COUNTIES CLARE & KERRY
INCLUDING THE DINGLE PENINSULA
This is a hands-on participatory trip of Ireland designed to give each group member an intimate experience with the Irish people, their history, culture, and land. Daily walks of 5 to 8 miles will take us along country footpaths and medieval trackways to places few Americans have seen. The focus is on spending as much time as possible with the Irish people. We traverse the internationally known Burren of County Clare with its fascinating geology, along the Cliffs of Moher, highest in Europe, and through ancient settlements known as Clochans.
DEPOSIT : To reserve your space, a $400 deposit per person is required. Final payment is due 60 days prior to the trip departure date. If applying within 60 days of the trip departure, full payment is required.
On the Dingle Peninsula we will be in the center of Ireland’s native Gaelic-speaking communities. A number of coastal walks here will take us to the westernmost tip of Ireland, to medieval castles and abbey ruins, and through green rolling hills alive with some of Europe’s finest wildflowers. At lunch time we will share stories with the local folks in their historic pubs. The trip also includes two days exploring the world-famous Killarney National Park. We will rest each night in comfortable Bed & Breakfasts operated by families who take pride in the quality of their meals and the warmth of their hospitality.
(may be changed at the discretion of the trip leader.)
Day 1: Early morning arrival at Shannon Airport where we’ll be met by Walking The World Director Ward Luthi. Once we’ve cleared customs, we’ll board our vans and head to a local restaurant for a hearty full Irish breakfast. Then it’s off to the Craggaunowen Project, an archaeological open-air museum centered around a 16th century townhouse. As a way to better understand this beautiful and charming island, we’ll learn a bit about early historic dwellings, Ring Forts, Dolmens and ‘The Brendan’, a reconstruction of a leather hulled boat the Irish claim reached North America prior to the Vikings. Then it’s a straight drive to Doolin, our comfortable B&B and a chance to rest up before our welcome dinner. Doolin, a small fishing village on Galway Bay and known as the folk music capital of Ireland, will serve as our base for the next three nights. Our host, during our stay in Doolin, has arranged traditional Irish entertainment one night during our stay. You’ll love the small town Irish charm of Doolin. Overnight in Doolin. B,D
Day 2: After a hearty Irish breakfast, we’ll meet our local walking guide, learn a bit of Irish history, and a few words of Gaelic, before heading out for our first hike of the trip. Lush, rolling green hills, old Roman tracks and lunch around a peat fire. And of course, tonight – live Celtic Music at one of Doolin’s local pubs– the best in the world. A truly remarkable day. B,L,D
Day 3: Today’s walk offers a beautiful and dramatic five-mile walk along the famous Cliffs of Moher. Dropping over 700-feet to the Atlantic, these are the highest vertical cliff faces in Europe. Our afternoon walk takes us to a part of the geologically renowned Burren, famous for its limestone karst and its various archaeological and historical sites. B, D.
Day 4: Continuing our exploration of the Burren, today we walk one of the many “Green roads”, ancient pathways that crisscross many parts of Ireland. In the Burren, we’ll witness one of the few places on Earth where plants from the arctic, alpine and tropics can be found growing side-by-side. And, upon closer inspection, we’ll notice that all of the plants grow to the same height, a result of acid leaching from the limestone. We’ll also visit an ancient ring fort, a pre-Celtic burial chamber, a 14th century castle, and end the day by trying our hand at “cutting turf” in a peat bog with a local farmer. Our friend’s peat bog provides his family with heat during the Irish winters and fuel for cooking during the rest of the year. We’ll take a day trip to the Aran Island of Inisheer if time and weather permit. B,L,
Day 5: After a fine Irish breakfast, we head south, ferry across the famous river Shannon and enjoy spectacular views from the top of Connor Pass on our way to the town of Dingle. Dingle is a rare mix of old and new where the true folklore and culture of ancient Ireland is evident. B,D
Days 6-7: Walking along the Dingle Peninsula, we’ll be dazzled by the patchworks of green that seem peculiarly Irish. Guiding us will be members of the O’Connor family, who have lived in this area for four hundred years. Our route takes us to Slea Head, the most western point in Ireland, and indeed, of all Europe. The “Pilgrims Way” will take us to the top of Signal Hill where we’ll have outstanding views of the Skelligs, Mt. Brandon and the Blasket Islands. We’ll hike the area where “Ryans Daughter” was filmed and visit the Gallarus Oratory, a perfectly preserved relic of early Christianity in Ireland. Day 6 B, L, D Day 7 B,L
Day 8: Today takes us from our base in Dingle to the bustling town of Killarney, with a stop on the way in Killorglin for a hearty pub lunch. We arrive in time to visit Muckross Castle, a wonderful example of a 19th century manor house and castle. During our time here, we’ll be able to witness a variety of local craftspeople demonstrating the trades of County Kerry. Our evenings are at a charming B&B. B,L,D
Day 9: Brendan O’Shea, a ranger at Killarney National Park, and our local guide for the next two days, gives us an in-depth overview of the natural and cultural histories of the area. Today we’ll walk the “Ole Kenmare Road”, a hauntingly beautiful trail that weaves through an old forest of oak, holly and the lush green moss so prominent here. In the afternoon, we’ll hike the Gap of Dunloe, a wildly beautiful gorge that intersects the Macgillicuddy Reeks and the Tomie Mountains. We top off our hike with a pint at the famous Kate Kearney’s Cottage. B,L,D
Day 10: Our day begins with a journey to historical 14th century Ross Castle. From here, we board a small boat for our ride to the Abbey on Innisfallen Island. In the vicinity of the Abbey are a 300-year-old Yew tree and a 7th century church that warrant some exploration. Also nearby, and included in our walk, is a tumbling mountain waterfall called O’Sullivan’s Cascade. Along the way, we’ll try to spot some of the native red deer, the only population that still exists in Ireland. Then it’s time to head the van north to Limerick for a final evening of laughter and song as we share stories and camaraderie with some famous Bunratty mead, fine wine, and a sumptuous Medieval Banquet. B, L, D.
Day 11: After a final Irish breakfast at our Bed & Breakfast in Bunratty, transfer to Shannon Airport for our flights back home. B
Dates: June 2-12 and Sept 2-12, 2020
Land Cost: $3895.00 (U.S. Funds)
Single Supplement: $600.00 (U.S. Funds)
Lodging: Bed & Breakfasts
Trip Begins: Shannon, Ireland
Trip Ends: Shannon, Ireland
Difficulty: Our walks cover between 4 – 8 miles per day on unpaved but well-defined trails that are generally gentle to moderately rolling.
WHAT WE PROVIDE:
- Local Guides
- Walking The World Guide
- Ten nights lodging in Bed & Breakfasts (double occupancy)
- Meals as Listed
- All admission fees to scheduled stops
- All transportation while on tour
- Walking The World T-shirt
- Good fun, humor, and companionship
WALKING THE WORLD®
P.O. BOX 40442 GRAND JUNCTION, CO 81504 USA
Ph: 970-498-0500 Fax: 970-695-2010