Explore the Killarney National Park and the South West Coast...
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple options available
1 - 2
The stunning sea-cliffs of the Atlantic coast, snug local pubs, and a backdrop of high mountains with sparkling lakes. Welcome to the South-West of the Emerald Isle!
Join us on a 4 night sociable walking adventure seeing some of the best sights the Wild Atlantic Way has to offer. Staying in Killarney, a bustling town of live music (available every night!), craft shops and endless pubs, we’re right next to the beautiful countryside of Ireland’s Lake District, the Killarney National Park.
The walks will be suitable for all abilities, whether on paths gazing up at the impressive mountains, or along the coast looking out for seabirds and dropping in on secluded beaches. You’ll quickly settle into life here, relaxing with a hot drink on the sofa in the evening, or maybe a pint of Guinness down at the local pub!
In a nutshell:
- Explore the beauty of the Atlantic coast of Ireland, home to dozens of beaches, and Ireland’s highest mountains.
- Wander out on 3 days of easy guided walks to discover the best of the scenery and local sights.
- Enjoy the excellent local hospitality during meals out, and the famous Killarney night life of live music.
- Make some fantastic new friends on this adventure to the very edge of Europe.
About the area
The Wild Atlantic Way
South West Ireland is famous as a land where mountains meet water, where dramatic sea cliffs and mountain crags stand before the swell of the great Atlantic, with tranquil islands dotted in the bays. The area spans the counties of Kerry and Cork, and is home to 5 peninsulas, the highest mountains in Ireland, and hundreds of lower hills and mountain lakes. Along the coast, there is some excellent walking, with well-maintained trails taking the adventurous hiker around the peninsulas on the Wild Atlantic Way. Alongside these natural wonders, there are tiny seaside villages and welcoming larger towns to explore, as well as castles, ruins and ancient sites.
Day 1 – Thursday 14th March 2019
We’ll collect you from Cork airport at 1pm and transfer you to the centre of Killarney. We’ll then head out on an afternoon walk nearby, giving you a taste of the local area and getting into the mood for our excursions further afield over the next few days. We’ll probably head down to the grounds of Muckross House, where we can visit their ornamental gardens, and look out over Muckross Lake at the distant mountains.
Our first evening will be spent having dinner out at a great local restaurant, and we’ll have a discussion about what’s coming up over the next three days.
Days 2, 3 and 4
These are our full days out and we’ll definitely be making the most of them! We begin with a sit-down breakfast and head to a deli where you can get a packed lunch.
For the walks there’s so much to choose from it’s hard to know where to begin! We’ll decide on walk locations depending on the weather and what the group wants to do, but look forward to seeing some of the following:
- The coastline of the western end of the Iveragh Peninsula, where we can walk the beaches near Abbey Island and explore the Derrynane Estate, or head out to the cliffs around Bray Head and admire the Skellig Islands shining in the sun.
- We can spend a day exploring the Dingle Peninsula, admiring the towering cliffs around Brandon Point and gazing up at Mount Brandon before sampling some of Dingle’s best cafes and craft shops.
- There are several smaller hills that we could venture up, including the Purple Mountain and Torc Mountain, both of which overlook the Killarney National Park.
- One popular day is to take a boat up to Lord Brandon’s Cottage and walk back to Killarney via the Kerry Way. This is an excellent way of seeing the National Park from two perspectives, and you’ll also get to explore Ross Castle.
St Patrick’s Day
The celebration of the life of Ireland’s patron saint is a custom that now happens around the world, but we’ll be doing it right here in his homeland! So come with your best green, grab a drink or two and we’ll head out into town for a fantastic meal and a night out.
You’ll quickly get carried away in the festive atmosphere and experience one of the most famous holidays where it all started. Perhaps we’d better save one of the pilgrims walks for the next day!
Today is sadly time to leave Ireland behind. We’ll pack up and leave the hotel after a final breakfast and then if there is time head out for a short final walk.
This will be a farewell to the spectacular coastal scenery we’ve been enjoying for the last few days and a great way to get a dose of the invigorating Atlantic air before having to head home. We hope you’ve seen enough to want to come back to this very special part of the world.
We’ll be staying in a hostel in the centre of Killarney, where you’ll be within an easy walking distance of all the pubs, live music venues and gift shops you’d ever need! Beds are in shared single-sex rooms, which are private to our group.
4 nights of accommodation; vehicle transport including airport pick-ups and drop-offs; guided walks; breakfast.
What’s not included:
Evening meals, lunch and alcoholic drinks, any additional activities, travel insurance, flights.
One of the days includes a boat trip, which is not included in the price because this option depends on the weather. If we do this boat trip it will cost around 20 Euros per person.
Travelling to our St Patrick’s Day Trip:
Arrivals: Please arrive no later then 1pm on the first day; the Large Outdoors minibus will be out the front to collect you. From here its around a 1.5 hours drive to our base in Killarney.
Departures: We will aim to enjoy a short walk on the last morning to freshen and help recover from the post St Patrick’s Day hangover. Then its a 1.5 hour hop to the airport, please aim to book your flights after 3pm.
Arrivals: Depending on your flight time we maybe able to collect you. However, there are regular buses from the airport direct to Killarney. You should aim to arrive around 2.30pm so we have time to meet up and head out for our first gentle walk.
Departures: On the last day we can drop you at the airport for around 12.30pm, if you wish to stay later then again there is a direct bus service.
What our members have to say...
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016