Deb first found Ireland Walk Hike Bike in 2014 when she googled Guided Hiking Tours in Ireland and she booked on to our Guided Dingle Peninsula Hike. Having thoroughly enjoyed that trip, she decided to come back for more and in Dec 2017 – Deb contacted us asking:-
I am writing to ask you about a possible trip I would like to make in 2018.
My number one bucket list trip is to do the Wild Atlantic Way.
I would like to see if you can design a trip for me that would involve seeing the WAW and making stops for some hiking/walking each day, with the primary purpose being to experience everything I can & photographing it along the way. I would like to spend about 3 weeks.
I’m not sure if this is something you can do?? I would be open to having several different guides if that would work better for you. I also am open to doing this trip before you get into your really busy time.
So – only 2,500kms long – we wondered if Deb would consider part of it as a Self-Guiding Hiking tour of Ireland or if she wanted it all Guided. The decision – a super Customised Guided Hike along the whole west coast of Ireland with an itinerary that suited Deb, her time frame & one that we were happy would fulfil her dream, take her the full length of the Wild Atlantic Way & have some super hikes & experiences along the way. This is how we did it………..
April 3rd – Linda collected Deb & we drove to the Inishowen Peninsula in Co Donegal for our first overnight. The next day we hiked Inishowen Head & then on to Ireland’s most northerly point – Malin Head – and hiked there.
Continuing around this stunning north-western corner of Ireland – we travelled to Fanad Head, then hiked Horn Head, Glenveagh National Park, Glencolmcille and of course the spectacular Slieve League. These were Deb’s highlights in amongst a few other places along the way.
After a hike at Mullaghmore & Knocknarae, on April 8th – Linda handed over to Rachel who immersed Deb into Sligo & Mayo’s coastline. What an Irish Adventure that turned out to be as Rachel took Deb to Downpatrick Head, the Ceide Fields and on to Achill Island – even giving her the experience of hitch-hiking there….!!!! By the time Deb had reached Keem Beach on Achill Island she had decided that Dingle was possibly no longer her #1 favourite spot in Ireland as she discovered there are other areas just as beautiful if not more so – we had won her heart on the Wild Atlantic Way…!!!
After a trip up Croagh Patrick, Deb got her energy back after a super Food Fest at Kylemore Abbey and then on to Leenane for her overnight. Handing over to Mary on April 13th – she then went on to hike Killary Harbour, visit Derrygimlagh, hike around Dogs Bay & Gurteen near Roundstone before continuing into County Clare.
Once in Co Clare – the Cliffs of Moher, the magnificent Burren & Loop Head were her primary goals. The weather changed, the storms arrived & Deb continued to hike – undeterred by anything…..!!!!
Coming across the Shannon River on the Killimer to Tarbert Ferry, Mary handed over to Linda who then immersed Deb in “The Kingdom” (Kerry of course) and then on to West Cork. The Dingle Peninsula and the super hike around Slea Head to Dunquinn and the Blasket Centre is stunning & Valentia Island with its magnificent views across to the Skellig Islands just took Debs breath away as we left the Kingdom and headed into the beautiful & more untouched Beara Peninsula. Hiking on the Kerry / Cork border near Molly Gallivan’s Farm was a wonderful experience with stunning views over Bantry Bay & Garinish Island. (Let’s not mention the bog here…!!!)
By April 21st we had Deb standing at the end of land on Dursey Island surveying all 5 of the most fantastic & totally different peninsula’s that make up the South West corner of the Wild Atlantic Way. Deb had totally fallen in love with this region of Ireland and then we took her on to Mizen Head to reach Ireland’s most southerly point.
By April 23rd – Deb was finishing off her epic voyage with a quick trip to the Sheeps Head Peninsula before going on to the Old Head of Kinsale and then into Cork City to jump on a train back to Dublin where she will meet her daughter – who lives in Maynooth – happily married to an Irish man (!) and then make her journey home to Colorado on April 28th.
What a fantastic trip & Deb was so delighted to be presented with her Wild Atlantic Way Passport at the start of her trip & have it almost complete by the end of her trip with 15 signature points along the way & almost all of the 188 Discovery Points along the route – Deb has just completed this first hike of the whole route in 3 weeks.
Well done Deb!