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Hidden Ireland (Two Week Tour)

An epic 15 day journey of hikes all around Ireland, taking in the Giant’s Causeway, hills and coast of Donegal, a sheep dog demonstration, coastal Sligo, the rocky Burren in Clare, the Dingle Peninsula, Gougane Barra Forest in Cork, and the historic Rock of Cashel in Tipperary.

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

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This trip can be taken as:

  • Hidden Ireland - 15 days (days 1-15) [see below]
  • Hidden Ireland North - 6 nights (days 1-7) [click here]
  • Hidden Ireland South - 8 nights (days 8-15) [click here]

Itinerary Information

Hidden Ireland Tour Details for 2018
Tues 19 June to Tues 3 July 2018
12 places available
Depart Dublin Airport 11 am
Return Dublin Airport 12-1pm
US$5899
EU€5099
Mon 6 Aug to Mon 20 Aug 2018
12 places available

Tour Map: Hidden Ireland

Map: Hidden Ireland

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Tour Highlights

  • 2 nights in Bushmills, County Antrim
  • 2 nights in Dunfanaghy, County Donega
  • 1 night in Drumcliff, County Sligo
  • 1 night near Westport, Co Mayo
  • 2 nights in the Burren, County Clare
  • 3 nights on Dingle Peninsula
  • 2 nights in Kenmare, County Kerry
  • 1 night in Cashel, County Tipperary
  • A fabulous walk at the Giant's Causeway
  • Antrim Coastal Path
  • Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • High cliffs of Donegal
  • Stunning coastal scenery
  • Poor House Museum at Dunfanaghy
  • Mountains and rivers of Donegal
  • Lovely lakeside hike at Sligo
  • The Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare
  • Magnificent Burren Scenery
  • Hiking the Dingle Peninsula
  • Wild flowers of the Burren
  • Unusual geology of the Burren
  • Browse in the shops in Dingle Town
  • Pretty Kenmare Town
  • Magnificent Kerry scenery
  • A walk on beautiful Inch Beach
  • Mountain lake scenery at Kenmare
  • Traditional Music in Kenmare

Included In Tour

  • 14 nights 3-4 star accommodation (en suite)
  • All land transport
  • 14 guided walks
  • Escort of full-time guide
  • Escort of local guides
  • Evening transportation to pubs / music
  • Entrance to Glenveagh National Park
  • Entrance to The Rock Of Cashel
  • Entrance to the Cliffs of Moher
  • 14 breakfasts
  • 14 packed lunches
  • 9 evening meals

Dunseverick HarbourDAY 1: MEET AT DUBLIN AIRPORT, TRAVEL TO ANTRIM VIA HILLSBOROUGH

Terrain: sandy beach | Elevation gain: sea level | Walking Distance 3 miles (4.8 km)

The first part of our journey will take us directly north from Dublin to the coast of County Antrim. We will stop on the way for a visit to Hillsborough the famous and historical village in County Down renowned for its beautiful castle and Georgian houses. For our first two nights we will stay at a lovely guest house with great views of the Antrim Coast. The Antrim Coast is an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and you will soon see for yourself how the title was earned. After dinner there should be time for a short stroll along the Causeway Coast.

Overnight: Bushmills, County Antrim. Meals Included: Dinner.

Antrim coastline IrelandDAY 2: HIKE THE ANTRIM COAST FROM THE GIANT'S CAUSEWAY

Terrain: well-maintained coast path, beach, cliffs | Elev 150ft. | Walking Distance 8 miles (12.8 km)

Our walk today will take us along the stunning Antrim coastline, highlighted by the world famous Giants Causeway. The Causeway consists of thousands of hexagonal black basalt columns. Sixty million years ago an undersea explosion resulted in this fascinating geological structure, and it is officially known as one of the great wonders of the Natural World.  The views are spectacular along this entire route, and in fine weather, it is possible to see straight across to the coast of Scotland.

Alternative Walk Options: there is a shorter alternative of hiking just four miles. Overnight: Bushmills, County Antrim. Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch.

Flower Glenveagh National Park, IrelandDAY 3: TRAVEL TO DONEGAL, HIKE GLENVEAGH NATIONAL PARK, VISIT GARDENS AND CASTLE

Terrain: lakeside forest path | Elevation gain: 50 feet | Walking Distance 7 miles (11.2km)

We're off into the west today to County Donegal: we will be located in the village of Dunfanaghy, in the Gaelic-speaking region of north western Ireland. Our accommodation is the award-winning Mill Guest House and Restaurant. This area is famous for excellent traditional Irish music and we hope to be able to enjoy hearing some music in the pubs. We will stop at Glenveagh National Park for a walk which begins in the wild country in the mountains and finishes at the beautiful Lough Beagh and Glenveagh Castle gardens.

Walk Options: there is a shorter alternative of hiking just one or two miles.

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

Horn Head PeninsulaDAY 4: HIKE ARDS FOREST PARK, VISIT POOR HOUSE MUSEUM

Terrain: road, forest, beach / dunes, coast path | Elev: 400 ft. | Walking Distance 8 miles (12.9 km)

Setting out this morning, our walk today will be at the Ards Forest Park peninsula. This is one of the northernmost peninsulas of County Donegal. This is the longest Ards Forest Park trail and goes around the edge of the park, visiting a wide variety of habitats, each with its own associated flora and fauna.  We switche from level ground at the seashore to more difficult conditions at higher elevations, providing much fine hill, forest and coastal scenery.  On our return through Dunfanaghy there will be time to visit the Poor House Museum. We will round off the day nicely with another wonderful four-course dinner at the Mill.

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

15 day ireland tours - Hiking Mount ErrigalDAY 5: HIKE THE CREEVY COASTAL TRAIL IN COUNTY DONEGAL, TRAVEL TO SLIGO

Terrain: fields, beach, cliff path, occasional muddy track | Elev 300 ft.| Walking Distance 8 miles (12.9 km)

This morning we will head south to County Sligo, but on our way we stop to walk near Rossnowlagh to hike the Creevy Coastal Walk – walkers are enchanted by breathtaking views along this specially constructed cliff walk. The  route passes over moor and farmland and beach. Tonight we will stay at Drumcliff in County Sligo. After dinner there will be time to visit the grave of the poet W. B. Yeats at Drumcliff Church.

Alternative Walk Options: if you don't wish to walk, there is a lovely small hotel at Creevy Pier where you can while away the time admiring the sea views with a good book and coffee!

Overnight: Drumcliff in County Sligo. Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch.

County MayoDAY 6: WALK AT STRANDHILL, COUNTY SLIGO, THEN TRAVEL TO WESTPORT, COUNTY MAYO

Terrain: beach, sandy track.  Elev 50 ft. | Walking Distance 3 miles 

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 Strandhill. A warm welcome awaits us at our hotel at the harbourside in the wonderfully pretty Westport Town. 

Alternative walk options: take an easy stroll at Strandhill Beach.

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

County Clare, IrelandDAY 7: VISIT GALWAY CITY, TRAVEL ON TO COUNTY CLARE, HIKE SLIEVE ELVA IN THE BURREN

Terrain: forest tracks, green road, stoney trails | Elev 100 ft. | Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7 km)

We leave Westport this morning to drive on to Galway City, we will have an hour or so to visit the heart of the city. Then south to the Burren Region of County Clare - a huge plateau of limestone and shale aptly summed up with the words, "savage land, yielding neither water enough to drown a man, nor a tree to hang him, nor soil enough to bury him". The Burren, also described as a strange lunar-like region of bare carboniferous limestone, occupies around one hundred square miles of County Clare. Below the surface of the Burren is the most remarkable network of spectacular caves, streams and potholes.

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

Overnight: Ballyvaughan or Lisdoonvarna in the Burren. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lighthouse IrelandDAY 8: MORNING HIKE COASTAL BURREN AREA, AFTERNOON HIKE INLAND BURREN

Terrain: coastal Burren trail and stoney track | Elev 300ft. | Walking Distance 11 miles (17.7 km)

Today we will be accompanied by our local expert guide. He will take us to sites of botanical, geological and archaeological interest. This will include walking in two separate parts of the Burren with a break for lunch. The Burren region is famous for its flora: you will never see anything like the carpets of primroses, coastal displays of sea pinks, or the white flower of the blackthorn cascading over all the hedgerows. Rare and spectacular plants occur in abundance. Orchids grow everywhere in the Burren and 23 out of the 27 Irish species are to be found here.

Alternative walk options: there are two walks today of around 5-6 miles each, you may opt to take just the morning hike.

Overnight: Ballyvaughan or Lisdoonvarna in the Burren. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Cliffs of MoherDAY 9: HIKE FROM DOOLIN TO THE CLIFFS OF MOHER, TRAVEL SOUTH TO DINGLE PENINSULA

Terrain: gravel and stone cliff path | Elev gain: 200 ft. | Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7 km)

The Cliffs of Moher: one of Ireland's most notable sights. Towering 660 feet above the wild Atlantic, these cliffs are noted for abundant birdlife including puffins. We will begin our walk in the village of Doolin and hike six miles along the cliff path to the actual Cliffs of Moher. Leaving County Clare, we will drive south to Dingle in County Kerry via the Killimer to Tarbert ferry across the Shannon. For the next three nights we will stay in an award-winning guest house in the heart of Dingle town: an excellent base for some wonderful craft shops, galleries, quaint pubs and restaurants.

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

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

Magha na Bo, IrelandDAY 10: WALK FROM NORTH SIDE TO SOUTH SIDE OF DINGLE PENINSULA

Terrain: mountain track, bog, country lanes | Elev 1000 ft. | Walking Distance 10 miles (16.1 km)

We will drive across the highest road pass in Ireland, the Connor Pass to reach the spectacular green valley of Magha na Bo. Our path leads through a beautiful steep-sided valley towards the pass at Beenbo Mountain. We climb gently beside the river and on to open heathland where we can find the elusive sundew and butterwort (insectivorous plants of the bog) and the feathery white flags of the bog cotton. We cross over the pass and follow a track to Annascaul village. We can visit the South Pole Inn: once owned by Tom Crean, one of the heroes of the Shackleton expedition to the South Pole.

Alternative walk options: stroll in to Dingle town to visit the shops / galleries / restaurants. Walk at the harbour and take a boat out to see Fungi the Dolphin.

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

Dingle Peninsula, IrelandDAY 11: HIKE AT FAR END OF DINGLE PENINSULA AT BALLYDAVID HEAD

Terrain: country lanes, coast path, steep cliff, moorland | Elev gain: 1000 ft. | Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7 km)

We travel today to the western side of the Brandon Ridge to walk at Ballydavid Head, for one of the best walks on the Dingle Peninsula. We climb gently through moorland grass to reach a fine vantage point with expansive views of the surrounding hills, fields, mountains, sea and cliffs. This area could be described as a "photographer's paradise". We will take our time to take pictures, relax, and enjoy the views. We will then return to Dingle for some free time to browse the lovely shops and galleries.

Alternative Walk Option: stroll in to Dingle town to visit the shops / galleries / restaurants. Walk at the harbour and take a boat out to see Fungi the Dolphin.

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

Coast Path from DingleDAY 12: HIKE THE COAST PATH FROM DINGLE, THEN WALK INCH BEACH, TRAVEL TO KENMARE 

Terrain: coastal path (sometimes muddy), beach | Elev 300ft | Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7 km)

Today we will walk from Dingle Town where we will walk out the coastal path to the old lighthouse and lookout tower. The views of Dingle harbour are magnificent. We will make our way out across a track to higher points where we can look down on various small coves and beaches. In the afternoon we will visit the magnificent Inch Beach, made famous in the film, Ryan's Daughter. We will then travel further south to Kenmare, County Kerry. .

Alternative walk options: the first walk is 4 miles long, there is an alternative option of just walking one or two miles. At Inch Beach you can walk for as long as you like.

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

Boat and LakeDAY 13: HIKE DERRYNANE MASS PATH, PART OF THE KERRY WAY 

Terrain: open mountain, bog, mud | Elev 2752 ft. | Walking Distance 7 miles (11.3 km)

 Today we hike at Derrynane National Park, beginning at Derrynane House, heading out through the dunes to a wide sweeping beach, then out onto Abbey Island.  We then follow part of the long distance hiking trail, the Kerry Way through the stunning Kerry coastal scenery, finishing back at Derrynane House.  There will be time to visit the House after the hike.

Alternative Walk Option: if you prefer a more restful day then this is the ideal spot to enjoy the lovely colourful town of Kenmare. 

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

Beautiful FlowersDAY 14: TRAVEL TO CASHEL, TIPPERARY, VISIT ROCK OF CASHEL AND HORE ABBEY

Terrain: stone and gravel path | Elev gain: 200ft. | Walking Distance 4 miles (6.4 km)

This is more of a sightseeing day today. We depart from Kenmare to travel to Tipperary.  Then we visit the Rock of Cashel and Hore Abbey. After our final dinner together at an award-winning restaurant we will be able to enjoy traditional song and dance at the Bru Boru Centre in Cashel.

Alternative walk options: this is a very short walk today.

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

15 day ireland toursDAY 15: DEPART FOR DUBLIN AFTER BREAKFAST

We must say Goodbye to Ireland after our 2 hour drive back to Dublin Airport.

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 Tours

Hiking Tours Northern Ireland - Joyce's 15 day Ireland Tours.