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Undiscovered Ireland (Two Week Tour)

An epic 15 day journey of hikes all around Ireland: Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula, the cliffs of Slieve League, Donegal, Omey Island and Killary Fjord, Connemara, the village of Adare, County Limerick, the Kerry Way and Killarney, the Rock of Cashel, and the Monastic Site of Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains.

Prices: US$ 5899
EU€ 5099
Duration: 15 days

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This trip can be taken as:

  • Undiscovered Ireland - 15 days (days 1-15) [see below]
  • Undiscovered Ireland North - 7 nights (days 1-7) [click here]
  • Undiscovered Ireland South - 7 nights (days 8-15) [click here]

Itinerary Information

Undiscovered Ireland Tour Details for 2018
Weds 4 July to Weds 18 July 2018
12 places available
Depart Dublin Airport 1 pm
Return Galway City
12 noon
US$ 5899
EU€ 5099
Thurs 19 July to Thurs 2 Aug 2018
12 places available

Tour Map: Undiscovered Ireland

Map: Undiscovered Ireland

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Tour Highlights

  • Hiking Ireland
  • 2 nights in Carlingford, County Louth
  • 2 nights in Kilcar, County Donega
  • 1 night near Westport, Co Mayo
  • 2 nights in the Clifden, Connemara
  • 1 night in Adare, County Limerick
  • 3 nights in Cahredaniel. County Kerry
  • 1 night in Cashel, County Tipperary
  • 2 nights in the Wicklow Mountains
  • A fabulous walk in the Cooley Hills
  • High cliffs of Donegal
  • Stunning coastal scenery
  • Mountains and rivers of Donegal
  • Clew Bay, with its 365 tiny islands
  • A walking tour of Donegal Town
  • A day trip to the Aran Islands
  • Wild flowers everywhere!
  • Guided Tour of the Ancient Rock of Cashel
  • Walk part of the Kerry Way
  • Magnificent Kerry scenery
  • A walk on magnificent Caherdaniel Beach
  • Island
  • Lovely coastal views
  • Bru Boru Music and Dance centre
  • A fabulous walk at the Monastic City of Glendalough
  • Traditional music

Included In Tour

  • Galway City pick-up and drop-off
  • 14 nights 3-4 star accommodation (en suite)
  • All land transportation
  • Return Ferry to the Aran Islands
  • Admission to Dun Aenghus Fort
  • Admission to Kylemore Abbey and Gardens
  • Admission to the Rock of Cashel
  • 14 guided walks
  • Escort of full-time guide
  • Escort of local guides
  • Evening transportation to pubs / music
  • 14 breakfasts
  • 13 packed lunches
  • 7 evening meals

Cottage House Ireland

DAY 1: MEET AT DUBLIN AIRPORT, TRAVEL TO CARLINGFORD, SHORT WALK BEFORE DINNER

Terrain: quiet lanes and mountain path | Elev Gain: 300 ft. | Walking Distance 3 miles (4.8 km)

You will be met with a warm welcome at Dublin Airport. Then we travel north to the pretty fishing village of Carlingford in County Louth. There are lovely views across the lough to the Mountains of Mourne, and the village backdrop is the mighty mountain of Slieve Foye. We will take a walk along the lower slopes of Slieve Foye in order to be rewarded with stunning views back over Carlingford Lough. Carlingford is steeped in medieval history and there are many sites of interest to wander around, including an ancient castle and an abbey ruin.

Overnight: Carlingford, County Louth. Meals Included: Dinner.

Mountains of the Dingle Peninsula

DAY 2: HIKE THE COOLEY HILLS AND BLACK MOUNTAIN

Terrain: lanes, mountain track, moorland | Elev Gain: 1400ft. | Walking Distance 8 miles (12.9 km)

Our first full day walk will be at Ravensdale forest and the Cooley Hills. We will encounter an ancient stone circle along the way and learn about the legend of the Cattle Raid of Cooley. After climbing gently over heath and moorland on the lower slopes of the Black Mountain we will enjoy fine views of Newry, Rostrevor and the Mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland. We will finish this walk early enough in the afternoon for you to enjoy another wander around Carlingford Village.

Alternative Walk Options: shorter option of walking just three miles. Or relax and visit the pretty medieval village of Carlingford with its quaint shops and cafes.

Overnight: Carlingford, County Louth. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lake

DAY 3: TRAVEL TO DONEGAL, HIKE IN THE BLUESTACK MOUNTAINS

Terrain: lakeside track, pine forest trail | Elev 500 ft. | Walking Distance 5 miles (8 km)

A visit to Donegal is like a trip back in time: beautiful day-walks and spectacular sunsets are promised along the rugged Donegal coastline. Our driving journey today will take us across Ireland to Donegal stopping briefly on the way for a break at Aughnacloy, County Tyrone. Then we will stop to hike in the Bluestack Mountains of County Donegal for a wonderful walk at near Letterbarrow. Finally making our way to an award-winning guest house / restaurant on the edge of Donegal Town where we can relax for the next two nights.

Aternative Walk Options: this walk is a very easy 5 miles.

Overnight: Donegal Town, County Donegal. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

The Kerry Way at Eagle Mountain

DAY 4: HIKE MAGNIFICENT SLIEVE LEAGUE

Terrain: grassy mountain paths, open heath, muddy / rocky track | Elev 1600ft. | Walking Distance 9 miles (14.5 km)

We head for Europe's highest sea cliffs at Slieve League (2000ft) today. In many people's opinion Slieve League is Donegal's piece de resistance and one of the most stunningly beautiful sights on earth. The cliffs are three times higher than the Cliffs of Moher, but less well known due to their remote location. On a fine day, the vista is incredible. An isolated gentle green road brings us out onto the most majestic views of the Atlantic Ocean. This walk is truly an unforgettable one! We will return to our guest house in Donegal for another fine meal.

Alternative Walk Options: there is a shorter option of walking just 4 miles, or spending time in Donegal Town, one mile walk from the guest house.

Overnight: Donegal Town, County Donegal. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

DAY 5: HIKE AT SLISH WOOD AND LOUGH GILL, TRAVEL TO WESTPORT

Terrain: Town walk, causeway to the island, quiet lanes | Walking Distance 7 miles (11.3 km)

This morning we travel south to County Mayo. Mayo has a landscape of high cliffs, lonely mountains and fuchsia hedges. En route we stop in County Sligo for a walk at Slish Wood and Lough Gill. A warm welcome awaits us at our guest house in the wonderfully pretty Westport Town.

Alternative Walk Options: take an easy stroll around Sligo Town. 

Overnight: Westport, County Mayo. Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch.

County Wicklow

DAY 6: HIKE AT KILLARY FJORD AND VISIT KYLEMORE ABBEY

Terrain: waterside paths, rocky tracks | Elev Gain: 100 ft. | Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7 km)

On now to Connemara: a wild, rugged, unspoilt area with a ragged coastline and an impressive group of mountains - the Twelve Bens. Our walk today will be at Killary fjord which forms the natural border between County Mayo and County Galway. The view to the north looks out across the fjord to Mweelrea, western Ireland's highest mountain. Later we will stop to visit Kylemore Abbey: western Ireland's most famous landmark. Nestled at the base of the mountains in the heart of Connemara, Kylemore is regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings in Ireland. 

Alternative walk options: the full walk is 6 miles long, there is an alternative option of just 2-3 miles available.

Overnight: Clifden, County Galway. Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch.

Settlement of Glendalough.

DAY 7: FERRY TO INISHMORE, ARAN ISLAND, VISIT DUN AENGHUS AND HIKE THE ISLAND

Terrain: quiet lanes, grassy tracks, rocky shore | Walking Distance 8 miles(12.9 km)

We'll take an early ferry to Inismore, the largest of the three Aran Islands in Galway Bay. The first part of our walk today takes us up to visit Dun Aenghus, a massive semi-circular ring fort lodged on the edge of cliffs that drop 300 ft into the Atlantic. Gaze out from the cliff tops across the wild Atlantic Ocean (next stop Newfoundland!). Our walk consists of much varied terrain, beginning with a fabulous trek across the rocky flagstones of the northwestern shore of the island. We then travel on along quiet grassy tracks with fine views lined with endless stretches of dry stone walls.

Alternative Walk Options: the full walk is 8 miles long, there is an alternative option of just 2-3 miles available.

Overnight: Clifden, County Galway. Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch.

Carlingford Village, County Louth

DAY 8: BRIEF VISIT TO GALWAY, GUIDED WALK AT COOLE PARK, VISIT ADARE, COUNTY LIMERICK

Terrain: woodland track,lanes, riverside track | Walking Distance 2 miles (3.2 km)

You will be met with a warm welcome at the Park House Hotel in central Galway City We then head south to the pretty thatched-cottage village of Adare in County Limerick. En route we will stop at Coole, County Galway for a short guided walk in the grounds of Coole Park. At Adare there will be time to take a stroll through what is known as one of the prettiest villages in Ireland.

Overnight: Adare, County Limerick. Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Ireland Hiking and Walking

DAY 9: DRIVE SOUTH TO KERRY, HIKE THE KERRY WAY AT GLENBEIGH AND ROSSBEIGH BEACH

Terrain: mountain trails, lanes and beach | Walking Distance 7 miles (11.3 km)

We will drive to Glenbeigh on the ring of Kerry, County. Kerry. Our walk today will take us along the lower slopes of the Kerry Way to observe fine views of the Kerry Mountains and the southern parts of Dingle Bay, culminating in a fine stroll out along Rossbeigh Beach. Enjoy the fine views of the sweeping expanse looking across the mountains of the Dingle Peninsula. Our accommodation is a wonderful family run hotel located on the edge of Killarney with magnificent views of the Killarney Lakes and mountains. We will spend three nights here enjoying the friendly atmosphere, fine views, excellent hiking and wonderful meals.

Alternative Walk Options: the full walk is seven miles long, but there is an option to walk just the beach for as long as you wish, then finish in a nearby cafe. 

Overnight: Killarney, County Kerry. Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

SheepDAY 10: HIKE THE OLD MASS PATH TO DERRYNANE AND VISIT ABBEY ISLAND

Terrain: quiet lanes, mountain track, old Mass path | Elev 900 ft. | Walking Distance 7 miles (11.3 km)

Today we walk from Derrynane House, the home of Daniel O'Connell (Ireland's 19th century campaigner for Catholic Emancipation). Our walk will start in the beautiful landscaped grounds of the house, then we travel along lovely quiet beaches and out on to Abbey Island. We then head up along an ancient Mass Path through "nature's rockery" - old red sandstone laden with the most awesome display of Kerry flora: montbretia, fuchsia, purple loosestrife, heather, mallow and honeysuckle. We then return to Derrynane via part of the Kerry Way.

Alternative Walk Options: the full walk is seven miles long, but there is an option to walk just the first couple of miles to Derrynane Beach. Then return along the same route to visit Derrynane House and gardens and enjoy some refreshment at the cafe. 

Overnight: Killarney, County Kerry. Meals Included:  Breakfast and Lunch.

DAY 11: HIKE ALONG THE KERRY WAY FROM GALWAY'S BRIDGE TO MUCKROSS

Terrain: hilly paths, open heath, rocky track | Elev 700ft. | Walking Distance 10 miles (16.1 km)

Today our walking route takes us across the lower slopes of the Kerry Way. Commencing at Galway's Bridge: we will enjoy amazing vistas along the Old Kenmare Road. This route guides us along fuchsia-lined lanes, green roads, crossing small streams and ancient tracks. We will finish the hike by walking directly back to our Hotel.

Alternative Walk Options: today's hike is a long one. The alternative is to take a day of rest, or visit Killarney Town (1 km to town), or visit the Muckross Estate and / or Ross Castle.

Overnight: Killarney, County Kerry. Meals Included:  Breakfast and Lunch.

SunsetDAY 12: HIKE THE KERRY WAY, BOAT JOURNEY ACROSS THE KILLARNEY LAKES, DRIVE TO CASHEL

Terrain: mountain trail | Elev Gain 500 ft. | Walking Distance 4 miles (6.4 km)

We will walk part of the Kerry Way down to Lord Brandon's cottage. Here we will have lunch and then be met by a boatman who will take us across three lakes: Upper Lake, Muckross Lake and Lough Leane, on a spectacular boat journey ending at the private pier of our hotel. We then travel on to Cashel in County Tipperary. Tonight we can enjoy an excellent meal at an award-winning restaurant.

Alternative Walk Options: the full walk is an easy four miles. 

Overnight: Cashel, County Tipperary. Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Hiking Tour IrelandDAY 13: 

DAY 6: VISIT ROCK OF CASHEL, TRAVEL TO WICKLOW, HIKE IN THE WICKLOW MOUNTAINS

Terrain: riverside walk, mountain paths | Elev Gain 300 ft. | Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7 km)

Before we leave Cashel this morning we will visit the magnificent St Patrick's Rock for a guided tour. We then head east to County Wicklow and the Wicklow Mountains. Our accommodation is set in lovely countryside scenery in the village of Laragh, beside the monastic settlement of Glendalough. On arrival we will walk over the moors of Trooperstown Hill, then follow the winding Avonmore River on a beautiful pathway through native forest.

Alternative walk options: the full walk is six miles long. It is possible to hike for just two or three miles.

Overnight: Glendalough, County Wicklow. Meals Included:  Breakfast and Lunch.

DAY 14: HIKE GLENDALOUGH MONASTIC SETTLEMENT, THE SPINK, AND THE WICKLOW WAY

Terrain: well maintained mountain trails | Elev Gain 1200 ft. | Walking Distance 8 miles (12.9 km)

The Wicklow Mountains are the location of our walk today. Our local expert guide will tell us all about the ancient monastic ruins of Glendalough and the story of St Kevin. We will walk along the Spink (a dramatic cliff edge with lovely views over the two lakes) then down into the Glenealo Valley finishing alongside the Upper Lake. We will enjoy our final dinner together in one of the local restaurants.

Alternative Walk Options: the full walk is eight miles long. It is possible to hike for just two or three miles.

Overnight: Glendalough, County Wicklow. Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch.

15 day ireland tourDAY 15: DRIVE BACK TO DUBLIN AIRPORT

Time to say Goodbye. We will arrive at Dublin Airport at around noon today.

Meals Included:  Breakfast.

Note: The above scheduled itinerary is subject to change for varying reasons. Any changes made by Joyce's Ireland and / or the tour leaders will be in the interest and safety of all participants.

Note also: Many clients come on a Joyce's Ireland tour who wish to do very little hiking. Every day there are alternative options such as sight-seeing, relaxing, reading, painting, listening to Irish traditional music, and generally just soaking up the Irish atmosphere. You can opt out of the hiking on any day! All our accommodations are based in scenic locations, so you are very welcome to just remain "home" for the day.

15 day Ireland Tour

Undiscovered Ireland -15 day Ireland Tour - Ring of Kerry, Aran Islands, Wicklow Mountains, Connemara