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Hiking Classic Ireland

Trip Length 10 days

From $5,195

  • Climb to the peak of Ireland’s highest mountain, Corrán Tuathail, and follow the lesser-known Pilgrim’s Path to Mt. Brandon
  • Spend full days among the country’s most iconic sites, jaw-dropping landscapes, and quaint fishing villages
  • Our resident guides provide spontaneous opportunities to experience authentic pub life, live traditional music, and a culture of camaraderie

The Emerald Isle can’t help but charm even the most jaded traveler with its wild, windswept landscapes, historic stone castles, quaint fishing villages, quirky local lore and immensely friendly people. Hiking its jagged peaks is a great way to gain an appreciation for the landscape and learn the history of this magical land, while earning an evening of pints down at the local pub. MTS designed this itinerary to mix both Ireland’s classic sites with its less-traveled hiking and pilgrimage routes, peppered with plenty of entertaining interactions with the locals.

Join us on this inspiring walking adventure that takes you from Ireland’s vibrant capital city, Dublin, to some of the most scenic settings on the west coast. Journeying from the windswept MacGillycuddy's Reeks of Kerry, along the Pilgrim’s Path of Mount Brandon to the wild western shores of the Atlantic and the Aran Islands, and over the mountainous wildernesses of Connemara, you’ll get an insider’s look at the very best of Ireland. Along the way, you’ll see local abbeys, haunted castles and crumbling cottages, each with their own fascinating legends. At night, warm Irish hospitality and toe-tapping live music awaits as you join in the revelry at local pubs.
 

Day 1: Arrival in Dublin, Ireland

Welcome to Dublin, Ireland’s lively and historic capital! The city was founded by the Vikings over 1000 years ago and has withstood a turbulent political and religious history until it was finally declared a free state in 1922. You’ll transfer to our classic and centrally located hotel on your own, leaving the rest of the day free to rest or explore Dublin at your leisure. We recommend checking out some of the sites, including Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse Brewery, Temple Bar and Grafton Street. Let us know if you need any advice on how to best spend your day. The entire group will meet tonight at 5pm for a brief orientation, followed by a welcome dinner.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Buswells Hotel

Day 2: Kilkenny – Killarney

This morning, we’ll drive to Ireland’s most celebrated medieval city, Kilkenny—about a 75-mile drive away. Stepping back in time, we’ll explore the 12th-century Kilkenny Castle. Spectacularly restored, the castle stands dramatically (and strategically) overlooking the town and the River Noire. Originally a stronghold of the Norman occupation and later sieged during the Irish Civil War, the castle is steeped in rich history. We shall then join some accomplished locals to try our hand at Ireland’s national game, hurling (the fastest field game in the world!).

We’ll continue on to Killarney, a 2.5-hour drive away. Upon arrival, we’ll check into our luxury hotel, and take a short, two-hour introductory walk to acquaint ourselves with the town’s inspiring panoramic views of the Kingdom of Kerry. You’ll see the Lakes of Killarney, the sharp ridge of the MacGillycuddy Reeks and, in the distance, the Atlantic Ocean at Dingle Bay. Overnight and dinner in Killarney.
 

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Killarney Plaza Hotel

Day 3: The Black Valley – the Lakes of Killarney National Park

After breakfast, we’ll set out on a hike along the most spectacular and remote stretches of the Kerry Way. Dotted with broken ruins of stone cottages and crumbling ancient monuments, this windswept landscape accompanies us on one of Ireland’s most popular trail systems. We’ll follow an off-the-beaten-path trail and meander between the mountains to Killarney National Park, climbing narrow passes with offer expansive views of this rugged countryside scattered with holly trees, hawthorn, yellow gorse bushes and swathes of wild flowers.. Once we reach the ruins of Lord Brandon’s Cottage, built in 1861 as an aristocratic hunting and fishing camp. Next to the ruins stands a small café, where we can buy snacks and coffee before boarding a small boat and riding through Upper Lake to the historic Ross Castle.

The 15th-century Ross Castle may never have seen any major battles, but the regional skirmishes around the castle and colorful figures that stayed here have made it an object of mystery and intrigue. It is widely believed that the castle is haunted by many different characters, including the notorious Irish chieftain Myles O’Reilly, known as “The Slasher,” who stayed here the night before he was killed in battle. We’ll then return back to our hotel in Killarney for the evening. (Walking distance: 8 miles; walking time: 4 to 5 hours).
 

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Killarney Plaza Hotel

Day 4: Macgillycuddy Reeks – Corrán Tuathail

Today we’ll climb Corrán Tuathail (3,412’), Ireland’s highest peak. Your guide will take into account both the weather and the general fitness level of the group before determining which route to summit—but no matter which trail we take, we are certain to be challenged. En route, be on the lookout for a variety of wildflowers, raptors soaring on the mountain thermals, and Irish mountain hares hopping through the brush. Once at the summit, we’ll enjoy stunning 360-degree views! After our exhilarating hike, we’ll drive for an hour to the quirky village of Dingle, arguably one of the strongest bastions of traditional Irish music. After checking into our charming hotel, we’ll join the locals for a pint (or two…but who’s counting?) at one of the local pubs, where we’ll experience craic agus ceoil, loosely translated as “good times.” (Walking distance: 11 miles; walking time: 8 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Dingle Skellig Hotel & Spa

Day 5: Mount Brandon

After breakfast, we’ll set out along a spectacular trail leading to the summit of Mount Brandon. The mountain is named for 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 535AD (over 900 years before Columbus) on American soil. Today, the mountain attracts Irish Catholics coming to summit this holy mountain, overlooking the white sand shores of the Maharees and Brandon Bay. This evening, we’ll return to Dingle for dinner and overnight. (Walking distance: 9 miles; walking time: 5-6 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Dingle Skellig Hotel & Spa

Day 6: The 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, our guide will introduce us to some of these birds and the unique flora of this limestone region. In spring and summer, this rocky landscape transforms into a myriad of colors, hosting one of the highest diversities of wild flowers in Europe. Strangely enough, flowers from as wide-ranging regions at the Arctic and the southern Mediterranean can be found here. This afternoon, we’ll we’ll board a ferry out into the Atlantic to our island retreat on Inis Oirr, the smallest of the three Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) Aran Islands. (Walking distance: 4 miles; walking time: 3 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tigh Ruairí

Day 7: The Aran Islands – Connemara

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 ferry to the trailhead and then walk up to this spectacular location, as we enjoy magnificent views of Galway Bay, Connemara and Black Head in the Burren. After our hike, we’ll ferry back to the mainland and enjoy driving through the bogs and rugged landscape of Connemara, where we’ll stay in a four-star hotel. (Walking distance: 5 miles; walking time: 3 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Lough Inagh Lodge

Day 8: Mweelrea Mountain – Kylemore Abbey

Waking in our elegant country house and fishing lodge, amidst the mountain and bog wilderness of Connemara, we’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast overlooking the lake. At 2,700 feet, Mweelrea is the highest mountain in the west of Ireland. Its allure though is not only in its height but in its spectacular setting: to the south it falls steeply to the waters of Killary Harbour; to the east stretch the sprawling Sheffry Hills and the mountain of Ben Gorm; and to the west lie the white sandy shores of the Atlantic. This rewarding day starts out on the shores of Doo Lough, the site of a 19th-century famine tragedy. We’ll hike up “the Ramp” and scramble to the summit to bask in the extensive views and a well-deserved feeling of achievement. On our way back to the hotel, we’ll stop to see the fairy tale Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled garden. (Walking distance: 8 miles; walking time: 6 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Lough Inagh Lodge

Day 9: The 12 Bens

The Twelve Bens, or Na Beanna Beola in Irish, are a range of sharp-peaked quartzite mountains, which dominate the landscape of southern Connemara, sweeping dramatically down to the grey rocky coastline and white sand shores of Galway Bay. After breakfast, we’ll drive 30 minutes to the trailhead and begin our route, climbing above the watery maze of lakes that stretch south across Connemara to the sea. We finish our walk in style with a pint in hand, overlooking the fishing harbor of Roundstone Bay before continuing onto Galway city in time for our final celebratory dinner. (Walking distance: 3 miles; walking time: 2 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Harbor Hotel

Day 10: Galway – Dublin – Departure

This morning, we’ll take some time to explore the bohemian city of Galway on a short walk through its vibrant streets before transferring back to the Dublin Airport for our flights home.

  • Breakfast

May 26, 2017 - Jun 04, 2017

Jul 14 - 23, 2017

Aug 18 - 27, 2017

pricing

2016 Prices
$5,195 (5-16 members)
$500 single supplement

2017 Prices
$5,795 (3-16 members)
$500 single supplement

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Buswells Hotel — Dublin

As one of the oldest hotels in Dublin, Buswells is nestled in the peaceful location of Georgian Dublin close to the picturesque St Stephens Green park and a short stroll from Trinity College, Book of Kells, National Museum, Galleries & Dublin Castle to name a few.

Dingle Skellig Hotel & Spa — Dingle

The Dingle Skellig Hotel is situated on the most westerly peninsula in Europe. Since this Hotel in Dingle was constructed in 1969 its reputation for comfort, hospitality and service has excelled, this guarantees the holiday experience of a lifetime.

Harbor Hotel — Galway

The Harbor Hotel Galway is a family owned hotel offering excellent customer with a waterfront location in the heart of Galway City, where just a 3 minute stroll from our hotel will take you to the city center. 

Killarney Plaza Hotel — Killarney

The Luxury 4 Star Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa enjoys a wonderful location in the heart of Killarney City. The hotel offers 3 restaurants, bar, lounge as well as a health club with indoor swimming pool.

Lough Inagh Lodge — Connemara

Lough Inagh Lodge is a charming, romantic country house hotel set snugly in the aptly named Recess of Connemara.  By no means a small house, Lough Inagh Lodge is yet dwarfed by the magnificent scale of the stunning Connemara landscape surrounding it.

Tigh Ruairí — Inis Oírr Island

Tigh Ruairi (Rory's) is located on Inis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands. Here there is long-standing tradition of hospitality providing first class, bed & breakfast accommodation and delicious home-cooked food.

  • Climb to the peak of Ireland’s highest mountain, Corrán Tuathail, and follow the lesser-known Pilgrim’s Path to Mt. Brandon
  • Spend full days among the country’s most iconic sites, jaw-dropping landscapes, and quaint fishing villages
  • Our resident guides provide spontaneous opportunities to experience authentic pub life, live traditional music, and a culture of camaraderie

The Emerald Isle can’t help but charm even the most jaded traveler with its wild, windswept landscapes, historic stone castles, quaint fishing villages, quirky local lore and immensely friendly people. Hiking its jagged peaks is a great way to gain an appreciation for the landscape and learn the history of this magical land, while earning an evening of pints down at the local pub. MTS designed this itinerary to mix both Ireland’s classic sites with its less-traveled hiking and pilgrimage routes, peppered with plenty of entertaining interactions with the locals.

Join us on this inspiring walking adventure that takes you from Ireland’s vibrant capital city, Dublin, to some of the most scenic settings on the west coast. Journeying from the windswept MacGillycuddy's Reeks of Kerry, along the Pilgrim’s Path of Mount Brandon to the wild western shores of the Atlantic and the Aran Islands, and over the mountainous wildernesses of Connemara, you’ll get an insider’s look at the very best of Ireland. Along the way, you’ll see local abbeys, haunted castles and crumbling cottages, each with their own fascinating legends. At night, warm Irish hospitality and toe-tapping live music awaits as you join in the revelry at local pubs.
 

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Dublin, Ireland

Welcome to Dublin, Ireland’s lively and historic capital! The city was founded by the Vikings over 1000 years ago and has withstood a turbulent political and religious history until it was finally declared a free state in 1922. You’ll transfer to our classic and centrally located hotel on your own, leaving the rest of the day free to rest or explore Dublin at your leisure. We recommend checking out some of the sites, including Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse Brewery, Temple Bar and Grafton Street. Let us know if you need any advice on how to best spend your day. The entire group will meet tonight at 5pm for a brief orientation, followed by a welcome dinner.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Buswells Hotel

Day 2: Kilkenny – Killarney

This morning, we’ll drive to Ireland’s most celebrated medieval city, Kilkenny—about a 75-mile drive away. Stepping back in time, we’ll explore the 12th-century Kilkenny Castle. Spectacularly restored, the castle stands dramatically (and strategically) overlooking the town and the River Noire. Originally a stronghold of the Norman occupation and later sieged during the Irish Civil War, the castle is steeped in rich history. We shall then join some accomplished locals to try our hand at Ireland’s national game, hurling (the fastest field game in the world!).

We’ll continue on to Killarney, a 2.5-hour drive away. Upon arrival, we’ll check into our luxury hotel, and take a short, two-hour introductory walk to acquaint ourselves with the town’s inspiring panoramic views of the Kingdom of Kerry. You’ll see the Lakes of Killarney, the sharp ridge of the MacGillycuddy Reeks and, in the distance, the Atlantic Ocean at Dingle Bay. Overnight and dinner in Killarney.
 

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Killarney Plaza Hotel

Day 3: The Black Valley – the Lakes of Killarney National Park

After breakfast, we’ll set out on a hike along the most spectacular and remote stretches of the Kerry Way. Dotted with broken ruins of stone cottages and crumbling ancient monuments, this windswept landscape accompanies us on one of Ireland’s most popular trail systems. We’ll follow an off-the-beaten-path trail and meander between the mountains to Killarney National Park, climbing narrow passes with offer expansive views of this rugged countryside scattered with holly trees, hawthorn, yellow gorse bushes and swathes of wild flowers.. Once we reach the ruins of Lord Brandon’s Cottage, built in 1861 as an aristocratic hunting and fishing camp. Next to the ruins stands a small café, where we can buy snacks and coffee before boarding a small boat and riding through Upper Lake to the historic Ross Castle.

The 15th-century Ross Castle may never have seen any major battles, but the regional skirmishes around the castle and colorful figures that stayed here have made it an object of mystery and intrigue. It is widely believed that the castle is haunted by many different characters, including the notorious Irish chieftain Myles O’Reilly, known as “The Slasher,” who stayed here the night before he was killed in battle. We’ll then return back to our hotel in Killarney for the evening. (Walking distance: 8 miles; walking time: 4 to 5 hours).
 

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Killarney Plaza Hotel

Day 4: Macgillycuddy Reeks – Corrán Tuathail

Today we’ll climb Corrán Tuathail (3,412’), Ireland’s highest peak. Your guide will take into account both the weather and the general fitness level of the group before determining which route to summit—but no matter which trail we take, we are certain to be challenged. En route, be on the lookout for a variety of wildflowers, raptors soaring on the mountain thermals, and Irish mountain hares hopping through the brush. Once at the summit, we’ll enjoy stunning 360-degree views! After our exhilarating hike, we’ll drive for an hour to the quirky village of Dingle, arguably one of the strongest bastions of traditional Irish music. After checking into our charming hotel, we’ll join the locals for a pint (or two…but who’s counting?) at one of the local pubs, where we’ll experience craic agus ceoil, loosely translated as “good times.” (Walking distance: 11 miles; walking time: 8 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Dingle Skellig Hotel & Spa

Day 5: Mount Brandon

After breakfast, we’ll set out along a spectacular trail leading to the summit of Mount Brandon. The mountain is named for 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 535AD (over 900 years before Columbus) on American soil. Today, the mountain attracts Irish Catholics coming to summit this holy mountain, overlooking the white sand shores of the Maharees and Brandon Bay. This evening, we’ll return to Dingle for dinner and overnight. (Walking distance: 9 miles; walking time: 5-6 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Dingle Skellig Hotel & Spa

Day 6: The 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, our guide will introduce us to some of these birds and the unique flora of this limestone region. In spring and summer, this rocky landscape transforms into a myriad of colors, hosting one of the highest diversities of wild flowers in Europe. Strangely enough, flowers from as wide-ranging regions at the Arctic and the southern Mediterranean can be found here. This afternoon, we’ll we’ll board a ferry out into the Atlantic to our island retreat on Inis Oirr, the smallest of the three Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) Aran Islands. (Walking distance: 4 miles; walking time: 3 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tigh Ruairí

Day 7: The Aran Islands – Connemara

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 ferry to the trailhead and then walk up to this spectacular location, as we enjoy magnificent views of Galway Bay, Connemara and Black Head in the Burren. After our hike, we’ll ferry back to the mainland and enjoy driving through the bogs and rugged landscape of Connemara, where we’ll stay in a four-star hotel. (Walking distance: 5 miles; walking time: 3 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Lough Inagh Lodge

Day 8: Mweelrea Mountain – Kylemore Abbey

Waking in our elegant country house and fishing lodge, amidst the mountain and bog wilderness of Connemara, we’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast overlooking the lake. At 2,700 feet, Mweelrea is the highest mountain in the west of Ireland. Its allure though is not only in its height but in its spectacular setting: to the south it falls steeply to the waters of Killary Harbour; to the east stretch the sprawling Sheffry Hills and the mountain of Ben Gorm; and to the west lie the white sandy shores of the Atlantic. This rewarding day starts out on the shores of Doo Lough, the site of a 19th-century famine tragedy. We’ll hike up “the Ramp” and scramble to the summit to bask in the extensive views and a well-deserved feeling of achievement. On our way back to the hotel, we’ll stop to see the fairy tale Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled garden. (Walking distance: 8 miles; walking time: 6 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Lough Inagh Lodge

Day 9: The 12 Bens

The Twelve Bens, or Na Beanna Beola in Irish, are a range of sharp-peaked quartzite mountains, which dominate the landscape of southern Connemara, sweeping dramatically down to the grey rocky coastline and white sand shores of Galway Bay. After breakfast, we’ll drive 30 minutes to the trailhead and begin our route, climbing above the watery maze of lakes that stretch south across Connemara to the sea. We finish our walk in style with a pint in hand, overlooking the fishing harbor of Roundstone Bay before continuing onto Galway city in time for our final celebratory dinner. (Walking distance: 3 miles; walking time: 2 hours).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Harbor Hotel

Day 10: Galway – Dublin – Departure

This morning, we’ll take some time to explore the bohemian city of Galway on a short walk through its vibrant streets before transferring back to the Dublin Airport for our flights home.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Buswells Hotel — Dublin

As one of the oldest hotels in Dublin, Buswells is nestled in the peaceful location of Georgian Dublin close to the picturesque St Stephens Green park and a short stroll from Trinity College, Book of Kells, National Museum, Galleries & Dublin Castle to name a few.

Dingle Skellig Hotel & Spa — Dingle

The Dingle Skellig Hotel is situated on the most westerly peninsula in Europe. Since this Hotel in Dingle was constructed in 1969 its reputation for comfort, hospitality and service has excelled, this guarantees the holiday experience of a lifetime.

Harbor Hotel — Galway

The Harbor Hotel Galway is a family owned hotel offering excellent customer with a waterfront location in the heart of Galway City, where just a 3 minute stroll from our hotel will take you to the city center. 

Killarney Plaza Hotel — Killarney

The Luxury 4 Star Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa enjoys a wonderful location in the heart of Killarney City. The hotel offers 3 restaurants, bar, lounge as well as a health club with indoor swimming pool.

Lough Inagh Lodge — Connemara

Lough Inagh Lodge is a charming, romantic country house hotel set snugly in the aptly named Recess of Connemara.  By no means a small house, Lough Inagh Lodge is yet dwarfed by the magnificent scale of the stunning Connemara landscape surrounding it.

Tigh Ruairí — Inis Oírr Island

Tigh Ruairi (Rory's) is located on Inis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands. Here there is long-standing tradition of hospitality providing first class, bed & breakfast accommodation and delicious home-cooked food.

Dates and Pricing

May 26, 2017 - Jun 04, 2017

Jul 14 - 23, 2017

Aug 18 - 27, 2017

pricing

2016 Prices
$5,195 (5-16 members)
$500 single supplement

2017 Prices
$5,795 (3-16 members)
$500 single supplement

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Call us at 1-888-831-7526
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