Hidden Kerry

  • Overview

  • Archaeological Walk

  • A Sacred Mountain

  • Valentia Island Experience

  • Your Guide

 

Discover the hidden treasures that Kerry’s wild and windswept landscape have to offer, from remote valleys and soaring peaks to tranquil lakes and rugged coastal cliffs. Explore some 5,000 years of history, archaeology and culture set amongst some of the most spectacular and inspiring scenery in the Ireland. Experience a magical and memorable time in a truly unforgettable land and, leave, with a sense of the real Kerry, refreshed, relaxed and renewed.

 

Off the beaten track...On the remote mountain passes of Ballaghisheen and Ballaghabeama...along the windswept coastal cliffs at Culloo and Dromgour...by the tranquil shores of Lough Cloon and Derriana...in valleys nestled beneath the McGillycuddy Reeks and in sheltered coves and sandy beaches, that all hide a myriad of secrets.

 

It was with this in mind that Hidden Kerry Tours was established, to introduce and provide the discerning tourist, traveller, trekker and rambler alike, with an intimate appreciation and understanding of the landscape, it's flora, fauna and numerous archaeological and historical monuments.

 

Tours are conducted at a leisurely and relaxed pace, enabling the guest to savour all this wonderful region has to offer. Come and join us for an unforgettable experience. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 Altitude/Distance: 350m/14km

 

 Route: Ballinskelligs-Boolakeel-Kildreelig-Bolus-Canuig-Coom


 Date: All Year - Contact us 


 Duration: 7-8 hours


 Grade: Easy


 Price: €50per person (min 6) Group rates available

 

The Ballinskelligs to Bolus walk offers the visitor the perfect introduction to this beautiful area. Beginning on the golden sands of Ballinskelligs beach, then following the coast to the signalling tower on the summit of Bolus Head and culminating at the wedge tomb in Coom, there is something for everyone on this tour. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, an archaeology or history buff, a photographer or simply a keen rambler with a passion for the outdoors, you will not be disappointed.

What makes it special? Along the way we will visit a number of fascinating archaeological monuments, including the McCarthy Mor Tower House, a 12th century Augustinian abbey, a Bronze Age stone alignment, an early medieval monastic settlement and many other sites of interest. Photographic opportunities abound with some of the most spectacular coastal and island scenery the west of Ireland has to offer.

 

Meeting Point: Ballinskelligs Beach Carpark (10.00am) 

Note: This route is also offered as part of a larger package. Please refer to ‘The Skellig Ring Tour’ which can done as either a three day walking tour or a single day drive/walk combination tour.

 

Inclusions: Guide and information
Exclusions: Lunch, refreshments and transport

 

Gear Required:

Due to the variable nature of the Irish climate, it is not unusual for the weather to change quite suddenly, particularly along the coast or in the mountains. It is therefore advisable to prepare for any possibility and check the weather forecast prior to the commencing the walk.
• Waterproof/ windproof outer layer
• Warm inner and mid-layer
• Suitable footwear, preferably waterproof hiking or mountaineering boots
• Change of socks
• Hat and gloves
• Walking poles (optional)
• Small Rucksack
• Insect repellent (for midges in the summer)
• Packed lunch (once we depart Ballinskelligs, there is no place along the way to purchase refreshments)
• 1-2 litres of water
• Camera (to capture all that fantastic scenery)

 Altitude/Distance: 690/14km 

 

 Route: Cahersiveen-Ballycarbery-Cooscrom-Coonana-Knocknatobar-Cahersiveen 


 Date: All Year - Contact us


 Duration: 7-8 Hours or 8-10 Hours


 Grade: Moderate


 Price: €50per person (min 6) Group rates available

 

Note: Climbing Knocknatobar is optional and requires an earlier departure time


As the name suggests, there is something for everyone on this walk. Discover the rarely visited rugged coastline from Cooscrom to Coonana with it's abundance of birdlife, hidden coves, dramatic sea stacks and an impressive blow-holes. Explore the remains of ancient forts and scale Knocknatobar, along the centuries old pilgrims route. A great geographical and cultural introduction to the area, with stunning scenery from start to finish.

What makes it special? We begin our walk at the Cahersiveen Heritage Centre and continue to the idyllically located Ballycarbery Castle. From here we will visit two fine ringforts, Cahergal and Leacanabuaile, both displaying some exceptionally well preserved features of early medieval domestic settlements. Next port of call is Cooscrom Harbour, where we follow the coast to Coonana, encountering along the way an impressive sea stack and a coastal blow-hole in addition to outstanding views of the Blasket Islands and the Dingle Peninsula. For those taking the Knocknatobar option, we follow the Pilgrims route to the summit where there are unparalleled 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside.


Meeting Point: Cahersiveen Heritage Centre (10.00am)


Inclusions: Guide and Information
Exclusions: Lunch, refreshments and transport

Gear required:

Due to the variable nature of the Irish climate, it is not unusual for the weather to change quite suddenly, particularly along the coast or in the mountains. It is therefore advisable to prepare for any possibility and check the weather forecast prior to the commencing the walk.
• Waterproof/ windproof outer layer
• Warm inner and mid-layer
• Suitable footwear, preferably waterproof hiking or mountaineering boots
• Change of socks
• Hat and gloves
• Walking poles (optional)
• Small Rucksack
• Insect repellent (for midges in the summer)
• Packed Lunch and energy snacks (once we depart Cahersiveen, there is no place along the way to purchase refreshments)
• 2 litres of water (more if one chooses the Knocknatobar Option)
• Camera (to capture all that fantastic scenery)

 Altitude/Distance: 266m/14km 

 

 Route: Portmagee-Bray Head-Culloo-Geokaun-Dohilla-Glanleam-Knightstown


 Date: All Year - Contact us


 Duration: 7-8 hours


 Grade: Easy


 Price: €50per person (min 6) Group rates available

 

A truly beautiful walk that offers the visitor the chance to discover a wide variety of landscapes in a relatively small geographical area. Dramatic coastal cliffs, rolling hills, desolate windswept boglands, and semi-tropical gardens are just some of highlights encountered on Ireland's second largest island.
Along the way we will visit a number of well preserved archaeological sites, experience the island's diverse flora and fauna and see some of the oldest footprints known on the planet. All this set against a backdrop of some of the most awe inspiring scenery the south west of Ireland has to offer.

What makes it special? Crossing from the mainland to Valentia Island, we will first visit the Skellig Experience, a heritage centre providing a detailed cinematic, pictorial and literal account of the archaeology and natural environment on the Skelligs.

From here we will continue to Bray Head, and follow the pathway to the 18th century signal tower, along the way stopping to explore the remains of some booleying huts and the remnants of a prehistoric trackway and field system.

From the signal tower we will continue along the cliffs to the north, with stunning views of the Blasket Islands and Dingle Peninsula, until we reach Culloo and it's wonderful rockscape, where again we explore some prehistoric sites, a holy well dedicated to St Brendan and some enigmatic stone crosses.

Following the coast to Fogher cliffs, we will begin the ascent to Geokaun viewing point, the highest point on the island, which provides unrivalled 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside, with Dingle to the north, the Skelligs to the west, the MacGillycuddy's Reeks to east and the Portmagee channel to the south.

From Geokaun, we decend to the Valentia slate quarries and grotto, then to the Dohilla to view the world renowned tetrapod footprints believed to be in excess of 350 million years old, followed by a short jouney through lush vegatation to Glanleam and its famed tropical gardens and finally Knightsown, the principle village on the island, where one will have the opportunity to browse some of artisan shops and cafes and relax before our return to Portmagee. Other sites of interest may also be included in the itenerary, but are dependant on time and weather constraints.

Meeting Point: Carpark at bridge in Portmagee (10.00am)

Note: This route is also offered as part of a larger package. ‘The Skellig Ring Tour’ can done as either a three day walking tour or a single day drive/walk combination tour. Contact us for more details.

Inclusions: Guide and information
Exclusions: Lunch, refreshments and transport

Gear required:

Due to the variable nature of the Irish climate, it is not unusual for the weather to change quite suddenly, particularly along the coast or in the mountains. It is therefore advisable to prepare for any possibility and check the weather forecast prior to the commencing the walk.
• Waterproof/windproof outer layer
• Warm inner and mid-layer
• Suitable footwear, preferably waterproof hiking or mountaineering boots
• Change of socks
• Hat and gloves
• Walking poles (optional)
• Small Rucksack
• Insect repellent (for midges in the summer)
• Packed Lunch (once we depart Portmagee, there is no place along the way to purchase refreshments)
• 1-2 litres of water
• Camera (to capture all that fantastic scenery)

 

 

 

Dan O Meara

 

 

Dan O’ Meara, an archaeologist, has worked and travelled extensively in Asia, North Africa, South America and Europe.

 

Now settled in Ballinskelligs, but describing himself as the 'consummate wanderer', he has taken to guiding visitors to the lesser seen but equally beautiful attractions his adoptive county has to offer.

 

Outside of travel, his other passions include kayaking, photography, anything prehistoric and a few pints of the black stuff after a good days hiking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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