Ireland 2020 - Trip Itinerary
Here is our planned itinerary, but it could change due to weather conditions or other circumstances beyond our control. Included meals shown by B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner.
Day 1 September 12 Welcome
We meet in the late afternoon at our hotel for our trip orientation and to answer last minute questions before dinner, our first meal of the trip. D
Day 2 September 13 Muckross Lake Loop 9 Miles 328 feet ascent
Today is a moderate stroll through native forests of oak and yew with views of Torc Mountain and MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range, stretching 12 miles from the Gap of Dunloe in the east to Glencar in the west. Along our way, we will visit a 13th century Franciscan friary. In a good state of preservation, it has been abandoned since the 1650s when the monks were driven out by Oliver Cromwell’s forces. Interestingly, its graveyard is still in use today, where people are buried alongside the ancient Irish Chieftains such as the O’Donoghues who, according to legend, were laid to rest there. We will return to Killarney for our evening meal. B/L/D
Day 3 September 14 Torc Mountain 10 Miles 1296 feet ascent
Our destination today is the top of Torc Mountain. It’s celtic name translates to ‘Mountain of the Wild Boar’ and there are many legends concerning wild boars in the area. Steep in places but made easier as most of the path is either a stone walkway or laid with duckboards. On the way, we will pass the stunning Torc Waterfall and, pending fine weather, be treated to some amazing views of Killarney, the lakes and the National Park. We will have certainly earned our pint of Guinness by the time we return to Killarney for our dinner. B/L/D
Day 4 September 15 Old Kenmare Road 10 Miles 1050 feet ascent
The Kerry Way was opened in 1989 and is a 133 mile circular walk that begins and ends in Killarney and offers the walker the opportunity to walk the Ring of Kerry. It is Ireland’s longest waymarked trail. The section we walk offers a truly ‘get away from it all’ experience, and is like stepping back in time. We will hike along woodland paths, paved trails and even some stepping stones as we enjoy the peace and tranquility of this wonderful route. Dinner tonight in Kenmare. B/L/D
Day 5 September 16 Library Point and Ross Castle 3 Miles
After our exertions of the last few days, today is more of a rest day with an optional walk around Library Point, a limestone rock formation resembling books stacked on a shelf. We have a chance for some sightseeing as we pass a 15th century tower and castle keep, a typical stronghold of the O’Donoghues, ancient Irish Chieftains. The remainder of the day is yours to explore. B
Day 6 September 17 Caherconree Mountain and Fort 6 Miles 1988 feet ascent
Today we start with a 45 minute scenic drive in our private minibus to arrive at the start point for this exhilarating mountain walk. Along the way we will visit the highest fort in Ireland. Steeped in mythology and folklore, this fort was first mentioned in 12th century Irish literature with battles being fought there as early as 637 AD. Weather permitting, we should be treated to some amazing views! A well earned dinner in Derrymore today. B/L/D
Day 7 September 18 Gap of Dunloe 9 Miles 2592 feet ascent
Known also as Bearna an Choimin or ‘Gap of the Little Hollow’ the Gap of Dunloe is one of Southern Ireland’s most visited destinations due to its outstanding natural beauty. Forged by glacial movement, it stretches between MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the Purple Mountains. As we wind our way through the narrow passageway we will pass 5 lakes and encounter a variety of scenery. Dinner tonight will be at the end of our walk, before returning to Killarney. B/L/D
DAY 8 September 19 Keel Uphill Downhill 10½ miles 330 feet ascent
We start with a 30 minute drive as we head towards the Dingle peninsula. Our circular hike takes us through fields, along river banks and a mountain path with some old bóithríns, quiet roads and a short section on the main road, passing an old thatched cottage and close to an interesting old graveyard. There are great views north to the Slieve Mish Mountains and south over Castlemaine Harbour and towards Carrauntoohil. We will enjoy dinner at a nearby restaurant before returning to our hotel. B/L/D
Day 9 September 20 Tomies Wood to Dinis Cottage 6½ miles 525 feet descent
Starting in Tomies Wood, we pass through the famous Rhododendron Forest before descending the eastern slopes of Shehy Mountain to the shore of Lough Leane. Here we will explore the ruins of historic Glena Cottage made famous when Queen Victoria visited in 1861. Sadly this cottage built by Lord and Lady Kenmare burned down in 1922 and was never restored. We finish today’s hike at Dinis Cottage - hopefully in time for a cup of tea and cake before we return to Killarney. B/L/D
Day 10 September 21 Shadow of Carrauntoohil 5+ miles 700 feet ascent
Our destination today is Lough Calee, beneath Cnoc na Toinne “ Hill of the Wave” and in the shadow of renowned Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain at ~3,400 feet. Pending fine weather and interest, we may extend today’s moderate hike to include another nearby mountain lough (lake) or simply enjoy the scenery and fine views from our lunch spot. We return to Killarney for our farewell dinner. B/L/D
Day 11 September 22 Farewells
Our Ring of Kerry adventure ends after breakfast at our hotel when we say our farewells. Perhaps consider extending your stay to further explore this Emerald Isle before returning home? B
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Trip price $3,650 per person Deposit $913 per person
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