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Hiking the Kerry Way

Killarney & Ring of Kerry

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The Kerry Way is a looped walking route starting and finishing in the tourist hub of Killarney. The walking route winds its way around the Iveragh Peninsula taking in some of the most dramatic scenery in Ireland. For the first three days on The Kerry Way you will be traversing the foothills of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, home to 9 of the 10 tallest mountains in Ireland. As you get closer to the coast, the hills will become softer but you will welcome them as they provide you with the perfect vantage points to take in the views of the stunning Kerry coastline. From the colourful coastal village of Waterville you will turn East towards Kenmare, hopping on and off the Wild Atlantic Way and Ring of Kerry coastal route before rejoining the trail to make the most of the Atlantic coast views including Puffin, Scarrif and Deenish Island.

Your last day of walking sees you walking North from Kenmare, through Killarney National Park and back to Killarney town. Killarney is the ideal location for a few days of rest and relaxation after your walking tour. This bustling country town is packed with good restaurants, bars and traditional pubs. Take a stroll around the Tudor/Victorian-style Muckross house with its traditional farm and walled gardens. We have planned this walking holiday so your accommodation is close to or on the main trail; and where possible you will stay in the major towns along this stunning route. Read our blog to learn about the highlights of this tour.


  • The Kerry Way – Short Break:
    • 5 days/4 nights. Walk the Kerry Way from Killarney to Glenbeigh, staying in our selected accommodation along the way.
  • The Kerry Way Section One – 5 nights:
    • 6 days/5 nights. Walk the Northern section of The Kerry Way from Killarney to Cahersiveen, staying in our selected accommodation along the way.
  • The Kerry Way Section Two – 6 nights:
    • 7 days/6 nights. Walk the Southern section of The Kerry Way from Cahersiveen to Killarney, staying in our selected accommodation along the way.
  • The Kerry Way – Full Walk:
    • 11 days/10 nights. Hike the full Kerry Way from Killarney and back, staying in our selected accommodation along the way.

Trip highlights

  • Take a stroll on the sandy beaches of the Iveragh Peninsula
  • Admire the native natural habitats in Killarney National Park
  • Discover the scenic Ring of Kerry, part of the Wild Atlantic Way
  • Be amazed by ancient castles, forts and abbeys along your route

1 Killarney


You will start your walking holiday in the popular tourist town of Killarney. Explore its many restaurants, cafes and heritage sites all within walking distance of your first night’s accommodation.

2 Killarney to Black Valley - 24km


5H15 | +384m / -375m
You will leave the town of Killarney walking on country roads switching to well maintained trails. After just a few kilometres you will have entered the Killarney National park, passing the 18th century Muckross house and gardens, continuing along forest and hilly trails to your accommodation in the Black Valley. As you enter the Back Valley, you will be climbing into the foothills of the Macgillycuddy’s reeks, with every step you take uphill, it improves the view of where you have walked from earlier, giving you a sense of how big and beautiful The Killarney National Park is.

3 Black Valley to Glencar - 20km

Glencar Waterfall Kerry Way Ireland Ways

5H | +655m / -524m
After a hearty breakfast you will be hitting the trail again, walking along rural lanes or ‘boreens’ (Irish: bóithrín, meaning ‘a little road’) and breaking trail for mountain paths. You will follow rural roads along the Black Valley with Broaghabinnia Mountain on your left and Carrauntoohil on your right ( it is one of those Valleys that makes you feel small), the terrain will change to forest trails as you contour Brassel Mountain. From the Killarney road to Brida Valley the terrain is quite rocky and caution should be taken in this area especially if it is wet. You will walk past Cummeenduff Lake at the southern end of MacGillycuddy’s Reeks in the Ballycullane Valley all the time descending towards your accommodation for the evening.

4 Glencar to Glenbeigh - 13km


4H45 | +361m / -502m
A shorter walking day to help you recover, today you will be following the river Caragh for a few hundred metres north along rural roads and forest trails till you come to Drombrane Lough on your right. You will rejoin a boreen for 500 meters approx before switching back to Lickeen Woods (a mixed forest trail). From here you are slowly ascending towards the col between Seefin and Coolroe which will offer excellent views of Inch point (AND ITS BEACHES) and the Glenbeigh coast. From there it is all down hill to Glenbeigh, where you will be staying this evening.

Note: There is an alternative route to Glenbeigh which is more scenic, however it is longer at 18km.

Glenbeigh is the end of the ‘Short Break’.

5 Glenbeigh to Cahersiveen - 26km


6H | +526m / -563m
You can look forward to a nice days walking today starting in the village of Glenbeigh, over the Behy Bridge before veering left following forest trails, boreens over rolling hills and mountain trails to Cahersiveen. You will be spoilt for choice with panoramic mountain and coastal views stretching from either side of the trail. Along the length of the Kerry Way there is a wealth of historic and cultural sights, holy wells, standing stones, ogham stones and artifacts, there seems to be a distinct concentration of the sights around the coastal towns of Cahersiveen and Waterville.

Last walking day on ‘Section One’.

Extra Day Skellig/Valentia Island Tour

Skellig Island Ring of Kerry Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Ways

Add an extra day to your itinerary on the Kerry Way, allowing yourself a sleep in and late breakfast before taking a day off your trek to arrange a tour of Skellig Island (UNESCO World Heritage). The highlights of this area include Geokaun cliffs, Valentia Island/heritage centre, Ballycarbery Castle, Leacanabuaile Fort, Ahacovra Holy Well, Rossbeigh Beach, Kells Bay House & Gardens, Skelligs Chocolate factory.

6 Caherciveen to Waterville - 24km

Waterville, Kerry Way Ireland Ways

5H | +555m / -563m
You will be transferred back to the Kerry Way. Leaving Cahersiveen you will gradually gain altitude along the ridge to Keelnagre till you reach the top of Knockavahaun 371m (from this vantage point you will be able to look out onto Beginish, Valencia and Church Islands) then it is a steady decent to Canuig and the colourful sea side village of Waterville.


First walking day on ‘Section Two’.

7 Waterville to Caherdaniel - 13km

Caherdaniel Kerry Way Ireland Ways

4H | +379m / -293m
This will be a short day allowing you a restful morning in Waterville or you can leave for Caherdaniel as normal to arrive after lunch time, giving you the whole afternoon to explore the town. The walk from Waterville to Caherdaniel is quite relaxed along a mixture of lanes and mountain trails, but this area is dotted with historic sites like standing stones, Chillin (Irish: meaning ‘little church or burial ground’) Megalithic tombs and Ogham stones.

8 Caherdaniel to Sneem - 18km

Sneem River Ring of Kerry way Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Ways

5H | +439m / -494m
The route from Caherdaniel to Sneem along the Kerry Way is slightly hilly, nothing too steep or high (highest point Gortamullin 205m), the route is mainly on boreens, forest tracks and mountain trails. Ascending these hills and gaining elevation will open up spectacular views of the many small islands off the coast and The Berra peninsula with its weathered coastline and sheltered harbours.

9 Sneem to Kenmare - 30km

Kennmare Kerry Way Ireland Ways

6H | +499m / -501m
Hopefully refreshed from your short day yesterday, you will be happy to tackle today’s walk. Even though it is a long walk it is fairly flat with no major ascents to mention. Walking along rural roads and lowland mountain trails, with the sea to one side and the mountains on the other, it is a great way to wind down your trek.

10 Kenmare to Killarney - 26km


6H | +627m / -610m
The last leg of your journey on the Kerry Way will see you return to Killarney National Park. Walking along boreens, the ground under foot will be firm and undemanding, walking in the shadow of Peakeen Mountain 555m on your left and Knockanaguish 509m on your right, it offers the perfect terrain and scenery to allow you reflect back on your time walking along the spectacular Kerry Way.

11 Killarney


After your breakfast your walking holiday with us finishes, so why not ask our team about adding an extra night accommodation if you wish to soak in the atmosphere Killarney has to offer.
Highlights in this magnificent town include:
– Experience the Lake Hotel and its idyllic setting for a lunch, dinner or just relaxing drink overlooking gardens, lakes and mountains.
– Cruise Killarney’s beautiful lakes on Lough Leane, Killarney’s largest and most picturesque lake, with heritage attractions including the 15th century Ross Castle, O’Sullivan Cascade and the monastic ruins of Inishfallen Island.
– Take a guided tour around the 19th century Tudor style Muckross house and gardens around which Killarney National Park was created.
– Uncover a treasure trove of fantastic restaurants, serving traditional meals with fresh locally sourced produce and a wealth our music, wine, historic and gastro bars, to help you make the most of the ‘Craic agus ceol’ (Irish for fun and music)

Hotels and guest houses have been carefully selected for their location, comfort, character, food and friendliness of the staff (ask our travel specialists about upgrades to superior rooms or suites where available along you tour). As our tours pass areas of outstanding natural beauty and cultural heritage, it is worth considering adding in a rest day in the middle of your tour. Accommodation displayed is subject to availability and if the hotel/guest house described is not available, we will provide you with one of the same standard of comfort and price.

Killarney - Standard

We have chosen a modern hotel in the heart of Killarney town centre as your accommodation at the start of your tour with us, along The Kerry Way. Our hotels will be rated 3 stars at least making sure you are offered the best place to relax before your week of walking.

Black Valley - Standard

We have chosen a charming family-run guest house for your first night’s accommodation on The Kerry Way. You can expect a warm welcome hospitality and chat from your hosts this evening. You will be staying on the trail in a small mountain village.

Glencar - Standard

Tonight’s accommodation is a splendid family-run guest house in the heart of the Glencar valley; you can expect a warm welcome and chat from your hosts this evening. You will be staying on the trail so no energy should be expended getting on or off the trail from your accommodation.

Glenbeigh - Standard

Our first choice accommodation is a guest house just outside the centre of town, the staff are friendly and the building is full of character. The guest house is on The Kerry Way with a selection of shops, restaurants and pubs within minutes of your front door.

Cahirsiveen - Standard

We have chosen a high quality guest house for your accommodation tonight, your hosts will welcome you to this lively coastal village.

Waterville - Standard

Tonight’s accommodation is a pleasant guest house in the colourful sea side town of Watervile along The Kerry Way

Caherdaniel - Standard

Your accommodation has been serving breakfast to Kerry visitors for over 20 years. They are located just outside the village of Caherdaniel and provide an ideal base for short or extended trips to the area. Rooms boast an unrivalled view over Kenmare Bay to greet you in the morning. All rooms are en suite and a varied breakfast is served from 8am.

Sneem - Standard

Our first choice accommodation is a 4 star guest house established in 1998. Situated in a peaceful setting in the lovely village of Sneem on The Kerry Way. This property provides a top quality guest experience from this ideal location with exceptional views of Sneem River and the Coomcallee Mountains.

Kenmare - Standard

This evening’s accommodation is a family run guest house originally built in the 1800’s. The accommodation is in a perfect location, less than 1km from Kenmare town. This traditional Irish bed and breakfast is ideally situated within walking distance of great pubs, restaurants, playground and local swimming pool.

Killarney - Standard

We have chosen a modern hotel in the heart of Killarney town centre as your accommodation at the start of your tour with us, along The Kerry Way. Our hotels will be rated 3 stars at least giving you the best place to relax before your week of walking.

Optional: Talk to the travel specialists about adding extra nights to your stay in Killarney, upgrading your room to a suite or upgrading your hotel to one of our 4 or 5 star offerings.

Killarney Average Temperature & Rainfall
Average Temperature Killarney Kerry Way Ireland WaysAverage Rainfall Killarney Kerry Way Ireland Ways

How to Get There

Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.




Kerry Airport 17km:

Kerry Airport to Killarney | Taxi | Travel time 0H20, taxi rank outside main terminal | Fare €30 approx.


Kerry Airport to Killarney | Bus Éireann No.285 | Travel time 0H30 outside the main terminal every 2 hours | Fare €9 return approx.


Cork Airport 88km:

Step 1: Cork Airport to Cork City | Bus Éireann – Bus No.226A | Travel time 0H20, leaving every 30 minutes.

Step 2: Cork City (Cork Kent Station) to Killarney | Irish Rail | Travel time 1H15, leaving every 2 hours | Fare €40 return approx.


Step 2: Cork City (Cork Kent Station) to Killarney | Bus Éireann No.40 | Travel time 2H, leaving every 2 hours from mid morning to mid day | Fare €40 return approx.


Dublin Airport 314km:

Dublin Airport to Killarney | Bus Éireann | Travel time 6H15 leaving Dublin Airport every 2 hours from mid morning to evening | Fare €50 return approx.

Dublin Airport to Killarney | Dublin Coach | Travel time 4H20 leaving Dublin Airport every hour for Red Cow, Change in Red Cow for 8 daily services from 06:35 to 21.35 each day to Killarney | Fare €20 one-way, Online booking advisable;


Dublin Airport 314km: (Via Dublin City Centre)

Step 1: Dublin Airport to Dublin City Centre | Aircoach | Travel time 0H30, leaving every 15-30min | Fare €6 approx. one way.


Step 1: Dublin Airport to Dublin City Centre | Dublin Bus – Bus No.747 | Travel time 0H40, leaving every 15min | Fare €6 one way. (NOTE: This bus also stops at Heuston Train Station).

Step 2: Once on O’Connell Street it is a short walk, tram or taxi ride to Heuston Train Station, Busaras Bus Depot or Burgh Quay.

Step 3: Dublin City Centre (Heuston Train Station) to Killarney | Irish Rail | Travel time 3H15, leaving every 2 hours | Fare €40 return approx.


Step 3: Dublin City Centre (Busaras Bus Depot) to Killarney | Bus Éireann | Travel time 6H15, leaving every 2 hours from morning to mid day | Fare €50 return approx.


Step 3: Dublin City Centre (Burgh Quay) to Killarney | Dublin Coach | Travel time 4H00, 8 services daily from 06:15 to 21:15 | Fare €20 one-way.  Online booking advisable;


More information:

Irish Rail – Train.

Bus Eireann – Intercity Bus.

Dublin Coach – Intercity Bus

Air Coach – Airport Transfer.

Dublin Bus – Dublin City Bus.

Luas – Dublin Tram service.