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Kerry Uncorked

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National Geographic Traveler Top 50 Tours

The ultimate, immersive, in-depth Ireland adventure tour, with fantastic scenery, history and culture, awesome activities and unique opportunities to meet local people and experience life here. Eight unforgettable days spent in the south west of Ireland with some of the best food you will ever eat, unforgettable adventures and legendary Irish hospitality.

Come and see Ireland through Irish eyes! This immersive adventure and cultural tour allows you to really get to know south western Ireland and its people. It’s a region of Ireland that typifies the very best that the country has to offer in terms of scenery, adventure, history, living heritage and hospitality. So we wanted you to spend even more time there.

It’s an area we previously covered in 6 days, but we now explore in 8 days. These extra two days and nights make a massive difference and allow the tour to get under the skin of the communities and locations along the route.

You now have more time to enjoy the activities and experiences that are the essence of any Vagabond adventure: The activity, great scenery, history and culture and local people – and also take it one step further and add in some fantastic new experiences and encounters, such as:

  • Become a shepherd for the day and experience firsthand the life of a hill farmer in Ireland
  • Overnight in some unique accommodation such as luxury shoreline ‘Glamping’ and staying in a family owned stately home
  • Kayak in the coves of West Cork and forage among the abundant food naturally available
  • Join in or observe a local sporting team’s training session
  • Enjoy a hands on cooking demonstration of some traditional Irish recipes
  • Spend tw
  • night stays in tw
  • separate vibrant small towns, including Kinsale
  • Meet local artisan food producers and craftsmen and see them at work
  • Play golf with a local person in Dingle

Some typical highlights of the tour are:

Immerse yourself in some hands-on authentic local experiences:
  • Become a shepherd for a day for a fascinating and active look at rural life in Ireland today
  • Meet local artisan craftsmen and see how their skills are very much alive
  • Join or observe a training session at a local sporting club
Enjoy some fantastic activity options
  • Walking and hiking through some of Ireland’s best scenery
  • Horse-riding on the Dingle Peninsula
  • Sea-kayaking and foraging for food in West Cork
  • Cycling in the Killarney National Park
  • Try your hand at surfing an Atlantic Wave
  • Take a boat trip to try spot Dingle’s most Friendly occupant - Fungie the Dolphin in Dingle Bay
  • Learn the ancient art of "Vagaball"!
Revel at some of Europe’s very best scenery, including:
  • Ireland’s highest mountain range The Macgillycuddy Reeks
  • The green fields and stone walls of Dingle
  • Ireland’s wild and rugged Atlantic coastline
  • The Caher Mountains of the Beara Peninsula
  • The hidden inlets and coves of West Cork
  • The green inland scenery of areas such as the Golden Vale in Tipperary
Enjoy some of Ireland’s most popular and worthwhile tourist destinations:
  • Blarney Castle to kiss the magical Blarney Stone
  • Killarney National Park
  • Wonder at some of Ireland’s historical treasures and experience the rich historical past of the region, from Stone Age man to the modern age.
  • Visit The Rock of Cashel
  • Optional trip to the Skellig Islands, one of Ireland’s UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Ancient Neolithic stone circles, Celtic ring forts, castles, monastic sites and built tombs
Take some free time to explore local communities and meet the Irish people in locations such as:
  • The galleries and pubs (about 54 in total!) in Dingle town (pop. about 2500)
  • Ireland’s gourmet capital, Kinsale and its world class restaurants
  • The shops and boutiques of picturesque Kenmare
And at night:
  • Live music and excellent food in some of Ireland’s best pubs and restaurants.
  • Spend two nights in the vibrant seaside town of Dingle in the 5 star guesthouse, Emlagh Lodge and also two nights in Ireland’s gourmet capital, Kinsale at the Blue Haven Hotel
  • One night in Luxury ‘Glamping’ safari style tents over looking the sea at Dromquinnar Manor
  • One night living like a Lord or Lady in Bantry House stately home
  • A night in boutique guesthouse accommodation in the small, local community of Caherciveen on the Ring of Kerry

Sample Itinerary

Please note that this itinerary is a framework for the tour. The overnights are pretty much set in stone and then we base each tour on the items in the list below. Your guide will discuss the options with you throughout the tour and make a plan from there. This gives us flexibility to adapt each tour to suit you and fit in with the weather conditions. This of course means that some things may not be included in your tour, but if there is something that you particularly want to do or see on your tour, mention it to your guide and they will make sure it is included. Please also note that this tour runs in both directions. Both are exactly the same but we do advise checking which Vagabond first, especially if you are meeting up with anyone along the way or have other travel arrangements that we may need to coordinate with.

Day One

We’re off! Today we head south west, all the way from Dublin to the wilds of Kerry. This is a full day and along the way we have some great stops and lots to tell you about Ireland.

  • Meet at Grand Canal Hotel 08.10am or The Westbury Hotel 08.30am in Dublin and head for the south west of Ireland
  • First stop is the ancient stronghold of the Rock of Dun Na Mase – one of the most important, impressive and least known historical sites in Ireland
  • Lunch in the heritage town of Adare, County Limerick.
  • Watersport options in Castlegregory – Surfing, windsurfing, kayak rental or a fantastic walk along the beach (Surfing Lesson: €30 for two hours including tuition and equipment) or
  • Walk and view over Dingle Bay
  • Overnight in Dingle Town – a town of 2000 people and 54 pubs

Day Two

A great day spent enjoying Dingle town and the Peninsula, you can do as much or little as you like on day two as we spend two nights here in the town. At some stage while we are in Dingle we normally take the group out on a tour of the Peninsula, to the most westerly point in Ireland that you can drive to and a selection of the stops we see along the way are below. Plus we can also organise other options for you if you would like something more active, or relaxing.

The Dingle Peninsula Tour out to Slea Head:
  • Head out along the Slea Head Drive past Ventry beach
  • Stop at ancient Beehive Huts – once the dwellings of 5th Century Monks
  • Scenic stop at Europe's most westerly point with views over the Blasket Islands
  • Walk down to Coumeenoule Beach (Film set of Ryan’s Daughter)
  • Photo stop at Smerwick Head – views of back up the Dingle Peninsula and of Mount Brandon
  • Hike up Mount Eagle
    • Duration: 90 mins
    • Terrain: Path, uneven in places. Uphill to start, return same way. Amazing views up the Dingle Peninsula
  • Visit Louis Mulcahy Pottery or a local crystal cutter and see some of Ireland most skilful craftsmen at work.
Optional Activities on day two:
  • Boat trip to see Fungie the Dolphin (Price: €20 per person)
  • Sea kayaking in Dingle Bay (€45 pp for a three hour session)
  • Go horse riding on Ventry Strand (Price: €30 per person)
  • Surf an Atlantic Wave on Inch Strand or in Castlegregory (Price: €35 per person)
  • Go for a walk along the Dingle Way from the centre of Dingle town up into the Hills
Chill Out in Dingle
  • Dingle Town - Explore the picturesque town of Dingle, with its brightly coloured streets , numerous shops, excellent galleries, numerous local craftspeople, restaurants and of course pubs
  • Dingle Brewing Company - visit one of Ireland’s leading craft breweries (Price: €7 including a pint of beer).
  • Golf – Play a round on The Dingle Golf Links (fee’s would apply and there may be a transfer fee one way by taxi if the guide and vehicle are busy with other group members)
  • Galleries and shops – there are several excellent galleries and numerous local artisan crafts
  • Walks from town - Go for a self-guided walk along the dingle way from the centre of town up into the hills or along the coast
  • Overnight in Dingle Town

Day Three

It’s time to say goodbye to Dingle and head for the Ring of Kerry. Today we weave our way around Dingle Bay, exchanging the gently rolling mountains of the Dingle Peninsula for the majesty of McGillycuddy Reeks, the highest mountains, in Ireland as we head out onto the Iveragh peninsula, following the world famous ‘Ring of Kerry’. We join the Ring half way through the day, when all the coaches have gone, so we will have it to ourselves.

  • Walk to waterfalls above Lough Annascaul
  • Lunch in Tom Crean's South Pole Inn
  • Drive along Inch Strand for fun and games or a BBQ
  • Head for Iveragh Peninsula via Killorglin (Goat Fair) and Castlemaine (Wild Colonial Boy)
  • Guiding Cycling Tour of the Killarney National Park (€25)
    • Duration: 2 – 2.5 Hours
    • Terrain: Path and paved road, mainly even but a level of fitness is advised
Non cycling options:
  • Walk with your guide above Torc Waterfall
  • Explore the magnificent ruins of Muckross Abbey
  • Visit Muckross House (entrance fee €7) gardens and grounds (free)
  • Free time in Killarney town
  • Join Ring of Kerry scenic route on the Iveragh Peninsula
  • Off road to the top of a mountain overlooking Dingle Bay
  • Overnight in the fishing village of Caherciveen

Day Four

It’s our second day on the Ring of Kerry, as we follow the route around southern half of the Iveragh Peninsula to Kenmare. Not forgetting the option of a boat trip to the incredible Skellig Islands, which are truly breathtaking - though not for the faint hearted! There are also beaches, walks and stunning views across to the Beara Peninsula to enjoy along the way (Irish mist permitting!)

Possible visit to the breathtaking Skellig Islands – the best place in Ireland (Price E60pp). For those not wishing to visit the Skellig Islands, the options include:

  • Visit the Skellig Chocolate Factory for a free tasting!
  • Walk to Bray Head on Valentia Island (60 minute walk)
  • Visit the Skellig Experience Centre for a taste of life out on the Skellig Islands (entrance fee applies)
  • Explore Valentia Island with your guide
After the Skelligs:
  • Visit one of the many Celtic ring forts found on the Iveragh Peninsula, including: Staigue Fort, Loher Fort or Cahergal Ring fort
  • Detour down to Derrynane Beach for a game of Gaelic Football or Hurling. And tide permitting you can walk across to the ruined church and graveyard on 'Abbey Island'
  • Views down over Killarney, the lakes and the national park
  • Walk part of the ‘Old Kenmare Road’ through the mountains of Kerry
  • Adopt a Sheep – see the running of a real Irish sheep farm (Price €7pp)
  • Leave Ring of Kerry scenic route on the Iveragh Peninsula
  • Glamping! at the luxurious Dromqinna Manor overlooking the sea at Kenmare Bay, Kenmare. (If you really, really don’t want to glamp, then we can organize hotel or guesthouse accommodation in advance, but we think you will love the glamping) More details can be found here: http://www.dromquinnamanor.com/luxurycamping.html

Day Five

A unique day on tour, as we go back in time and give you the opportunity to experience firsthand the life of a hill farmer in Ireland. There is also the option of some free time in the morning in Kenmare.

  • Shopping in picturesque Kenmare
  • Be a shepherd for a day! Head up into the Sheefry Mountains to the hidden valley and lake at Gougane Barra to meet the Lucey Family who farm in the valley. This includes:
    • Sheep dog handling demonstration
    • Tea and scones in the barn with the Lucey’s
    • Hike up onto the hill with the Shepherd to meet the sheep
    • Learn about the other animals on the farm
    • Try your hand at cutting the ‘turf’ – the peat
  • Live like a Lord or Lady and Overnight in the majestic Bantry House (pictured right) – space is limited so at times we will also be using a nearby hotel – but we will inform you of this before you confirm your tour booking.

Day Six

Its west Cork day, heading to a region of hidden coves, lush green landscapes and some of the best food you will find anywhere.

  • Sea kayaking and foraging trip with Ireland’s pioneering sea kayaker – Jim Kennedy
  • Visit to the shore side ruins of Timoleague Abbey
  • Discover the Drombeg stone circle, hidden away in the hills
  • Experience first hand one of the local artisan food producers at work
  • Run wild or have a surfing session on Inchidoney beach
  • Enjoy a luxurious seaweed bath at the Inchidoney Hotel and Spa Overnight in Ireland’s gourmet capital, the small fishing town of Kinsale

Day Seven

We have the whole day to explore historic Kinsale and the surrounding area. There is loads to do and see, or you can chill out and relax around the town.

  • Charles Fort – the massive 17th Century fort overlooking the town
  • The International Museum of Wine
  • Pay a visit to the Ringfinnan Garden of Rememberance in honour of the NYFD firefighters who lost their lives in the 9/11 Attacks
  • Walk the 7km to the James Fort
  • Drive out to Old Head and its famous lighthouse, and golf course; Overnight in Kinsale

Day Eight

Sadly, it’s time to go home. After seeing more of Ireland than most Irish people will ever do, there are still a few ‘must‐ do’s’ on the way home. No visit to Ireland would be complete without a visit to the Rock of Cashel (ask Queen Elizabeth II) and of course the Blarney Stone still needs kissing.

  • Kiss the World Famous Blarney Stone (€12 per person)
  • Pass through Cork, Ireland's second city
  • The Magnificent Rock of Cashel (€4 per person)
  • Pass through the Curragh Racecourse – Braveheart film set
  • Head home via Kildare.
  • Arrive Dublin, 5.30‐ 6pm for tearful farewell hugs and a few pints

Inclusions / Exclusions:

Whats Included:
  • Off the beaten track adventure in Vagabond 4X4 tour vehicle.
  • Services of highly trained professional Vagabond tour guide
  • 8 FULL days on tour
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 Full Irish breakfasts.
  • Most daily activities and visits including: - Shepherd for the Day Experience - Lots of the historical sites
  • All relevant taxes.
  • Guaranteed tour price from the moment you make your deposit
  • Loads of laughs
Whats not Included:
  • Lunches and evening meals
  • Some optional entrance fees and additional activity options, for example:
    • Horse-riding - E30 for an hour
    • Sea-Kayaking - E45 for three hours
    • Visit to working sheep farm – E7
    • Bike touring or mountain biking in Killarney National Park - E25
    • Boat trip to the Skellig Islands - E50
    • Surfing - E30-35 for a two hours lesson, including all equipment hire
    • Blarney Stone and Rock of Cashel – E16

We try and keep any additional costs to a minimum and these activities account for only a small part of the daily activities on tour. Most of the historical sites we visit are free to enter, as of course are the walks and beaches. The additional activities we do offer are ones that have proved to be a big success with customers over the years.