University College Dublin, Stillorgan Rd, Belfield, Dublin 4

Kerry including The Ring of Kerry, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Scelig Mhichíl (Skellig Michael) and the Environs of Valentia Island

Duration and Dates: Three days, two nights (18th – 20th August 2018)


August 18th: Departure from Dublin to Killarney

Depart Dublin after breakfast and transfer by bus to the bustling town of Killarney in the South West of Ireland.  En-route we will stop off at the Heritage town of Adare for coffee.

Lunch in Killarney before you spend the afternoon discovering the Killarney Valley.

There is nothing quite like the Killarney Valley. In the Victorian age, it rivalled The Lake District in the imagination of the privileged classes, but always regarded as being more rugged and wild.

We hope to share time with you here, sitting beneath a giant oak or 4000-year old megalith, wandering through the deepest glens, ambling along lakeshores beneath towering peaks and connecting with rich human history of the region that dates form the earliest bronze ages through the early-Christian era to the present.

Dinner at the hotel, Aghadoe Heights overlooking the Lakes of Killarney.

August 19th The riches of the Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry); The UNESCO World Heritage site of Scelig Mhichíl (Skelligs) and the environs of Valentia Island

This morning we embark on a spectacular day trip to the UNESCO Skelligs.  

This morning will be spent on a rock-island described by GB Shaw thus;

“I tell you the thing does not belong to any world that you and I have lived and worked in: it is part of our dream world.”

Our exploration here will be of the extraordinary natural, cultural and spiritual history of these islands, ranging from the glimpse into the rich sea-life of the surrounding ocean, the island bird-colonies of international significance and of course, the mind-blowing early-Christian heritage.

In the afternoon, we will walk on Valentia Island in the footstep of Robert Lloyd Praeger and particularly those of the late great scholar Frank Mitchell. The wild Emlagh Basin of blanket bog at the west end of the island was the focus of Mitchell’s pioneering work on pre-bog archaeology and paleo-botany.   Picnic lunch either on the Island or Valentia Island.

Dinner tonight will be at Kate Kearneys Cottage at the Gap of Dunloe where you can enjoy a night of traditional music, song and dance.

August 20th The Killarney National Park and Departure Day

After Breakfast you will spend the morning in the company of a very well-known Horticulturist/Botanist in the beautiful Killarney National Park which is home to the most extensive area of natural oak woodland still remaining in Europe as well as characteristic plants, such as the Arbutus (or Killarney Strawberry Tree). On the mountain slopes roam the only herd of red deer which have been here since the end of the last Ice Age. The Park is of high ecological value because of the quality, diversity and extensiveness of the many habitats and the wide variety of species that they accommodate, some of which are rare.

Killarney National Park was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Lunch at a local traditional Bar/restaurant

Return Bus transfer back to Dublin.


Per Couple: €1,825 (€912.50 per person sharing room)
Single Person: €1,065

Price Includes:

  • Return bus transfers to/from Dublin/Killarney and all transfers in Kerry
  • 2 night’s accommodation based at the 5-star Aghadoe Heights Hotel
  • Full Irish breakfast each morning
  • 3 lunches, one being a packed lunch for Skelligs trip
  • 1 Evening Meal (4 course) at Aghadoe Heights and 1 Traditional Irish Night at Kate Kearneys Cottage including evening meal.
  • Day trip to the UNESCO site Skelligs (weather permitting)
  • Guided afternoon walk in Valentia Island
  • Guided afternoon through the Killarney Valley
  • Guided morning with Horticulturist in Killarney National Park
  • Services of Hidden Ireland Guides throughout

Please note that all tours to Skellig Michael (Scelig Mhichíl) are dependent on both the sea conditions and weather conditions. If we need to cancel, you will be given a full refund for this aspect of the tour. We recommend guests wear warm comfortable clothing and good walking shoes for climbing the steps to the monastery as there are over 600 steps to be climbed.  You may also need to bring rain wear or sunscreen as the weather is changeable. A picnic lunch will be provided. Minimum number of 12 are required for this tour.

Guide Biography

Cormac Foley, Horticulturist with OPW (Retired) B.Agr.Sc.(Hort) –UCD,; M.Agr.Sc. in Agricultural Botany, UCD, 1975. Parks Supt. Killarney Nat. Park, with OPW, with special responsibility for Gardens, Designed Landscapes, Arboriculture & Woodlands. This work embraced Park management issues viz.Rhododendron ponticum control in Oakwoods, Conifer removal, replanting of native Tree Species, Arboretum development during 1970`s– 1990`s.Thereafter, employed as Regional Manager S.W. for Historic Parks & Gardens (OPW) for State owned Parks & collections in Southwest Ireland, including Derrynane & Killarney in Kerry, Fota Arboretum & Garinish Island, Glengarriff, in Co. Cork.