Experience Ireland’s natural treasures up close, discovering the spectacular landscapes and traditional villages of the Burren, the Dingle Peninsula, and Killarney National Park on a range of hikes, walks, and bike rides.

Activity Level: This is a Light Active Journey. Travelers should be reasonably fit and capable of standing, walking, or hiking for several hours over mostly flat terrain that is at times rocky or uneven.  Travelers can expect 2 to 5 miles of walking or easy hiking over several days as well as two biking excursions. Day-by-day activity descriptions can be found on the itinerary page at the end of each day.  Read more about Active Journeys activity levels here.

This Active Journey is limited to a maximum of 18 travelers per departure.

 The dramatic Cliffs of Mohr
 Hiking through breathtaking landscapes in Ireland
 The dramatic Cliffs of Moher
 The Gap of Dunloe
 Landscape of the Dingle Peninsula
 Stone fences along the Dingle Peninsula
 Ring fort, Dingle Peninsula. Credit: Tourism Ireland
 Gallarus oratory, Dingle Peninsula. Credit: Tourism Ireland
 The village of Dingle
 Road to Dun Aonghosa Fort, Inishmore
 The ancient stone fort of Dun Aonghosa on the cliffs on Inishmore
 Landscape of the fabled Aran Islands
 The site of Glendalough
 Jaunting cart in Killarney National Park
 Kilkenny street scene. Credit: Tourism Ireland
 The 12th-century Kilkenny Castle
 Lively music in a pub. Credit: Brian Morrison, Ireland Tourism
 Whiskey distillery, Dingle Peninsula. Credit: Tourism Ireland
 Hiker overlooking the Irish coast

Irish Walks: An Active Journey from Dublin to Dingle

11 days from $5,299

Experience Ireland’s natural treasures up close, discovering the spectacular landscapes and traditional villages of the Burren, the Dingle Peninsula, and Killarney National Park on a range of hikes, walks, and bike rides.

Activity Level: This is a Light Active Journey. Travelers should be reasonably fit and capable of standing, walking, or hiking for several hours over mostly flat terrain that is at times rocky or uneven.  Travelers can expect 2 to 5 miles of walking or easy hiking over several days as well as two biking excursions. Day-by-day activity descriptions can be found on the itinerary page at the end of each day.  Read more about Active Journeys activity levels here.

This Active Journey is limited to a maximum of 18 travelers per departure.

Overview

Take to the trails of Ireland, enjoying an intimate view of natural treasures and timeless Irish culture from the windswept Aran Islands to the mystical ruins of Glendalough. Experience the celebrated Cliffs of Moher on a breathtaking hike and immerse yourself in a traditional way of life as you cycle the limestone flats of Inishmore. Drive along Dingle’s Slea Head route, discovering prehistoric relics and incredible vistas, and cruise the lakes of Killarney after an exhilarating hike through the Gap of Dunloe. Between your outdoor adventures, soak up Irish culture, listening to local musicians in historic pubs, visiting a centuries-old distillery, and exploring medieval Kilkenny.

  • The Burren and the Aran Islands: From your lodgings in the heart of the Burren, hike along the coast to the famous Cliffs of Moher with a local guide, hearing insights about the geology and lore of the region. Take the ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, and discover its ancient ruins and lunar landscapes on a guided bike ride.
  • Dingle Peninsula: Stay in the charming fishing village of Dingle and enjoy sweeping views on a morning hike along the coast. Then set off on the spectacular Slea Head drive, stopping to explore ancient beehive huts, hidden coves, and traditional fishing hamlets where Irish is still spoken.
  • Killarney National Park: Pedal through lush forests on a guided biking excursion to Torc waterfall. See the historic sites within the park, including Muckross House and its traditional farms and gardens and an abbey with a storied past. Hike the length of the Gap of Dunloe and return to Killarney by boat, cruising pristine waterways that lace between the mountains.
  • Kilkenny and Wicklow: Take a lively tour of Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile, hearing surprising facts and legends about this historic town. Then head to Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains for a hike amid forest-edged lakes and evocative early Christian ruins.
  • Local culture: Gather for meals in popular and historic pubs from Dublin to Dingle, and hear traditional Irish tunes at live performances in the music capital of Doolin and beyond. Sample two of Ireland’s famous exports on tasting tours of a whiskey distillery and the 300-year-old Smithwick’s brewery.

Itinerary

Days 1-2 — Depart Home / Arrive in Dublin, Ireland

Arrive in Dublin on an overnight flight, and transfer to your hotel in the city center. The afternoon is yours to explore this lively city.  In the evening, get to know your group leader and fellow travelers at a welcome orientation before a local guide leads us on a walking tour of Dublin. Admire famous landmarks such as Trinity College and the 1,000-year-old Christ Church Cathedral, and stroll the cobbled streets of Temple Bar. Then it’s on to a delicious welcome dinner. (D)

Walking: 2 hours, paved city streets.

Day 3 — Doolin / The Cliffs of Moher

Journey west this morning, stopping for a visit to the Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery, Ireland’s oldest licensed distillery, founded in 1757. On a tour of the working distillery, learn about their time-tested process of crafting fine spirits and hear colorful tales from over 200 years of whiskey making. End the experience with a tasting “master class” in the old cooperage. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant en route to County Clare, where your destination is the village of Doolin in the heart of the Burren. This region is known for its unusual limestone-crusted landscapes—and the abundant wildflowers that grow between the cracks.

After checking in to your inn, set out with a guide on a scenic walk from the village to the iconic Cliffs of Moher. You’ll have rolling green pastures dotted with sheep on one side of the trail—and 700-foot cliffs that drop sharply to the crashing sea on the other. Take in expansive views of the Dingle Peninsula and the Aran Islands (weather permitting) as your guide interprets the geography as well as the history and folklore associated with these cliffs.  Drive back to the village for an evening at leisure or opt to join the group leader at a village pub for some entertainment: Doolin is the home of traditional Irish music. (B,L)

Hiking: 5 miles, coastal trails, potentially windy or rainy, mostly flat.

Day 4 — Inishmore, Aran Islands / Doolin

Head out just after breakfast to catch the ferry across Galway Bay to the largest of the Aran Islands, Inishmore. The Aran Islands are part of Ireland’s Gaeltacht, where the Irish language and Gaelic traditions still hold strong. Covered in sheets of limestone much like the Burren, Inishmore harbors dozens of Celtic and early Christian ruins, including the enigmatic ring fort of Dun Aonghosa, perched high on the sea cliffs. Discover this enchanting island on a guided bike tour, delving into mythology, geology, and everyday life as you pedal past stone-walled cow pastures and thatched cottages.  Sit down to a well-earned lunch at an island pub, then enjoy some free time to explore on your own before taking the ferry back to Doolin. During an evening at leisure, consider seeking out live Irish music in one of the village pubs. (B,L)

Biking: 15 miles (over 3 hours), country roads and unpaved trails; mostly flat.

Day 5 — Adare / Dingle Peninsula

Drive south toward the Dingle Peninsula, stopping for lunch in the fairy-tale-like village of Adare. Take in the views of rugged coast and green hills as you approach the town of Dingle, perched on a natural harbor on the southern edge of the peninsula. Check in to your hotel, then take a walk through this charming town with your trip leader, learning about its heyday as a bustling trading port.  End the walk with a pint at the historic Dick Mack’s Pub, which has been filling glasses since 1899. With your evening free, choose to stay for dinner at this popular pub or seek out another restaurant in town. Your trip leader will have recommendations. (B,L)

Walking: 2-3 hours of walking tours in Adare and Dingle, city street.

Day 6 — Dingle Peninsula

Begin the day east of Dingle at Minard Cove, where the ruins of a 16th-century castle overlook a lovely storm beach. From here, climb up the slope of Acres Hill on a loop trail that offers sweeping views of Dingle Bay. Return to Dingle for a pub lunch together and then set out on the fabled Slea Head drive, which circles the tip of Dingle Peninsula, linking ancient ruins, jagged cliffs, and remote fishing hamlets. Make stops along the route to get a closer look at historic forts and beehive huts and visit traditional villages where Irish is still spoken. If weather permits, take in views of Blasket Islands and perhaps even the rocky crag of Skellig Michael. Enjoy a free evening in Dingle. (B,L)

Walking: 5 miles, hilly terrain; 600-foot elevation gain. 

Day 7 — Killarney National Park

Leave the Dingle Peninsula and drive to Killarney, the gateway to Killarney National Park. Meet a local guide for a cycling tour of the park, following a loop trail through mossy old growth forests and past historic landmarks. Explore the ruins of Muckross Abbey, once attacked by Oliver Cromwell’s forces, and get a sense of rural life at the working Muckross Traditional Farms. Pedal past the lakeside Muckross House and admire Torc Waterfall, which tumbles some 75 feet down a rocky mountainside.  After lunch on your own in town, check in to your hotel. During a free afternoon, set out to explore more of this UNESCO Biosphere—its lakes and rolling hills are intertwined with peaceful trails. Later this evening, meet up for dinner at a popular local pub. (B,D)

Biking: 17 miles (2-3 hours) over paved paths with gentle hills.  

Day 8 — Killarney / Gap of Dunloe

A quick morning drive brings you to the historic Kate Kearney House, the starting point for today’s hike through the Gap of Dunloe. Carved by the retreating glaciers of the last Ice Age, this picturesque pass separates MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s tallest mountains, from the Purple Mountains. Follow the trail beneath the looming peaks, crossing the old stone Wishing Bridge and skirting gem-like lakes and green pastures scattered with sheep.  Enjoy a picnic lunch at a scenic spot, then walk on to Lord Brandon's cottage at the end of the pass. From here, board a boat for a relaxing ride across Killarney’s lakes to Ross Castle. Late this afternoon, transfer back to town and enjoy an evening on your own. (B,L)

Hiking: 7 miles, paved trail; minimal elevation gain.

Day 9 — Kilkenny

Head east to Kilkenny, a city known for its vibrant arts and handicrafts traditions. After lunch at a local restaurant, embark on an entertaining walking tour along the Medieval Mile, hearing about Kilkenny’s history as well as its legends and ghost stories. Highlights include Kilkenny Castle, the old city jail, and the towering St. Canice's Cathedral. Next, stop in at the Smithwick's brewery for a guided tour and learn how red ales have been crafted here for some 300 years. Finish off the tour with a pint of your favorite ale and take the rest of the day to discover the city’s artisan shops, galleries, and vibrant nightlife. (B,L)

Walking: 2-3 hour medieval walking tour, city streets.

Day 10 — Wicklow Mountains / Dublin

Journey into the heart of the Wicklow Mountains for a visit to enchanting Glendalough. This mystical valley, surrounded by steep mountain slopes, harbors the ruins of an ancient monastic settlement.  On a walk around the lake, discover lush forests, wildlife, and archaeological ruins steeped in history. After lunch on your own, return to Dublin and enjoy a free afternoon. This evening, toast your Irish adventure over a farewell dinner at a local pub accompanied by live Irish music. (B,D)

Hiking: 3 miles, varied terrain; 400-500 feet of elevation gain.

Day 11 — Return Home

After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch your onward flight. (B)

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

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