Walking Boots Tours, Exploring the heart & sole of Ireland. Carefully choosen hiking, walking& special interest vacations tours throughout Ireland.
The Sole of the Beautiful Ring of Kerry & Dingle Peninsula.
Tour dates:8 day tour 2013
Skellig Rocks, Monastic Site, Co. Kerry.
World Heritage Site.
Tour cost: 1475 euros p.p ( single supplement 120 euros).
Included: All accommodation, Breakfast, lunches (except day 1& 6), some meals (see itinerary), all transport, collection and return to Shannon, boat trip on lakes of Killarney, entrance to park at Kenmare, guiding services.
Not Included: Lunches day 1,some meals, boat cost to Skelligs (approx 50€) & boat to Blaskets (approx 30€) both trips weather dependant.
I will meet you at Killarney train station at 10am. We will drive to Kenmare, stopping off to visit Aghadoe, overlooking the famous Lakes of Killarney. We will continue south through the Iveragh Peninsula until we arrive at the market town of Kenmare.You will have some free time upon arrival followed by a short briefing on the week ahead.
Overnight in Kenmare and evening meal included.
After a hearty Irish breakfast, we will drive west by the shores of Kenmare Bay and along the Beara Peninsula to the stunning valley of Gleninchquin. Here, we’ll see an ancient stone circle.
We will start our walk at the end of the valley. This walk takes us through the farm of Donal Corcoran. Donal’s farm is a credit to him and shows how farming is changing in Ireland to suit walkers. Donal has marked trails in the hills behind his farm, taking in such sights as waterfalls, lofty cliffs and glacial lakes. This is a walk to take your breath away.
We will return to Kenmare in the mid afternoon. You’ll have time to browse the colourful shops or even go for a pint of the black stuff. Enjoy life in the slow lane!
Hike: 4-5 hours, 5miles. Ascent: approx 400m
Terrain: initially mountain track, wet bogland, uneven trailess mountain terrain (Packed lunch included)
Overnight in Kenmare. Evening meal Not included.
Today’s destination is the Killarney National Park and its surrounding mountains and valleys. Our starting point will be the medieval Ross Castle on the shores of Lough Leane. From here, we will take a boat trip through the lakes.This trip started as an 18th century tradition. Back then, it would have taken a full day with four men rowing the boat. Today, it’s a little faster but just as beautiful!
You’ll feel transported in time. Roads and cars will disappear. All you will see are wild mountain landscapes and the remnants of the old Muckross estate. We will disembark from our boat at an old hunting lodge called St Brandon’s Cottage. Here, we will begin our walk. We will walk through the oldest oak forest in Ireland. The green moss on the trees and the forty shades of green all around make it feel like a true wonderland. The trail we follow was once the old butter road to Kenmare Market. Wooden sleepers will take us over the marsh. We will walk through wild and open moor land, along the lofty slopes of Mangerton and through the woods again until we arrive at Torc Waterfall.
Hike duration: 4.5 hours. 10 miles. (Packed lunch included) Ascent: 150m.
Terrain: Trails, boardwalk, rough stony track.
Overnight in Kenmare.Evening meal Not included.
We say farewell to Kenmare and travel west along the Iveragh Peninsula by the shores of Kenmare Bay to the quaint village of Sneem.
Here, we will follow a stony, steep mountain track to Gloragh Mountain in the heart of the wild landscape that makes this area so beautiful.
Then, we will hike across the bog land that blankets the area, following the mountain streams back to the valley we started from. (Packed lunch included)
Hike duration: approx 4-5 hours. 6 miles. Ascent: 500m
Terrain: Some track, elevation steep at times, uneven mountain ground. No trail.
Overnight in Sneem & Evening meal Not included.
John Tehan showing how to cut turf from the bog.
We will visit the magical island hermitage of Skellig Michael, weather and seas permitting. Dating back to the late 8th century, this monastic site and spectacular bird colony will take your breath away.Puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots and shearwaters; you’ll see them all. You’ll even see the largest gannet colony in Ireland.
You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the monastic site and reflect on a time when isolation, hermitage and pilgrimage were an integral part of life in Ireland.
Boat trip: 1.5 hours by open boat to the island, 2.5 hours on Skellig Michael. Ascent: 210m Climb 600+ steps to top of island to monastic site, steep climb uneven steps, steep drops to sea -exposed, Must be sure foote. (Packed lunch included).
Overnight in Sneem,Evening meal included.
Day 6: Free Afternoon.
We leave the beautiful home of the Teahan family after breakfast and will drive to the Dingle Peninsula taking a short stop to walk the magnificent Inch beach on this peninsula. We will aim to arrive in Dingle late morning and you have the rest of the day Free to shop, watch the world go by, take an archaeology tour or bike ride. NB (Lunch Not included)
Drive to Dingle approximately 2..5 hours with a few pitstops.
Overnight in Dingle town. Evening meal Not included.
We will take the short ferry crossing to one of the most spectacular islands off the West Coast of Ireland, weather permitting. The Blasket Island is a place steeped in the history and the stories of the community who inhabited it until 1953. It’s a place to lose yourself surrounded by the wild Atlantic Ocean. And it’s a place to observe wonderful birdlife – gannets, shags, cormorants and unexpected visitors from overseas!
You might like to prepare for this visit by doing some background reading. I recommend ‘Hungry for Home’ by Cole Morton, ‘Twenty Years a Growing’ by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin and ‘A Dark Day on the Blaskets’ by Mícheál Ó Dubhshláinne.
Hike: approximately 3 hours. 8-10km. Ascent :280m.
Terrain: Grassy track to back of the island.
Overnight in Dingle & Farewell evening meal included.
Group waiting to catch the boat to the Blaskets at Dunquin pier.
I will drop you all back to Killarney for your afternoon departure.
The drive from Dingle to Killarney takes 1 hours. We arrive at approximately 10am.
NB: Only one drop off is possible.