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Ireland Journey from North to South

From $5,795

  • 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

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, 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!

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin, Ireland – The Walls of Derry

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 head out on our first short hike to blow away the cobwebs. This evening we will join a local Derry man to take a walk along the walls of Derry and learn first hand this positive story of Northern Ireland. (1-2 hours hiking ~ approx. 2 miles; 1-2 hours city walk ~ approx. 1 miles, transfer 3 hours.)

  • Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Beech Hill Country House Hotel

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. 6 miles ~ 390' acsent, transfer 2 hours in two 1-hour stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Beech Hill Country House Hotel

Day 3: Malin Head & Inishowen

Today we shall explore the most northerly point of our journey and 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 the north coast of Inishowen, Northern Ireland and, on a fine day, even Scotland. (3–4 hours hiking ~ approx. 8 miles ~ 350' ascent, transfer 2 hours in two 1-hour stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Beech Hill Country House Hotel

Day 4: 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. 2 miles ~ 985' ascent, transfer 3.5 hours in two stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Westport Plaza Hotel

Day 5: 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' ascent, transfer 30 minutes in two 15-minute stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accomodation:Westport Plaza Hotel

Day 6: Killary Harbor & 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. 8 miles ~ 590' ascent, transfer 2 hours with stops.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Park House Hotel

Day 7: 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. (2-3 hours hiking ~ approx. 6 miles ~ 490' acsent, transfer approximately 1.5 hours in two 45-minute stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Park House Hotel

Day 8: 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. 4 miles ~ 325' ascent, transfer 4 hours with stops along the way.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Heatons Guesthouse

Day 9: Mount Brandon

One of the highest mountain in Ireland is named after St. Brendan (Breanainn) the Navigator, who, according to legend, had a vision of a promised land while seated at its summit. He and his monks consequently set sail for that land and disembarked in 535 AD (over 900 years before Columbus) on American soil. Though we will never be able to prove it for sure, there are many that believe the Irish discovered America! Today we will follow the Catholic Pilgrims Path along a spectacular trail to the summit of this holy mountain, overlooking the white sand shores of the Maharees and Brandon Bay. (5–6 hours hiking ~ approx. 9 miles ~ 3120' ascent, transfer 1 hour in two 30-minute stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Heatons Guesthouse

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 Killarney. (3–4 hours hiking ~ approx. 8 miles ~ 1400' ascent, transfer 1.5 hours with stops.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:The Malton Town Center

Day 11: The Lakes of Killarney & Torc Mountain

Today we hike along a spectacular stretch of the Iveragh Peninsula, or the Ring of Kerry, above the spectacular Lakes of Killarney. This is a windswept landscape broken only by the ruins of stone cottages and crumbling ancient monuments. Our trail meanders between the mountains of Killarney National Park climbing up past Torc Waterfall to Torc Mountain. On a good day the panoramic views of today’s walk could claim to be the best in Ireland. (4–5 hours hiking ~ approx. 9 miles ~ 250' ascent, transfer 30 minutes in two 15-minute shifts.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:The Malton Town Center

Day 12: Cork City – Dublin – Departure

This morning we shall enjoy our final walk exploring the edges of Killarney National Park on the Muckross Lake Loop. We shall then 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. (1-2 hours hiking ~ approx. 2 miles, transfer 3.75.)

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

  • Breakfast/Lunch

No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

pricing


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

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Beech Hill Country House Hotel — Derry

Heatons Guesthouse — The Wood, Dingle

Park House Hotel — Galway City

The Malton Town Center — Killarney

Westport Plaza Hotel — Westport

  • 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

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, 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!

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin, Ireland – The Walls of Derry

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 head out on our first short hike to blow away the cobwebs. This evening we will join a local Derry man to take a walk along the walls of Derry and learn first hand this positive story of Northern Ireland. (1-2 hours hiking ~ approx. 2 miles; 1-2 hours city walk ~ approx. 1 miles, transfer 3 hours.)

  • Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Beech Hill Country House Hotel

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. 6 miles ~ 390' acsent, transfer 2 hours in two 1-hour stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Beech Hill Country House Hotel

Day 3: Malin Head & Inishowen

Today we shall explore the most northerly point of our journey and 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 the north coast of Inishowen, Northern Ireland and, on a fine day, even Scotland. (3–4 hours hiking ~ approx. 8 miles ~ 350' ascent, transfer 2 hours in two 1-hour stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Beech Hill Country House Hotel

Day 4: 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. 2 miles ~ 985' ascent, transfer 3.5 hours in two stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Westport Plaza Hotel

Day 5: 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' ascent, transfer 30 minutes in two 15-minute stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accomodation:Westport Plaza Hotel

Day 6: Killary Harbor & 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. 8 miles ~ 590' ascent, transfer 2 hours with stops.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Park House Hotel

Day 7: 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. (2-3 hours hiking ~ approx. 6 miles ~ 490' acsent, transfer approximately 1.5 hours in two 45-minute stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Park House Hotel

Day 8: 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. 4 miles ~ 325' ascent, transfer 4 hours with stops along the way.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Heatons Guesthouse

Day 9: Mount Brandon

One of the highest mountain in Ireland is named after St. Brendan (Breanainn) the Navigator, who, according to legend, had a vision of a promised land while seated at its summit. He and his monks consequently set sail for that land and disembarked in 535 AD (over 900 years before Columbus) on American soil. Though we will never be able to prove it for sure, there are many that believe the Irish discovered America! Today we will follow the Catholic Pilgrims Path along a spectacular trail to the summit of this holy mountain, overlooking the white sand shores of the Maharees and Brandon Bay. (5–6 hours hiking ~ approx. 9 miles ~ 3120' ascent, transfer 1 hour in two 30-minute stretches.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Heatons Guesthouse

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 Killarney. (3–4 hours hiking ~ approx. 8 miles ~ 1400' ascent, transfer 1.5 hours with stops.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:The Malton Town Center

Day 11: The Lakes of Killarney & Torc Mountain

Today we hike along a spectacular stretch of the Iveragh Peninsula, or the Ring of Kerry, above the spectacular Lakes of Killarney. This is a windswept landscape broken only by the ruins of stone cottages and crumbling ancient monuments. Our trail meanders between the mountains of Killarney National Park climbing up past Torc Waterfall to Torc Mountain. On a good day the panoramic views of today’s walk could claim to be the best in Ireland. (4–5 hours hiking ~ approx. 9 miles ~ 250' ascent, transfer 30 minutes in two 15-minute shifts.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:The Malton Town Center

Day 12: Cork City – Dublin – Departure

This morning we shall enjoy our final walk exploring the edges of Killarney National Park on the Muckross Lake Loop. We shall then 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. (1-2 hours hiking ~ approx. 2 miles, transfer 3.75.)

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

  • Breakfast/Lunch

Beech Hill Country House Hotel — Derry

Heatons Guesthouse — The Wood, Dingle

Park House Hotel — Galway City

The Malton Town Center — Killarney

Westport Plaza Hotel — Westport

Dates and Pricing

No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

pricing


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

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