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Emerald Ireland Hiking Tour from Dublin - 15 days
Glendalough Hiking tours
Experience the best the whole of Ireland has to offer. 15 Days of pure exhilaration. This hiking tour begins and ends in Dublin. You will travel nearly a full circle of Ireland, taking in the most spectacular scenery and the best walks on offer.
Your tour is not about just hiking, it is about discovering the majestic, mystical island of Ireland. You will learn about the history of the emerald isle, the myths and legends, you will hear traditional Irish music everywhere you go and watch Gaelic sports being played.
Come along on this fantastic journey and let the emerald isle make it feel like your home. Let your guides take you on a journey you will never forget!
There are no refunds. All sales are final.
Change Fee Policy: If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.
Day 1: 8:00 a.m.
You will make your way to Glendalough guest house where you will be staying the night. You can get your gear ready and then you can begin your first walk. Glendalough is one of the most important religious centers in medieval Ireland. It is where St. Kevin resided and live happily with his fellow Christians, well, when the Vikings were not marauding around the monastery. You will see one of the finest examples of a round tower in the country. It is a truly majestic place.
Your first walk is a nice and easy three hour walk around the valley. Afterward you can relax and have dinner and maybe your first pint of Guinness in the local tavern.
You will fit a small walk in on the way down. You will be leaving Wicklow but before you leave your guide will bring you to a fairy fort the other side of Glendalough where you will learn about Irish folklore and the little people! There is a prize on offer for each person that spots a Leprachaun on the tour. You will go to the medieval city of Kilkenny where you can wander the small streets and admire the castle overlooking the city. From Kilkenny you'll head towards Tipperary(not so far on this road!) This is the home of hurling in Ireland and once the centre of Ireland where Brian Boru had his fortress before handing it over to the church. You will learn a lot about the early history on this day. Your brain will be so full of information before the end of the tour, you'll be able to dazzle your friends for months when you get home!
You'll make your way towards Limerick city, where you'll stop for a break and then onto Tralee, the home of the famous Rose of Tralee.
From there it is only a short hop to Dingle, via the village of Annascaul, where Tom Crean the famous Antartic adventurer lived, you may even stop for a tipple in the South Pole inn, where you can view the pictures of his epic voyages with Ernest Shackleton.
You will arrive in Dingle in the evening, pack your bags in your rooms and sit down for a nice pot of my Irish Stew! You will be staying in Dingle for three nights before continuing on your adventure.
The walk should take no longer than 4 hours and is not too difficult.
On the way to the start of your trek you will drive over Connor Pass, and maybe stop for a dip in Pedlars Lake, a hidden corrie lake high in the mountains. When you get back to Dingle, your guide will bring you around the village and on to see Fungi the infamous Dolphin.
You will have a couple of hours to walk around Dingle and see it many shops, and that evening you will experience some Gaelic music in the local pubs. 52 pubs for a population of just under 4000 people-fantastic. Watch out for the pubs that are also hardware stores!
It is a nice easy walk with spectacular views out to the Atlantic and dead mans island. This is the closest you can get to America in Europe. The walk will finish in the village of Ballyferriter a Gaeltacht area, where all the locals speak in the native tongue. By this day you should be able to speak a couple of sentences in Gaelic! After this walk, you will stroll down to a little beach where you will take the hurleys out and have a puc around. Hurling is a sport indigenous to Ireland-It's like a cross between hockey and hell! Probably the most skillful game on the island.
Early night for all tonight as tomorrow is a big day!
Also on this day you will get to see the Gap of Dunloe and stop for a while in Kate Kearney's cottage at the bottom of the gap. You will spend the evening in Killarney and enjoy all the festivities on offer in this great town of South West Ireland.
On the way, you will stop in Lahinch, a popular surf beach on the west coast and great for picking great deals on periwinkles(tasty sea snails). Just up the road you can stop at Brigids well before you walk along the amazing cliffs. We know you like to live on the edge but at these cliffs, it is advisable to stay away from the 230 m high cliff edges!
You'll then be in the heart of the burren, a karst region where you'll take a walk through time. This is a limestone area that covers hundreds of square miles. Limestone pavements, klints, grykes appear before you as you walk precariously over the crack in the rock. As limestone is one of the most permeable rocks, there are many subterranean caverns to discover in the area. You could stand on the pavements and feel like you are walking on the moon! This night you'll stay in Doolin, famous for Gaelic music. You will enjoy a few well deserved drinks in the local bar this night and listen to the local musicians strut their stuff!
You'll stay in a beautiful guest house overlooking Irelands only fjord. The Quiet man was filmed close by and John B Keane's "The Field" was also filmed here. You will not want to leave this place, so make sure you're on the bus!
The Abbey, now a girls boarding school, is run by the Benedictine nuns whose order came here from Ypres in Belgium after the first world war. The house itself was built by a business man called Mitchell Henry who, while honeymooning in the area, fell in love with the unspoiled natural charm of the valley and decided to build a home there. The chapel in the grounds is a miniaturized replica of Norwich Cathedral. The gardens are immaculately kept and any of the nuns will be happy to talk to you about the abbey and its surroundings.
That evening, you may take a spin to the local village and take part in a local ceili, an Irish dance evening, where local musicians get together to teach you how to Irish dance, not river dance style but traditional Irish dancing. This is great craic and really is a must do in Ireland.
The second walk is up over Maumean, a great walk up a small mountain and arrive on the other side at Lough Inagh Lodge where you can relax with a cup of tea or pint looking out onto the lake. At the top of this religious site, there is a small church with numerous crosses, and if you are getting a little wet(as often is the case), there is a nice niche where you can have lunch. Either walk is nice and not too difficult.
As far back as 3000 BC the megalithic ancestors worshipped there. Before the birth of Christ, the festival of the God Lugh was held on its slopes. Lugh is the God whose name gives us the Irish word Lughnasa for August, and it would seem that there is a connection between the pagan worship which took place at the end of the summer and the date fixed for the present day Christian pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick. Croagh Patrick is Ireland's holy mountain where Patrick, the patron saint, spent 40 days and nights praying and fasting in 441AD. While on the summit Patrick was tormented by blackbirds which surrounded him and in later stories became demons and serpents. Ancient chroniclers say that Patrick threw his bell at them and banished them into the hollow known as Lug Na Deamhan, which is located on the North side of the mountain. It is a common belief that this is why no poisonous snake or reptile can be found in Ireland today. The plain iron bell said to belong to the patron saint is preserved in the National Museum. This walk is about 11k long mostly on loose stones on the mountain. There is fantastic views to be had out over Clew Bay where Grace O Malley, the most feared female pirate had her castle. They say there are 365 islands in this bay, one for everyday of the year. Before you scale this 784 m high mountain, you will stroll along a secluded beach. Tonight you stay in Westport.
For anyone who looking for some musical entertainment, Westport is a veritable Mecca for traditional music with a member of the famous Chieftains owning a bar in the main street less than a five minute walk away. Westport is an easy town to get around, with some funky shops and bargains to be had. Don't forget to haggle!
There is the option of having a seaweed bath in Strandhill, Sligo around lunch time. Your guide thoroughly recommends having one of these warm sea baths. You feel like you've died and gone to heaven when you are lying in this bath!
Sligo is the county made infamous by the most famous poet: William Butler Yeats and you will be stopping by his grave en route to your accommodation that evening. He is buried in Drumcliffe graveyard, in the shadows of Ben Bulben.
On the road you will also get to see a fairy-tale castle, once owned by Lord MountBatten. You should arrive in Donegal town by late afternoon.
After yesterday's rest, delight in a spectacular walk over some of Ireland's finest sea-cliffs. The Atlantic Ocean has carved a variety of shapes and the rocks and vegetation produce a kaleidoscope of color. The faces are nesting-places for choughs, guillemots, puffins, etc. Distance: 10.5km/6.5miles. Ascent: 535m/1,750ft (The climb to the summits is undertaken only in favorable weather conditions).
You'll stay in a wonderful hostel this evening just outside Donegal town, family run and a great place for a sing-along and the evenings activities.
This is one beautiful part of the country, and you are going to get the best out of it! You'll stay for two nights in the beautiful hamlet of Ballintoy. This is one of the most picturesque villages in Ireland and Seamus, the owner of the accommodation will welcome you with open arms.
You will be walking all the way from Ballintoy to the Giants Causeway today along golden beaches and treacherous cliff edges! This will be one of the highlights of your tour!
You will stop in the royal county before you get back to Dublin, and visit Newgrange, a tomb that is older that the pyramids in Egypt, and then on to the hill of Tara before arriving back in Dublin, where you will be dropped off in your accommodation.
All of the accommodations selected for you to enjoy during your adventure holiday is approved by the Irish Tourist Board. Your guide has chosen locations of outstanding natural beauty, so that you can enjoy the best of Irish rural life and scenery while on your hiking tour.
If doubles or family rooms are required, this must be specified at least two weeks prior to departure.
Your guide takes packed lunches with on your day's adventures. These will mostly be made by the guesthouses but sometimes you may have to make them in the kitchen with the group. Everything will be laid out for you. Vegetarians will be catered for.
Your evening meals will either be in your accommodation or in a local pub. This is the time for you to literally "chill out" and talk about the activities that you did that day. You will notice while you are walking the conversation doesn't necessarily flow as you are moving most of the time and your mind is focused on where you are walking, what you are doing and the beauty of the area you are in. In the evening you can really sit down and get to know your fellow adventurers.
Dinners in the evening at the only part of the tour that will not be covered in the cost of the tour. Most of the guesthouses will have the option of having dinner there, otherwise your guide will recommend you the best restaurants and pubs for pub grub that evening. Prices are reasonable in Ireland for dinner in the evening.
Tour does not include hotel pick up. Rates are per person in US dollars. Please reserve online, or call us toll-free at 888-217-2297.
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