• NEW Ireland: Hiking North to South

    From Malin to Mizen—Ireland's Classic Coast to Coast Hike!

    From Malin to Mizen, this momentous 70-mile hiking journey will take us through picturesque landscapes, and treat us to some of Ireland’s most iconic sites, including the Giant's Causeway, Slieve League Cliffs, Donegal Town, Benbulben Mountain, Clew Bay, Croagh Patrick, Connemara, the Aran Islands, Galway City, the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle and the Lakes of Killarney.

    best times to go: June, August

    departures: 2 scheduled datesview departures

    pricing: from $5,795 see detailed pricing

    UK & The Far North

    Moderate
Also great as a private trip. Call for details

From Malin to Mizen—Ireland's Classic Coast to Coast Hike!

Ireland’s legendary “Malin to Mizen" runs the length of the country from Malin Head at the in County Donegal to Mizen Head, thought to be Ireland’s most southerly point. Common routes span some 400 miles, typically making it a real challenge. However, MTS has isolated the most beautiful 70 miles to create an approachable itinerary that you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll walk along clifftops and white sand beaches, taking in Ireland’s most iconic sites, including the Giants Causeway, Slieve League Cliffs, Donegal Town, Croagh Patrick, Connemara, the Aran Islands, Galway City, the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle and the Lakes of Killarney. With warm Irish hospitality and a pint waiting for you at the end of each day, you may never want to go home!

Activities

11 Days of moderate hiking on trails and country roads, and overland on terrain that is often wet, slippery and uneven.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hike the best 70 miles of Ireland’s famous Malin to Mizen Trail--we’re the only North American company to offer the North to South coastal route
  • Spend full days among the country’s most iconic sights, jaw-dropping landscapes, and quaint fishing villages
  • Our resident guides provide spontaneous opportunities to experience authentic pub life, live traditional Irish music, and a culture of camaraderie

Duration: 12 days Start Location: Dublin, Ireland End Location: Dublin, Ireland

Download Detailed Itinerary
Itinerary
  • Irl_day01_bgstk_malin
    Day 1 : Arrive in Dublin, Ireland – Malin Head

    Plan to arrive to the airport in Dublin, Ireland, where our guide will meet the group.  We'll then transfer to Derry, the United Kingdom's "City of Culture" in 2013. We'll check into our hotel, and then have lunch in this historic and lively city. In the afternoon, we'll hike along the first stretch of our journey, beginning in the most northerly point of Ireland, Malin Head. This wild and windswept headland, peppered in ancient archaeological remains, is perfect for blowing away the cobwebs. Our walk takes us over rugged hills and past dramatic coastal cliffs, providing us with views across Lough Foyle, the north coast of Inishowen, Northern Ireland and, on a fine day, even Scotland.  (2–3 hours hiking ~ approx. 5 miles ~ 820' acsent)


    INCLUDED MEALS: Lunch/Dinner
  • Irl_day02_bgstk_causeway2
    Day 2 : The Giant's Causeway

    Today we'll walk along clifftops and stretches of white-sand beaches to reach the Giant’s Causeway, dramatic landscape of steep cliffs and 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns that project into the ocean. The Giant's Causeway has for centuries inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it. According to legend, a Scottish giant began hurling abuse across the English Channel at the Irish warrior, Fionn mac Cumhaill. So the two giants could have a proper fist fight, Fionn built a causeway of these imposing columns all the way to Scotland. (3–4 hours hiking ~ approx. 8 miles ~ 390' acsent)


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Irl_day03_123_errigal
    Day 3 : Mount Errigal

    One of Ireland’s most iconic mountains, the glittering quartzite peak of Mount Errigal, dominates the northwest corner of Ireland. Today we will hike to its summit, where we will be rewarded with expansive views that stretch to the jagged coast, where often Golden Eagles circle the thermals above. Being of the Derryveagh Mountains, Mount Errigal forms part of the Glenveagh National Park, a remote and hauntingly beautiful wilderness. At the heart of this remote landscape is a most surprising 19th century castle set amongst luxuriant tended gardens. After ascending Mount Errigal, we'll have tea in the castle, and then transfer to Donegal town for the night. (4 hours hiking ~ approx. 5 miles ~ 2130' acsent)


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Irl_day04_123_slieve
    Day 4 : Slieve League Cliffs

    Today we will scale some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe! The gigantic façade of Slieve League (or Mountain of the Flagstones) plunges some 1,968 feet into the sea below; its compacted mixture of rocks and ores forms a fabulous kaleidoscope of multi-colored hues. We will traverse the length of the cliffs, and visit an ancient pilgrimage sight along the way. In the village of Ardara we will pop into the infamous Nancy’s Bar for a well-earned pint. (5–6 hours hiking ~ approx. 7½ miles ~ 1700' acsent)


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Irl_day05_bgstk_meave
    Day 5 : Queen Meave’s Cairn & W B Yeat’s Grave

    William Butler Yeats spent much of his life in the shadows of the mountains of Sligo. On a grave stone in the tiny hamlet of Drumcliffe are carved the words: "Cast a cold eye On Life, on Death. Horseman, pass by!"  We'll pay him a visit on our way south before climbing the uniquely shaped Knocknarea to visit another resting place: a 180-foot high cairn built over a millennium in honor of a Celtic Queen. Traditionally, climbers pick up a rock at the base of the mountain and carry it to the top of the cairn in her honor.  (2 hours hiking ~ approx. 3 miles ~ 985' acsent)


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Irl_day06_123_patrick
    Day 6 : Croagh Patrick

    Croagh Patrick is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland—the tradition of pilgrimage to its summit stretches back over 5,000 years. Thousands of devout Catholics climb the heather covered hills and rough stone paths to the small chapel at the summit every year, some barefoot. Avoiding the well beaten track, we follow an alternative ridge to the summit, allowing us plenty of time to take in the magnificent views of Clew Bay and its 365 islands. This evening you are free to explore the town of Westport. (4 hours hiking ~ approx. 5 miles ~ 2460' acsent)


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch
  • Irl_day10_123_kylemore
    Day 7 : Killary Harbour & Kylemore Abbey

    Today we'll hike along the edge of Ireland’s only fjord, and visit the fairy-tale castle of Kylemore Abbey. The surrounding backdrop to this walk is one of rugged mountain scenery, with steep, craggy peaks framing the harbor on each side. This part of Ireland was particularly affected by the Great Famine of 1845–49, and stone ruins across the landscape speak of the hardship of that era. We'll pass by a ruined village which was depopulated around the time of the famine, and a relief road dating back to 1846 which was constructed by locals in return for food rations. (3–4 hours hiking ~ approx. 6 miles ~ 590' acsent)


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Irl_day07_123_aran
    Day 8 : Aran Islands

    Renowned the world over, the three isolated rocky outcrops of the Aran Islands once held a position of great trading power in ancient Ireland. Today they are a bastion of traditional language, culture and music, unique in their geology and archaeology, and alive with a potent sense of history. Inis Mór is the largest of the Aran Islands and home to one of the most important prehistoric sites in Europe: Dún Aonghusa (Dun Aengus), a semi-circular stone fort that sits dramatically on top of a 328-foot drop into the sea. Our walk will take us up to this spectacular location, as we enjoy magnificent views of Galway Bay, Connemara and Black Head in the Burren.  (4–5 hours hiking ~ approx. 10 miles ~ 490' acsent)


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Irl_day09_bgstk_moher
    Day 9 : Cliffs of Moher

    The staggering 700-foot high Cliffs of Moher are home to one of the largest colonies of nesting seabirds on mainland Ireland. Walking along the coastal trail today, we'll have the possibility of spotting some interesting sea life such as humpback whales or basking sharks, and if the conditions are right, surfers playing in some of the largest surfable waves in the world. Our evening will be spent in the quirky little village of Dingle, arguably one of the strongest bastions of traditional Irish music. In the evening, we’ll join the locals in one of the pubs to experience some real ‘craic agus ceoil.’ (3 hours hiking ~ approx. 4½ miles ~ 325' acsent)


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Irl_day10_123_dingle
    Day 10 : Slea Head along the Dingle Way

    Our trail today begins on the sand at Ventry Bay, then continues along the bottom of Mount Eagle, following the jagged Atlantic Coast around the spectacular Slea Head. Some of the finest archaeological sites in Ireland can be encountered on the Dingle Way, such as standing stones and beehive huts – dry-stone buildings dating from c.2000 BC. Beehive huts are usually dome-shaped, and have a distinctive appearance of layered of stones, with each layer bending slightly closer and narrower towards the peak. At the end of our hike today, we'll have some time to peruse the art galleries and craft shops in Dingle before transferring to Bantry in West Cork. (3–4 hours hiking ~ approx. 6 miles ~ 325' acsent)


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Irl_day10_123_sheep
    Day 11 : Beara Peninsula & Dursey Island

    Dursey Island is located at the tip of the Beara Peninsula in West Cork. The cable car to the island takes six people—or one cow—at a time! This sparsely inhabited island is famous for its magnificent selection of bird species and powerful tidal streams that rush under the swinging cable car. The landscape is dotted with antiquities ranging from standing stones and an early monastery, to an impressive signal station from the Napoleonic era. Here we'll enjoy a lovely loop hike around the island, taking in the many sights along the way.  (5–6 hours hiking ~ approx. 9 miles ~ 985' acsent)


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Irl_day12_123_mizen
    Day 12 : Mizen Head – Dublin – Departure

    Today we will reach our journey's end, and the most south-westerly point, Mizen Head, listed in Readers Digest as one of the top 100 "Amazing Places of Britain and Ireland." In all weather, the Mizen is host to breathtaking views, and is famous for its wildflowers and sightings of wildlife, dolphins, whales, seals, gannets, kittiwakes, choughs – the bird migration north-south flight path is just a mile off shore. The walk to the signal station will take us down 99 steps, and over an arched bridge amid stunning scenery.

    After our visit to Mizen Head, we'll transfer to Cork City where we'll visit the English Market (one of the oldest food markets in Europe) for lunch before transferring back to Dublin. (Short stroll, 99 steps up and down)

    PLEASE NOTE - This itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the guides having regard to weather conditions, and other factors.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch
Download Detailed Itinerary

DATES: Best time to go: June, August Departures: Jun 7 - 18, 2015 Aug 9 - 20, 2015

PRICING:


2015 Prices
$5,795 (5-16 members)
$800 single supplement

Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.

Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.

photo credits: ©MTS Photo File



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Activity Ratings

Easy

Many activities are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips with Class I-II rapids.

Moderate

More active trips involving hiking over moderate terrain, usually - but not always - with vehicle support and at elevations less than 10,000 feet, or trips with long hiking days, multiple sea kayaking days, wilderness camping, or other invigorating activity. On many trips, you can elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III rapids.

Strenuous

Hiking and trekking over steeper or more rugged terrain or where elevations may exceed 10,000 feet - often several days in a row. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (4-5 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

Ultimate Challenge!

Our most demanding trips: trekking over steep, rugged terrain at high elevations (no vehicle support) or with substantial altitude gains and losses; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips. Includes our most demanding sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

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Departure Dates

Jun 7 - 18, 2015 Aug 9 - 20, 2015
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