Walk the highlights on this trip around two spectacular regions of Ireland's southwest coast: County Kerry and County Cork. This 8-day itinerary will take you along the craggy cliffs and hidden coves formed by the wild Atlantic, to historic islands, and across lush, rolling hills. Enjoy the peaceful, pristine landscapes of this corner of the Emerald Isle.

Highlights

  • Enjoy the stunning views in Gleninchaquin Park
  • Try your hand at making traditional Irish soda bread
  • Travel by ferry to historic Bere Island
  • Discover Sheep's Head Way and marvel at the lush scenery

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Killarney - Kenmare Kenmare
Day 2 Gleninchaquin walk Kenmare
Day 3 Caha Mountain Way Castletownbere
Day 4 Bere Island Castletownbere
Day 5 Dursey Island Castletownbere
Day 6 Central Sheeps Head Way  Kilcrohane
Day 7 Southern Sheeps Head Way  Kilcrohane
Day 8 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Killarney - Kenmare

Houses, County Kerry, Kenmare, Ireland
Kenmare, County Kerry

Your holiday starts in the town of Killarney, where you will meet your guide at an old railway station hotel. Drive to the heritage town of Kenmare. On arrival, you will have time for introductions with your group as your guide tells you about the week ahead. Enjoy your first evening meal together.

Day 2: Gleninchaquin Walk

Gleninchaquin Park, Irleand
Gleninchaquin Park

A short drive outside Kenmare takes you to an impressive valley where you'll get the best of Ireland all in one place. At Gleninchaquin Park you'll discover a beautiful waterfall, and enjoy coastal views with surrounding hills and mountains in the background. Wander around the fields dotted with sheep and find an ancient stone circle.

You'll have two walking options to choose from: a 5-mile trek with an elevation of 820 feet, or a slightly longer trek of 7.5 miles and 1,148 feet of elevation. You can expect to walk over a variety of terrains — paved roads and gravel tracks with some uneven sections, including wet and boggy ground. Other sections will require crossing streams over stepping stones, and climbing up and down steps.

Day 3: Caha Mountain Way

Lush views of County Cork and Kerry

Travel south today to an old Irish farmstead. Here, you will have the opportunity to learn how to make Irish soda bread and possibly poitín (Irish moonshine, pronounced like "put-cheen"). Then enjoy a gorgeous walk — either 4.3 miles and 656 feet of elevation, or 7.5 miles and 1,279.5 feet of elevation — overlooking west Cork and south Kerry.

Day 4: Bere Island

Ferry to Bere Island

Walk a short distance to the ferry for Oiléan Béarra (Bere Island). Once a military stronghold, this picturesque island offers both history and magnificent scenery.

Walk up to 6 miles over paved roads and gravel trails, open hillside with a few rocky sections, as well as narrow and overgrown trails that can be wet underfoot (820 feet). Or opt for the longer, more rugged trek of 11 miles of mountain tracks with rocky and uneven parts, including some off-trail walking on open hillsides with high growth and bogland.

Day 5: Dursey Island

Cable car to Dursey Island

If the weather permits, travel to the western tip of the Beara Peninsula and to the delightful Oileán Baoi (Dursey Island). Ride in Ireland’s only cable car and enjoy your beautiful walk around this atmospheric place. Trek either 12.5 or 9 miles over an elevation increase of 656 or 820 feet, respectively.

Day 6: Central Sheep's Head Way Walk

Sheep's Head Peninsula

Leaving Castletownbere after breakfast, drive east to arrive at the market town of Bantry. A short drive outside the town brings you to the start of your walk. From here, you'll be spoiled for choice as you enjoy spectacular walks along hills that form the central spine of Sheep's Head Peninsula with the wild Atlantic lapping at both the northern and southern shores of the peninsula.

Your choice of walks today is a 6-mile jaunt with an elevation of 755 feet, or a slightly longer 7.5 miles and with an 820-foot change in elevation.

Day 7: Southern Sheep's Head Way 

Sheep's Head Peninsula
Bantry Bay and the Caha Mountains from Sheep's Head Peninsula

The last walk will take you from ancient copper mines to modern day lighthouses as you enjoy one of the most delightful trails this region of Ireland offers. Walk either 5 miles over a 492-foot elevation or 7.5 miles over an elevation of 755 feet.

Day 8: Departure

Sunset over the Emerald Isle

After breakfast, you will be transferred back to Bantry to catch a bus service back to Cork where you can then take advantage of the myriad of transportation services for your onward journey.

Map

Map of Guided Kerry & Cork Walk - 8 Days
Map of Guided Kerry & Cork Walk - 8 Days