Explore the beautiful landscape of the famous "Kerry Gold" butter on this 8-day hiking tour. See County Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula on a series of stunning day hikes, returning to town in the evening for a hot meal and a hearty pint at the neighborhood pub. Discover medieval monastery ruins, nesting bird colonies, and mountainous peninsulas carved deep with steep inlets.

Highlights

  • Hike along the wild coast and misty mountains of the Dingle Peninsula
  • Spend the night comfortably in town, enjoy dinner at the local pub
  • See the landscape of Irish legends and learn local folklore
  • Explore ancient monastic sites on the rugged Skellig Islands

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival to Killarney Killarney
Day 2 Derrynane and Abbey Island Sneem
Day 3 Ring of Kerry Peninsula Cahersiveen
Day 4 Skellig Coast Walk Cahersiveen
Day 5 Dingle Peninsula Dingle Town
Day 6 Slea Head Dingle Town
Day 7 Dingle to Cloghane Coastal Walk Dingle Town
Day 8 Departure Day  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Killarney

Colorful houses in the village of Sneem
Colorful houses in the village of Sneem

Welcome to Ireland! Arrive in Killarney and meet your guide in the city center, then transfer to your hotel in the lovely village of Sneem—a scenic 45-minute drive southwest of Killarney. 

Settle into the bed-and-breakfast style accommodations then meet with your guide to discuss details of the week ahead. From here, walk to a neighborhood pub for your first dinner together. 

Day 2: Derrynane and Abbey Island

Views of the coast along the hike
Views of the coast along the ring

Enjoy a filling Irish breakfast, grab your packed picnic lunch, and head out for a day of hiking and sightseeing. Start the day at the beautiful Derryanne House to begin your coastal walk.

Hike around the coast, enjoying pristine beaches on your way to Abbey Island. As you trek, hear stories of the renowned "Liberator" Daniel O'Connell. Walk along the coast and foothills of the western tip of the Ring of Kerry. From here, stop to take in the sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and the rocky coast. 

Return to Derryanny House to enjoy some light post-hike refreshments, then return to Sneem for dinner in a cozy pub. 

Walking distance: 6.2 miles/ 10 km

Walk details: Beach, sand dunes, paved roads, narrow forest tracks with rocky & uneven sections, can be wet & boggy underfoot. Steps up & down & open hillside with no tracks. 

Day 3: Ring of Kerry Peninsula

Small town on the Ring of Kerry Peninsula
A small town on the Ring of Kerry Peninsula

Depart the village of Sneem and travel west to reach the western-most tip of the Ring of Kerry Peninsula. From here, go on a guided hike with views of the Ring of Kerry and Lough Currane in Waterville, the Skellig Islands, and south to the islands off the Beara Peninsula.  

Today's hike is a true immersion into nature and a great way to enjoy the peace and quiet in this part of the world. After you finish hiking, stop for a pint in the nearby pub before driving north to the town of Caherciveen to spend the next two nights. Check in to your hotel, then enjoy a well-deserved dinner. 

Walking distance: 8.7 miles/ 14 km

Walk details: Boreens, paved roads, tracks with rocky & uneven sections, can be wet & boggy underfoot.  Open hillside with no tracks.  

Day 4: Skellig Coast Walk

Dramatic landscape of Skellig Island
The dramatic landscape of Skellig Island

Your base in Carheciveen offers several options for today's adventure—a rugged trip to the stunning Skellig Islands, or a walk along the beautiful Dingle Bay coast. 

Skellig Islands are two uninhabited, rocky islands, famous for the 6th-century monastic ruins which perch at the top of the steep cliffs of the larger island. Both islands are crucial for seabirds and their dramatic landscapes have been used in the filming of several movies. Trips to the Skellig Islands must be booked in advance on your own and is dependent on the weather.  An ability to stomach rough seas and exposed heights are a must for visitors who choose this option. Those brave enough to cross the sea are rewarded with ancient medieval ruins, sweeping views, and one of the coolest natural sites in southwest Ireland. 

For those who prefer to stay on dry land, your guide will accompany you on a hike around the Dingle Bay, which lies north of Caherciveen. The walk overlooks the bay and skirts the hills around the town. Enjoy the beauty, history, and amazing solitude which can be reached by leaving the paved road behind. Weather permitting, your walk will take you to the top of one of the Pilgrim Mountains—Knocknadobar. If the cloud cover is thick, a specular coastal walk on the lower hillsides is a beautiful alternative option. Return to Caherciveen. 

Walk distance: 7.5 miles/ 12 km

Walk details: Mountain tracks with rocky & uneven sections, off-trail walking in open hillside with high growth & bogland – uneven & wet at times underfoot. Some paved roads.

Day 5: Dingle Peninsula

Port town of Dingle on the southwest of Ireland's Dingle Peninsula
Port town of Dingle on the southwest of Ireland's Dingle Peninsula

Leave the Ring of Kerry today to travel to the Dingle Peninsula, located north of the "Ring". Continue inland to the center of the peninsula to reach one of the historical inland promontory forts. 

Head up open hillsides to reach Caherconree and the impressive ancient Promontory Fort, which dates back to the Iron Age. From here, the views across the Dingle Peninsula make it easy to imagine why early settlers decided to stop here. Descend toward the sea, then rejoin your ride and continue the drive to the port town of Dingle, your home for the next three nights. 

Walk distance: 7.5 miles/ 12 km

Walk details: Paved roads, open hillside with rocky sections which are overgrown & can be wet underfoot.  Some steep climbs up & down.

Day 6: Slea Head

Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula
Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula

Today is another treat as you hike around the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula on what will be possibly the most striking and impressive walk this week. 

From the southern slopes of Sea Head climb to the panoramic viewpoint on Mount Eagle to see across the channel to the Blasket Islands, the wild Atlantic Ocean and sweeping views of the north and south Kerry. This stunning hike is a favorite with locals and visitors. Return to Dingle for dinner and a brew. 

Walk distance: 7.5 miles/ 12 km

Walk details: Rocky trails, open hillside with rocky sections which are overgrown & can be wet underfoot.  Some steep climbs up & down.

Day 7: Dingle to Cloghane Coastal Walk

Hiking up the cliffsides
Hiking up the cliffsides

Today, drive to the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula to see a quieter side of the region and access hiking-only routes. Reach the northwestern tip of the peninsula and begin your hike. The trail takes you across open hillsides and bogs on a route that navigates a typical local landscape—one where green hillsides abruptly fall into the sea to create peaceful coves and stunning viewpoints. 

Enjoy the views of the coast and surrounding hillsides, then return to the village of Cloghane to enjoy post-hike refreshments before continuing to Dingle. Enjoy a farewell dinner, share stories, and listen to live music in one of the town's many old-timey pubs. 

Walk distance: 7.5 miles/ 12 km

Walk Details - Grassy trails, which have rocky & uneven sections, open hillside – sometimes boggy & wet underfoot. Uneven ground, gravel trails & some paved roads. Some gradual climbing up & down. 

Day 8: Departure Day

Shepherd with his flock
Shepherd with his flock

Enjoy a final Irish breakfast, then transfer to the bus & train station in Tralee. From here, connections are available to all major airports, cities, and ferries in Ireland. 

Map

Map of Guided Ring of Kerry Hike - 8 Days
Map of Guided Ring of Kerry Hike - 8 Days