarney, with the tall-spired St. Mary’s Cathedral, as well as a Gothic Franciscan church. While in Killarney, enjoy the town’s long tradition of late-evening shopping.

Included Meals: Breakfast

7.4–9 miles, easy to moderate, 900-ft. elevation gain and loss

This morning’s destination is the Dingle Peninsula, just over an hour’s drive away. A first short stop is at the fabulous Inch Beach, made famous in David Lean’s 1970 film, Ryan’s Daughter. The drive takes you past Dingle (you’ll have plenty of time upon your return to explore the town and surroundings) and on to Ventry Beach, where you begin the day’s walk. The route starts along the beach before rising slightly to skirt the base of Mount Eagle. Here, spectacular views open up over the Blasket Islands and the Atlantic Ocean as you pass beside Neolithic clochán, beehive-shaped drystone huts. The walk ends at the excellent Blasket Islands visitor center, which provides an informative overview of the communities that once lived on the remote islands. You soon return to Dingle, perhaps for a pint of Guinness at one of the town’s 52 pubs, before walking to dinner at a restaurant of your choosing.

Included Meals: Breakfast

The town of Dingle invites exploration, with its colorful houses, lively fishing port, pubs and restaurants, quaint shops, and livestock market. Nearby are local walks, as well as boating options. A vibrant town of only 2,000 residents, it is a flourishing tourist, fishing, and agricultural center. Boat trips from Dingle include whale-watching excursions and deep-sea fishing. As it is a market and fishing town, its numerous pubs not only provide delicious food and drink, but some also specialize in selling items from Wellington boots to sheets, blankets, and fertilizer! The town is a center for traditional music, and you can listen to it in the pubs in the evening. By day, perhaps visit the Dingle Record Shop on Green Street, or the Dingle Music School, dedicated to making Irish music as accessible as possible. Pottery is another local craft.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, an included taxi ride from Dingle to Limerick is provided (2.5 hours) to make your train or bus connections.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Accommodations

What's Included

Air Package
Tour Only
Roundtrip international airfare Check
Business-class upgrades available Check
One extra night in Cork and one extra night in Bunratty Check
Pre- and post-trip breakfasts Check
Detailed information for your independent travel to/from arrival and departure airports Check
Boutique accommodations Check Check
8 on-tour meals: 6 breakfasts and 2 dinners Check Check
Detailed water- and tear-resistant Route Notes and maps Check Check
Orientation meeting with a Country Walkers representative Check Check
Local representative available 24/7 Check Check
Scheduled on-tour taxi and luggage transportation (Please note: If unable to walk, it is possible to travel with your luggage from one accommodation to the next at no additional charge.) Check Check
Morocco: Marrakesh, Foothills of the High Atlas & Essaouira

Dates & Prices

Departing Airport :

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Air Package

10 days, includes roundtrip international airfare and additional hotel night with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $695.00

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Sat, May 18 - Mon, May 27, 2024

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$4,995.00

Per person, double occupancy

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Sat, Jun 1 - Mon, Jun 10, 2024

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Sat, Jun 8 - Mon, Jun 17, 2024

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Sat, Jun 15 - Mon, Jun 24, 2024

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Sat, Jun 22 - Mon, Jul 1, 2024

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Sat, Jun 29 - Mon, Jul 8, 2024

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Sat, Jul 6 - Mon, Jul 15, 2024

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Sat, Jul 20 - Mon, Jul 29, 2024

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Sat, Aug 3 - Mon, Aug 12, 2024

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Sat, Aug 17 - Mon, Aug 26, 2024

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Currently Full

Sat, Sep 7 - Mon, Sep 16, 2024

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Join Waitlist

Sat, Sep 14 - Mon, Sep 23, 2024

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Sat, Sep 21 - Mon, Sep 30, 2024

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Select Year :

Tour Only

7 Days. Includes Self-Guided walking vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $495.00

Limited Spaces Left

Mon, May 20 - Sun, May 26, 2024

From
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Per person, double occupancy

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Mon, Jun 3 - Sun, Jun 9, 2024

From
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Per person, double occupancy

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Mon, Jun 10 - Sun, Jun 16, 2024

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Mon, Jun 17 - Sun, Jun 23, 2024

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Mon, Jun 24 - Sun, Jun 30, 2024

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Mon, Jul 1 - Sun, Jul 7, 2024

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Mon, Jul 8 - Sun, Jul 14, 2024

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Mon, Jul 22 - Sun, Jul 28, 2024

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Mon, Aug 5 - Sun, Aug 11, 2024

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Mon, Aug 19 - Sun, Aug 25, 2024

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Currently Full

Mon, Sep 9 - Sun, Sep 15, 2024

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Mon, Sep 16 - Sun, Sep 22, 2024

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Mon, Sep 23 - Sun, Sep 29, 2024

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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