Walk up Carrauntoohil - the highest peak in Ireland
DurationMultiple durations available
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty Level3 Three
Join us on a sociable walking weekend in this fantastic region of south-west Ireland with the aim of summiting Carrauntoohil (Ireland’ highest peak) on Saturday and heading out for a more gentle stroll on Sunday, really making the most of your weekend here.
The south-west of Ireland is famed as a land of spectacular mountains, and undulating coastline culminating in great sea-loughs, white sandy beaches and rugged coves. The highest peak here is Carrauntoohil, and at 1038m it is also the highest in Ireland. Enjoy climbing it with a relaxed and friendly group and an experienced leader! Gaze over a ridge of several other peaks, with views out to the Atlantic, on a day out you’ll never forget.
Please note our 2019 date is 2 nights.
- Friday 2nd August – Sunday 4th August 2019
Our 2020 dates will be 3 nights, please see the below itinerary.
- Thursday 4th – Sunday 7th June 2020
- Saturday 25th – Tuesday 28th July 2020
- Thursday 3rd – Sunday 6th September 2020
In a nutshell:
- Enjoy an exciting weekend summiting the highest peak in Ireland and enjoying another easier walk the day after.
- Relax in the beautiful surroundings of Kerry, where the mountains meet the sea.
- Meet a friendly group of fellow walkers and head out into town for two meals to sample the best local hospitality.
- Leave our Mountain Leaders to take care of the navigation and logistics while you have time to enjoy the scenery and the trail.
Our upcoming dates in 2019 are 2 nights and will have a Friday meeting either at the hostel or with the complimentary collection from Cork airport, walking to the summit of Carrauntoohill on Saturday and then a shorter walk on Sunday morning before dropping at the airport for around 3pm.
Itinerary 2020 dates:
We will be offering a free collection from Cork Airport at 1pm on the first day. From here we will head to our base in Killarney.
Tonight we’ll head out into Killarney for a welcome dinner and possibly the chance to sample some of the black stuff. It’s your choice whether to stay out and enjoy the nightlife, pack your walking bag, or relax with a hot drink back at the hostel!
After breakfast we’ll prepare our packed lunches and head out to the start of our day walk, the mighty Carrauntoohil.
The route we’ll be walking is known as the Caher route, which is more pleasant and differs from the usual walkers path of ‘The Devil’s Ladder’, which has become eroded and relatively unsafe over the years.
The Caher route is a wide ridge walk, on a reasonable path which first ascends to the peak of Caher, actually the third highest mountain in Ireland. From there it is a mild drop to a pass before the final walk up to the summit of Carrauntoohil (1038m), less than 50m shorter than Snowdon. On our left on the way up we’ll be able to gaze down into the valley of Coomloughra and the two lakes of Coomloughra Lough and Lough Eagher. Our return route will be via the same path. The route is gradual with only a few steep sections, though it is of course uphill nearly all the way, with an ascent and descent of 1000m.
Once back down we will return to Killarney and our hostel, and have plenty of time to freshen up before we head out for our celebratory meal in town! We’ll also go through our plans for the next day, to give you a gentler walk appreciating the lowlands among the hills.
As you’ve traveled all this way it would be a shame not to explore some of the other stunning locations to be found in and around Killarney we will head out for a gentle day walk and the chance to really discover this part of the Emerald Isle, options include:
Killarney National Park – Just outside the town of Killarney stands the wooded Killarney National Park, complete with lake, mountain views and Ross Castle. A walk here would be an easy option on any of the days, and we can even venture as far as the Purple Mountain, a rounded hill overlooking the National Park and the last gasp of the high mountains before they give way to the central Irish lowlands.
Iveragh Coast – The entire coast of this central peninsula is one of the most dramatic places to walk in the country, and what better way to see it then to head right to the edge, gazing down on the jewel in the crown, the Kerry Cliffs. You never know, we may see all sorts of marine life out in the waters, and then take some time to explore the ruins of Ballinskelligs Castle.
After breakfast we’ll pack up and leave the hostel to head out on our 3-4 hour morning walk.
This could be to a number of locations, perhaps the lakeside of Lough Leane in the Killarney National Park, or the shoreline of Kenmare Bay, we’ll plan something special and take into account what the group wants to do.
For lunch we’ll head to a local cafe or restaurant for a last meal before it’s time to head off – either by car or on our lift to Cork Airport. We’re sure you’ll leave with fantastic memories of the highest mountains in Ireland and a weekend of challenge and fresh air. You’ll want to come back!
About the Area
The highest peaks in Ireland lie in a long chain called the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, which stands in the stunningly beautiful Iveragh peninsula in County Kerry. Bounded by the Atlantic to the west, Castlemaine Harbour to the north and Kenmare Bay to the south, Iveragh feels like an island of hills. The main town in the area is Killarney, which sits next to the Killarney National Park and the popular Lough Leane. Here you’ll find castles and ancient sites a stone’s throw from great pubs and cafes, everything for a great few days of exploration. The whole peninsula is a haven for walkers, with numerous hills of all heights, a fantasticly rugged coastline, and plenty of inland lakes to explore.
We’ll be staying in a hostel in or near the town of Killarney. Due to the small group size this is likely to be a hostel shared with other people outside the group, but all of our rooms will be private to Large Outdoors, and allocated on a single-sex basis. Bedding will be provided but please bring a towel.
On the Friday we offer a collection from Cork Airport at 1pm, which must be booked at the time of booking. If you are travelling by car, or are coming on this adventure as part of a longer stay in Ireland, then you are welcome to arrive at the accommodation from 5pm.
On the Sunday, we will aim to get back to Cork Airport for 3pm, so please do not book flights earlier than 5pm. If you wish to stay in Cork that night, we can drop you in the city centre.
Arrivals: Depending on your flight time we maybe able to collect you. However, there are regular buses from the airport direct to Killarney and our hostel.
Departures: We are unable to drop you at Kerry. However, there is a direct bus service.
For this trip we provide the following food – breakfasts and packed lunches for day 2 & 3. If you are on the shuttle collection we will stop for coffee and cakes and this is not included. Evening meals will be at local pubs or restaurants and are not provided in the cost of the weekend.
What our members have to say...
“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
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