Killarney and Kerry Nature Walks and Trails
“Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness ere you build a house in city walls.” (Kahil Gabran, The Prophet)
- Get beyond mainstream tourism and gain an insight into a world apart.
- Explore the ecology, history, folklore, music, geology and magic of the region.
- Enjoy a diverse range of activities including walking, cycling and boating at a medium pace.
- Share a night of home cooking, music and fun.
Killarney – the beauty and the beast!
Ireland’s south-west is exceptionally appealing, being a most diverse and attractive area. It still retains a wonderful range of old paths and country roads, which have not been invaded by mass, organised, activity tourism. These meander through quiet valleys, rugged mountains, boglands and along the wild Atlantic Ocean. In Kerry, emerald fields of forty shades and lush valleys intermingle with mountains blanketed with vast tracts of bog and heath, and dotted with a myriad of lakes. Ancient woodland, jagged coasts, sandy beaches, cliffs, remote rocky islets and stunning panoramas are commonplace. These habitats support sub-tropical flora which flourish in the temperate climate, due to the Gulf Stream that warms the coastline of Kerry. Mammals such as Ireland’s only herd of pure native Red Deer, Otter, Pine Marten and Red Squirrel thrive in the landscape.
One of the jewels in this landscape is Killarney National Park, which lies to the south and west of Killarney town, covering an area of over 10,000 ha. It mostly comprises an expanse of rugged, mountainous country, including the McGillycuddy Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland rising to a height of over 1000m. At the foot of these mountains, nestle the world famous three Lakes of Killarney, which make up almost a quarter of the park area. The lake shores and lower mountain slopes are commonly covered in woodlands. The distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, rivers, woods, varied geology and a moist, relatively mild climate bestows an environment rich in plant and animal life, some of which are quite unusual. Killarney National Park is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Unfortunately, some that visit the area may only experience this beauty from the confines of a car or bus; or do not venture past the tourist centres. For these people, they may never get beyond the standard tourism package. Other tourists may deliberately avoid Killarney because of the large number of tourists and its commercialisation.
Why choose a guided holiday
A little beyond the mainstream tourism is a vast unspoilt natural beauty, where many visitors do not venture AND…. you do not need to climb to the top of the Kerry mountains to access this world! Much of it is within relatively easy walking distance from Killarney town and its immediate environs.
This guided holiday can show you these places in the hands of an Ecologist who can interpret and enhance your experience. It will give you a greater appreciation of the locality, and bring you to places you would likely not visit and view it from a more intimate perspective. You do not need to research, plan and organise what best to do while in the area. We can do this for you in a way that you are unlikely to match. Hopefully we will glimpse the magic all around us!
What does this holiday entail?
Kerry Nature Trails guided walking (or hiking for those from the USA) is ideal for those who wish to enhance their sense of discovery, with the knowledge and assistance of an experienced guide. Our groups are small and friendly with no more than 15 walkers. Couples, singles and friends of all ages are welcome. Most of the trails follow The Kerry Way. This is a low to mid-level walking route, which uses the old droving paths and coach roads of the Iveragh Peninsula to create a journey through spectacular views, history, folklore, native and rare flora and fauna, along a varied underlying geology
This guided holiday is neither specialised nor intensive. The outings, although not necessarily easy, are not intended as a “get fit” exercise, but to be active, healthy and most of all enjoyable. Friendliness and openness to people is the foundation of our holidays. We are, and will remain, a small outfit, so as to preserve the sense of intimacy and enjoyment. The natural world, heritage, inner peace and joy are integral to what we offer. A key aim of our guided holiday is to raise awareness of the beauty around us in nature and ultimately within us all.
As part of the holiday, we offer you to share in a home cooked meal, relaxation, music and fun in our home facing the majestic Gap of Dunloe (glaciated valley) and mystical MacGillycuddy Reeks (Ireland’s highest mountains). We can also direct you to the more intimate social gatherings in the locality, and to other destinations worth visiting.
Proposed trails and prices are detailed under “Activities” section. To get a good flavour of the beauty, geography and variety of the greater Killarney area, a 3 day package comprising the following trails are recommended:
- Muckross Peninsula (Killarney National Park); Gap of Dunloe; Old Kenmare Road.
|However, we will happily adapt the itinerary to suit the client’s own preferences, with your own tailor-made guided tour.