Trek Notes - Ireland

Celtic Kerry Footsteps

Celtic Kerry Footsteps


General Information

This cultural / easy walking tour based in the ‘Kingdom’ of Kerry, allows you to discover the best of ancient and modern Ireland. You are based in the National Park town of Killarney and the friendly market town of Caherciveen. Enjoy the stunning lake, mountain and Atlantic coast scenery of the south-west of Ireland as well as Irish whiskey tasting, Irish music, ancient castles, a magical evening walk and learning to play the Bodhrán (traditional Irish drum). See tour highlights below for full list of activities. All this plus traditional Irish hospitality, good food and friendly people will make this an unforgettable week. Ideal for those seeking a real Irish experience. This is a gentle walking program combined with wonderful Celtic cultural activities.

Your accommodation in Killarney and Caherciveen is in quality family run guesthouses. Every room has a TV, private bathroom and there are tea & coffee making facilities for all guests. Full Irish Breakfast and Continental Breakfast are served each morning, and vegetarians are also catered for.

Tour Highlights

• Killarney – a well-known, scenic, vibrant town in the heart of the Killarney National Park.
• Visit of 19th century Muckross House, Gardens, Traditional Farms and Abbey
• Irish Whiskey and Irish Coffee Tasting Session – followed by Traditional Irish music
• Visit of 15th century Ross Castle
• Killarney National Park – lakes, oak woods, waterfalls, bogland, native Irish Red Deer
• Jaunting Car ride in Killarney
• Horseriding and maze trail by the Atlantic Ocean
• Walk through Derrynane Beach and National Park
• A Session to learn to play the Bodhran, followed by a traditional set dancing and Irish music session
• The ancient art of water divining
• Evening walk and magical musical evening in a prehistoric Ring Fort
• Discovery of Valentia Island “The Treasure Island” by guided cycle.
• Spectacular coastal and inland walks – ‘Sub-tropical’ & unique flora,
folklore, archaeology

Day 1 - Arrival
Optional airport transfer from Shannon or Kerry airports.
19.00 hrs. Dinner and welcome briefing with guide at guesthouse in Killarney

Day 2 - Killarney National Park and the Wonderful World of Irish Whiskey
Distance: 10km/6miles Ascent: None
A gentle walk through Killarney National Park allows you to experience the stunning lake and mountain scenery as well as the historical aspect of the Park, with a visit of 19th century Muckross House, the Gardens, the Traditional Farms- where guests walk back in time to a working 1930’s farm – and 15th century Muckross Abbey. Off to a traditional Irish pub for a celebration of two ancient Irish traditions – Whiskey and Music!

Day 3 - Ross Castle, Ross Island and Killarney Town
Distance: 6.5km/4 miles Ascent: None
Jaunting car trip to Ross Castle and your morning walk takes you for a visit of 15th century Ross Castle, majestically set on the shores of the Killarney Lakes. Afterwards we follow the old mining and historical trail along Ross Island, with spectacular views over the lakes and Innisfallen Island. The afternoon and evening are free for guests to make the most of Killarney town for sightseeing, or a boat trip, shopping, and the many pubs and restaurants of this famous town.

Day 4 - Glenbeigh and the magnificent Atlantic Ocean
Morning: Distance: 8km/5miles Afternoon: optional activities Ascent None
Transfer along the famous Ring of Kerry route to Glenbeigh. A short morning’s walk will take you through National Parks to the beautiful Torc Waterfall. Then a short trip to Killorglin, home of Puck Fair. The afternoon offers a variety of options: horse riding along the beach (suitable for beginners – additional cost), the challenge of an old fashioned hedge maze and an option to play crazy golf, a swim on Rossbeigh Beach or a guided walk up Ross-Behy Hill (250m). Lunch with panoramic views on the top of Rossbehy hill (250m) and a choice of horse riding or walking Rossbeigh beach.
Continue along the Ring of Kerry route to Caherciveen for dinner and overnight in your family run guesthouse..

Day 5 - On the Quest for Holy Celtic Water and evening walk to prehistoric Ring Fort
Day: Distance: 5 km/3 miles Ascent: 12m/370ft Evening Walk: Easy Ascent: None
Today’s programme is certainly one with a difference! In the morning, you will be joined by a water diviner, who will show you the ancient art of water divining and take you to an old Irish Holy Well and ancient Irish sites to practice your newly acquired skills. Walk to the beautiful Bray Head on Valentia Island for lunch with superb views of the Skellig Islands. Continue to St Finians Bay and a visit to a chocolate factory!
After dinner in your guesthouse, we invite you to a magical evening walk – walk in the stillness of late evening to a prehistoric Ring Fort. To those legends of Celtic battles and lost loves, we add one final extraordinary note – an Irish harp. Your walk will be recompensed with the magical sounds of an Irish harpist waiting for you in the stillness of the Ring Fort (weather permitting). Simply unforgettable.

Day 6 - Art and Music
Distance: 5km/3miles Ascent: 40m/133ft
A short drive to Caherdaniel, Derrynane National Park and beach home of Daniel O’Connell, the liberator. Walk along the mass path with beautiful views on the beaches, visit a 12th Century abbey on Abbey Island. Walk the blue flag Derrynane beach, visit Daniel O’Connell home and gardens or perhaps even a swim. Picnic lunch on beach or Island. In the afternoon, learn to play the ancient Irish drum - the Bohdran - in a friendly and informal session with our Master Bohdran player. After dinner in your guesthouse, back to the pub where we invite you to meet the locals, join in (or just clap along) to a traditional set dancing session – and maybe practice beating those Bodhrans!

Day 7 - Valentia Island (The Treasure Island)
Distance: 10.5km/ 6.5miles Ascent: 80m/266ft
Today you have a cycle around Valentia Island. A short ferry ride will take you to this small island, rich in wild and marine life, standing stones, sub-tropical flora and which was also the location for the first transatlantic cable. Visit Knightstown and Valentia grotto and slate quarry and enjoy cycling the quiet peaceful roads of Valentia. Cyclists may opt to cycle all around the island (approx. 25 km/16 miles) and discover the many standing and Ogham stones dotted all around the island.
Farewell Dinner: your final dinner will be in an excellent restaurant in Caherciveen, where seafood and modern Irish cuisine await you.

Day 8 - Departure
After your final breakfast in your guesthouse you may opt for a complimentary transfer to either Shannon or Kerry Airport (please see below).

Price includes
• Courtesy transfer from and to Kerry and Shannon Airports as per our schedule.
• Seven nights in Irish Tourist Board approved guesthouse based on two adults sharing with en-suite facilities
• Full Irish breakfast on seven days
• Five packed lunches
• Six dinners – 4 in your guesthouse and 2 in restaurants
• Irish Whiskey/Irish Coffee Tasting Session and Traditional Irish music night
• Entrance to Muckross House and Muckross Traditional Farms
• Traditional Jaunting Car ride through Killarney National Park
• Tour of Ross Castle
• Hedge Maze, Crazy Golf and Farm Visit in Glenbeigh –
horseriding is €15 extra per person
• Water Divining
• Bodhran Session
• Traditional Set Dancing and Music Session in Caherciveen
• Bike Hire for Day 6
• Return Ferry Crossing to Valentia
• Transfers to and from walks each day
• Experienced local guide throughout itinerary

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