8-Day Guided Walking Tour: Wild Atlantic Way South-West (Ireland South-West)

8 Day Guided Walking Tour The Wild Atlantic Way South West

A Southwestern Wild Atlantic Way Guided Walk

Welcome to Ireland’s world-famous Wild Atlantic Way! This iconic long-distance walking route covers a jaw-dropping 2600 kilometres (1600 miles) from County Donegal in the north to County Cork in the south. This particular Wild Atlantic Way guided walking tour covers the southwestern section from Cobh to the Cliffs of Moher.

Our 8-day walking vacation along part of the Wild Atlantic Way takes you through three spectacular counties along the South-West and West of Ireland: Counties Cork, Kerry, and Clare.

Our SW Wild Atlantic Route

Officially, the Wild Atlantic Way route starts in the town of Kinsale, but we start our guided walking tour a little farther east in the historic town of Cobh, County Cork. Between 1848 and 1950, over 6 million adults and children departed from Cobh Harbour in search of a better life in America. It was also from Cobh that the ill-fated Titanic made its last port of call in April 1912.

From here, our Wild Atlantic Way walking holiday takes us through Kinsale and on to the unspoilt Sheep’s Head Peninsula, where you will enjoy some of the finest scenery in the South-West of Ireland.

Our next adventure takes us onto the town of Glengariff, where we will visit Garnish Island and the Glengarriff Nature Reserve.

As our tour nears its end, we will explore The Dingle Peninsula, officially recognised as the stronghold of Irish language and culture.

The final day of this South-West Wild Atlantic Guided Walking Tour takes us into County Clare and the Burren region. Here we will visit the famous Cliffs of Moher and Poulnabrone dolmen, which dates to the period between 4200 BC and 2900 BC.

For an alternative route, check out our Northwestern Wild Atlantic Way Guided Tour. Or you can explore our other guided walking tours of Ireland for different destination inspiration. If you prefer to walk on your own, our self-guided walking tours of Ireland provide all the guidance, convenience, and logistics for you.

Always feel free to get in touch if you have any questions whatsoever. We are always delighted to discuss the variety of routes and find the best option for you!

Southwestern Wild Atlantic Way Guided Walk

Prices / Dates

Price:  From €1,599 per person sharing

Single Supplement: +€425

Tour Dates 2024:

Saturday, 21st to Saturday, 28th September

Tour Dates 2025:

Saturday, 3rd to Saturday, 11th May

Saturday, 20th to Saturday, 27th September

 Tour Grade: Easy

Accommodation: Family Operated Small Hotels

Included / Excluded

Day 1 - Pickup in Dublin

Our tour starts with a pickup at Dublin Airport at 1 pm. You will be met by our Footfalls tour guide and transported by bus to the town of Cobh in the South of County Cork. It was from Cobh that millions of Irish men and women embarked on their journey to America.

Overnight:

May Tour: Littel Island
September Tour: in Cobh

Day 2 - The History of Cobh

In the morning, we will take a short walk around the village of Cobh before meeting our guide, Michael Martin, for a historical walk along the Titanic Trail. We will hear all about the ill-fated Titanic and the colourful history of Cobh.

In the afternoon, we will take a 6 km walk in Curragh Woods, a short distance west of Cobh. This woodland was originally part of the Smith Barry Estate, which was one of the great estates in East Cork.

Overnight:

May Tour: Littel Island
September Tour: in Cobh

Day 3 - Sheep's Head Peninsula

The Sheep’s Head is a peaceful and unspoilt peninsula that boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland. The first part of the day sees us taking a scenic drive to the very tip of the peninsula, stopping many times en route for photos and for the sheer enjoyment of admiring the stunning views.

You are never far from the Atlantic Ocean in this part of the world and our walk today is on a loop around the end of the peninsula. Get into the holiday mood with a relaxing day of fresh sea air and picture-postcard views over the Atlantic Sea.

In the afternoon, we will drive along the peninsula's northern side and finish our day in Glengarriff.

Overnight in Glengariff

Distance: 6 Km/3.7 miles, Ascent: 210 m/688 ft

Day 4 - Garnish Island & Glengarriff Nature Reserve

In the morning, we will take a short boat ride to Garnish Island, which is world-renowned for its gardens laid out in beautiful walks and its stunning plant life, including many species that are rare in this climate.

The afternoon is spent in the Glengarriff Nature Reserve. We will explore places like Lady Bantry’s Lookout, from where we will have panoramic views over the village of Glengariff, out to Garnish and Whiddy Island, and across Bantry Bay.

We will also walk through an area known as the Big Meadow. The unique feature of this part of the Wild Atlantic Way walk is that it is through an area of old grassland that has not been fertilised or tilled in living memory. The Big Meadow is home to wildflowers, anthills, oak trees, and meandering streams.

Overnight in Glengariff

Distance: 8 km/4.9 miles, Ascent: 195 m/639.

Day 5 - Killarney National Park

Our journey along the Wild Atlantic Way will now take us inland to visit Killarney National Park. En route, we will make a short stop in the colourful town of Kenmare.

Situated in the heart of Kenmare Bay, this picturesque town's unique charm and inherent beauty has earned it the title of Kerry’s first Heritage Town.

Our onward journey takes us into Killarney National Park, where we will do a leisurely walk around Muckross Lake. This is a stunning low-level walk that takes in some wonderful views of the Lakes of Killarney and the MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Range.

Overnight in Tralee 

Distance: 9 km/5.6, Ascent: 220 m/721 ft

Day 6 - The Dingle Peninsula

The Dingle Peninsula, ‘the most beautiful place on earth’ (National Geographic) was voted among the top 100 destinations in the world by Trip Advisor. Our walk takes us to Inch Beach, that was used in the making of Ryan’s Daughter. This is a very relaxing and easy walk. Distance: 8 km. In the afternoon we will visit some of the famous sites that dot the peninsula, including Minard Castle, the Great Blasket Centre, An Riasc (an early Christian centre) and more.  Overnight in Tralee.

Day 7 - The Cliffs of Moher

Our next stop along our Wild Atlantic route is at the famous Cliffs of Moher. One of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions and the highest sea cliffs in Europe, the Cliffs of Moher rise to a height of just over 200 m/600 ft. Here we will enjoy a 2-hour walk to the cliffs, including a trip to the visitor centre and Ó Brian’s Tower.

In the afternoon, we will  do a short walk on the limestone pavements of the mind-boggling Burren landscape. We will stay overnight in The Burren, 

Distance: 7 km/4.3 miles, Ascent: 80 m/262 ft

Day 8 - Depart

After another hearty Irish breakfast, we will depart for Dublin, arriving at Dublin Airport between 1 and 2 pm.

A few words from our customers...

Ireland's landscape calls to me, and I wanted to experience the southwest coast. This tour took us to places where we could walk along the coast and mostly stay away from the places the big tour buses frequent. We stayed in lovely guesthouses, each one different. Chris is an outstanding guide.
Joanna
USA
Holy Mother of God!!! AWESOME!!! Christopher is well seasoned guide, knowledgeable, witty, serves to please! the trip was raw beauty at its best. I highly recommend FOOTFALLS WALKING TOURS to anybody looking for beauty, nature, joy, love the people of Ireland. Thank you, Chris & Theresa,
Denise C.
USA
I just wanted to extend a HUGE thank you for such a wonderful trip! From start to finish the tour was beyond expectations...the sights, the rooms, the food, and the company were superb. We are looking forward to planning another adventure!
Sarah
USA
Hi Christopher & Teresa Thank you so much for the wonderful hike, thoroughly enjoyed the week. I look forward to another hike in the future! Be sure to connect if you plan on visiting Banff or Canmore, would enjoy getting together!
Diane
Canada