Circle both the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula, 2 of Ireland's most popular regions, on this combination 8-day itinerary.  Explore expansive grass hillsides crisscrossed by ancient trading paths, mountainous coasts, stone ruins, and quaint fishing villages as you hike the Skellig coast, Slea Head, and more, all accompanied by your expert guides.

Highlights

  • Explore the stunning Ring of Kerry
  • Climb the stone steps of Skellig Michael
  • Enjoy traditional music in Dingle Town
  • Explore the ancient beehive huts on Slea Head

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kerry Sneem
Day 2 Ring of Kerry Abbey Island Hike Sneem
Day 3 The Skellig Coast Cahersiveen
Day 4 Skellig Island Boat Trip or Pilgrim Mountains Hike Cahersiveen
Day 5 Dingle Peninsula Hike Dingle Town
Day 6 Slea Head Dingle Town
Day 7 The Kerry Gold Coast Dingle Town
Day 8 Depart Dingle  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kerry

The local
The local

Welcome to Ireland! You'll meet your guide in the seaside town of Killarney, easily accessible by both bus and train.

Once you've joined forces, transfer to the village of Sneem roughly 45 minutes away by car. Join up with the rest of your group and guide to go over the details of your route, then head off to a group dinner to fuel up for the road ahead.

Day 2: Ring of Kerry Abbey Island Hike

Views along the Ring
Views along the Ring

Enjoy your breakfast and pick up a picnic lunch before you head off to Derrynane House to start your hike. You'll go around the coast for a walk along a pristine beach up to Abbey Island while listening to the stories of Daniel O'Connell, a famous Irish politician known as The Liberator who campaigned for Catholic emancipation and Irish rights. You'll also have the opportunity to take a dip in the waters.

Head inland across the foothills of the western end of the Ring of Kerry and take in the views of the Atlantic and surrounding peninsulas. Return to Derrynane House for some refreshments before you head back to Sneem for the evening.

Hiking distance: 6 miles (10 km)

Day 3: The Skellig Coast

Making your way
Making your way

Head west from Sneem to reach the western edge of the Ring of Kerry peninsula. Your guide will take you across the peninsula's tip with views out to Lough Currane, the Skellig Islands, and the Beara Peninsula.  Enjoy the peaceful natural surroundings as you cross the landscape and open hillsides.

Once you've completed the hike, you'll stop for a quick drink before your transfer to the town of Cahersiveen to spend the night.

Hiking distance: 9 miles (14 km)

Day 4: Skellig Island Boat Trip or Pilgrim Mountains Hike

Pilgrim Mountains Hike
Pilgrim Mountains Hike

You have two choices for your activity today.

The first option is a boat trip out to the UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Skellig Islands. Skellig Michael (perhaps better known as Luke Skywalker's island hideout in the recent Star Wars films) is home to a sixth-century monastic settlement that still looks almost as it did when the monks left as well as one of the world's largest gannet colonies. Be sure to book this trip in advance and brace yourself for rough seas on the way and heights on the island.

If you'd rather stay on land, head out with your guide to a coastal walk on the Dingle Peninsula. Head into the hills around Cahersiveen to enjoy the landscape of this sparsely populated area. If the weather is good, you can climb to the top of Knocknadobar in the Pilgrim Mountains. If the clouds don't cooperate, stay along the coast in the lower surrounding hills

Hiking distance: 7 miles (12 km)

Day 5: Dingle Peninsula Hike

Area resident
Area resident

Leave the Ring of Kerry today and transfer to the Dingle Peninsula. You'll go to the peninsula's center up to one of the inland promontory forts to start your hike.  Head up over the open mountain to Caherconree and a fort that dates back to the Iron Age. From the fort, you can see views across the entire peninsula once seen by the early settlers.

Go back down the same trail and hop back on your van to continue on to Inch Beach for a brief stop, then onward to Dingle Town, a vibrant town full of bars and restaurants. Listen for the traditional Irish music coming out of venues and sounds of the native Irish Gaelic language still being spoken as you explore spots like the Dingle Distillery, Louis Mulcahy Pottery, or a traditional cheese shop. If you're torn between all the pubs on offer, try starting at Foxy John's, a combination pub and hardware store, or Dick Mac's Pub & Brewery, which shares its drinking space with a leather goods shop.

Hiking distance: 7 miles (12 km)

Day 6: Slea Head

On the trail
On the trail

Spend today hiking around the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula. Start on the southern slopes of Slea Head and make your way up Mount Eagle. Views on the hike go all the way out to the Blasket Islands across the Atlantic and of north and south Kerry.

Time permitting, you'll continue to some of the area's ancient monastic sites at Gallarus, an old stone structure believed to have been a chapel or shelter for travelers, and Reask, where low walls and a standing stone mark what was once the site of a small Early Medieval monastery, with ruins of an oratory, stone huts, and a graveyard discovered nearby.

Return to town to spend another night exploring the Dingle  evening scene.

Hiking distance: 7 miles (12 km)

Day 7: The Kerry Gold Coast

Up the cliff
Up the cliff

Explore the northwestern side of the Dingle Peninsula with a walk that takes you across open bog land and hills that seem as though they fall into the sea. Follow an old bog track past both coastal scenery and inland walking to the village of Cloghane. Return to Dingle after some refreshments for a farewell dinner and music.

Hiking distance: 7 miles (12 km)

Day 8: Depart Dingle

You'll still have time to watch the scenery out the window
You'll still have time to watch the scenery out the window

Wave goodbye after one last breakfast and catch a transfer to set you on your way home or off to the next stop on your Irish adventure.