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Hiking in Ireland

Old Jan 24th, 2014, 03:11 PM
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Hiking in Ireland

My husband and I are going to Ireland in Sept for 13 days. We are athletic 50's and want to do some hiking while we're there. We plan on walking the Gap of Dunloe. We also are looking at the Kerry Way but only want to hike a day or 2 there - not the whole thing. I'm just wondering if there is a certain leg of the Kerry Way that would be a 'must do'. We are good with steep hikes - we just want to find some good views. Thanks for your help!
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Old Jan 24th, 2014, 05:58 PM
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Consider the Kerry Way that takes you toward Portmagee for a possible boat trip to Skellig Michael, one of the great wonders of Ireland.
And if the Dingle Peninsula interests you follow the Saints Road from Ventry Beach to the top of Mount Brandon for a great view.
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Old Jan 24th, 2014, 08:37 PM
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It's not in Kerry, but we loved our 3 hour guided hike in the Burren with Shane Connelly.
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 02:04 AM
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if you want some good walking and a bit of a festival then Clifden and the Connemara might be worth considering if you are there the end of September.. For the Cliffs of Moher the old path has been resurrected from Liscannor to Doolin including the tourist section.
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 03:04 AM
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Thanks for your responses! The Portmagee area looks interesting - I found a website for Reencaheragh Cottage that lists a lot of hikes in that area. Would it take long to get to Portmagee from Killarney? If we stayed in that area that night do you think we would need reservations? We will be in Ireland the 4th of Sept til the 17th.
I plan on doing the guided hike in the Burren - we'll be there on the 4th and 5th (staying in Doolin at Doll's B & B) and will do the Cliffs of Moher walk. I think we'l be there too early for the festivals (or at least I haven't found any that we could go to while we're there).
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 03:38 AM
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There may be some festivals published later, small local festivals tend to move about one weekend to another so they don't clash with things.. (like a big local wedding for instance (true)). Tulla would have been a good option whist in Clare but that has been moved to the 19th this year??
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 03:43 AM
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Try and get a copy of Footlose in the West of Ireland by Mike Harding, a little old now but great for some old walks we used to do, and a few stories/songs thrown in.. On Amazon you can pick up a copy for next to nothing + postage.
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 07:55 AM
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There is a wonderful walk (Kerry Way) around the lake in Waterville. Take a look at the map - many people who "do" the Ring of Kerry don't even realize there IS a huge lake in Waterville! The walk goes along the south side of Lough Currane (partly on a road rarely used) and then around the lake and back into town. It takes around 5 hours with plenty of fabulous views of the lake and the mountains (including the Macgillicudy Reeks). There are side hikes (20 minutes here, 30 minutes there) to smaller lakes off the Kerry Way, as well! There are "standing stones" with ancient carvings; flowers; farms; fishing .... I could go on and on.....

You can stay in Waterville at a choice of places - hotels, B&B's and nice hostels - and then do ANOTHER Kerry Way walk the next day. If you walk south of the village, turn right at the first road over the Weir (the little stream that goes from Lough Currane to the sea) which has signs for "Butter Road" and "Kerry Way." There is a loop walk that took me about 3 hours with a neat ring fort to visit, great views of the rocky coastline, a small beach that is usually empty, and goes high into the hill so you have views all over. I say "3 hours" but the reality is we met a local couple who invited us in for coffee and 2 hours later (and coffee/eggs/cheese/salmon, etc later.....) we were back on the walk. I think it would have taken 3 hours to do that loop without stopping! ;-) (if you do a search on YouTube for sueinaustin you should see a short video I did from the 10th green of the golfcourse there - you'll find it shows you some of the view).

Waterville is a village that buses stop in for 15 minutes during the Ring of Kerry tour and it's a disservice to tourists to spend 15 minutes here. I'd recommend it as a base and see lots of the surrounding Kerry area FROM there. Good food, good pubs, good housing - what more do you need?

And no - I'm not the "official promoter of Kerry!" just the UNofficial promoter!
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 09:34 AM
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Thanks Tony - I'll look for the book and the festival info (as we get closer to Sept).
Sueinaustin - sounds like you had a great time! I'll look into Waterville (we may just have to spend a couple of days there!). Did you drive into Waterville? If so, how long did it take? Thanks for your post!
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