Hidden Ireland South (9 Day Tour)

Everything you imagined Ireland to be is combined in this wonderful 9 day hiking tour of the Burren in County Clare, the Dingle Peninsula, Gougane Barra Forest Park in County Cork, and the historic Rock of Cashel in Tipperary.

Prices: US$ 4799
EU€ 4199
Duration: 9 days

2018 Certificate of Excellence

This trip can be taken as:

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

Itinerary Information

Hidden Ireland South Tour Details for 2020
Fri 15 May to Sat 23 May 2020
12 Places available
Pick up 12 noon Galway City

Return 1-2 pm Cork Airport
$4799
€4199
Sun 31 May to Mon 8 Jun 2020
12 Places available
Thurs 30th July to Fri 7 Aug 2020
12 Places available
Tues 11 Aug to Wed 19 Aug 2020
6 Places available

Tour Map: Hidden Ireland South

Map: Hidden Ireland South

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Tour Highlights

  • 2 nights in the Burren, County Clare
  • 3 nights on the Dingle Peninsula
  • 2 nights in Kenmare, Ring of Kerry
  • 1 night in Ballymaloe, County Cork
  • The Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare
  • Wild flowers of the Burren
  • Unusual geology of the Burren
  • Guided hike of the Burren
  • Guided hike of the Cliffs of Moher
  • Walk part of the Dingle Way
  • Browse in the shops in Dingle Town
  • Magnificent Kerry scenery
  • A walk on magnificent Ventry Beach
  • Lovely coastal views
  • Spectacular Mountain Views
  • Traditional music in Kenmare

Included In Tour

  • Galway City pick-up and Cork Airport drop-off
  • 8 nights 3-4 star accommodation (en suite)
  • All land transport
  • 8 guided walks
  • Escort of full-time guide
  • Escort of local guides
  • Evening transportation to pubs / music
  • Entrance to the Cliffs of Moher
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 7 packed lunches
  • 5 evening meals

Galway Bay - South of Ireland Hiking TourDAY 1: MEET AT GALWAY CITY, TRAVEL ON TO COUNTY CLARE, HIKE SLIEVE ELVA IN THE BURREN

Terrain: forest tracks, green road, stoney trails | Elev 300 ft. | Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7 km)

We will meet you at Galway City where your journey begins. We will head 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 which occupies around one hundred square miles of County Clare. Our walk today is at the highest point in the Burren: Slieve Elva. We will be rewarded with great views across Galway Bay to the Aran Islands.

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: Lunch and Dinner.

DAY 2: MORNING HIKE COASTAL BURREN AREA, AFTERNOON HIKE INLAND BURREN

Terrain: grassy and stoney track | Elev 400ft | Walking Distance 11 miles (17.7 km), OR 6 mile option

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: one in the morning and one in the afternoon with a break for lunch. Both walks are approximately 5.5 miles. You can choose to take just the morning hike if you wish and you will then be dropped off back at the guest house.

Overnight: Ballyvaughan, or Lisdoonvarna, County Clare. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

The Cliffs of Moher with sea pinksDAY 3: VISIT CLIFFS OF MOHER, TRAVEL SOUTH TO DINGLE PENINSULA, BEACH HIKE

Terrain: sandy beach and dunes. Elev gain: sea level. 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 Options: 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.

 The spectacular green valley of Magha na BoDAY 4: WALK FROM NORTH SIDE TO SOUTH SIDE OF DINGLE PENINSULA

Terrain: mountain track, bog, country lanes | Elev 1000 ft. | Walking Distance 9 miles

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 PeninsulaDAY 5: HIKE AT FAR END OF DINGLE PENINSULA AT BALLYDAVID HEAD

Terrain: country lanes, coast path, moorland | Elev gain: 500 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 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.

The Cliffs of Moher with sea pinksDAY 6: HIKE THE COAST PATH FROM DINGLE, THEN WALK INCH BEACH, TRAVEL TO KENMARE

Terrain: heath and moorland, field, cliff path | 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.

Gougane Barra Forest ParkDAY 7: TRAVEL THE RING OF KERRY AND WALK THE KERRY WAY

Terrain: boardwalk, paths, rocky tracks | Elev Gain: 1200ft | Walking Distance 8 miles (12.9 km)

Today we will walk part of the Kerry Way across the broad expanse of moorland below the surrounding mountains at the Esknamucky Glen. In this valley, evidence of a pre-famine cottages are still visible, providing a stark reminder of harsh times gone by. The views of the mountains are spectacular. We can take a rest beside Sullivan’s Cascades and enjoy the views. The walk descends beside Torc Waterfall through Killarney National Park, and then we continue on to the Muckross House estate where there is time to explore the grounds and the arboretum.

Walk Options: the full walk is 8 miles long, there is an alternative option of just relaxing or strolling in the beautiful grounds of the Muckross Estate.

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

Hore AbbeyDAY 8: HIKE THE OLD KENMARE ROAD, TRAVEL TO SHANAGARRY, COUNTY CORK

Terrain: gravel track | Elev gain: 400 ft. | Walking Distance 4 miles (6.4 km)

We will hike another section of the beautiful Old Kenmare Road, up between the mountains outside the town of Kenmare.

Overnight: Ballymaloe, Shanagarry, County Cork. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Irish MusicDAY 9: DEPART FOR CORK AFTER BREAKFAST

We must say Goodbye to Ireland after our 1 hour drive to Cork 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.

South of Ireland Hiking Tour

Hidden Ireland South – South of Ireland Hiking Tour