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Hike the Highest Mountains of Ireland

Head to Killarney for a weekend of hiking the region’s most beautiful mountains and enjoying the town while unwinding with live music in traditional Irish pubs. ½ day off work.

Surrounded by rugged mountains and clear lakes, Killarney is frequently listed as a Top 10 global destination. Spend 2 days exploring the region’s remarkable landscapes, including a hike to Ireland’s highest summit, a hike through the Gap of Dunloe, and a traditional boat ride across the Lakes of Killarney. Return to town in the evenings to enjoy the local culture and nightlife. Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 1 day hiking Carrauntoohil, the highest peak in Ireland
  • 1 day hiking the Gap of Dunloe, a scenic glacial valley
  • 1 tour across the Lakes of Killarney in a small, open boat
  • Professional, local, experienced guide
  • 2 guided evenings in Killarney
  • 2 nights in a local guesthouse
  • 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
  • 1 pass to a leisure centre with a pool, sauna and jacuzzi
  • Airport transfers and all activity transfers

Perfect for:
This is a great opportunity if you’re looking for a different spin on a classic trip. Most visitors to Killarney don’t leave the city, but on this hiking trip you’ll enjoy a wilderness experience in a remarkably scenic setting.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to/from Ireland
  • Personal expenses
  • Drinks
  • Dinners on Friday and Sunday nights
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for your guide (optional)

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 people, and a maximum of 12.
Please note, if there are not 4 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

Sure can! A lot of people do, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Our Epic Weekends are very social in nature and we’ve seen lots of new friendships born out of them. Expect a mix of solo travellers and very small individual groups consisting of 2 or 3, all with a shared appreciation of escaping the city for the great outdoors to try something new and meet new people.

Your B&B serves a full Irish breakfast. This traditional meal typically includes bacon, sausages, eggs, black and white puddings, toast or soda bread, and fried tomatoes.

Basic packed lunches will be provided for the hikes.

The dinner on Saturday night will include 3 courses with a range of options.

Absolutely! Just let us know at booking.

A moderate to good level of fitness is needed to enjoy the hikes, but you don’t need to have previous mountain climbing or hiking experience.

Each hike is 10 - 12km long on steep trails through beautiful landscapes. There are some short sections of easy scrambling. Whether you’re an old pro or a new hiker, your guide will ensure you have an amazing time.

During the spring and fall, temperatures in Killarney range from 4 to 13 °C, and warm up to 10 – 18 °C in the summer. Spring and summer months are driest and sunniest months of the year.

In addition to regular city clothes for nights in Killarney, you’ll need to pack basic hiking clothes:

  • Sturdy, broken-in hiking shoes or boots
  • Comfortable, breathable shirts and trousers
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses and sunblock)
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Warm jacket
  • Warm hat and light gloves
  • Water bottle
  • Small rucksack for carrying lunch, water and personal items
  • Swimsuit

Start point?
You will be picked up at either Cork Airport or Kerry Airport on Friday evening anytime before 20:00. Don’t want to take any time off work? No problem skip the pub on Friday and take a last flight to Cork instead. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
You will be dropped off at either Cork Airport of Kerry Airport on Sunday evening. You’re free to book any flight that departs after 18:00 (Kerry Airport) or 20:00 (Cork Airport). Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Kerry Airport (KIR) and Cork Airport (ORK) are served by regular, inexpensive flights on Ryanair and Aer Lingus. Killarney is a 1 ½-hour drive from ORK and a 15-minute drive from KIR. You can get any flights that suit you, but make sure they fit the times above so you can take advantage of the included transfers. We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

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Location

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Killarney (pop. 15,000) is Ireland’s adventure capital. The city is charming and fun and known for its vibrant nightlife. It’s also full of historical sites like churches, abbeys and castles. But it’s what lies beyond Killarney that makes it truly special.

The Lakes of Killarney consist of Lough Leane, Muckross Lake and Upper Lake. Ross Castle, a 15th-Century tower and keep, is prominent on the shore of Lough Leane. From the lakes there are outstanding views of the surrounding mountains.

The MacGillycuddy Reeks mountain range outside of town is the highest range in the country, and home to Carrauntoohil, the highest peak in Ireland (1038m). The range is rugged and raw, full of lakes and tarns, and an absolutely magical place to hike.

Just next door is a massif of three peaks, Purple (832m), Tomies (735m) and Shehy (571m). A glacially-carved valley known as the Gap of Dunloe makes for a scenic hiking route through the range. The valley is dotted with five bright-blue lakes and framed by dramatic cliffs.

Start point?
You will be picked up at either Cork Airport or Kerry Airport on Friday evening anytime before 20:00. Don’t want to take any time off work? No problem skip the pub on Friday and take a last flight to Cork instead. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
You will be dropped off at either Cork Airport of Kerry Airport on Sunday evening. You’re free to book any flight that departs after 18:00 (Kerry Airport) or 20:00 (Cork Airport). Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Kerry Airport (KIR) and Cork Airport (ORK) are served by regular, inexpensive flights on Ryanair and Aer Lingus. Killarney is a 1 ½-hour drive from ORK and a 15-minute drive from KIR. You can get any flights that suit you, but make sure they fit the times above so you can take advantage of the included transfers. We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

What to Expect

Friday: Arrival

Your host will pick you up from the airport in the evening and drive you to Killarney.

Check into your B&B, then head out with your guide to explore the streets of Killarney and enjoy a Guinness and live music.

Saturday: Carrauntoohil hike

After breakfast you’ll drive half an hour away to the foot of Carrauntoohil, the highest mountain in Ireland (1038m).

Your route will take you up Brother O’Shea’s Gully, a steep trail surrounded by impressive cliffs.

Along the way you’ll enjoy views of the mountain’s sheer northeast face, the rugged Hag’s Tooth Ridge, and the deep blue waters of Cummeenoughter Lake.

At the summit you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views of the surrounding mountain ranges and lakes.

Refuel with a packed lunch, then descend the mountain via the Heavenly Gates.

Return to town with time to relax and unwind. Use your pass to a local leisure centre to spend a few hours in the pool, steam room and jacuzzi.

In the evening your guide will take you to a local restaurant for an excellent 3-course meal. Spend the night exploring the local pubs and live music scene.

6 hours of walking, 12km

Sunday: Traditional boat ride, Gap of Dunloe hike, and departure

Fuel up with a full Irish breakfast, then drive to Ross Castle to begin your 1-hour boat trip across the Lakes of Killarney.

You’ll motor across Lough Leane and down the River Luane in a small 8-person boat while your guide regales you with stories and legends. The trip ends at Lord Brandon’s Cottage on the shores of Upper Lake.

From there you’ll hike up into the mountains through the Gap of Dunloe, following a valley dotted with glacial lakes.

Summit Purple Mountain (832m) and Tomies (735m), and eat lunch while admiring the panoramic views. Descend the other side to arrive at Kate Kearney’s Cottage.

Your ride will pick you up and take you back to town. Freshen up, then head to the airport to catch your flight home, flush with stories and pictures to share with your friends.

6 hours of walking, 10km

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

Accommodation

You’ll stay at a small, locally-owned guesthouse in Killarney. The guesthouse is within walking distance of the city centre, and features ensuite rooms, wifi, and an amazing full Irish breakfast each morning.

Dates & Prices

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

Prices include

Accommodation · Airport Transfers · Guide · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection · No Single Supplements

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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