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Tommy's Grand Tour of South West Ireland

Taking you along the narrow winding roads to the interesting places the big coach companies can't

6 day tour

September 9th to 14th 2013 ~ September 18th to 13th 2014
Day 1: We start in Killarney and head to Castlemaine, famous for the song The Wild Colonial Boy. Then make our way up to the wild and exciting north coast of Dingle, crossing the famous Connor Pass with its cliff face hugging road. We stop at the top for pictures of Mount Brandon and the surrounding area before going to Dingle town
The Blaskets Inch Ballydavid
The Blaskets as seen from Dunquinn Inch Strand The old signal tower at Ballydavid
Afterwards we do the Slea Head tour viewing beehive huts on the way, and seeing some of the places made famous by movies such as 'Ryan's Daughter' starring Sarah Miles and Robert Mitchum. We will visit Dunquinn and visit the Blasket Island Centre and spend the night nearby.

Day 2: We will go out to the Blaskets by ferry from Dunquinn. (Weather permitting) Afterwards we head for Dingle for a bite to eat and then head for Killorglin, stopping on the way at Inch Strand one of the most spectacular beaches in Ireland. On the north coast of the Iveragh Peninsula we stop at the Farm Museum to see how farming methods have changed over the years. Then we go to our B&B in Cahirciveen

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael
Little Skellig Beehive Monastic Settlement Rock Sculpture

Day 3: We go to Skellig Michael to view the monastic settlement. This is a boat trip to one of the most exciting off shore islands in Ireland.

We return to the mainland about 4pm and drive to the slate quarry on Valentia Island.

Slate Quarry Cromwell Point Bray Head
The Valentia Island Slate Quarry View of Cromwell Point from the slate quarry Bray Head signal tower on Valentia Island

Whilst at the slate quarry we get a fabulous view looking down to Cromwell Point lighthouse, see above, then we go to Caherciveen for supper and return to our B&B for the night. If you are interested in seeing the lighthouse up close, it is no trouble for us to go there.

Day 4: We leave for Waterville, and a drive round Ballinskelligs Bay to Derrynane.
Derrynane Ballinskelligs Skelligs
Aerial view of Derrynane with the Scarriff in the distance Aerial view of Ballinskelligs Bay with Scarriff and Dinish Island The Skelligs as seen from the mainland
From there we make our way to Staigue Fort near Sneem on the Ring of Kerry. Thought to have been built 300 to 400 AD it is a masterpiece of stonework. Then we goto Molls Gap to view the Kerry Mountains before going to Kenmare for fish 'n chips. Afterwards we cross over the Kenmare bridge and head west along the Beara Peninsula to visit Gleninchaquin waterfall seen below with Uragh stone circle. Then we make our way through Lauragh passing Knockatee to Eyeries for the next couple of nights
Kenmare Bridge Uragh Stone Circle Knockatee
Kenmare Bridge Uragh Stone Circle Knockatee
Day 5 we head west along the road to Dursey, crossing over by cable car. Afterwards we go to Allihies to visit the Copper Mine's Museum, and then take the meandering coastal road to Eyeries for our second night.
Eyeries Glenbeg The Hag of Beara
Eyeries, most colourful village in Ireland Glenbeg near Ardgroom The Hag of Beara, she lived 7 life times before turning to stone waiting for her ships to come in
Dursey Cable car Allihies Glanmore
The cable car to Dursey Island Allihies with the Mines Museum Glanmore Lake from the top of the Healy Pass

Day 6 we explore the other half of the Beara Peninsula, crossing over the Healy Pass high above Glanmore Lake, then we go to Glengarriff before returning you to Killarney via the spectacular Caha Pass which cuts through the mountains via several tunnels.

On the way we will stop to visit Bonane Heritage Park where there are numerous ancient remains, standing stones, circles and famine cottage

Tunnel Road nr Glengarriff Bullaun Stone
One of the tunnels on the Caha Pass Near Glengarriff Bullaun Stone



The cost of the tour includes all boat trip to Skelligs, ferry crossing from Valentia to Cahirciveen, places to stay including breakfast, minibus, driver and your guide John Eagle who took all the above pictures. If you would like to click here to email
  Total cost is €1295 per person  
Deposit to reserve your place 2013 €200
Deposit to reserve your place 2014 €200
John Eagle is the author of two books on lighthouses, one of them with the Collins Press. He has also self produced a series of postcards of lighthouses, and local scenes. A well known photographer he lives on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork