Explore the Southern counties and for many some of the most beautiful and spectacular landscapes in Ireland on our Southern Gem 7 day walking tour. From the wild beauty of county Wicklow just south of the capital you will experience a monastic site like no other; complete with round tower and church from the 6th century. From there your tour will take you to one of the most magical places in Ireland, if not the world - the town of Dingle. Situated on the most south westerly point on the island, it really is a world away from everywhere.
Enjoy guided walks on this peninsula that holds more ancient sites than the rest of the country combined. You will meander up along the famous Wild Atlantic Way through cute villages and towns. You will take in the breathtaking vistas as you walk along the Cliffs of Moher and the lunar landscape of the Burren and then head to the bohemian city of Galway. This is an epic walking tour guided by our fun and experienced guides who will show you sights, sounds and experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Book Today for just €120 Deposit !
PRICE : €1199
DURATION : 7 Days
DEPARTURE DATES : 2017 - 14 May | 4 June | 2 July | 6 Aug | 3 Sept
DEPARTURE LOCATION : Molly Malone Statue on Suffolk Street - MAP
GROUP SIZE : Small group - 16 Max
HIGHLIGHTS : Wicklow Mountains | Dingle | Mount Brandon | Slea Head | Killarney National Park | Doolin | Galway
• 7 full days of pure adventure
• The best and friendliest guides in the business
• All your tour transport for 7 days
• 6 hearty Irish breakfasts
• Glendalough Monastic Site
• The Gap of Dunlow & boat ride
• The Tarbert Ferry
• St Brigid's Well
• The Cliffs Of Moher
• The Burren
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
• Lunches, evening meals, drinks
• Travel insurance
• Kayak with Fungi the dolphin in Dingle – Optional €45
Single Supplement - €40 per night
Wicklow Mountains & Glendalough Monastic Site
Our Adventure Begins!
After leaving Dublin, you will travel through the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains, over the Sally Gap, and view Guinness Lake (where a member of the Guinness family lives). We will make our way to our guest house in Glendalough. Once we get booked in, we'll get our gear ready for our first walk! Glendalough is a majestic place, a previously important religious centre in ancient Ireland where St. Kevin resided and lived with his fellow Christians. It might have been a happy time here before the Vikings were marauding around their monasteries! After your walk, which is about three hours and brings you all around the valley, you will come back to relax at the guest house.
Highlight of the day: Visit the 6th Century Glendalough Monastic Site
Overnight : Laragh Village - Wicklow
Restaurant Suggestion: The Wicklow Heather Restauran
Dingle Village & The South Pole Inn
Today we will travel to the south west of Ireland to the kingdom of Kerry. En route we will stop in the cute Irish village of Adare before we head directly for Dingle. On our approach we will drive through Annascaul Village and make a stop for a quick drink in the South Pole Inn. This pub was owned by the great Anarctic explorer, Tom Crean, who was an important member of both the Scott and Shackleton South Pole expeditions. You can enjoy a drink here before your guide will stop at Beenbane beach and you can take the cliff walk into Dingle Village - a wonderful way to arrive to this magical little corner of Ireland!
Highlight of the day: Cliff walk into Dingle
Overnight: Dingle Town
Restaurant Suggestion: An Canteen
Mount Brandon & Connors Pass
Today we get ourselves ready for an amazing walk up Mount Brandon. On the way to the start of our trek, we will drive over the famous Conor Pass where you will enjoy amazing views of the Dingle Peninsula and Mt Brandon. From the top you can see down to the Blasket Islands on one side and all the way to Tralee on the other. It is one of the most scenic mountains in Ireland. This walk is not difficult and has an easy slope to the top. The summit is 1000m and should take no longer than 4 hours. After our great adventure, we will head back to Dingle and you will have the option to see, swim or kayak with Fungi, a wild dolphin that calls Dingle his home.
Highlight of the day: Climbing up Mt Brandon
Overnight : Dingle Town
Restaurant Suggestion : Walkers Bar & Restaurant
Slea Head Walk
Slea Head lies ahead of us today, a peninsula that the National Geographic has put in the top 10 drives in the world. I would put it in the top 3! We will meander slowly through the gorgeous fuchsia lined roads of Slea Head and follow the cliffs around to our view point of Great Blasket Island. There are more megalithic relics on this peninsula than on the rest of the island - it is an archaeologist’s heaven. Our walk is nice and easy today, with spectacular views out to the Atlantic and Dead Man’s Island. Right on Ireland's rugged west coast, this is the closest you can get to the United States from Europe. Your walk will finish in the village of Ballyferriter, a Gaeltacht area, where all the locals speak in Ireland’s native tongue.
Highlight of the day: Hike Slea Head
Overnight: Dingle Town
Restaurant Suggestion: The Chart House
The Gap of Dunloe & Killarney National Park
Today you will experience one of the most beautiful walks you will find in all of Ireland through The Gap of Dunloe. The 'Gap' stretches through the highest mountain range in Ireland called the MacGuillicuddy Reeks. This spectacular glacial valley simply must be experienced to be fully appreciated. The walk will take you through the gap and you will finish on the far side. From there, a river boat will take you on an hour long boat ride through the lakes of Killarney finishing at Ross Castle a short walk from Killarney village.
Highlight of the day: The Gap of Dunloe & the lakes of Killarney
Overnight : Killarney
Restaurant Suggestion: Bricin Restaurant
Day 6 :
The Cliffs Of Moher Walk
We now make our way up the west coast and cross the river Shannon by ferry at Tarbert. The river Shannon is the spine of Ireland, dividing the land in two. It won’t be long before arriving in the Burren and getting to see the Cliffs of Moher. Heading just up the road, we may stop at Brigid’s Well before we get a start on our walk along the amazing Cliffs Of Moher. Living on the edge is fantastic but at these cliffs, it is advisable to stay away from the 214m high cliff edges. Enjoy the mesmerising scenery a safe distance from the edge and marvel at the rugged cliffs, views and the ocean below. This walk is truly amazing!
Highlight of the day: Cliffs Of Moher
Restaurant Suggestion: The Cornerstone
The Burren Walk & Galway City
This morning we will walk through this karst limestone region that covers 250 square miles. Because limestone is one of the most permeable rocks, there are many subterranean caverns in the area. You can walk these rocky pavements and feel like you are walking on the moon! After leaving Lahinch early in the morning, we will follow the coast all the way to Galway. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and with heavy hearts we will bid farewell to some wonderful friends made along this 'Southern Gem tour'. Until we meet again on our next Extreme Ireland Adventure!
Highlight of the day: Walk through The Burren
End of Services : Thank You!
7-day walking tour of SW Ireland
This was a varied tour starting in Wicklow for the first day, then heading off to Co Kerry then finishing in Co Clare. There was a walk each day, varying from 8-10 miles with varying degrees of difficulty. There was an alternative for those not wanting to attempt the more challenging walk. There were other activities to enjoy, boat trips, visiting pubs and hearing local traditional music as well as enjoying fantastic food.
Anyone signing up for a tour like this really needs to read the blurb thoroughly and be fit enough to attempt the walks. Need to be prepared for wet weather too.
This was a fantastic holiday, made all the more enjoyable because of the group and the guide, Noel Maguire. He was a lot more than a guide actually. He drove the van, led walks, encouraged, told stories, sang songs, informed about all sorts of subjects (history, geology, botany, folklore, politics, music and food!). An all round wonder and a very nice person, with endless patience and humour.
All accommodation was comfortable and welcoming with great breakfasts.
The only problem we had was the officious security men at the entrance of the Cliffs of Moher. One in particular was rude and verbally aggressive, which was unacceptable but this was nothing to do with Extreme Ireland.
Dingle Way and Suthern Gem Tours
I'm a seventy-year-old American male who enjoys hiking in Ireland. Over the past three years, I've booked three tours with Extreme Ireland: a self-guided walk of the Dingle Way with an old friend three years ago, and this year the Giant's Causeway day tour and the Southern Gem guided hiking trip. The Dingle Way arrangements and the Southern Gem were outstanding, and the Giant's Causeway, good.
For the Dingle Way, my old Marine Corps friend and I were picked up at Shannon Airport by Emily McCullagh, an Irish artist. She talked about the countryside we drove through, pointed out public art sculptures in roundabouts, and remarked on Irish politics and her admiration for Mary Robinson. Extreme Ireland provided maps for the walk, b & b reservations for each night, and transporting of our suitcases each day. All the b and b's were good, but one Jimmy Bruic's Coil an Roiss in Ballyganeen was brilliant, one of the nicest places I've stayed in Ireland, and Jimmy is an exceptionally charming host. We stayed two nights in Dingle at the Lantern, where Katharine Keane provided good conversation and an interesting pub recommendation, O'Currain's just a couple of doors up the street where Oliver Mack engaged us in good craic. The barkeeper joked that Oliver hung out there and another pub, but we ignorant Yanks didn't realize the joke about the owner of Dick Mack's. Katharine also arranged our Blasket Island boat trip. The hiking was excellent, with only a couple of patches of rain and warm weather for May. We were pleased to find Emily with her car waiting for us at 0630 at our b & b in Castlegregory so we could make our Shannon flight with time for shopping in the duty-free and also have fun talking with her about our adventure.
I took the one-day Giant's Causeway tour this May. Bud, our driver-guide, was an older Irishman, who provided solid historical commentary on the trip North and some insightful personal stories on the Troubles and his experiences. He provided a helpful rest stop on the way, organized our group so we could spend time at the Carrick a Rede rope bridge and the Giant's Causeway; in fact, he organized an order-ahead system for the pub at the Causeway so we could dine immediately and spend as much time on the rocks as possible. The tour made a quick photo stop at Dunluce Castle and an hour stop in Belfast, where Bud arranged for a small group to take the Black Taxi Tour. It's a solid tour, but a long drive in one day.
Best of all, however, was the Southern Gem, a guided hiking tour of the Wicklow Mpuntains and the Southwest. The guide, Toni O'Brien, was absolutely brilliant in planning her own version of the tour, paying attention to everyone in the group, adjusting to circumstances including some weather, and entertaining us with personal experience stories, reminiscences of girlhood hiking and biking adventures in the areas we visited (including an encounter with an IRA squad in the Wicklow Mountains), and putting together daily picnic lunches. The b and b reservations were solid, comfortable, and clean (but no match for Coil an Roiss of the Dingle tour). We climbed Mt. Brandon on the saint's feast day with Toni adjusting the route so we finished going down the Pilgrims Route rather than repeating the rock scrambling of the glacial cirque on the Cloghane side. Because of weather she changed our Carrauntoohil plan to a milder hike through the Gap of Dunloe and an open boat ride on the Lakes of Killarney. We climbed over three fences to walk along the Cliffs of Moher to Doolin. The adjusted plan included the Rock of Cashel with enough time to hear Sean MacMannus's lecture tour of the site, a great dinner at Lord Baker's in Dingle, and a long walk in the Burren. And Toni worked in a whirlwind tour of medieval Galway on the final day. She also made special arrangements to help two of us stay on Inishmore and took the rest of our group back to Dublin. The Southern Gem is a special jewel if you get the Girl with the Pearls as a guide.
I also found the Extreme Ireland Staff answered e-mail questions very promptly and to be very cooperative and helpful. I've had some wonderful experiences in Ireland through Extreme Ireland and recommend the agency highly.