- WALKING TOURS
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- SELF DRIVE
This is a lovely, wild, and unique walking tour, where you will be hiking in the two most northern sections of Ireland. You may need two forms of currency, but both Donegal and Antrim boast unique accents, intense history, strong legend, spectacular landscapes, and a real local’s atmosphere. Both counties are well known for their love of good-cheer with pints of your favourite tipple, traditional music, and storytellers. The walks are part of the Wild Atlantic Way and with added adventures to discover the hidden gems of Ireland.
Day 1 – Dublin to Donegal Town
We meet with a pick-up at 1pm from Dublin Airport and begin with a drive northwest through spectacular countryside. We will stop several times along the way to explore some of the quaint towns and villages.
Our final destination and home for 2 nights will be Donegal Town, protected by the proud O’Donnell Castle. Built in the 1400s by the first Red Hugh and his wife Lady Nuala the castle is an excellent induction into this regions tradition, strong heritage, and abundance of culture.
Day 2 – The Wild Wilderness of Slieve League
Distance: 14km/8.75 miles • Ascent: 425 m/1275ft
Our first walk takes us on a drive further west to the sea cliffs of Slieve League, covered in heather the sight is always colourful, always changing, and always spectacular. Our walk takes us northwest along the eastern side of the mountain; offering views of rolling mountains, patch worked fields, and gentle streams on one side and the sea cliffs with the backdrop of the wild Atlantic Ocean on the other side.
Day 3 – Castle & Lake Walk
Distance: 13km/8.2 miles • Ascent: 90m/295ft
We depart Donegal Town today and drive to the small village of Dunfanaghy, situated right on the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way we stop to visit Glenveagh National Park with its remote and mysterious Glenveagh Castle. Directly situated in the Derryveagh Mountains, Glenveagh will immediately conjure up thoughts of Gothic literature and a sense of freedom in the midst of this true and impressionable remote wilderness.
After visiting the castle and gardens we walk deep into the glen along Loch Gleann. We will pass ruins of settlements abandoned before and during the Great Famine and through native oak woodlands.
Day 4 – McSwyne’s Gun Loop Trail
Distance: 10km/6 miles • Ascent 120m/360ft
Our walk starts outside the beautiful seaside village of Dunfanaghy, located on the shores of Sheephaven Bay, entrance to the spectacular Horn Head Peninsula.
The trail takes us through magnificent sand dunes which are part of a designated Special Area of Conservation due to the rare grasses, wildlife habitats, and seabird colonies in the area. We continue across part of Tramore Beach, a golden sandy beach that stretches over 2k and is very rarely visited by tourists. We then loop around through lush farm land, dotted with ruined dwellings and stone walls, finishing up back in Dunfanaghy.
Day 5 – Giant’s Causeway
Distance: 10km/6 miles • Ascent: 80m/240ft
Today we depart Dunfanaghy for Northern Ireland’s county Antrim and the world famous Giant’s Causeway. The Causeway was declared the emerald isle’s first World Heritage site in 1986. Some of the 40,000 polygonal basalt columns are over 6 ft. tall, neatly standing side-by-side, the formation is over 55 million years old.
Our walk takes us along the beautiful shore to the astonishing Causeway where we will explore the landmark. The area is home to over 200 varieties of plant species and birds such as the Chough and Peregrine Falcon so we will have good company as we walk to our finishing point at the ruins of Dunseverick Castle.
Day 6 – Coves and Cliffs
Distance: 11km/6.5 miles • Ascent 120m/360ft
We start today’s varied walk at Dunseverick Castle working our way along a rocky section of the cliff walk into an area of beautiful quaint coves, some of which have been used during the filming of HBOs Game of Thrones. These coves vary in geology and protect mass of wild flowers. We will pass Ireland’s smallest church, St. Goban’s on the way to walk upon a golden sand beach. Our cliff walk will end at the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The 18m chasm translates to “Rock in the Road” and has traditionally been an area favoured by salmon during migration.
Day 7 – Glenariff Forest Park ‘Queen of the Glens’
Distance: 10km/6 miles • Ascent: 150m/450ft
Our final stop of the tour is in Cushendall to visit Glenariff, queen of the Nine Glens of Antrim.
This is the most spectacular trail in the glens with fantastic views of the Glen, broad-leaf woodlands, the Irish Sea, and the Scottish Mountains across the sea.
On our arrival to the park we will take some time to visit the natural history museum before our exploratory walk around the Glen.
Day 8 – Depart for Home
After another hearty breakfast we will depart Cushendall for Dublin, arriving at Dublin Airport at approximately 1 pm.
8 days / 7 nights (Ref: DAA)
Dates 2020: Saturday July 11, Saturday August 29, Sunday Oct 11
Price 2020: €1122 per person sharing
Single Supplement: €350. This can be avoided entirely if singles are willing to share a room with someone of the same sex. We will try our utmost to match those singles willing to share.
Walking Grade: 2 Boots – Moderate walks of 7-11 miles (11-18 km) per day with gradual ascents of up to 1,300 ft (400m)