You are invited on a journey that is truly out of this world! The South & West Skellig Michael Experience is the perfect blend of stunning scenery, epic landmarks and thrills galore.
Our journey begins as we leave Dublin and travel South. Visit Clonakilty, awarded the title of best town in Europe in 2017! Enjoy a cycle at the National Park in Kerry with stunning mountain and lake views.
Our tour highlight is UNESCO World Heritage Site, Skellig Michael. You will feel like you are in a “galaxy far, far away“. Take the 599 steps up the 700ft peak and visit one of the oldest and best-preserved monasteries in Europe and see one of the world’s most treasured bird sanctuaries.
Hike the spectacular Cliffs of Moher with the roaring Wild Atlantic at your side. Sail across Galway Bay to the spectacular Aran Islands and visit ancient sites including the prehistoric, clifftop fort Dún Aonghasa. Soak up the atmosphere in Galway – a medieval city that is rich in arts and culture.
Travel through rural Ireland over 6 days of breathtaking views and refreshing activities.
May the Force be With You!
We depart the capital, Dublin and travel to the South of Ireland. Our destination is Clonakilty, County Cork, which was awarded the very prestigious title of best town in Europe in 2017!
As we journey to County Cork, we will stop at the wonderful Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. The Rock of Cashel dates back over 1000 years and there we will get to visit its medieval round tower, chapel, cathedral and castle.
County Cork, also known as the Rebel County, is the largest county on Ireland. As a country that is internationally famous for its love of potatoes, it is interesting to know that are not native to this country. In fact the first potato grown in the emerald isle was planted by Sir Walter Raleigh near his home in Youghal, Cork, around 1588. People from Cork city will always refer to their city as the REAL capital of Ireland, something that you will be reminded of quite often as you take our guided walking tour of the city.
We depart Clonakilty and drive towards the Beara Peninsula which is the only peninsula in Ireland that is located in two counties, County Cork and County Kerry. You will now start to understand the true meaning “off the beaten track”. This is rural Ireland at its most beautiful. Our route will bring you into the through the Healy Pass, a mountain pass sure to take your breath away. We then visit a Neolithic Stone Circle dating back to 3000 B.C., which is still standing strong and connected to the surrounding natural beauty of the landscape.
We then travel along the Ring of Kerry where our landmark highlights will include Moll’s Gap and Torc Waterfall. Our day continues as we drive to Killarney National Park where we will enjoy an adventurous two-hour cycle. There are numerous trail routes to choose from, allowing you to take the trail that suits you best. We then leave Killarney and drive to Portmagee. Star Wars fans will be very familiar with this as this is where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) used the powers of the force to pull a prefect of Guinness. It is the only time that Luke Skywalker has ever turned to the “dark side”.
There are only a very select few places on this planet that can be described as “out of this world” and Skellig Michael is unquestionably one of these. Today we will embark on this hypnotic journey as we visit the twin pinnacled crag Skellig Michael. The name “Skellig” is derived from a Gaelic word for a splinter of stone (sceilig) and the islands are recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
The journey to the islands is less than 12 kilometers but will feel like you have journeyed to a “galaxy far, far away“. The island is naturally rugged, and the 599 steps will lead you up the 700ft climb to its peak. It is home to one of the world’s most treasured bird sanctuaries where you will see all types of wildlife and fauna in its untouched natural habitat. Your imagination will be captivated by one of the oldest and best-preserved monasteries in Europe. The indigenous stone architecture of a past millennium is intact and in a relatively stable condition. This is a sublime sanctuary, a place of peace and power where the presence of the monks can still be felt. Their presence on the island for such a long period has imbued the place with a strong sense of spirituality.
Today we leave County Kerry behind and take the ferry to County Clare, home of the spectacular Cliffs of Moher and the natural beauty of the Burren National Park.
The ferry brings us to County Clare which is home to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher.
From Skellig to the Cliffs, we are spoiled for natural beauty. The cliffs are spectacular and need to be seen in person to be justly appreciated. We will explore the cliffs by foot on a 3-hour hike with the roaring Wild Atlantic providing the perfect backdrop! Your Overland Ireland guide will take you off the beaten track and point some very special locations along the way. There are many secret passages that we will show you that are not on the typical tourist route. Friends at home will definitely start to become very envious as they see your pictures from this stunning landmark.
We will spend the evening in the most welcoming and colorful village of Doolin, the home-town of traditional Irish music.
From Doolin pier, we sail across Galway Bay to the spectacular Aran Islands. Our destination Island is Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands. The Aran Islands are romantically remote and have inspired many poets and playwrights.
We will take our bikes and cycle around the coastline where we will see many ancient sites along the winding paths. Landmarks include the medieval Christian ruins of the Seven Churches and Clochán na Carraige, a stone structure with a beehive roof. We will visit the prehistoric, clifftop fort Dún Aonghasa, which lies 100m over the ocean before making our way back to the mainland.
We journey to Rossaveal in County Galway by ferry back to Rossaveal. From here we will take a short one hour drive to the picturesque market town of Clifden which is nestled between the Twelve Bens mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, at the mouth of Clifden Bay.
Clifden is both vibrant and cosmopolitan and is a town that is on the very edge of Europe. It is also a popular tourist destination and is famous for its history, heritage, activities, and world class hospitality. The town square is the perfect place to sit outside with a coffee or a pint and just watch the world go by. We then leave Clifden and drive towards Leenane where we will visit Ireland’s only fjord, a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs.
No trip to the West of Ireland would be complete without a visit to the City of the Tribes, Galway. Galway is a medieval city that is rich in arts and culture. Its year-round festival calendar is the envy of Europe and in 2020 it will serve as Europe’s Capital of Culture. The city has also seen a culinary renaissance over the last number of years and is now often referred to as the “Gourmet Capital of Ireland“. Join us on our food tour where you will enjoy many wonderful tastes of produce from local food producers. Think artisan producers, cheese makers, craft beers projects, artisan chocolatiers and fishmongers and you will get a flavor what to expect.
Then it will be time to head back to Dublin.
We are one of the only tour companies to include as much as we can into your tour price. So there are no hidden surprises on your tour, and this takes away the hassle about thinking of unexpected charges.
You will notice the list of what’s included is very abundant and covers entrance fees, transport, accommodation, WiFi on board and kayaking to name a few!
Our quest is to bring your price down and your tour experience up… to the max! This is possible with the power of a smaller group tour – the more people the merrier and certainly the more people the cheaper price!
We know everyone’s budget and taste for food are different, so lunch and dinners are not included in your tour price. You have the freedom to choose from fine-dining or simply having some fish and chips. There are so many places along the way to suit all taste buds and all budgets. So you will be spoiled for choice! Vegans and vegetarians can enjoy great menus too from cafés and restaurants that cater for any dietary requirements.