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hiking2The silence in the valley was broken only by the sound of feet hitting uneven paths. Our group of six slowly trekked through Killarney National Park in County Kerry on the southwest coast of Ireland, towards the country’s highest peak, Carrantuohill. The mountain, covered by clouds, loomed into view as we walked through the basin below. The quiet was deafening, interrupted only occasionally by conversation between the other three people in our party, all members of the same family, and our guide, Richard Clancy. The chat was about the national sports, Gaelic football and hurling, neither of which I knew anything about. And, as much of the conversation was in the Gaelic language, I couldn’t have participated even if I had.

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Declan Scott Pollard, USA

Richard is my favorite tour guide in the history of tour guides. I’m not typically a fan of tours. I don’t like the frequently chatty nature of them. It usually feels like forced bonding, and I’m always waiting for someone to make me do a trust fall. When my friend and I decided to take a tour, I prepared for the worst. My friend called Richard and signed up for his two-hour, €9 walking tour. He said that he would pick us up from our hotel and made sure that we were okay with dogs because one would be coming along. When he arrived, there were already two other people in the car, a lovely Hungarian couple, who were hairstylists from London. When we made it to the entrance of the park, he opened the back hatch of his vehicle. An Irish Setter named Rua, which means red in Irish (the people of Ireland called the language Irish which was an eye-opener for me), flew out of the car, and she was ready to take us on our tour. Richard told us to follow him and Rua, and that if we had any questions to just ask. My friend commented later that going on a walking tour with Richard was like accompanying a guy who was walking his dog. But we both appreciated his quiet nature and lack of forced smiling. He’s multilingual (he spoke to our tour group in English, broke into a short conversation in Spanish with my friend, and stopped to talk to another hiker in Irish). He pointed out things in which he thought we might be interested, and these statements were usually coated with some sort of dry humor. “You see that giant tree, there? It’s grand, isn’t it? So tall and ancient… It’s from California.” He also broke out into song (you can find a version of it below) at one point upon hearing my friend’s name. Best. Tour. Guide. Ever.

Hamilton Lapeyrolerie, USA

I spent a two day break in Killarney this year. I was travelling alone and found my short break to be most therapeutic. I was a bit hesitant to go on the guided walk at first, as I was alone. I must say though, with an expert guide and a lovely walk in Killarney National Park, I felt completely invigorated and slept like a baby that night. I would strongly recommend anyone visiting Killarney National Park to take the guided walk as one learns the history behind the beauty and Richard Clancy who took me around has a most pleasant manner and as an added bonus that he can speak some Italian as well as some Spanish and fluent in Irish.

Tante Grazie,
Yvonne
Dublin, Ireland

The walk in Killarney National Park by Richard Clancy is highly recommended.

We did a walk that started at Ross Castle and he brought us to the most beautiful places at the lake. He guided us to the quietest and nicest spots, which we would never have found ourselves.
If you are in Killarney be sure that you take in this walk.

Carmen & Eric
The Netherlands

A great day out!

Thanks for a great day in the lovely national park with extended hospitality joining me for drinks and music in the evening, I felt very priviliged to get all this attention. Thank you again for making my time in Killarney so special.

Tresta Doyle
Dublin, Ireland

Take a breath and step off the tour bus!

We had been touring for a week and could barely stuff one more historical fact in our brains. Richard and Rua took us walking in their beautiful national park and helped us unwind with scenic views, red deer and cheerful conversation!

Laura Van Deusen

Lovely and relaxing!

The natural landscape was very beautiful, but what made this little tour my husband’s single favorite activity (and one of my own top 3) during our 9-day Ireland vacation was Mr. Clancy’s charm and genuine hospitality. We can’t thank him enough for the memories! 🙂

Unfinis
New York, USA

An extraordinary tour with unforgettable views and an epic detour..

Richard gave us a three hour walk in different landscapes near Killarney for only 9 euros. We walked around in the stunning national park and even got ourselves a detour to the Gap of Dunloe 😀 Richard and his dog Rua were very entertaining and gave us a lot of laughs. To everyone who wants a genuine tour of the national park and Ireland’s nature in the southwest should definetely do the walking tour! Thanks again for a wonderful day and good luck from your first walkers of 2011.

Take care,
Ilona and Rakel
Madrid, Spain

A Pure pleasure!

What a pleasure to discover such a huge park in a very nice town, with Richard and his four-legged friend, the lovely Rua ! All of this was so beautiful and quiet! You are a very lucky man Richard to live in Ireland, and we can only thank you again for sharing Killarney’s park secrets and – last but not least – having us climb Ireland’s highest mountain to its very top. It definitely is a great souvenir, and we did have good laughs and did learn things all the way. We have plenty of good memories in our head.
We’ll do some more walks with you, the next time we come to Killarney !
>>> To all : Don’t miss Killarney Guided Walks !!!! <<<<

SophieMarcF
Cergy, France

Exploring Killarney Park..

I enjoyed the 2 hours walk with Richard. He took me into some hidden spots inside the park, where we saw beautiful old trees and special plants. it is a nice walk, and Richard is a nice man. He also recomended me some other things to do in the charming town of Killarney, including best places to hear music. So if you want to start the day with a nice walk, and see places in the park that you will probably wont see by yourself, this tour is recommended.

Sharon
Tel Aviv, Israel

O Captain, My Captain..

Richard Clancy took us on a two-hour walk that ended up lasting well over 3, we enjoyed it that much. Bring water, a snack, and a camera, you’ll need it. Rua is a very docile dog and will pose for pictures with you, Richard is very experienced (guide since 1996) and knows the park like the back of his hand. Has a wicked sense of humour, too, so prepare your hicking boots and enjoy!

Samantha Fanaj
Dublin, Ireland