Ireland: Dingle Bay & Killarney

Guided Walking Tour, Ireland: Dingle Bay & KillarneyGuided Walking Tour, Ireland: Dingle Bay & Killarney

Ireland

Dingle Bay & Killarney

overview

Your Irish sojourn begins in picturesque Dingle, where seafaring traditions pervade a vibrantly painted townscape, artisan shops, and tempting eateries. Short walks lead to wild beaches along rocky shores, and green hills that rise over dramatic North Atlantic seas. Early-Christian sites like the 8th-century Gallarus Oratory sweep you back in time, while places like Killarney National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, display natural wonders including Ireland’s last red deer, its highest peaks, and Ross Castle. On pristine Inishfallen Island, hear the tale of St. Fionan monks who recorded Ireland’s earliest history, then stroll along the Old Kenmare Road to the rare yew forests of Muckross Lake and perfect views of heather-clad mountains. Evenings in the Malton, a 150-year-old architectural jewel, delight with acres of manicured gardens and nouveau Irish cuisine, taking traditional local ingredients to new heights. Pub-hop with new friends as you consider the Irish trails over which you’ve rambled.

 

Activity Level
Easy to moderate;
5-8 miles daily
Meet
Shannon, Ireland
Depart
Shannon, Ireland
Daily Itinerary
Download printable
itinerary
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
View All

From our blog

Guided Walking 
7 days, 6 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Two expert, local guides (for groups of 8 or more), with you 24/7
  • All meals except for two lunches and one dinner; local wine or beer included with dinners
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • Basic travel insurance coverage
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW staff
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $350
 

Solo surcharge + $0
 

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $0 

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION

gallery

Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Dingle
View on map
2
Dingle
View on map
3
Dingle
View on map
4
Killarney
View on map
5
Killarney
View on map
6
Killarney
View on map
7
Killarney
View on map
Day 1

Dingle

Meeting in Shannon. Transfer to Dingle. Dingle Harbor; 3 miles, easy to moderate

From the Shannon region, you journey southwest with your new walking companions and Irish guides. Your destination is the picturesque village of Dingle and the charming Benners Hotel, where a lovely lunch awaits.

 This afternoon, you drive a few minutes to the harbor mouth where you may spot the friendly resident dolphin, Funghi, who swims alongside bathing visitors. Your warm-up walk on coastal trails is a perfect introduction to the island—rocky shores, crashing waves, verdant hills, and golden beaches make up the horizon. The path takes you back to the ancient village, where you learn about Dingle’s turbulent history and how the village eventually prospered thanks to its superb natural harbor.

Tonight, you gather for dinner at a local restaurant. On the menu is fresh seafood harvested from the surrounding pristine sea. After dinner, you may choose to pay a visit to the local pubs, where traditional Irish music lightens the heart.

Benners Hotel

Dingle, Ireland

In the heart of the town of Dingle, this luxurious, family-run town hotel is a local landmark. Spacious guestrooms blend traditional antique-style furniture with elegant comforts. The bar and common rooms are richly decorated with antique furnishings and have fireplaces. Bustling Dingle’s many restaurants, shops, harbor, and walking routes are all easily reached on foot.

Day 2

Dingle

Coastal walk; 6 miles, easy. Optional afternoon walk; 4 miles, moderate, 600-ft. elevation gain

The morning walk encompasses some of the stunning coastal scenery made famous by “Ryan’s Daughter,” David Lean’s epic movie. Following along back roads and the shoreline, the route passes by an area where, in 1580, an ill-fated attempt by the Spanish to assist the Desmond rebellion against the Elizabethans at Dun an Or (“Fort of Gold”) took place. The gentle dirt trail eventually turns to fine sand, inviting you to take your shoes off and cool your feet in the refreshing Atlantic Ocean. You stroll the beach at your own pace, breathing in the invigorating air, before returning to Dingle.

Lunch is on your own and there are plenty of inviting cafés and pubs to choose from, perhaps for fresh crab cakes or a hearty soup. This afternoon you may choose to join a moderate walk following an old bog road up Cnoc a’Carn, overlooking the ancient town. The other option is to meander among Dingle’s colorful streets and down to the harbor, admiring endless rows of sailboats and exploring the many craft shops, or simply to relax at the hotel, settling into one of the cozy living spaces with a book or a glass of wine.

You gather with the group for a superb dinner at a long-established family-owned restaurant, with a background in farming, where most ingredients are from the day’s harvest.

Benners Hotel

Dingle, Ireland

In the heart of the town of Dingle, this luxurious, family-run town hotel is a local landmark. Spacious guestrooms blend traditional antique-style furniture with elegant comforts. The bar and common rooms are richly decorated with antique furnishings and have fireplaces. Bustling Dingle’s many restaurants, shops, harbor, and walking routes are all easily reached on foot.

Day 3

Dingle

Slea Head; 5 miles, moderate with some steep sections. Optional afternoon walk; 3 miles, easy

This morning you set out toward Slea Head, where small farms cling to the precipitous slopes along Dingle Way. The land here exposes Iron Age remains, such as beehive huts used by Eremite monks and farmers. Rounding the head, breathtaking views of the Blasket Islands spread out before you—this is the westernmost inhabited part of Europe. The morning adventure takes you on grassy paths through pastures dotted with sheep and an occasional donkey, along stone walls and up and down stiles, and climbing hills that always reward your efforts with sweeping views of the Irish countryside.

After a lunch of delicious soup, quiche, or a sandwich of fresh bread and tasty cheese in the village of Dunquin, the focus turns to the evolution of the early Irish Church from the 6th to the 12th centuries. Within a few square miles there is an unusual density of early Christian settlement sites, including Reask, Gallarus Oratory, and Kilmalkedar church.

Returning to Dingle, there is time to relax at your charming hotel before enjoying a sumptuous dinner at yet another local restaurant, featuring local delicacies such as freshly caught salmon and ice cream with brandied berries.

Benners Hotel

Dingle, Ireland

In the heart of the town of Dingle, this luxurious, family-run town hotel is a local landmark. Spacious guestrooms blend traditional antique-style furniture with elegant comforts. The bar and common rooms are richly decorated with antique furnishings and have fireplaces. Bustling Dingle’s many restaurants, shops, harbor, and walking routes are all easily reached on foot.

Day 4

Killarney

Inch Strand; 5 miles, easy to moderate. Killarney National Park; 2.5 miles, easy

After breakfast you bid farewell to the ocean and travel inland into a richly varied countryside—one that has been heralded in song for centuries—Killarney National Park and the Kingdom of Kerry. Along the way, you stop for a morning walk at Inch Strand, a wide sand dune peninsula inhabited only by sea birds, where you can hear the thunderous roar of the surf. You continue your journey to Killarney, where there is time to explore and have an independent lunch in town.

You gather with the group mid-afternoon and head out for your second walk of the day on the well-maintained trails of Killarney National Park, the emerald jewel of Ireland, also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. A 26,000-acre nature reserve, the park protects the largest remaining tracts of natural oak woodland in the country, the last remaining herd of native Irish red deer, the three Lakes of Killarney, and the eastern end of Ireland’s highest mountain range, the Macgillicuddy’s Reeks. The trail also passes the manicured grounds of a castle and yet another stone church, testament to Ireland’s rich history.

This evening, after settling into your hotel, enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.

The Malton

Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland

An elegant hotel in the center of town, adorned with pillars and ivy, this property boasts six acres of manicured gardens, outstanding service, fine dining, and warm hospitality. Guests may relax in the classic bar, the grand foyer, or one of the many lounges and coffee rooms where tea has been served since Victorian times.

Day 5

Killarney

Lakes of Killarney and Inisfallen Island boat excursion. Killarney National Park; 3 miles, easy to moderate

Today there is time for a leisurely breakfast as you depart mid-morning. Stopping at a local café, you pick up your own lunch—a made-to-order sandwich of fresh bread, local produce, cheese, or curried chicken. You then embark for a two-hour boat journey, for there is no better and more beautiful way to explore the three Lakes of Killarney and pristine Innisfallen Island. The island was once inhabited by the monks of St. Fionan, known for their valuable account of early Irish history in the “Annals of Inisfallen.” Following this exciting boat excursion, you unpack your picnic lunch at the grounds of Lord Brandon’s Cottage, the site of a local gentry’s hunting lodge.

Your second afternoon in Killarney National Park begins with an easy three-mile walk through a natural peat bog, with stops to examine its flora and fauna. Upon arrival at Derrycunnihy Cascade, the walk becomes a little more strenuous. At the end of the day, some may wish to peruse Killarney’s woolen shops while others may return to the hotel and lounge in the atrium, admiring the manicured grounds of this private estate.

You are free to choose from one of Killarney’s numerous restaurants or pubs for dinner on your own this evening.

The Malton

Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland

An elegant hotel in the center of town, adorned with pillars and ivy, this property boasts six acres of manicured gardens, outstanding service, fine dining, and warm hospitality. Guests may relax in the classic bar, the grand foyer, or one of the many lounges and coffee rooms where tea has been served since Victorian times.

Day 6

Killarney

Old Kenmare Road; 5 miles, easy to moderate, 600-ft elevation gain. Muckross Lake; 4 miles, easy

Today’s walk begins along the Old Kenmare Road. The route starts with a brief ascent, as you are afforded spectacular views of heather-clad mountains and the Lakes of Killarney, which you have explored intimately the day before. Later, you arrive in the charming, picturesque town of Kenmare, where you may join the locals sipping on a pint of stout, and enjoy a delightful pub lunch.

This afternoon an easy four-mile walk passes through the woodland surrounding Muckross Lake (literally “middle lake”). Here along the limestone reefs of this peninsula, a unique yew forest grows that seems a likely habitat for the mythological leprechaun.

This evening, you partake in a festive farewell dinner at the hotel. The restaurant here uses the freshest of quality ingredients, sourced locally. Try the Kerry lamb or the Ballydehob duck.

The Malton

Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland

An elegant hotel in the center of town, adorned with pillars and ivy, this property boasts six acres of manicured gardens, outstanding service, fine dining, and warm hospitality. Guests may relax in the classic bar, the grand foyer, or one of the many lounges and coffee rooms where tea has been served since Victorian times.

Day 7

Killarney

Departure from Shannon

This morning, breakfast is served early, before boarding the coach to transfer to Shannon and bid farewell to fellow walkers and guides.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Michael Miller

Michael, a native Irishman, has extensive guiding experience and a comprehensive knowledge of Ireland’s fascinating history. However, his true love is traditional Irish folk music. Michael is a delightful travel companion and insightful "walking encyclopedia".

Pól O'Colmain

Irishman Pól O’Colmain is an artist, musician, poet, story-teller, folklorist, and teacher. He has also restored historic gardens, is fluent in gaelic and likes scuba diving and swimming. He is often to be found walking in the hills around his home in rural Ireland.

Dubhaltach O'Colmain

Dubhaltach is a working artist and musician, often writing his own music and illustrating stories. Fluent in English, Irish and Greek, he grew up on the Great Blasket Island. Dubhaltach enjoys sharing his love of the sea and outdoors with travelers to Ireland.

Guest Comments

S. Hearn, Alaska, May 2013

It was my first CW trip but it will not be my last! My guides Pol and Michael were great!!

L. Cummings, California, June 2013

We had a wonderful with CW and Pol and Mike and our group. We hiked to spots we'd never have found on our own and were amazed that most days we hardly saw any other tourists at all. This was our first time doing a trip like this and we have definitely caught the adventure tour bug.

A. Goldberger, New York, May 2013

The entire trip was terrific. Our guides stunned me with the depth and breadth of their knowledge, and, of course, their wonderful personalities, musical abilities and senses of humor.

L. Boule, British Columbia, September 2011

It was an excellent walking tour. The guides were interesting and very well-informed, and the area we covered was beautiful. This is a vacation where you can be active, learn a lot about the country, and share the incredible scenery with like-minded people.

D. Dorley & M. Suby, Massachusetts, September 2009

My trip to Ireland was brilliant in every way!

B & L Grube, California, May 2012

Our tour encompassed history, geology, mythology, culture, great food, beautiful scenery, great camaraderie, music, and a friendly local flavor. The sun, the rain, the wind, the countryside and our guides combined to provide poetry in motion!

L. Montgomery, New Jersey, May 2012

The guides were great, the scenery was fantastic, the food was excellent and the company was good. An excellent trip!

A. Sheffield, Washington, DC, May 2011

Absolutely splendid experience exceeding all expectations. Knowledgeable guides who conveyed their passion for Ireland and the Irish and the spirit of this place; varied terrain of enjoyable walks along beaches, pastures, bogs, mountains; delightful hotels, pubs, and restaurants, which all combined to give one a remarkable sense of Southwest Ireland. The poetry and artistic commentary and sense SW Irish and gaelic lore-many of the stories have stayed with me. I have fallen in love with Ireland and the Irish people. The boat ride on the Lakes of Kilalrney was spectacular and we had perfect weather. Sea views were amazing.

J. W. Clark, Arizona, June 2012

It was a fabulous trip. I had high expectations, and they were exceeded. Our guides, Pol and Dubhaltach O'Colamin really made the trip even more memorable. They shared music, poetry, and historical information about each area. They also took the time to get to know group members and noted things that might be of particular interest and included those items/places along the way. I came away feeling that I had really experienced Irish culture at its best.

J. Disbrow, Georgia, June 2012

The guides on my tour were wonderful! They added so much fun to the experience with their stories, music, and poetry. I am completely enamored with all things Irish because of my two guides, Pol and Dubhaltach.

PDF Download Capture: