Day 1: Arrive in Camp
Plan your arrival at Camp. The nearest airport is Kerry Airport from where you can board on public transport (bus/train) to Tralee from where to catch a local bus to Camp (20 min ride). Another option is to take a taxi (approx. 50 Euros/ride) directly to Camp. In the village, you will get your set of documents needed to accomplish your self-guided walking tour. You can take some time exploring the area around and enjoy the long sandy beach of Camp!
Day 2: Camp – Annascaul (17km, 5,30, +300m/-300m)
After breakfast, start your first hike towards Annascaul. The hiking trail will cross mostly moorland and farmland. The Caherconree Mountain (835m) with its megalithic fort nestled close to its top offers impressive views and has always been the main attraction! This fort is also highly steeped into the mythology and folklore of Ireland, being also the highest built one. The trail gradually climbs out of the valley and you will be crossing the saddle between Corrin and Knockbrack peaks. As you descend you will pass through a small fir forest before you reach the outstanding nature reserve of Inch Beach. You can stay for a short break here and continue then to Annascaul. The very best gift will be to reward yourself with a pint in pub opened by Tom Crean in 1920’s. Annascaul is actually the birthplace of the explorer Tom Crean. If he could traverse the world from Ireland to Antarctica what would stop you to explore the incredible beauty of Dingle Way!
Day 3: Annascaul – Dingle (19km; 6hrs; +250m/-250m)
Leaving Annascaul, first, you join the main road that connects the village with Tralee. After a while, you will follow a much quieter road and your peaceful journey will lead you to 16th century Minard Castle. The castle is now in ruins as it was destroyed by Cromwell’s forces in 1650. The small lonely beach in the foot of the remains is so very calm that you would definitely stay for a while and enjoy the serenity and the stunning views towards Iveragh Peninsula. Moving along on a quiet road will take you then to typical Irish boreens to follow through incredible green farmlands. Before crossing another main road, you would be able to see the remains of the Lispol Railway Viaduct. Your walk will end soon in the small cozy town of Dingle - a colorful mixture of local music, seafood and refreshing beverages.
Day 4: Rest day in Dingle
A whole day devoted to this charming city. While resting from hiking, you would be able to continue your independent trip by exploring the treasures of the Dingle Peninsula. You can choose from wandering around the sandy beaches near the city and lush green fields behind them. For sure a main place of interest is the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium - home to penguins, otters, and sharks. If you want to move from the town, another tourist attraction, just 30 min away with a public bus, is waiting for you - Gallarus Oratory. This is a landmark of the Peninsula and it is also the best-preserved and iconic Early Christian Church in Ireland. And to add some dramatic scenery to your exploration day - you may visit Dún Beag - a prehistoric cape fort, perched on jagged cliffs above the roaring waters of the sea. In between your cultural expedition, do not forget to take some breaks with delicious food and a cold beer!
Day 5: Dingle to Dunquin (20km; 6,30hrs; +400m/-400m)
Another long pathway is offering a change of the scenery every now and then. The trekking route from Dingle follows the main road at the first stage but soon it follows small paths in the low-lying farmlands. It then draws a beautiful arc over the golden sands of Ventry harbor. For the first time, your trail will even cross a beach and it is a great opportunity to relieve your tired feet in the clear calm waters of the sea. Continue carefully along as the trail will match for a while with the main road quite popular for scenic driving. The most spectacular part from the trail is coming - great views from every side of the path. For a while, your attention will be attracted not by the sea but from the famous beehive huts that dot the terrain. At the distance, you will see the silhouettes of the Basket Islands. If your schedule permits, you can consider staying one extra night in Dunquin so you can take a ferry to visit The Great Blasket. Just before reaching your final destination Dunquin, you would be able to admire the world-famous pier that is depicted on many post-cards of Ireland. In Dunquin you can visit the Heritage center where is recount the interesting story of the Blasket Islands.
Day 6: Dunquin – Ballydavid (16km; 5,30; +200m/-200m)
After breakfast, get ready for another delightful walk along the coastal paths. The Atlantic ocean will be your true companion throughout the day and will let you feel its waters on deserted sandy beaches. Along the way, you will pass by pottery workshop where you can stop to enjoy a coffee or a cake and even try your skills in the handicraft. Your independent journey will end up at Ballydavid but before reaching your final point, you have to pass by the lonely Ferriters Cove in the warm embrace of the green grass and then the iconic Three Sisters hills. From there you proceed towards Smerwick Harbour and its sandy beaches. It is believed that Smerwick is a word from Norse origin which means butter and it is associated with trading here dated back to Viking times.
Day 7: Ballydavid – Cloghane (19km; 6,30hrs, +700m/-700m)
This stage of your self-guided walking tour is the most challenging one, you will reach also the highest point of the trek. Today’s walk will be an impressive mixture of historical remains and wondrous panoramas. Your trail crosses the shoulder of Mount Brandon and then pass numerous ogham stones - they are a remarkable part of the culture of Ireland and also known as the earliest form of writing in these lands. Descending from the hills may be difficult after some heavy rains, there is a danger of slippery and also you have to mind that the terrain beneath your feet is boggy.
When you accomplish the last challenge of your walk, you can reward yourself in one of the pubs at Brandon bay. Then continue to pursue the path that leads to Cloghane. Enjoy the last evening from your incredible Irish hiking adventure!
Day 8: Departure day.
You can arrange your departure in prior - back to Camp or Tralee. Local taxis charge approximately 40-50 euros.