Ireland Family Adventure

Trip Length 8 Days
Group Size 4-16
Difficulty
Starting from
$4,399 for REI Members
$4,899 for non-members
Departures Jun 2020-Aug 2020
Mon���Fri 7am���5pm PT

Kids and adults alike will have a whale of a time on this countryside adventure full of charming landscapes and people.

The Emerald Isle is a family-loving land rich in adventure and merriment. From the shores of Kenmare Bay to Killarney, Dingle and Doolin, our family journey explores the beauty and magic of Ireland in an easy-going fashion.

Hop on a ferry to view the dramatic Cliffs of Moher from the sea. Reaching Inis O���rr of the Aran Islands, we meet up with a local chef to bake traditional Irish bread or other Irish specialties. Kid-friendly guides teach a bushcraft lesson in survival, take us fishing on a traditional wooden boat and help us learn about Leave No Trace principles. We explore the Ring of Kerry coast and forage for edible seaweed. Our hikes take us through green valleys, lush forests full of myth and legend, and the karst, lunar landscape of the Burren.

And no island trip is complete without a kayak excursion?this one along the rugged Wild Atlantic Way coastline where underwater landscapes through crystal-clear waters lure you in to observe grey seals. And lest we forget the working sheep farm where we?ll witness the intelligence of sheepdogs as they round up sheep under the guidance of a shepherd. At the trip?s end, we return home knowing why the Irish are always smiling!

REI Flash 18 Pack

Kids get an REI day pack ? Kids traveling on our Family Adventures will receive an REI day pack for their adventure! Kids age 8-17 will receive the REI Flash 18 Pack (while quantities last, colors may vary). Learn more about REI Family Adventures.

Not traveling with kids under age 18? Check out our other Ireland trips.

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Trip Highlights

  • Stay in the music-filled town of Dingle with the best ice cream in Ireland
  • Irish cooking lesson on the Aran Islands and kayak along the Burren?s shores
  • Bushcraft lesson in wilderness survival in the woods of Kenmare
  • Sail the world famous Lakes of Killarney in an open wooden boat
  • Hike in search of tiny fairy houses in the magical woodlands of Kerry

Activities

This kid-friendly Family Adventure trip is rated Easy Active [2]. Trip members should arrive in good physical condition. A typical day will consist of 2-5 hours of activity be it touring, hiking, cycling, kayaking, or other activities. Terrain is often uneven with some rocky and steep sections. No experience is needed for the kayaking portion of this trip ? this paddle is appropriate for novices. You should expect to be in a sea kayak for between two to three hours on Day 6. There are several boat and ferry rides, therefore we recommend bringing your preferred remedies if you are prone to motion sickness.?

  • Hiking
  • Kayaking

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations as noted above; meals as noted in the itinerary; transfers as noted on the itinerary; entrance fees as featured in the itinerary; support van; professional guide services.

Accommodations

Hotels, 7 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Hike in the woodlands of Kerry in search of fairy houses.

Our trip begins in Shannon, Ireland with a 1:00pm pick up at Shannon Airport. Meet your guide and fellow travelers, then transfer to picturesque Kenmare Bay on the Wild Atlantic Way. We stretch our legs with a walk along the Kerry Way in the woodlands of Kerry, an ancient forest rumored to be inhabited by mystical creatures. Our guides will reveal how you can open your eyes to the magical kingdom in order to see tiny fairy houses. An introduction to Leave No Trace principles will frame our week ahead, so we can all earn a Leave No Trace certificate. Overnight the next three nights in Kenmare. Dinner included.

Hiking: 1-2 miles.

Day 2

Take a wilderness survival lesson and fish in Kenmare Bay.

From the small town of Kenmare, we travel to Parknasilla?s vast, historic estate for a bushcraft lesson in wilderness survival. A ?mini-beast hunt?, fire starting, and foraging for edibles are all part of the fun. Next, we board a boat to try our hand at fishing in Kenmare Bay; we hope to catch tonight?s dinner! Those with wobbly sea legs can opt to cycle through the estate, following tiny backroads into the village of Sneem. We gather at a local family-friendly pub to enjoy dinner. All meals included.

Walking: 1-2 miles; Fishing: 3 hours; or Cycling: 3-6 miles.

Day 3

Forage for seaweed, sample chocolate and explore the Ring of Kerry.

Today we explore the spectacular Ring of Kerry coast. We begin in Caherdaniel, a tiny village in County Kerry situated on the Iveragh Peninsula. We stroll along a beach to meet a local seaweed expert to learn about edible seaweeds, and to partake in a variety of foraged snacks during our lunch break. This afternoon a marine biologist guides us around the Sea Synergy Marine Awareness and Activity Centre. Get up close with marine life in touch pools, and view whale and dolphin skulls. Our next stop is a local chocolate factory to see a chocolate wheel machine in action; we also taste the best hot chocolate in Ireland! Dinner is on your own tonight and your guide will provide suggestions for local specialties. Breakfast and lunch included.

Walking: 2 miles.

Day 4

Boat across the Lakes of Killarney and hike Killarney National Park.

A circular journey through Killarney National Park begins with a hike through the Gap of Dunloe, a spectacular narrow valley that cuts through Ireland?s highest mountain range. Our route takes us through a gap in the mountains just east of Carrauntoohil, Ireland?s highest mountain. The trail continues along one of the many rivers that flows into Lough Leane. At the conclusion of our walk, we meet up with a local boatman (and perhaps his dog!) for a ride across the Lakes of Killarney to Ross Castle. The castle was built by the Ross clan in the 15th century and was the last to surrender to Cromwell?s Roundheads during the Irish Confederate Wars. We spend the next two evenings in the colorful, music-filled village of Dingle. All meals included.

Hiking: 6 miles; boat ride: 1.5 hours.

Day 5

See sheepdogs in action and hike along Dingle?s coastal cliffs.

This morning is free time to take in Dingle town?s vibrant atmosphere. Explore the craft shops, art galleries or try the famous ice cream. We gather in the afternoon and head to a working sheep farm to watch a local sheep-farmer skillfully working his sheepdogs in gathering and controlling sheep movement. During lambing season, we may have the opportunity to bottle feed some lambs. Next, we hike a cliff path that hugs the Atlantic coastline to take in the views of the sea. If you opt out of hiking, you may wish to try a seaweed bath (own expense) or head to the beach to build sand castles. Breakfast and dinner included.

Hiking: 3 miles.

Day 6

Ferry across the Shannon River then kayak on Galway Bay.

A ferry ride takes us north along the Wild Atlantic Way across the Shannon Estuary to Co Clare, an area renowned for its lunar-like gray limestone landscape called ?the Burren?. We transfer to Doolin, our base for the next two days, and check into our hotel. This afternoon we take to the sea. After a demonstration on kayaking techniques and safety procedures, we begin paddling on Galway Bay past tidal islands and castle ruins. The sheltered bay offers a rocky shoreline where groups of seals like to rest, and sandy coves that invite exploration. The next two nights are spent in Doolin. Breakfast and lunch included.

Kayaking: 2-3 hours; Ferry: 30 minutes.

Day 7

Visit the Aran Islands to view the majestic Cliffs of Moher.

Inis O���rr, the smallest of the rocky Aran Islands, is encircled by colorful fishing boats bobbing on turquoise waters. From the ferry dock, we walk to a local chef?s home to learn the art of baking Irish bread. Everyone gets to roll up their sleeves and work the dough, and then feast on bread fresh from the oven. Returning to the mainland by ferry, we take in the views of the towering Cliffs of Moher stretching 700 feet above the Atlantic coast. Tonight, we enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner in Doolin and are presented with our Leave No Trace certificates. All meals included.

Ferry: 30 minutes each way.

Day 8

Depart for home.

Following breakfast, we provide a transfer (about 1 hour) to the Shannon Airport. We plan to arrive at the airport by 9:30am; departing flights can be scheduled after 11:30am. Breakfast included.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary?this will help you and the field staff.

What to pack

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Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Valid Passport

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.