Blend vigorous tramps with insightful cultural visits as you explore Ireland's dramatic west coast. In addition to hikes along the Gap of Dunloe, the Dingle Peninsula, the Aran Isles, and Connemara, you'll discover iconic and lesser known cultural sites and enjoy a tasty pint and Irish hospitality at local pubs.

Starting at: $5,495 Register Interest or Call 833-254-6678
 Hiking through breathtaking landscapes in Ireland  The Gap of Dunloe  Landscape of the fabled Aran Islands  Typical scene of musicians in a pub. Credit: Courtesy Ireland Tourism Bureau  Ring fort, Dingle Peninsula. Credit: Courtesy Ireland Tourism Bureau  Conor Pass, the Dingle Peninsula. Credit: Courtesy Ireland Tourism Bureau  Stone fences along the Dingle Peninsula  Whiskey distillery, Dingle Peninsula. Credit: Courtesy Ireland Tourism Bureau  The village of Dingle  The 15th-century Ross Castle, outside Killarney  Typical landscape in Ireland. Credit: Ireland Tourism  The 12th-century Kilkenny Castle  Kilkenny street scene. Credit: Courtesy Ireland Tourism Bureau  Sheep dogs working their herd  The Connemara landscape. Credit: Ireland Tourism  Connemara's Kylemore Castle, once an abbey and school   The village of Clifden. Credit: Courtesy Ireland Tourism Bureau  Galway Bay  Street scene in Galway. Credit: Courtesy Ireland Tourism Bureau

Hiking the Emerald Isle

11 days from $5,495

Blend vigorous tramps with insightful cultural visits as you explore Ireland's dramatic west coast. In addition to hikes along the Gap of Dunloe, the Dingle Peninsula, the Aran Isles, and Connemara, you'll discover iconic and lesser known cultural sites and enjoy a tasty pint and Irish hospitality at local pubs.

or Call 833-254-6678

CONTACT OUR ACTIVE JOURNEYS SPECIALISTS

Save $300 per person* when you book by October 30, 2018! 

*Discount applies to new bookings only. 

Call Our Active Journeys Specialists at 833-254-6678 (M-F 10 am - 8 pm ET) or Register Your Interest Online. For calls outside of the U.S., please call 510-852-8350.

Overview

Blend vigorous tramps with insightful cultural visits along Ireland’s west coast—on the Dingle Peninsula, Killarney, the Aran Isles, and Connemara—where the traditional Irish language is still spoken and the music is ever present. With your small group, walk along pristine beaches, dramatic coastal cliffs, and rugged mountainous areas and along the way explore historic sites and meet with local people. In the evenings you’ll fit right in at the local pub, where warm Irish hospitality, lively music, a tasty pint, and genuine Irish craic await.  (Daily hikes of 3 to 7 miles).

Highlights Include:

  • Hiking Dramatic Landscapes: Hike along the windswept Gap of Dunloe and climb narrow mountain passes in Killarney National Park. Spend two days on the Dingle Peninsula and hike the Dingle Way, one of the most beautiful walks in the world. On the Aran Isle of Inis Mor, you’ll walk to a stone fort situated on a 325-foot cliff overlooking the Atlantic, offering spectacular views. Farther north, hike the quartzite mountain of Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park and learn about the flora and fauna of the coastline.
  • Historic Sites and Local People: During your hikes, see prehistoric orgham stones, an ancient fort, Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled gardens, and castles in Kilkenny and Kilarney. You’ll also stop at quaint fishing villages and old abandoned cottages, meet a goat farmer, and sample local spirits at a distillery.
  • Featured Lodging: Your overnight stays range from historic hotels in Dublin and Killarney to an 18th-century stone house B&B on the Aran Isles and a 19th-century country house sited on 30 acres of woodland near Connemara. 

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. on your international flight to Ireland. 

Day 2 —Arrive in Dublin

Arrive in Dublin and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to rest and relax. Or, choose to explore some of the special sites of Dublin at your leisure, such as the Book of Kells, the National Gallery, or the Temple Bar neighborhood. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a trip briefing and welcome dinner. (D)

Day 3 — Kilkenny / Killarney

This morning, travel to Kilkenny, Ireland’s most celebrated medieval city. The 12th-century Kilkenny Castle commands a dramatic position overlooking the River Nore, and its blend of architectural styles and colorful history offer a captivating glimpse into Ireland’s past. From here, journey to Killarney and enjoy a walk that introduces you to the inspiring views of the Lakes of Killarney. Hiking 2 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — The Gap of Dunloe

Today hike a trail along the iconic Gap of Dunloe. This is a windswept landscape broken by the ruins of stone cottages and crumbling ancient monuments. You'll meander between the mountains of Killarney National Park, climbing narrow mountain passes that offer wonderful views of this wild landscape. Upon reaching the ruins of Lord Brandon’s Cottage on the lakeshore, step aboard a small boat and travel through Killarney’s Lakes to visit the historic Ross Castle. Hiking 3-4 hours. (B,L)

Day 5 — The Heart of the Dingle Peninsula

Today you'll visit Annascaul, the hometown of Antarctic explorer Tom Crean, where winding country roads lead through a valley to the sacred lake of Annascaul. Legend has it that two giants once fought here for the hand of a maiden called Scaul. One of the rocks they flung at each other created a crater that filled up with water over time, creating this sacred lake. Spend the evening in the village of Dingle, one of the strongest bastions of traditional Irish music. Tonight, join local residents in one of the pubs and experience some real ‘craic agus ceoil.’ Hiking 3-4 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Dingle Way

Known as one of the most beautiful walks in the world, your trail will follow the Atlantic coastline, skirting below the holy mountain of Brandon and then crossing a range of spectacular cliff tops, affectionately known as the Three Sisters. Today you'll also have the opportunity to visit a small working distillery where you can sample the local distiller’s hospitality as well as one of his spirits. Hiking 2 hours. (B,L)

Day 7 — The Aran Islands

Set off today for the Aran Islands, a rocky oasis still very much unhindered by the trials of modern life. A boat departs from Doolin village to take you from the mainland out into Galway Bay and onto the largest of the three islands. During a scenic walk, visit a local goat farmer and his lovable herd, discover the secrets that go into making his award-winning cheese, and sample some for yourselves. Hiking 2 hours.(B,L,D)

Day 8 — Dún Aonghusa / Connemara

Your walk today takes you to one of the most important prehistoric sites in Europe. Dún Aonghusa is a semi-circular stone fort positioned on a cliff edge, one side open to a 328- foot drop into the Atlantic. To stand in the center of this fort with the ocean stretching vast and unending out before you is a special experience and the original purpose of the site is the center of much speculation and debate among historians and archaeologists today. Hiking 3 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Kylemore Abbey / Diamond Hill

Begin the day with a visit to Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled gardens. Later, visit the western edge of Connemara National Park to hike the distinctive quartzite mountain of Diamond Hill. En route, keep a lookout for wild mountain goats and native red deer. Your climb to the glittering quartzite summit is rewarded with commanding views of the spectacular wilderness of Connemara. Hiking 3 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Connemara / Galway

Today, join a local foraging expert on one of the area’s secluded beaches and learn about the seaweed and marine wildlife found along the Connemara coastline. Your walk concludes in the fishing harbor of Roundstone Bay, then travel to Galway City and your farewell dinner. Hiking 2 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Depart for the U.S.

This morning, return to Dublin for return flights home this afternoon. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)