5 Days
Duration

Bike, Hike & Escape to one of Ireland’s most dramatic landscapes

Set on Ireland’s west coast, the Reeks District is the unknown beating heart of the Kingdom of Kerry. This is a full-throttle short break that features the best of Irelands southern region has to offer. We provide you with expert trail guides, accommodation and hosts; you just bring your legs and a sense of adventure. From a hike to the frosted peak of  Carrauntoohil and a fascinating remote cycle that loops Caragh lake to a more sedate SUP floating on a mountain lake in a gold-tier dark sky reserve, this is a calf-stretching trip that will test all levels of fitness and expertise.  Combine all this with encountering friendly faces around every corner and feasting on superb modern Irish cuisine. A perfect blend of energetic pursuits and enchanting sights, this trip is bound to leave you breathless!


Tour Highlights: 

  • Overnight for 4 nights in the remote Reeks District

  • Get the heart pumping on an active adventure tour around The Reeks District

  • Climb to the summit of Carrauntoohill and enjoy the sweeping views of the Kingdom of Kerry

  • Cycle off the main roads and into the heart and soul of the Kerry Highlands with a countryside backroad bike tour of Carragh Lake.

  • SUP in the regions remote lake of Lough Cloon, near the Ballaghisheen Pass,  on the edge of the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve

  • Wrap up your retreat with a special included dinner that makes the most of local produce.


Itinerary:

Welcome to your Irish Mini Adventure in Killorglin, your home for the next few days. Set in a valley carved by glaciers, Killorglin town sits on the shores of the packed salmon & trout waters of the River Laune, which feeds out into the Atlantic Ocean. Begin with a welcome meeting at 11 am, where you’ll meet your host and get an overview of the upcoming itinerary. Afterwards, head to a nearby bike station to get fitted up for your first active adventure – cycling around Caragh Lake (approximately 30 kilometres). Take in striking panoramas of the loop and look out at Lough Acoose and the remote Glencar area, over the beautiful Blackstones bridge to Gortamaloon Cross towards the scenic Caragh Lake. This cycle will provide you with the quietest and most remote roads within Kerry showing up wonderful and breathtaking views at every turn. The road is mostly quiet and you won’t find yourself puffing up long steep hills, but there’s a satisfying downhill stretch on one side. For a fresh snack along the way, on the north side, you’ll find wee Pubs stocked with produce straight from the local waters. This evening, make the most of the warm atmosphere of a homely place to kick off your boots after an active day.
Make sure you fill up with breakfast in the morning as today has a heady hike in store. Pull-on your walking boots and head to the start of a trail where you’ll begin your ascent to the top of Irelands highest mountain. Today for your climb we will provide you with a qualified & highly experienced mountain guide who will share a wealth of information on the history, geology, flora and fauna, along with lots of entertaining & interesting tales from these mountains. Your climb to the top of Carrauntoohil is an impressive pyramid-shaped mountain that soars 1039 metres into the Killarney skyline and sits high upon its throne. Walking to the base of the mountain is a simple stroll of a few kilometres through the beautifully unkempt Hag’s Glen, where mountain goats and hares roam around boulders and the stone underfoot ranges from purple sandstone to red granite with glimpses of quartz. The mountains unveil themselves as you get further into the glen, which levels out to reveal an array of peaks and ridgelines around the 1,000m mark. Carrauntoohil resembles a shard of glass at the end of the valley and the Devil’s Ladder, the most popular ascent route, lays straight ahead in the crack between the two lakes either side of Hag’s Glen. The ladder is effectively a collection of boulders that allow you to scramble up to a plateau beneath the peak of Carrauntoohil. At the top of the ladder, we’re rewarded with panoramic views of Bridia Valley, and another 15 minutes of hiking takes us to the peak, where you can look out upon the Atlantic Coast and back across the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, which layer right out into the horizon. The mythical feel of the mountains is matched by the folklore that surrounds it. To our left lies Caher na Féinne, the third highest mountain in Ireland, with an astonishing, intimidating ridgeline and a name that translates from Irish as “stone fort of the Fianna.”With no obvious danger from goblins, you’ll trek over to Cnoc na Toinne – a peak connected to Carrauntoohil by a ridgeline – before descending back into Hag’s Glen. Celebrate conquering the mountain today with a special included dinner tonight
Enjoy free time this today after breakfast. Relax or soak up the views on a walk around the wee town of Killorglin. Killorglin is situated in the heart of Kerry on the River Laune. This lively town on a hill is best known for one of Ireland’s oldest, longest and unusual festivals, Puck Fair. An ancient festival that celebrates the crowing of a wild goat. The River Laune (leamhain, elm tree), its salmon-rich waters and fertile valley are the origin of the settlement that now is the lively town of Killorglin. Try your hand at fishing and smoke your catch in the fish smokehouse by the river. Killorglin bustles with energy and is the gateway to the south-west of the Kingdom. There are many fine places to eat, great pubs, renowned restaurants and cosy cafes. It is home to the award-winning Killorglin Cheese from Wilma’s Cheese Farm and local honey is made up at Sunhill by the Curran family. Savour all the local produce at Killorglin’s Country Market where artisan home producers have their produce for sale.
The morning is yours by design once again.  After lunch it’s time to head for the Lough. The Lough is a remote lake in the Kerry mountains, sandwiched between the craggy peaks of Knocknacusha and Mullaghanattin. This is an intensely serene experience out on the lake. The water is calm, the moonlight illuminates our paddle strokes and bats flutter past. It’s the ultimate meditative experience and a definite once-in-a-lifetime experience on the dark side of the Cloon. There isn’t a sound in the air except the paddle strokes through the water and as your guides direct you on night out on a lake with only a glow stick, the full moon and some slowly adjusting human eyes to trust for navigation. Kerry’s Dark Sky Reserve is the only one in Ireland and one of only four reserves in the world with a ‘gold tier’ rating. The grading means there’s a seriously low amount of light pollution, and so the stars are as visible here as anywhere. Return to the wee town of Killorglin and enjoy some live Irish music in some of their many traditional pubs.
Your Irish Retreats experience of the Reeks District comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Got a bit more time to spare? Maybe take on some of the other local adventures such as kayaking or horse riding.

TOUR INCLUSIONS:

  • 4 Nights Accommodation in luxury Guesthouse Accommodation
  • Services of a highly-trained and professional Irish Experience tour guide
  • 4 delicious and filling hot Irish breakfasts, tasty picnic lunch  and 1 gourmet dinner
  • Experience traditional Irish music sessions in local cosy pubs
  • Top of the range support vehicle
  • Private transport to/from main train/bus stations to Escape Base
  • Reeks District – Bike around Carrragh Lake
  • Reeks District – Stand Up Paddle Boarding
  • Reeks District – Guided Hike to the summit of  Carrauntoohil

Additional information

Physicality4/5
Start/Return PointKillarney Train & Bus Station
DATES  2021/2022TWIN/DOUBLE ROOMSINGLE ROOM
FEB – MAR€699€759
APR – SEPT€899€989
OCT – DEC€699€759

We’ve chosen high-quality accommodation in a variety of bed and breakfasts, Guesthouses & wilderness lodges.

Classic – Bed & Breakfast ­& House Hotels

Enjoy a warm Irish welcome in charming and locally owned Bed & Breakfast & Hotel accommodation.

Please note:

B&B Single Supplement – is mandatory for solo travellers – Solo travellers must pay extra to have their private room.

B&B –  Twin/Double Room Share – is automatically included when 2 travellers book together

Gather your favourite people to share an Irish adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip – featuring all the legendary Irish Experience hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.

Choose from the selection of dates for your group; All dates are available for 8+ guests. If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or your preferred date is not available, we’ll create a departure just for you. Call or email us to reserve your date.

8 BALLINASARE, BALLYROE, TRALEE, CO.KERRY