Overview

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Duration:
8 Days

Ireland is a magical place meant to be explored by total immersion, not from the window of a bus. On our Lost in Ireland adventure we’ll take you on the countryside paths and through the cobblestone streets of some of the most beautiful towns on the Emerald Isle. We’ll meet the people, live the culture, walk the spectacular countryside and experience everything about this wonderful land.

We’ll take you to some of the most charming and fascinating areas of Ireland…towns like Dingle, Kenmare, Tralee, and Killarney. You’ll walk along windswept coastlines where impossibly green mountains end in surf-pounded rocky cliffs, complete with wheeling seabirds. You’ll stroll along countryside lanes bordered by rock walls and occasional flocks of sheep…and you’ll wander pastel colored villages with pubs aplenty….picture postcard views everywhere you look! And the charm and warmth of the native Irish is legendary. Our adventure spans the wondrous southwest of Ireland, encompassing counties Clare, Cork and Kerry. Here the Irish heritage is at its peak, with Irish (not English) being the primary language. Get off the beaten path with us, and you’ll marvel at spectacular views that most tourists never see!

To make your Irish hiking experience even more amazing, extend your tour for a day and walk The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher with us!

This tour is led by Steve and Joan Fafoglia, company founders and two of the most experienced Ireland group leaders to be found. They have the same travel bug that infects their entire family. Back in the 90’s, their love of wandering to the far corners, combined with Steve’s ties to his family’s homeland of Italy, led he and his brother Jeff to start a tour operations business aptly named “Lost in Italy”. “Lost in Ireland” soon followed, and today, Steve and Joan have logged over two decades of leading adventurous travelers to their favorite destinations of Italy, Ireland, and Slovenia. In between shepherding his loyal flock around Europe, steve can also be found leading groups beneath the waves as a scuba guide in exotic locales such as Bonaire, Cozumel, Palau, Galapagos, and the Philippines.

“I think it’s amazing to see the difference a trip to a foreign land can make in someone’s life. I never cease to appreciate how lucky I am to be a part of that.”

“Just returned from a wonderful Go Get Lost tour in Ireland escorted by Steve and Joan Fafoglia. Fabulous time, fabulous group-simply fabulous!” -Michael B.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Shannon, Welcome to Ireland!

Most US flights arrive in Shannon Ireland very early in the morning. We can set up a private transfer, but there are also easy bus/taxi connections to your tour starting point, a beautiful 5 star hotel, situated on a private 60 acre estate in the country near the historic Gap of Dunloe. Surrounded by the rolling green hills of County Kerry, you'll have complimentary access to horseback riding on the beautiful grounds of the estate or fishing for salmon and brown trout in the river Laune alongside the hotel. You can even arrange to play a round of golf on a nearby golf course or explore the 12th century ruins of MacThomas castle on the estate!

This evening we'll have an orientation party and then let the estate's chefs prepare a wonderful group "get-acquainted dinner". The Irish are hearty eaters, and here in the southwest you'll find that the rugged countryside reflects the nature of the cuisine! Seafood is a local favorite, with fresh fish from the nearby ocean as well as native salmon appearing regularly. Of course the regional favorite is Irish stew, washed down with mugs of Guinness or Murphy's Irish Stout. For those more inclined to wine, the vintages of all Europe are available as well.

All of the great food, combined with a little jet lag will ensure that you sleep well tonight!

Day 2 - Gap of Dunloe, Killarney and the Lakes

After a hearty traditional Irish breakfast this morning we'll begin our day with an easy morning walk through the picturesque Gap of Dunloe. The path is a gently descending trail through a verdant valley thick with ferns, woodlands and wildflowers. The skyline is dominated by the craggy green peaks of Ireland's tallest mountains, Magillycuddy's Reeks. Lunchtime will find us relaxing alongside one of the beautiful lakes of Killarney National Park as we enjoy our meal. Fully recharged, we'll board boats for an afternoon water tour of the world famous Lakes of Killarney. As stream gives way to lake, and then back to stream, our boatmen guides will wander back and forth across the water pointing out the rich history and important sites of the area. Eventually we'll arrive at Ross Castle, the crumbling lakeside stronghold that was the last conquest of Cromwell in 1652. Here we'll have transport awaiting us to take us to the nearby town of Killarney. Famed for its abundance of pubs, shops, and restaurants, Killarney is the perfect spot to wander, shop, and perhaps dine. Tonight you can choose to stay close to home and dine at the wonderful hotel restaurant, or you can go back to Killarney, only minutes away, to enjoy a pub meal and live Irish music!

Day 3 - Kenmare and the Old Kenmare Road

The mornings light will greet us as we make our way to the picturesque town of Kenmare, full of window boxes, clean sidewalks, shops and pubs aplenty! Our hotel is perfectly situated just a short walk from beautiful downtown Kenmare.

But before we get there, we've a long, fun day ahead of us...after breakfast we'll board our coach for a short drive to the trailhead. This walk takes us along a superb trail that meanders through the unique landscape, from dense forest to grassy valleys, over rocky cliffs and past waterfalls. Along the way, we’ll see the ruins of old houses, an abandoned church along the famous Ring of Kerry, and sheep wandering the land. After our walk, we’ll continue along the Ring of Kerry to the famous Moll’s Gap where we’ll have lunch with an incredible view of Macgillycuddy's Reeks. Then, only a short ride to Kenmare to check into our hotel before we sit down for a typical Irish meal, often times our meal will be accompanied by some excellent local music! Afterwards you'll have fun wandering Kenmare's streets to find a fun pub to settle into for more pub entertainment.

Day 4 - Gougane Barra

After all our adventures yesterday, we'll need to tuck into our early Irish breakfast this morning to re-fortify us for our day of wandering. Today we'll use our private mini-coach to get WAY off the beaten path to meander and explore the back roads and small towns, pausing often to walk the countryside and talk to the locals. Although we're starting in County Kerry, we'll soon be in County Cork...West Cork, to be exact. This area is wonderful for those travelers wishing to slow down and see an un-touristed part of Ireland. Our route will be on tiny sinuous roads that twist along rivers, through valleys, around mountains, and pass through lovely small towns. As the morning wears on we'll have ample opportunities to take photos, tramp around a bit, and admire the beautiful scenery. Our main obstacle will probably be the occasional herd of sheep on the road!

By late morning we'll have worked our way out onto the lonely but picturesque Beara peninsula, a stunning landscape few tourists ever discover. We’ll have a wonderful walk along the coast, with dramatic seaside cliffs and crashing ocean waves, out to the lighthouse which marks the end of land. To the north we’ll have excellent views of the rugged and mountainous Iveragh Peninsula, while to the south the vista of Sheeps Head appears. After a hearty Irish countryside lunch, we’re off on the next leg of our adventure, heading north and east into the Shehy Mountains of West Cork. As our delightfully scenic road climbs through the Pass of Kelmaneigh, it becomes smaller and smaller, finally arriving at a charming little town where our afternoon walk starts. Whereas our morning walk was dramatic coastal scenery, our afternoon walk is completely different, as it winds through a rolling pastoral terrain. Tracts of forest, stone fences, and emerald pastures dotted with farmhouses typify this landscape.

Ultimately we’ll trek into a picturesque little valley in the middle of nowhere, but with a charming inn that boasts one of the finest restaurants in all of County Cork. Best of all, they’ll have a wonderful meal awaiting us! Once again we'll feast on local specialties and regional dishes, and of course there'll be no shortage of Guinness, or perhaps Smithwicks, to top it off.

Day 5 - Dingle and the Lac Adoon Walk

After putting away our hearty Irish breakfast, (you should be getting quite good at this by now) we'll board our coach and settle in for a wonderfully scenic morning drive across the base of the Iveragh Peninsula. . The rugged mountain landscape will soon give way to coastal views, where rocky cliffs meet pounding surf. Finally our road will cut up away from the coast through the Slieve Mish Mountains and onto the northern shore of the Dingle Peninsula. Here we'll begin todays walk, an easy stroll up through the Loch an Duin valley, with the intense emerald green of the landscape contrasting with the gray windswept rocky cliffs. Rounding a bend in the trail you'll suddenly be rewarded with views of one of the most beautiful and secluded Irish mountain lakes you'll have the pleasure to see! At Lake Adoon the sheep and salmon are probably our only companions as we walk around this mountain gem to the myriad waterfalls on the far side. A perfect spot to enjoy our trail lunch and relax in the sun!

This afternoon we'll make our way into Dingle, a charming, brightly colored little town nestled alongside the sea at the foot of the steep slopes. Extraordinary views abound in all directions...undulating hills, bleak gray-green mountains, thick forests and sandy seashores. The town itself is also known for wonderful location, its friendly locals, and its overabundance of pubs...57 by last count! There are charming and unique pubs at every turn...pubs imbedded in shoe shops, pubs within old-fashioned hardware stores, and even a pub sitting directly on a bridge! And of course most of them feature regional dishes and local Irish music, too.

Tonight is free to wander and explore the charm of Dingle town. Of course your guide will ferret out the best Irish music scene to ensure that you’re at the right pub at the right time to enjoy the evening!

Day 6
The Slea Head Drive and Imeall an Domhain - The Edge of the World Walk

This mornings drive will combine the best of Irish coastal scenery with a wonderful walk and even some cultural stops, and best of all we'll have one of our favorite local guides along with us again to help color in the landscape and history. The Slea Head drive is a panoramic route around the far western end of the Dingle peninsula...we'll stop often for the stunning views of green fields topping grey cliffs that plunge into the surging ocean waves. The rolling landscape is dotted with pastel farmhouses, crisscrossed by stone fences and dotted with sheep...LOTS of sheep! You'll get the eerie impression that the views haven't changed for many centuries, and is likely what the Vikings saw when they waded ashore.
Along our route today we'll have a chance to visit the workshop of one of Irelands most talented pottery makers and native son of this area, Louis Mulcahy. Although Louis chooses to live in one of the more remote spots on the planet, his work is much sought after, having done pieces for almost all the Irish presidents, British prime ministers, several US Presidents, and even the pope! This entire area is rich with historical ruins and ancient archaeological wonders, so as time permits we’ll stop at some of the most fascinating and interesting sites to explore and learn how early peoples lived in this harsh landscape.

All of this sightseeing will work up an appetite, so we'll stop for lunch near the town of Ballydavid, where we can enjoy some of the local specialties as we relax. Ballydavid is famous as the spot where St. Brendan the Navigator departed to sail west to America in a small hide-covered boat...in the year 530! After lunch we'll go a bit further down the coast and begin a truly extraordinary walk, The Edge Of The World walk. So named because of the ancient belief that this part of the coast was the edge of the known world. Our walk will follow the rugged coastline and provide constant views both of the windswept sea and the inland mountains. For thousands of years these trails were walked by all of the people who needed to traverse this coastline...you'll tread in the footsteps of monks, farmers, vikings, villagers, and soldiers of all kinds.

By midafternoon we'll meet our coach and begin the short drive back to Dingle town, where we'll meet another of the area's premier artisans, Sean Daley. Sean was once a master engraver for the Waterford Crystal company before taking his skills to this lovely coastal area to craft exquisite pieces of custom crystal in his own workshop. We'll watch Sean at work as he demonstrates how world-class crystal pieces are produced.

Once again the night is free to roam and hang with the local characters!

Day 7 - County Clare, Castles, and Irish Coffee

Today we have a full schedule as we depart from Dingle and make our way northeast and into County Clare. Our first stop will be the bustling town of Tralee, with an excellent pedestrian downtown area, perfect to wander and shop. Next we'll journey a short distance to the south shore of the Shannon river to explore the ruins of a 16th century tower castle, perched on the edge of the marshy shoreline. Just a short distance down the coast we'll find one of the most fascinating museums you'll experience, the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, dedicated to the golden age of transatlantic flight in the 1930's and 40's. Irish Coffee was invented here to warm up the passengers who were waiting for their seaplane to be refueled before starting the long, lonely journey to New York.

By late afternoon we'll arrive at our last night's accommodation, a stylish ivy-clad hotel built in the 18th century right in the center of the winding streets of Ennis. We'll have time to relax and freshen up before dinner, where we have a fun final evening of Irish food and companionship planned.

Our farewell dinner at the end of a trip is always a special event...lots of stories to recount about the adventures we shared, addresses and photos to exchange, and plans for future trips to discuss...and of course lots of excellent food and beverages to help the process along!

Day 8 - Farewell Ireland!

Your Go Get Lost tour ends after breakfast today. Your guide can assist you with arranging a taxi to nearby Shannon airport.

OPTIONAL DAY EXTENSION

The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher

Today will be an amazing day of hiking in two areas of County Clare, both with surreal landscapes but completely different views. The morning will find us walking amidst the bizarre scenery of the Burren, with its karst limestone surface, broken by pavement-like fissures and caves. Strangely enough, there are a variety of plants and animals who have learned to thrive and coexist in this odd environment. After lunch in a local pub we'll turn our attention to the famous Cliffs of Moher. We'll enjoy an afternoon hike along the spectacular precipices, with views lit by the late afternoon sun, illuminating the crags plunging into the wild Irish sea.

Tonight you'll be free to explore Ennis to find the perfect pub and music combination to celebrate your remarkable day in County Clare. Tomorrow you can easily arrange a taxi ride to nearby Shannon airport.

HOTELS

Due to availability at the time of booking, hotels listed may change to similar hotels

Killarney - 5 Star The Dunloe Hotel and Gardens One of the leading 5 star luxury hotels Ireland has to offer, overlooking the famous Gap of Dunloe, set on its own 64 acre estate leading to the ruins of the 12th century castle and River Laune. The Dunloe Hotel & Gardens is one of the finest luxury hotels Ireland has to offer, boasting magnificent 5 star hotel accommodation in Kerry, Ireland, only 5 miles from Killarney town.

Kenmare – 4 Star Brook Lane Hotel A family run 4 star boutique hotel located just a short walk from the pretty town of Kenmare on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Small, quirky, friendly with instinctive hospitality. You’ll enjoy a warm Kerry welcome and an easygoing atmosphere throughout your stay.

Dingle – 3 Star Dingle Benners Hotel With old world charm and elegance the Dingle Benners Hotel is one of the most luxurious Dingle hotels, offering you the best of both worlds - traditional Irish warmth and comfort coupled with the best of modern facilities. Dingle Benners is regarded as one of the best located Kerry hotels, an ideal base for you to tour the magnificent Dingle Peninsula and surrounding areas.

Ennis - 4 Star Old Ground Hotel A beautifully restored 18th century manor house hotel in Ennis town centre, County Clare. This stylish ivy-clad hotel is opposite the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul centrally located on the narrow winding streets of Ennis.

What´s Included

  • 7 Nights, Double Occupancy Accommodations at Listed Hotels or similar
  • Meals as Specified, 7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • Lunch at Brandon Cottage
  • Lunch near Moll's Gap
  • Trail Sack Lunch on Lac Adoon Walk
  • Pub Lunch on the Edge of the World walk
  • Pub Lunch in Kenmare
  • Welcome Dinner at Dunloe Castle Hotel
  • Dinner in Kenmare
  • Dinner at Gougane Barra Inn in Cork
  • Farewell Dinner in Ennis
  • Gap of Dunloe Walk
  • Old Kenmare Road Walk
  • Gougane Barra Walk
  • Lac Adoon Walk
  • Slea Head Drive and Edge of the World Walk
  • Boat Trip Through Killarney National Park
  • Visits to Lots of Unique Villages and Towns; Camp, Ballydavid, Tralee, Glengarriff, etc.
  • Transportation once the tour has begun. The motorcoaches and vans we use are modern and air conditioned.
  • All ferry, coach and taxi transfers as specified in itinerary.
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in itinerary
  • Completely escorted by your Go Get Lost tour leader
  • A lifetime of unforgettable memories
  • Burren and Cliffs of Moher Extension Day

  • One nights accomm in Ennis at a 4 Star hotel
  • Guided walks to the Burren and Cliffs of Moher
  • Pub lunch
  • All transfers for the day

What´s not Included

  • Airfare package
  • Arrival and departure transfers. Tour begins at the Dunloe Castle hotel near Killarney on the afternoon of Day 1, and the tour ends in Ennis at the Old Grounds Hotel after breakfast on the morning of day 8. Your tour leader can assist you with transportation to Shannon airport or onward to other destinations in Ireland.
  • Gratuities for meals, porterage, local guides, coach drivers, etc.
  • Visa fees, if applicable
  • Meals not specified in itinerary
  • Beverages at meals unless specified in itinerary
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Medical Insurance (strongly recommended), call for details
  • Single supplement charge
  • Items of a personal nature; phone calls, laundry, etc.

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