Explore the Southern counties and for many some of the most beautiful and spectacular landscapes in Ireland on the 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. 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.
The adventure begins!
After leaving Dublin, you will travel through the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains, over the Sally Gap, and view the Guinness Lake (where a member of the Guinness family lives), then on to a guest house in Glendalough. Once booked in, it's off on the first walk!
Glendalough is a majestic place, a once 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 went marauding around their monasteries. After a three hour walk around the valley, its back to the comfortable guest house. Relax in your room or get to know your fellow walkers in the lounge. You have completed the first walk of many today, rest up and prepare to walk through more stunning scenery tomorrow.
Highlight of the day: Visit the 6th century Glendalough Monastic Site
Overnight: Laragh Village - Wicklow
Restaurant Suggestion: The Wicklow Heather Restaurant
Travel to the south west of Ireland to the county of Kerry. En route, there's a stop at the picturesque Irish village of Adare before moving on towards Dingle via the pretty village of Annascaul Village, where there's time to stop for a quick refreshment in the South Pole Inn. This pub was owned by the great Antarctic explorer, Tom Crean. He was an important member of both the Scott and Shackleton South Pole expeditions. There are plenty of photos of his expeditions on display at the Inn. Enjoy a drink here before continuing to Beenbane Beach. This is where the second walk of the tour starts, along the cliff into Dingle village. Take in the sights on this stunning walk and enjoy 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
The highlight of today is an amazing walk up Mount Brandon. The way to the start of point goes through the famous Conor Pass where you will enjoy marvellous views of the Dingle Peninsula and Mt Brandon. From the peak you can see 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. Enjoy the array of colours in the surrounding landscape. The walk is not difficult with an easy slope to the top. The summit is 1000m and should take no longer than 4 hours to complete. After this great adventure, its 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
National Geographic has put Slea Head peninsula in the top 10 drives in the world. Today's walk starts with a stroll through the gorgeous fuchsia-lined roads of Slea Head, following the cliffs around to a 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 dream. The walk is nice and easy today, with spectacular views out to the Atlantic and Dead Man’s Island. Everywhere you turn there are awe-inspiring landscapes, you will have excellent photo opportunities as you walk. This peninsula 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. Céad mile fáilte! A hundred thousand welcomes!
Highlight of the day: Hike Slea Head
Overnight: Dingle Town
Restaurant Suggestion: The Chart House
Today you will experience one of the most beautiful walks you will find in all of Ireland; the Gap of Dunloe. The 'Gap' stretches through the highest mountain range in Ireland called the MacGuillicuddy Reeks. To the east, you can also see the Purple Mountain. This spectacular glacial valley must be experienced to be fully appreciated. The narrow mountain pass takes you through charming woodland and the famous Lake District. You will finish your walk on the far side of the Gap, having seen breathtaking scenery and been inspired and energised. From there a river boat will take you for an hour long boat ride through the lakes of Killarney, finishing at Ross Castle, a historical tower within the Killarney National Park and just a short walk from Killarney village.
Highlight of the day: The Gap of Dunloe & the lakes of Killarney
Restaurant Suggestion: Bricin Restaurant
It's time to travel up the west coast and cross the River Shannon by ferry at Tarbert. The River Shannon is the spine of Ireland, dividing the land into two. At 360.5 km, it is the longest river in Ireland.
On arrival at the Burren region, there's time to stop and see the Cliffs of Moher. Heading just up the road, there's another potential stop at Brigid’s Well before starting the 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. There is a wall which divides the walking path from the dangerous cliff edges. Stay on that side and enjoy the incredible views. This is one of the most stunning locations in Ireland. The cliffs are simply majestic to see and the ocean crashing onto the coastline below only adds to the rugged beauty of this location. This walk is truly amazing! You can also see O’Brien’s Tower and go inside to see the panoramic views from the top (additional fee paid directly to O’Brien’s Tower if you decide to enter).
Highlight of the day: Cliffs Of Moher
Restaurant Suggestion: The Cornerstone
This morning's walk goes through the karst limestone region of the Burren, that covers 250 square miles. Because limestone is one of the most permeable rocks, there are many subterranean caverns in the area. The rocky landscape is a surprisingly fertile ground for flowers and plants that grow in the cracks and create a lovely array of colours amongst the karst landscape. You can walk these pavements and feel like you are walking on the moon! After leaving Doolin early in the morning, the tour follows the coast all the way to Galway.
Galway is the final stop for the people on the 'Southern Gem tour'.
Highlight of the day: Walk through The Burren
End of Services : Thank You!
Extreme Ireland (EI) Travel Group are experts in travel in Ireland and beyond, offering both local and international tours and experiences. The group operates across six brands including Irish Day Tours, EI Travel Coach Hire, Extreme Ireland Adventures, Irish Whiskey Museum, The Riddler Restaurant, and the Tourist Office Dublin.
EI Travel Group attribute their success and exceptional growth to their focus on customer care and service along with offering great tours to Ireland’s most beautiful destinations. If international travel is more your style, EI Travel Group also offer tours to countries such as Norway, Slovenia, Romania and Spain.
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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.