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Overview

Walking Holidays
7 - 10 Nights
114 miles / 183 km
  • Prices from: £595 per person
  • Start: Killarney, County Kerry
  • Finish: Killarney, County Kerry
  • Availability: Any start date from April to October
  • Grading: Moderate
  • Way-marked: Yes

Kerry Way Highlights

Unbeatable scenery
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Follow the Ring of Kerry and take in the glorious scenery of lakes, mountains and glens, ancient oak woodlands and a rugged coastline of wave-battered cliffs, coves and islands. 

Irish hospitality
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Soak up the inimitable Irish way of life and hospitality, in the picturesque villages and bustling towns along the trail.

UNESCO World Heritage Site
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Visit the breathtaking Skellig Islands with its monastic remains which feature in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. 

Myths and legends
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Experience an area of Ireland steeped in history, myths and legends.

Killarney National Park
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Traverse through Killarney National Park, home to native oak woods, birch, beech and one of the last remaining herds of native red deer.

Majestic peaks
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Admire the incredible peaks of Ireland’s highest mountains, the MacGillacuddy Reeks.

Ireland’s Oldest Long-Distance Walk

The Kerry Way is Ireland’s oldest long-distance walk and follows a circular route, starting and finishing in Killarney. Described as a walker’s Ring of Kerry, the Kerry Way is a low-level circuit of the spectacular Iveragh Peninsula, a region of wild, natural beauty steeped in history and legend.

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Your journey begins in the beautiful, bustling town of Killarney, situated close to the shores of the majestic Lough Leane and within the Killarney National Park.

The route initially follows forest paths and waterfalls, leading you deep into the National Park, past the majestic peaks of Ireland’s highest mountains, the MacGillacuddy Reeks. The trail then follows coastal paths overlooking Dingle Bay, to the golden sands of Waterville and Derrynane. 

The Kerry Way avoids the higher peaks and leads walkers through the lower reaches of mountain ridges, still offering fantastic views throughout. The glorious varied scenery of lakes, mountains and glens, and rugged coastline combined with the unhurried pace of life and wonderful hospitality, provide a truly memorable experience. This part of Ireland is rich in history, myth and legend, and the Kerry Way is a must for anyone who wishes to discover the real flavour of Ireland.

While there are no great ascents on this route, it does involve some long and challenging days. This is not a route for the faint-hearted, nor the first time hiker.

Kerry Way Route

Recommended Itinerary

Our most popular itinerary is KERW2 which covers the route in 9 days / 10 nights.

Travel to Killarney for your first night's accommodation
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Arrive in Killarney, renowned for its three magnificent lakes in the heart of Kerry and spend the evening at your first night’s accommodation.

Day 1: Killarney to Black Valley (15 miles / 24 km)
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Beginning in the lively town of Killarney, the Kerry Way enters the Killarney National Park and passes through Muckross Estate, with its historic house, beautiful gardens and pretty Torc Waterfall, with glorious views of the celebrated Lakes. 

It then heads into the hills along the Old Kenmare Road, past Lord Brandon’s Cottage to the bleak and forbidding Black Valley beneath MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountains.

Day 2: Black Valley to Glencar (12 miles / 19 km)
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The route leaves Black Valley and passes into the lonely Bridia Valley, where mountain farming communities are all that is to be found. The route takes you along old roads from settlements gone by and past the lower lake of Cummeenduff Lough before a steep descent into the Bridia Valley. It then climbs again and a new vista lies ahead, with Lough Acoose below at the far end of the valley and the Dingle Peninsula on the distant horizon. 

Glencar on the Caragh River is your destination.

Day 3: Glencar to Glenbeigh (8 miles / 13 km)
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The Kerry Way continues through the old woodlands of Glencar and lovely Blackstones Bridge. The trail then climbs above Caragh Lake and crosses Seefin Mountain via the Windy Gap with views of Inch Strand and the Dingle Peninsula. 

Descend to the friendly sea-side village of Glenbeigh.

Day 4: Glenbeigh to Foilmore (12 miles / 19 km)
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Today’s walk takes you on the first coastal stretch of the Kerry Way, on the line of a medieval coaching road and past glorious Rossbeigh Beach with spectacular views over Dingle Bay.

Your accommodation will be in the coastal and ancient settlement of Cahersiveen, overshadowed by the 688m peak of Knocknadobar. Your accommodation hosts will collect you from Foilmore and transport you to your overnight stop of Cahersiveen.

Day 5: Foilmore to Waterville (14 miles / 25 km)
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This section to Waterville takes you through the hinterland of Cahersiveen. The route passes through turf bogs and pine forest and some short climbs to 300m provide views over Valentia Island and the western end of the peninsula. 

Waterville is a colourful coastal village on the shores of Ballinskelligs Bay.

Day 6: Waterville to Caherdaniel (8 miles / 13 km)
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Today’s walk is a wonderfully scenic route as you travel from one seaside village to the next. The distance is short and there is time to take a detour to visit Derrynane House and Gardens, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell, known as the great Liberator to the Irish people.

Enjoy glorious coastal views out towards the Skellig Islands and Ballinskelligs Bay.

Day 7: Caherdaniel to Sneem (11 miles / 18 km)
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Leaving Caherdaniel, the route to Sneem is on the “Old Butter Road,” from where butter was transported to Cork in the 19th century. The trail will take you through the peat beds and close to the famous 2,000-year-old Staigue Fort, one of the finest ring forts to be found in Ireland. 

Upon entering the town of Sneem, a host of colourful houses provide a warm welcome.

Day 8: Sneem to Kenmare (19 miles / 30.5 km)
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The penultimate section of the Kerry Way is relatively easy, as it takes you along the rocky shoreline of Kenmare Bay and through the forest towards the estate of Dromore Castle. 

A short ascent of Gortamullin Hill is rewarded with splendid views of the Caha Mountains before descending into Kenmare, with its elegant streets and beguiling restaurants and shops.

Day 9: Kenmare to Killarney (16 miles / 26 km)
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On the final leg of your journey, the trail leaves the sea and heads through the hills and back through the National Park to Killarney. Celebrate a wonderful walk in one of Killarney’s many traditional pubs. 

Onward travel
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After breakfast, you will start your journey home after a wonderful walking holiday on the Kerry Way.

What’s Included?

Your Kerry Way walking holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected accommodation along the route and trail transfers when applicable
  • En-suite or private bathroom facilities whenever possible
  • Daily door-to-door baggage transfers
  • Comprehensive information pack, kit list, guidebook and map (one set per room)
  • Personalised itinerary with details of your accommodation, route and recommendations for lunch and dinner
  • Traditional Irish breakfast
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your walking holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to and from the start and end of the walk
  • Lunches and evening meals

Itineraries & Prices

We offer 2 suggested itineraries for walking the Kerry Way.

Our most popular itinerary is KERW2 which covers the route in 9 days.

Tour code
Itinerary
Average miles infoAverage miles per day
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty
Price per person
KERW1
6 Days / 7 Nights
13.5 miles per day
Moderate
From £595
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 13.5 miles per day
Tour code: KERW1
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Moderate

6 Days / 7 Nights (KERW1)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room.

  • Standard: £40 per night
Arrive Travel to Glenbeigh for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Glenbeigh to Foilmore (overnight Cahersiveen) 12 miles / 19 km
2
Day 2 Foilmore to Waterville 14 miles / 25 km
3
Day 3 Waterville to Caherdaniel 8 miles / 13 km
4
Day 4 Caherdaniel to Sneem 11 miles / 18 km
5
Day 5 Sneem to Kenmare 19 miles / 30.5 km
6
Day 6 Kenmare to Killarney 16 miles / 26 km
Depart Onward travel from Killarney

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£595 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

KERW2
9 Days / 10 Nights
13 miles per day
Moderate
From £815
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 13 miles per day
Tour code: KERW2
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Moderate

9 Days / 10 Nights (KERW2)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room.

  • Standard: £40 per night
Arrive Travel to Killarney for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Killarney to Black Valley 15 miles / 24 km
2
Day 2 Black Valley to Glencar 12 miles / 19 km
3
Day 3 Glencar to Glenbeigh 8 miles / 13 km
4
Day 4 Glenbeigh to Foilmore (overnight Cahersiveen) 12 miles / 19 km
5
Day 5 Foilmore to Waterville 14 miles / 25 km
6
Day 6 Waterville to Caherdaniel 8 miles / 13 km
7
Day 7 Caherdaniel to Sneem 11 miles / 18 km
8
Day 8 Sneem to Kenmare 19 miles / 30.5 km
9
Day 9 Kenmare to Killarney 16 miles / 26 km
Depart Onward travel from Killarney

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£815 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

Kerry Way Accommodation

All of the accommodation that we reserve for you has been personally selected by our expert team to ensure it meets our exacting standards. We regularly review our extensive database.

We will always prioritise accommodation as close to the walking trail as possible. Occasionally, your accommodation may be located a short distance from the trail, or you may need to spend more than one night in the same place, in which case we will provide return transfers.

Travel Information

As an environmentally conscious tour operator, we actively encourage the use of public transport by providing clients with a detailed breakdown of travel options in their information packs. The following information may help with your pre-trip planning.

Getting to & departing from Killarney
By Air

By Air
Nearest International Airports: Cork, Shannon or Dublin Airports

Nearest Regional Airport: Kerry Airport

Cork Airport (56 miles from Killarney) and Shannon Airport (53 miles from Killarney) are served by several flights from the UK. Buses from the airports to the cities of Cork and Limerick are available, where there are onward bus and train connections to Killarney.

Kerry Airport (9 miles from Killarney) is only served by a small number of flights each day. From Kerry Airport, there is a regular bus service to Killarney (journey time 35 min).

Dublin Airport (199 miles from Killarney) has the widest range of UK, European and trans-Atlantic flights. From Dublin, you can make your way to Killarney using public transport.

By Public Transport

Nearest Railway Station: Killarney

There are train services to Killarney from Dublin and Cork where one change is usually required at Mallow (journey time 3 hours 30 minutes from Dublin or 1 hour 30 minutes from Cork).

By Car

If you plan to travel by car, it’s usually possible to park it in Killarney for the duration of your holiday. Please enquire when your booking is confirmed.

A transfer to/from Kerry Airport can be arranged for an additional cost. We’d be happy to provide you with the contact details of taxi companies who offer this service.

Additional Days

We would be delighted to arrange additional accommodation for you along the Kerry Way.

You may wish to plan a rest day or have an additional night at any of the locations along the route which offer activities or sightseeing opportunities – we’ve made some suggestions below. Please request this when you make an enquiry.

Glenbeigh
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  • Walk the Glenbeigh Horseshoe, a circuit of hills from Seefin to Drung Hill
  • Relax on Rossbeigh Strand, a wonderful 6.5 km-sandy beach with magnificent views to the Dingle Peninsula
Cahersiveen / Waterville
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  • Visit the famous Skellig Islands with their 5th-century monastic remains and bird sanctuary. A UNESCO world heritage site, they featured in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
  • Cross by ferry to Valentia Island and enjoy a lovely walk here, or hire bicycles for the day and cycle around the island
Caherdaniel
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  • Visit Derrynane House and National Park, once home to the famous liberator Daniel O’Connell.
  • Take a walk around Derrynane Beach, to Abbey Island and returning via an old ‘mass path’ to Derrynane
Sneem
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  • Relax in the wonderful, award-winning and very picturesque village of Sneem
  • Have an adventure with Sunfish Explorer, offering motorised kayak tours ideal for touring and fishing
Kenmare
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  • Enjoy an extra night in Kenmare, a colourful lively town in a beautiful location at the head of the Kenmare River, carefully designed by the early Lords of Kerry
  • Climb Mucksna Mountain overlooking the town and bay
  • Walk the Kenmare Heritage Trail to see the prehistoric stone circle
Killarney
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  • Take the opportunity to extend your stay in Killarney and enjoy more time in this magnificent area of mountains and lakes
  • Visit Ross Castle, on the shores of Loch Leane
  • Take a jaunting ride or cycle through the famous Gap of Dunloe
  • Enjoy a cruise on Lough Leane, or take a leisurely jaunt in a circular walk around Muckross Lake
  • Explore the famous Muckross House, with its beautiful gardens and traditional farms

Make an enquiry

Kerry Way

Need something more tailored?
Contact us via email:
enquiries@absoluteescapes.com

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