On Ireland’s longest and most popular marked walking trail, you will witness some of the most stunning landscapes blanketed with lakes, rivers, and streams. Enjoy the scenic trail as you walk 124 km, getting to understand the Irish landscape and its people with every step. The adventure begins in the quaint seaside town of Glenbeigh and comes to a bittersweet end in Killarney.
The Kerry Way is Ireland’s longest waymarked walking trail with a total distance of 215 km. From this we have chosen an 8-day tour (124 km’s) along one of the finest landscapes to be found in this county. Along the way you will encounter small market towns and quaint villages, old roads, castles, traditional farms, lakes, rivers and streams. The trail starts in the peaceful village of Glenbeigh and finishes in the popular tourist destination of Killarney. –
From the Kerry, Cork or Shannon airports, take a bus to your first accommodation in Glenbeigh. This quaint town sits on the edge of the Atlantic and welcomes you into its pubs that are filled with good food, drink, traditional Irish music and dance!
Leaving Glenbeigh, you begin your journey by crossing over the Behy River. Next, go over Rossbeigh Hill where you will have incredible views looking out over the Dingle Bay and the Dingle Peninsula. The views are simply breathtaking and certainly make the walk worthwhile. You then follow an old coach road along the slopes of Drung Hill, taking you through lovely countryside and giving you stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean along the way. You finish your day in tranquil Foilmore village where you will stay tonight.
This segment of your journey takes you inland along a gentle heather and peat covered ridge. You will cross a number of small hills called Keelmagore, Kanckayahaun, Coomduff and Knag, and travel through the Inny Valley. You have spectacular views of both the ocean and land along your route! The scenery will charm you and inspire you to keep going and discover more. To get to the town of Waterville, you will travel on a series of minor roads through lovely countryside. One of Waterville’s most well-known residents was the great Charlie Chaplin! Charlie and his family spent long holidays here and a bronze statue stands in the promenade in tribute to his great love for the area. Walk in the footsteps of the great Charlie Chaplin and enjoy the charming village of Waterville tonight.
Today’s route is shorter than the rest but the beautiful sites you encounter will not disappoint! You will walk through smaller country roads and forests of hazel trees and fuchsia hedges. Colours and scents of the countryside await you. You will have the opportunity to take a slight detour to visit Derryane House if it interests you. This is the home of Daniel O’Connell, you might have heard his name during your time in Ireland. He has streets and more named after him! He is known to the Irish people as the great liberator. Arrive in the village of Caherdaniel (also named after O'Connell) which is half-way around the Ring of Kerry. Nearby there are lovely beaches, particularly Derrynane Beach, which is known as one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Ireland.
The start of today’s walk brings you inland to go around the base of Ballycarnahan Hill. You will be rewarded with wonderful views across the inlet of Kenmare. Walk along “The Old Butter Road” which was used in the 19th century to bring butter to Cork for foreign export. You can take a short detour from your route to visit the Staigue fort. This fort is one of the largest and finest ring forts in Ireland and can be dated back to the 1st century BC. Reach the lovely village of Sneem, a place with a relaxed way of life that may well rub off on you. Enjoy your evening in the village and allow your worries to melt away.
The walk from Sneem takes you through Derryquin Forest, a green and mysterious haven. You will reach the cliffs of Kenmare Bay. This part of your Kerry Way walk is less challenging and only has minor rises and falls. Along your walk, you will pass the 19th century Dromore Castle which was built for Denis Mahony, a minister of the Church of Ireland. The castle looks out over the Kenmare River. The last stage of the day’s route is a short climb to reach the summit of Gortamullin Hill before heading back down into the colourful town of Kenmare for the night.
The final day of your journey takes you along the Kenmare Road. This dated road will bring you through the remains of old farms, small fields and potato furrows. Step back in time as you discover how farmers toiled the land in times gone by. You may also come across some red deer roaming the land! Your day finishes in the town of Killarney, which is a perfect way to end your 7-day journey. This lively town has an abundance of attractions, including Ross Castle, Muckross House and many traditional Irish pubs and shops! It's a town to enjoy and explore if you get a chance. Meander through the Killarney National Park and dicover Ross Castle in amongst the parkland and rolling hills. Look out over the lake rimmed by mountains. The views are breathtaking!
End of services: After a hearty breakfast, you are free to explore the town or take one of the regular bus services from Killarney to your next destination.
We require a 20% deposit to start booking all the individual elements of your trip, which is payable over the phone or online (the full balance is due 6 weeks prior to departure, so if you book less than 6 weeks in advance your deposit will be the full tour cost). Every trip is tailor made just for you, so we confirm availability individually and book all your accommodation and options, then send you final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (usually max 5 working days).
It really depends on the trip. We offer quite a variety of holiday grades to help you select the right level of activity. Always be honest with yourself about your abilities, and always do some training in the run up to your trip. You'd be surprised at what you can achieve, especially going at your own pace on one of our independent adventures. Your specialist is the best person to ask for advice on a specific trip. The active kind of holiday offers rewards like no other.
Many of our trips come with baggage transfer included (some have optional baggage transfer, and on very few remote trips baggage transfer is unavailable, but do check the exact tour inclusions). You will drop overnight bags (one per person) by an allotted time each morning in a designated area in your hotel or B&B. This leaves you free to walk unencumbered, with only your day pack of essentials. Your baggage will be transferred to your next night's accommodation, and will usually arrive before you do!
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