Walking the lakes and mountains of Ireland including the Ring of Kerry, a route around the dramatic coastline of County Kerry’s Iveragh Peninsula
See what's planned
- Lakeland walking in and around the foothills of Carrauntoohil – Ireland’s highest mountain
- The dramatic and beautiful MacGillicuddy’s Reeks form a wonderful backdrop
- A trip around the breath-taking Ring of Kerry on Ireland’s ‘Wild Atlantic Way’
- Accommodation in Killarney with leisure facilities and live evening entertainment
At the Southwestern tip of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, you will find The Ring of Kerry, a route around the dramatic coastline of County Kerry’s Iveragh Peninsula. The route offers breath-taking views, not only of the cliffs and islands (including, on a clear day, the Skellig Islands, famous for being Luke Skywalker’s home in the latest Star Wars trilogy), but of MacGillycuddy's Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range, and home to its highest mountain, Carrauntoohil.
On the inland side of the Ring of Kerry, can be found Killarney, an ancient cathedral town and one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations. It is just to the south, in among the Lakes of Killarney, and within a short walk of Killarney National Park, that we base this holiday.
Walking among the foothills of MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, we can explore the lakes, hills, waterfalls, and coast of the area, and also wander through its history, with visits to Muckross Abbey, Muckross House Estate (a Victorian mansion house with awe-inspiring gardens), and the fascinating Kerry Bog Village (where we learn about the lives and times of the people and ponies who worked the peat bogs, from within their reconstructed 18th century thatched cottages). Not forgetting the Gap of Dunloe and a stop at Dinis Cottage which is an idyllic cottage tea room on the shores of Muckross Lake.
Combine the stunning lakes of Killarney National Park, with the internationally renowned Ring of Kerry, with its dramatic coastal scenery, and you have the formula for a wonderful walking holiday. With high waterfalls, sandy beaches and ancient moorland tracks, you have the recipe for some truly memorable walking. Did we mention the view from the top of Torc Mountain?
Please be aware that this holiday is not eligible for our Early Booking Discount offer.
- Return flights from London Heathrow to Cork
- Airport transfers
- Half board en suite accommodation (breakfasts & dinners in the hotel)
- Private coach transport to and from the trailheads when necessary, including The Ring of Kerry tour
- Entry to The Kerry Bog Museum
- Services of a dedicated tour leader
What's not included?
- Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
- Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary tips
- Optional excursions
- Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)
This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
Our bottom line is happy travellers, and to that end we trust our tour leaders to use the itinerary below as a basis for providing you with a great holiday. We expect our leaders to make adjustments to the itinerary if the weather, group ability or other local conditions make that necessary. There are normally more options available to our leaders than those listed below and one or more of these options may well be chosen. All distances, heights & timings are approximate.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
The Gleneagle Hotel
Arrival at Cork Airport and transfer to The Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney. Dinner each evening is in the hotel restaurant.
Transfer Time = 1 hour 15 mins
Muckross Lake and Dinis Cottage
The Gleneagle Hotel
Today’s walk is from the hotel. After a brief visit to the historic ruins of Muckross Abbey, we walk around the shores of Muckross Lake with views over to the mountains in the west. After crossing the footbridge that marks the link between the Muckross Lake and Lough Leane, we reach Dinis Cottage, a 18th century Hunting Lodge (now a tea shop) located at the meeting of the waters between Muckross lake and Upper Lake.
In the afternoon, we complete the circuit of the lake, and return to Muckross House Estate, with its gardens and cafe, before the short walk back to the hotel.
Torc Waterfall and Torc Mountain
The Gleneagle Hotel
The word Torc is from the Irish translation of 'wild boar', and the area in which we’ll be walking today is associated with many legends involving wild boars. After a short drive from the hotel, we climb to Torc Waterfall. Although only 20m in height, its location, draining from The Devil’s Punchbowl makes for a very photogenic setting.
Our next leg is the ascent of Torc Mountain. As we walk up we also walk back in time, from the 300 million year old carboniferous limestone of the waterfall, to the 400 million year old red sandstone of the mountain. Although the climb is moderately strenuous in places, we’ll take our time, and be rewarded at the top with glorious views over the gorgeous blue lakes and stunning mountains of Kerry. Our return takes us once again via Muckross House, for a welcome wind-down in the cafe and gardens.
The Gap of Dunloe via Lord Brandon’s Cottage
The Gleneagle Hotel
Today, we once again take a short drive from the hotel, down to the Derrycunihy Nature Reserve, with views over the Upper Lake. This morning’s walk takes us through the Nature Reserve, and down to the lake shore, before stopping off for morning coffee at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, a 19th-century hunting lodge surrounded by lush, green water meadows.
After our morning break, we climb (not too steeply) up to the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass that separates MacGillycuddy's Reeks mountain range in the west, from the Purple Mountain Group range in the east. After walking down through the pass, and enjoying a picnic lunch by one of its many lakes, we will find, nestled at the northern entrance to pass our final destination, Kate Kierney’s Cottage. Here we will have time to relax with a local beer, before our transport back to the hotel.
The Ring of Kerry and Killarney
The Gleneagle Hotel
After three days of walking, the time has come to rest our legs with an excursion around the world famous Ring of Kerry, with superb views along the rugged Atlantic coastline. We finish the day with a visit to Killarney and some free time to enjoy the town.
The Old Kenmare Road
The Gleneagle Hotel
Today begins once again with a short drive down to Derrycuinhy. This time, however, we head in the opposite direction to find The Old Kenmare Road. This ancient packhorse route is now a superb trail that meanders through the remote, wild uplands of Killarney National Park, forming part of the Kerry Way long distance trail. The Old Kenmare Road eventually descends gradually through ancient woodland, rich with wildlife to Muckross House Estate, from where we take the short walk back to the hotel.
The Glenbeigh Horseshoe and Rossbeigh Strand
The Gleneagle Hotel
We start today with a visit to the fascinating Kerry Bog Museum to learn about the people who lived and worked in this area, with the famous Kerry Bog Ponies, and see reconstructions of their traditional 18th century thatched cottages. Afterwards, we will drive along the shores of the beautiful Lough Caraugh, to be dropped off for our walk. It’s a fairly forgiving climb to the highest point of the Glenbeigh Horseshoe ridge. Here the views to the north open up, and we can now see over Dingle Bay to the hills and mountains of the Dingle Peninsula.
After returning to the saddle, we head down the other side of the ridge to Glenbeigh village for a pub or cafe lunch, before walking through Glenbeigh Fairy Forest (cameras at the ready in case we encounter one of these notoriously shy creatures) and down to Rossbeigh Strand, the famous sandbar in Dingle Bay, where there’ll be time to have an ice-cream, while we wait for our transport back to the hotel.
Check out of your room is by 11.30am. A transfer to Cork Airport is included. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.
Walks & Excursions
Killarney is a magical place in the County of Kerry on the West coast of Ireland. Killarney National Park was established in 1932 to protect one of Ireland’s most precious natural habitats. Beneath the wild, rugged summits of the country’s highest mountains, it encloses a beautiful sylvan landscape of ancient woodland, spectacular waterfalls and quiet lakes. It is a land of some of the most untouched landscapes you could dream of.
A small yet cosmopolitan town, Killarney’s pubs and restaurants are renowned the world over. The town centre is filled with boutiques, craft shops, galleries and traditional pubs all dotted along a streets and unchanged for centuries. Beyond Killarney lies the majestic Wild Atlantic Way where the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula weave their way along Kerry’s dramatic coastline.
Walking is very popular here and we have chosen the best walks in the area to get a true sense of its beauty.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator.
We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by
us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price,
non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or
additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Currency in Ireland
In Ireland, there are two currencies you'll need depending on where you travel.
- The euro is used in the Republic of Ireland.
- In Northern Ireland, pound sterling is the official currency.
Travellers' cheques are no longer widely accepted on the island of Ireland.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Tour Leaders & Local Guides
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Your Travel Details
This holiday can be booked as a flight inclusive package or land only if you wish to arrange your own flights and transfers. Due to flight timings, we can only offer flights from Heathrow Airport to Cork Airport (55 miles from the hotel).
Shannon Airport is the next closest to Killarney (85 miles) should you wish to book your own flights from regional airports.
If you choose to drive to Killarney, the Gleneagle Hotel offers free parking.
All transport, including an excursion driving The Ring of Kerry, is included in the cost of the holiday.
Route planning to and from UK regional airports: the AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find our hotels. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Passports and Visas
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport.
Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents
and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to
ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply
with, such requirements.
General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel
and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.
Passport Information for Ireland
Most airlines and other transport providers won’t carry passengers unless they have seen satisfactory photographic ID. Check with your carrier before travelling. Your passport will always be accepted as satisfactory photographic ID.
Accommodation is on a half board basis at the Gleneagle Hotel. Full Irish breakfasts are served each morning and a three course meal at dinner, taken each night in the hotel's Flesk Restaurant. Lunches can be purchased from the hotel or locally and are not included in the holiday charge.
The Gleneagle Hotel offers all of the ingredients for dining with a difference. Breakfast is served each morning with choice of a fully cooked breakfast, locally sourced produce complemented with flavoursome selection of juices, fruits, cereals, breads and cheeses.
The Flesk Restaurant is perfectly located in the heart of the hotel and this well-known Killarney restaurant offers a combination of tasty menus with a focus on local, seasonal produce. Relax in a welcoming setting and enjoy a choice of classic dishes to modern options.
Footwear & Kit List
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
- Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
- Lightweight quick-drying trousers
- Walking T-shirt/shirts
- Walking socks
- Fleece or jumper
- Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
- Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
- Swimwear (if appropriate)
- Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
- Day sack liner
- Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
- Basic first aid kit
- Walking poles (should you find them useful)
- Sit mat
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is
filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter
such as a Water-to-go bottle available from
Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go
for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website
at www.watertogo.eu and
enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the
discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us
to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
Tel: 01684 593 146
E-mail: [email protected]
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:
Find out more
1.5hrs from UK
Visas and Passports
No Visa Required
Avg. Rain: 106mm
Avg. Rain: 82mm
Avg. Rain: 80mm
Avg. Rain: 62mm
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Avg. Rain: 111mm
Avg. Rain: 103mm
Avg. Rain: 110mm
Staying Healthy On Holiday
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility
to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on,
and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure.
Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
It is a condition of booking with Ramblers Walking Holidays that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
EHIC & GHIC Cards
From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations.
Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence
of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups
not only gives you an up close and personal experience of
your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate
environment. We feel that the most important starting point
to protect the environment is to be out in it.
For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able
to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives.
Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose
aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries
we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long
term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less
developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
See our website for more information and details of some of the
projects we support.
Staying In Touch
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for the future. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature
of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change
to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and
your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your
attention to any significant change.
You may wish to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.
Ramblers Walking Holidays
Our office is open and our Sales & Reservations team are available to speak to you from:
- 09.00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday
Please quote your Booking Reference number and Tour Code whenever contacting us.
We wish you an enjoyable holiday!
Our holiday walking grades
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
Discover more about our walking grades