Ireland's Ultimate Bucket List Adventure
The Reeks District Big Five is a selection of the biggest, best and most thrilling adventures Ireland has to offer.
The Reeks District is where Ireland’s highest mountains meet the rugged Wild Atlantic Way, providing an awesome backdrop for you to climb, paddle, bike, surf and SUP as you take on this action-packed adventure.
Hike to the summit of Carrauntoohil
Climb 1039m up Ireland’s highest mountain
Forget what you know about other 1,000m-mountains, scaling Ireland’s highest peak, Carrauntoohill, is tougher than you think. There are a number of routes to choose from – all will have you scrambling hand over foot at times on your way to the summit.
Paddle the length of Caragh Lake
Traverse 6km over a glacial lake
The valley in which Caragh Lake sits was carved by mighty Ice Age glaciers – but don’t be fooled by the peaceful setting. If a wind whips up, traversing its length will test even seasoned kayakers.
Cycle the Ring of the Reeks
Pedal 90km around Ireland’s highest mountain passes
Under the shadow of country’s three highest mountains, the Ring of the Reeks features will have you gasping for breath on three incredible lung-busting climbs: the Ballaghbeama Gap, Moll’s Gap and The Gap of Dunloe.
Surf Inch Beach
Catch a wave on this remote beach
Forget fighting for a wave with hundreds of other people, beautiful Blue Flag Inch Beach is as rugged and remote as Irish surfing spots come. All you have to do is travel on one of those waves, preferably standing, to complete this task.
Night SUP Lough Cloon
Float on a mountain lake in a gold-tier dark sky reserve
SUP in Ireland doesn’t get any wilder than this. Lough Cloon, near the Ballaghisheen Pass, is on the edge of the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve, one of only three Gold Tier reserves on the planet and the only one in the Northern Hemisphere.
How to do the Big Five
There are two ways to complete the Big Five depending on how much time you have.
Take on the Big Five at your own pace by spacing the adventures over 12 months or for the ultimate in Irish adventure, bag the Big Five in five days or less to get one of our limited-edition Big Five Challenge certificates and have your name added to the Wall of Fame.
Whichever way you decide to bag them, just pick up a Big Five Passport from our Visitor Centre in Killorglin and have each adventure ticked off by a participating provider or log them on komoot – our partner tracking app – and bring it with you to the Visitor Centre to have your passport ratified.
However you choose to take on the ultimate Irish adventure, don’t forget to pick up some official Big Five merchandise from the Visitor Centre before you go.
Booking the Big Five
You can book each adventure individually with activities starting from €35 per person.
- Hike to the summit of Carrauntoohil with Kerry Climbing, The Reeks Guiding Company, or Pat Falvey.
- Paddle the length of Caragh Lake with Cappanalea
- Cycle the Ring of the Reeks with Trailflow Biking Adventures, Green Road Cycle Tours or KGC Cycles
- Surf Inch Beach with Kingdom Waves
- Night SUP Lough Cloon with Cappanalea
Packages including four nights’ B&B and all five activities start from €549pp (based on four participants) and are available from Hidden Ireland.
All of the activities carry a degree of risk so we recommend you book with a participating provider. If you do plan to take on the Big Five or Big Five Challenge on a self-guided basis make sure you have a suitable level of proficiency and appropriate equipment for each discipline.