Absolute Escapes May 9 2022

Our Walk of the Month is the Kerry Waythe longest and oldest waymarked walking trail in Ireland. It loops around the lower levels of the magnificent Iveragh Peninsula.

You’ll walk through beautiful isolated countryside and colourful villages whilst experiencing some of the best natural beauty and hospitality that Ireland has to offer.


How long is the Kerry Way?

The Kerry Way starts and finishes in the bustling town of Killarney in the south west of Ireland. As a circular route, it runs for 114 miles / 183 km around the spectacular Iveragh Peninsula.

The trail is usually completed in 8-10 days. Our most popular itinerary is KERW2 which covers the route in 9 days of walking.


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How difficult is the Kerry Way?

We grade the Kerry Way as moderate. Even though it is well way-marked, it does involve some reasonably challenging walks for an average of 13 miles per day in some remote areas.

Despite the Iveragh Peninsula having some high mountains (including Carrauntoohil – the highest mountain in Ireland), the Kerry Way does not pass over the higher peaks. Instead, the route runs through the lower reaches of its mountain ridges which allows you to experience the magnificent mountain ranges and witness an overall view of the landscape.

It is possible to make the Kerry Way less challenging by adding in some additional days. Perhaps you could take a day off from the trail for a spot of sightseeing in one of the bustling towns or villages along the trail. Or if you need somewhere to really relax, visit the stunning Rossbeigh Strand. With 4 miles of sandy beach, you’ll be sure of a peaceful spot to enjoy the wonderful views of the Dingle Peninsula.

Alternatively, the trail can be accessed at any of the official stages. If you wanted a shorter walk or if you only have a few days available, you could walk a shorter section of the entire route.


What are the highlights of the Kerry Way?

With lakes, mountains, woodlands, and a rugged coastline; the natural beauty of the Ring of Kerry takes you through a variety of magnificent landscapes.

With a day trip to the nearby fishing village of Portmagee, you can take a boat trip to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Skellig Michael. The Skellig Isles are famous for their appearance in the two latest Star Wars films – The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

The bustling town of Killarney makes an excellent beginning and end to this trail. You’ll hear cheery Irish music flowing through the colourful streets from the buskers, pubs, and shops. It’s a great place to experience the wonderful Irish hospitality and learn about the area’s myths and legends.

Just five miles south of the town centre is the stunning Killarney National Park. The Kerry Way passes through here but you could spend all day exploring its lake, waterfalls, flora, and fauna. The park is also home to much history and heritage. Situated near the Lough Leane are Muckross Abbey, Killarney House and Gardens, Ross Castle, and Muckross House and Gardens.


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When is the best time to walk the Kerry Way?

The best time to walk this trail is from the start of April to the end of October when there will be longer daylight hours and kinder weather. The trail will be busier in the warmest months of June, July and August when there is more sunshine. If you’re looking for a quieter walk, in cooler weather, then opt for visiting in late spring or early autumn.

Due to short hours of daylight and limited accommodation options, we would not recommend walking the Kerry Way from November to March.


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Tips from our team

Pippa: “Don’t miss a walk through Muckross House Gardens – the greenhouses are beautiful and the views over the Lough are fantastic.

Jack: “Take an additional day to climb Carrauntoohil – the highest point on the island.

Katia: “Walking from Killarney to Black Valley, you can stop at Lord Brandon’s Cottage and recharge with a warming hot chocolate (or an Irish coffee!).”

If you’re interested in learning more about the Kerry Way, check out Katia’s blog: The Kerry Way: Is This Ireland’s Most Beautiful Walk?


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In our client’s words

Mark Fullagar, Australia: “The Kerry Way was an adventure we shall never forget, it was tough at times but this along with some wet weather made it more memorable and rewarding. The accommodation was first class and the proprietors warm and helpful.”

Ann Bowen, Canada: “The Kerry Way offered great views, a lovely take on Irish life, culture, history, and meditative walks.”


Discover the Kerry Way

If you’re interested in experiencing Ireland’s beautiful Kerry Way, we offer award-winning self-guided walking holidays on the trail. 

You can read more about the Kerry Way on our website. Alternatively, get in touch with our expert team who will be delighted to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!


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