Relish the artistry of a stone wall. The warmth of a wool sweater. The charm of an afternoon pint. The laughter of strangers. Recognize a beautiful day can be cloudy with a chance of rain. And that vacations don't need to be measured in tan lines. Ireland is unmistakable. In its culture, its landscape, its weather, its charm and its worldwide appreciation. Walk quiet centuries-old footpaths with us to discover your very own inner Irishman.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Two LeadersWe ordinarily staff our trips with three leaders: two leaders out on the trail offering support—allowing everyone to have the experience they want, whether it's an easygoing interpretative walk or a rigorous hike—while the third leader moves the van from trailhead to trail end. This trip is a little different in that our routes are a combination of loop hikes and out-and-back trails that begin and end in the same location. This means that you'll still have the same two leaders providing excellent trail support without the need for a third leader to move the van.
Days 1-2 Ireland's spectacular natural beauty seen during country road rambles and coastal cliff walks Hike along Caragh Lake with views of the striking glacier-carved Glencar Valley From the top of aptly named Windy Gap, gaze at Dingle Bay - and hold on to your hat! Delight in the lost art of storytelling as a local seanachie spins enchanting tales.
Day 3 Explore historic Killarney's craft shops, elegant boutiques and lively pubs Our longtime friend and local guide, Michael Murphy, shares secrets of Muckross Estate, its ruined abbey and Torc Waterfall as we explore the estate's rich garden and grounds Stroll to 15th-century Ross Castle on the shore of Lower Lake and tour its restored tower.
Day 4 Hike in wild Killarney National Park, with windswept mountains, deep lakes and gorges, alongside Michael Murphy Climb Torc Mountain for 360-degree views before arriving in charming Kenmare, where rows of houses sport cheerfully painted façades and ornate plasterwork Up for some indulgence? The hotel spa delivers!
Days 5-6 Private whiskey tasting with aficionado John Moriarty On the rugged Beara Peninsula, trek over Mount Knockagarrane, taking in awe-inspiring views of the pristine lakes and sculpted mountains of Glen Inchiquin Valley Raise your glass and wish your neighbor sláinte! Peaceful paths lead past old-growth trees, exotic plants and saltwater marshes to one of County Kerry's largest stone circles, a Druid site dating from 2000 BC.
- Ireland's spectacular natural beauty seen during country road rambles and coastal cliff walks
- Explore Killarney's craft shops, elegant boutiques and lively pubs
- Private whiskey tasting and an evening with a well-known Irish storyteller
- Hike in wild Killarney National Park, with windswept mountains, deep lakes and gorges
- Go behind the scenes with seasoned local guide Mike Murphy, who has joined us on our Ireland walks since the early '90s
Carrig Country House (2 nights): Enjoy the gracious hospitality of Mary and Frank Slattery at this restored Victorian gem—originally a hunting lodge—beautifully set on the world-renowned Ring of Kerry.
Killarney Park Hotel (1 night): A handsome family-owned hotel, promising and delivering "warmth beyond the smile," in the heart of Killarney. (pool, spa)
Park Hotel Kenmare (2 nights): It's just a short walk to the pubs and shops from this regal Victorian estate, nestled amid magnificent parkland on Kenmare Bay. A Relais & Châteaux member. (pool, spa, tennis, golf)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
* Includes a shuttle
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 8/23-28 Price: $4198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $610 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/30-9/4 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $610 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/6-11 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $610 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/13-18 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $610 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/20-25 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $610 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2016 Dates & Pricing*
- 5/29-6/3 Price: $4198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $510 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/18-23 Price: $3898 pp dbl. occ., (+ $510 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/10-15 Price: $3898 pp dbl. occ., (+ $510 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/24-29 Price: $3898 pp dbl. occ., (+ $510 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/21-26 Price: $3898 pp dbl. occ., (+ $510 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/4-9 Price: $3898 pp dbl. occ., (+ $510 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/11-16 Price: $3898 pp dbl. occ., (+ $510 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/18-23 Price: $3898 pp dbl. occ., (+ $510 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|2 - 3 guests from $6,898 pp dbl. occ.||8 - 9 guests from $4,998 pp dbl. occ.|
|4 - 5 guests from $5,898 pp dbl. occ.||10 - 11 guests from $4,298 pp dbl. occ.|
|6 - 7 guests from $5,298 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $3,998 pp dbl. occ.|
|2 - 3 guests from $6,598 pp dbl. occ.||8 - 9 guests from $4,798 pp dbl. occ.|
|4 - 5 guests from $5,598 pp dbl. occ.||10 - 11 guests from $4,198 pp dbl. occ.|
|6 - 7 guests from $5,098 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $3,898 pp dbl. occ.|
All Private Singles-Solos trips require a minimum of 16 guests.
Guest Trip Reviews
Backroads never fails to provide a unique travel experience, one I can brag about to all my friends. It is difficult to put a price on all that is learned and experienced on a Backroads trip, and it is hard to convey to others not on the trip all the feelings we gather on such a trip. They will just have to come along next time and see for themselves.- Stillwater, MN
Our vacation was much more than we expected. Everything - leaders, hotels, food, itinerary, pubs - was just perfect. Our local guide was superb - his stories and information made his days with us memorable. Pub lunch was great; the beer tasting confirmed that I do enjoy Guinness. And the pub visit after dinner one evening just put a great finish to our first Ireland visit. When John (a local) broke out in song, the whole pub went silent as we were just taken with the voice and story of the song. Perfect. And the picnic lunch in the pasture beneath the waterfalls fit in with the rest of the detailed perfections of the week.- Dallas, TX
I loved our Irish experience! Everything about the trip was first-rate. I particularly appreciated the local guides, who were really tops, sharing insights and good fun with all of us. Our leaders simply were outstanding in every way. Their professionalism in organizing our daily schedules, interacting with us, and handling problems big and small far exceeded my expectations. Congratulations to all of you!- Scottsdale, AZ
The variety of the hotels, not to mention the scenery and terrain of each of the hikes, made for a well-rounded and really wonderful vacation. Balance between activity and downtime was just perfect for me. The high quality of the trip, not surprisingly, was due to our leaders. They were fantastic, and complemented each other perfectly - they were just very, very good at their jobs. When I went on my first Backroads trip last year, I was really dubious of the group thing. But the structure of the trip and the fact that the leaders really do go out of their way to ensure each guest gets what they need makes the price of the trip worth every penny.- New York, NY
We took other trips and quite a few other walking trips with different companies and have never had anything but a marvelous experience. The trip to Ireland, however, far outdid any trip we've taken! This trip to Ireland was truly the very best! I am sure that most of it was due to the outstanding leaders and of course, the gorgeous country and just the right mix of people. Our accommodations were superb. We have had all of that on other trips but there was something magical about this trip and we THANK YOU for all that you put into it.- Pittsburgh, PA
I loved the entire experience, and it was more than we hoped for. We got a real feel for the land, the people, the culture and history.- Alexandria, VA
Once again, another great Backroads trip. The accommodations, food, experiences were the best. Even better were the leaders, who made it all come together, and who made a group of strangers into friends.- Stillwater, MN