Kerry & Cork Discovery Tour

Bantry House in Ireland with sailboat in behind
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Discovery Tours

Discover the scenic beauty of southwest Ireland where green fingers of land point towards the vast and sometimes wild expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. The Emerald Isle’s most stirring landscapes are included on daily guided excursions from our base in the vibrant town of Kenmare. Highlights include a scenic drive through the famous Ring of Kerry, an exploration of the colourful fishing town of Dingle and a visit to historic Killarney, regularly voted the most beautiful town in Ireland. There is also time to enjoy the Sculpture Park in Sneen and the impressive collection of tree ferns at Derreen Gardens plus visit Muckross House – a Victorian Mansion – and Bantry House – a stunning stately home overlooking beautiful Bantry Bay. All this is topped off by a boat trip to Garinish Island to explore its large sub-tropical gardens.

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore the beautiful coastline of the Dingle Peninsula
  • Discover the lakes and waterfalls of Killarney National Park
  • Enjoy the scenic ring of Kerry, with views across the Atlantic Ocean
  • Sail to Garinish Island and explore its unique sub-tropical gardens

What’s included

  • Half-Board en-suite accommodation.
  • The services of an experienced HF Holidays leader.
  • Full day excursions with all essential transport. 
  • ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers.

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

Arrive at the Kenmare Bay Hotel, unpack and settle in.

We explore the delightful Beara Peninsula, stopping en route to marvel at the great collection of tree ferns at Derreen Gardens, the pretty painted town of Eyeries and Allihies with its incredible sea views. In the afternoon we visit the bustling little town of Castletownbere before heading off for the spectacularly beautiful Healy Pass.

A visit to Kerry wouldn’t be complete without this fascinating and scenic drive. We join the Skellig Ring at Portmagee before continuing down this little-travelled route for lovely views of Valentina Island and the Skellig Islands. Later we’ll arrive at Waterville with its dramatic Atlantic seascapes before arriving at Derrynane House, former home of Irish politician and statesman Daniel O'Connell, now an Irish National Monument. Our final stop is at Sneen, with its stunning Sculpture Park and Garden of the Senses.

Today we drive to Killarney for a short stop at this delightful and historic town, followed by a visit Muckross House, the 19th-century Victorian mansion, set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. Muckross stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney's three lakes, famed worldwide for their splendour and beauty.

Each week there is a free day which gives you the opportunity to relax, enjoy the hotel facilities or explore independently. 

Popular options include:

Kenmare: Spend the morning visiting the colourful town of Kenmare. Walk the Heritage Trail and visit the Lace & Design Centre. For the afternoon, relax in the hotel’s swimming pool, sauna and spa facilities.

Seal watching: Join a seafari from the pier at Kenmare to view seals and sea eagles. Times vary according to the tides. Refreshments are served and are included in the price.

Local car hire is available to explore the surrounding area including:

Killarney: Visit this interesting town, located in Killarney National Park. The town boasts many fine churches and art galleries.

Lakes of Killarney: Enjoy a boat trip from Ross Castle across the lakes to Lord Brandon’s Cottage, lunch in the café there and take a short walk to Galway Bridge. Please consult your leaders who can pre-book transport to pick you up at this bridge to take you back to the hotel.

This morning is given over to Bantry House, a stunning stately home set directly beside Bantry Bay. There’s plenty to discover both in the house and gardens. In the afternoon, our adventures take us across the water to Garinish Island (Ilnacullin). Warmed by the waters of the Gulf Stream, this island and its unique gardens enjoys a climate that is almost sub-tropical, making it possible for beautiful ornamental plants from many parts of the world to flourish.

The colourful fishing town of Dingle awaits us today. This ‘capital’ of the Dingle Peninsula (Corca Dhuibhne) is known for its rugged scenery and sandy beaches and has lots to see and do. Later in the day, we’ll enjoy the beautiful views at Clogher Head – we may even spot seals! Time permitting, we stop to view Galarus Oratory, a tiny 1200-year-old church on our way home.

We hope to see you again soon.

Ireland Itinerary Map

Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort - Kerry & Cork

The 3-star Kenmare Bay Hotel sits on the edge of the pretty little town of Kenmare, facing the hills of the Kerry Way. The hotel has a pleasant restaurant, cosy bar with outside seating, and a large indoor swimming pool with sauna and spa pool.


The hotel has 127 bright and spacious en-suite bedrooms, all with:

  • Direct dial telephone
  • Flat screen TV
  • Hairdryer


The hotel has a range of facilities including the Courtyard Bar, which has a cosy atmosphere. The courtyard terrace is a decked area off the bar where you can relax with a drink. 

There is also the Bay Health Club, which includes a spa pool and swimming pool, gymnasium and extensive selection of beauty and holistic treatments available (payable locally).

Food & Drink

Our holidays at Kenmare are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and your evening meal. Three of your evening meals will be taken in local restaurants.


The hotel offers a self-service buffet breakfast each morning with tea, coffee and toast served at the table.

A typical Irish breakfast includes sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, black & white pudding and soda bread. Should you prefer something a little lighter, you can choose from a selection of fresh fruit, croissants, cereal, and fruit juice. 

Lunch (payable locally)

You can buy packed lunches from the hotel (order the night before). Alternatively ingredients for your picnic lunch can be bought from local shops; your leaders will advise you of the options.

Evening meal

Dinner is served in the Bay Restaurant, which focuses on local Kerry produce combined with fine wines and attentive service whilst enjoying views of the Kerry Mountains. For vegetarian option and any other special dietary requirements we recommend that you spend a few minutes discussing these with the hotel staff. 

On three evenings, meals will be taken in specially selected local restaurants.


The hotel has a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits.

Your Evenings

Each evening your leaders will tell you about the next day's activities and answer any questions you may have.

During the evening you may like to join in an optional organised activity, such as a quiz.

Pictured at the Kenmare Bay Wedding on Sunday were from left,
Picture by Don MacMonagle

free pic from kenmare bay hotel

Getting to Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort - Kerry & Cork

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.

All of our Discovery Tours involve active sightseeing and you should therefore be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing.
You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, camera, sun protection, drinks (at least 2 litres) etc during the day. A money belt is always a good idea.

You’ll also need to bring your:

  • Booking confirmation
  • Travel insurance cover note and contact details
  • European Health Insurance Card (if applicable)
  • Completed guest registration form
  • Photocopy of photo page of passport
  • Sunhat, sun cream and sunglasses
  • Medication: If you require any medication, please take adequate supplies for the duration of your holiday. It’s advisable to carry your medication in your hand luggage instead of packing it in your suitcase

Christine Brook

Christine has been an HF Holidays Leader since 2005 and spends much of her time exploring the UK and Europe. She particularly enjoys leading City Breaks in Italy where she shares her enthusiasm of its culture and the arts with guests. Her particular favourite is the unique city of Venice. As she takes guests through its narrow streets and along its busy canals she reveals the city’s fascinating history, its power, its wealth, and the stories of its people.

Alban O’Brien

Alban has spent a lifetime sharing his enthusiasm for literature with people of all ages: pupils in secondary schools, trainee teachers in a Faculty of Education and since 2012, a great many HF guests as well. He describes the three pillars of his life as his family, his football team and Shakespeare.

He also has a passion for travel and history, for mountains and moorland, for lakes and lochs, for landscapes and seascapes – as well as for HF leadership in Britain and Europe. After many years holidaying with HF as a walking guest, he is keen to ensure that those who travel with him enjoy their time together, explore new and interesting places and discover the fascinating stories always to be found there.

“Excellent. An impressive range of knowledge and a real love of the area and its history.”


Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
04 Jul - 11 Jul 2022
7 Discovery Tour £1,589 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
04 Jul - 11 Jul 2022
7 Discovery Tour £1,279 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes

Important Information

  • Single room: From £161 (complete holiday)
  • With flight holidays include: Flights from London Heathrow to Cork included
  • Regional flights from Manchester & Birmingham from £80pp. Other UK connecting flights available on request
  • Our airport taxi service operates at this resort. Taxis from Cork: £140 one way, taxis from Kerry: £75 one way
  • Independent travellers can join our transfer from Cork airport: £25 single.


7 nights
Discovery Tours

Fully Booked

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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