Bike, Hike & Escape to one of Irelands 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 which 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!


Start: Reeks District, Republic of Ireland
Finish: Reeks District, Republic of Ireland
Destination: South West Of Ireland
Style: Adventure & Comfort
Theme: Irish Retreats
Group size: Min 4, Max 12
How do I get here: Please click here

Why you’ll love this trip

  • 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.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.
  • This trip includes a cycle around Carragh Lake, approximately 30 kilometres long but moderate bike ride. Ability to cycle, however, is essential.
  • This trip includes a hike to the top of Irelands highest mountain of lofty 1039 metres high, which includes a steep and sometimes rocky climb on what can be an eroded and rough path to the summit.

Itinerary:

Welcome to you Irish Retreat 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 some free time this morning 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. After dinner it’s time to head for Lough Cloon. Cloon Lough is a remote lake in the Kerry mountains, sandwiched between the craggy peaks of Knocknacusha and Mullaghanattin. It’s regularly used for fishing during the day. But at night it’s reserved for SUP. 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.

 

Inclusions:


Meals

3 breakfasts & 1 dinner


   

Transport

Private Bus


   

Accommodation

Comfort style hotel (3 nights)


   

Included activities

 

DATES  2020TWIN/DOUBLE ROOMSINGLE ROOM
€599€659
AUGUST: 9th & 20th€599€659
SEPTEMBER: 6th & 17th€599€659
OCTOBER: 4th & 15th€599€659

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

FAQ’s

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Do you provide arrival and departure transfers or do I need my own car?

Yes, we offer optional arrival and departure transfers, please ask your consultant at time of booking.  If you have your own car or are hiring a car for onwards travel you are also welcome to use it to make your way to the trip starting point. Once you’re in your trip location, transport will be provided to and from activities. However, it may be possible to use your own vehicle at certain times if you feel more comfortable. Your own vehicle also offers the chance to explore more of the local area before or after your retreat if you have time.

All trips & retreats begin at the preferred accommodation with a welcome meeting. See itineraries for times and locations.

Once you’ve arrived,  a local private bus/taxi will be on hand for the duration of the retreat. (included in the price)

If you have difficulty getting to the accommodation – Airport transfers are available upon request.  Also, pickups and transfers will be available from the main Train & Bus stations closest to your accommodation.

For example,

  • pick up available at Killarney & Tralee bus and train stations to your accommodations for all trips & retreats in Kerry Region. Subject to certain times
  • pick up available at Galway bus and train station to your accommodation for all trips & retreats in Connemara Region.  Subject to certain times

Please CLICK HERE for further information about getting here by plane, bus and train

Will my Irish Retreat have a leader?

Yes! Your Irish Retreat comes with a new, specially named expert local host. They’re here to look after you, take care of all the important bits, and give you their unique insights into the region. Travelling with an experienced host means you can just enjoy the moment, rather than worrying about what happens next.

What is the group size?

Our groups are made up of 12 travellers on average. You get all the benefits of travelling in a group – safety, new friends – but small enough to feel like your exploring a destination independently and not stuck in a big crowd.

Is there freedom & flexibility in these itineraries?

Like all Irish Experience itineraries, we’ve made sure our Irish Retreats provide the right balance between the structured and the spontaneous, giving you the flexibility to digest a destination either with your group or on your own. Want to sleep in instead of getting up for morning hike? No worries! You might spend the morning on a guided walk with your host, then partaking in a cooking a delicious local dish with your group before heading off on your own to explore the town. Needless to say, your host will be there every step of the way with suggestions and recommendations.

What if I have dietary requirements?

Most dietary requirements can be catered for, please advise us at the time of booking.

Will my money be going towards the local community?

Our Irish Retreats uses only locally owned accommodation and transport, and local hosts to guide the itinerary. By choosing to visit – and spend – with local and small businesses, we help ensure our money stays in the local economy and benefits the places we visit. Above all, we’re committed to a style of travel that is culturally, environmentally and socially responsible.

What if I don't want to do one of the activities?

Our Irish Retreats offer included and optional activities. If you don’t want to participate in any included activities you are free to do so, however, please note that no refund will be provided for unused services. We will do our best to substitute your unwanted activity for another activity, if available at the time.

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