Kerry Way: 11-Day Self-Guided Walking Tour

Kerry Way 11 Day Self-Guided Walking Tour Ireland

Discover the Kerry Way, Ireland’s Most Breathtaking, Diverse Hiking Trail

The Kerry Way is Ireland’s longest way-marked walking and hiking trail. The route covers a total distance of 215 km (134 miles) along the Wild Atlantic Way. From this, we have selected a 197 km (124 miles) stretch that makes for one of the finest hiking trails to be found anywhere in Ireland. As you walk the Kerry Way you will encounter small market towns and quaint villages, old country roads and trails, castles, and traditional farms in areas of outstanding natural beauty.

The Ring of Kerry, or to give it its proper title “the Iveragh Peninsula”, is a mystical place and a wonderful opportunity to walk in an unspoiled region of Ireland that has attracted visitors for hundreds of years.

Prices / Dates

Price:  €1109 per person sharing

Single Supplement: +€555

Solo Traveller Supplement: +€135

Tour Dates: 1 April to 30 September

Tour Grade: Difficult

Accommodation: Guesthouse & B&Bs

Included / Excluded

Day 1 - Arrival in Ireland and Travel to Killarney. We will supply you with all the travel details as soon as we have your flight details.

Arrive at Dublin, Cork, Shannon, or Kerry Airport and take a bus to your first accommodation in Killarney. We will supply you with all the travel details as soon as we have your flight details.

Killarney Town ("Cill Airne" in Gaelic) means the Church of the Sloes. Sloes are the fruit of the Blackthorn tree and used in the making of sloe gin, jelly and many other dishes.

"We are all very proud of our vibrant 'little' town and the incredibly beautiful surrounding countryside which makes Killarney a very special place indeed. Brim full of history, heritage, activities, and world-class hospitality" (

Day 2 - Walk from Killarney to the Black Valley

The route takes you out of Killarney and through Killarney National Park where you will have a chance to visit the impressive 19th century Victorian Muckross House and its carefully tended gardens. From here, you climb steadily up by Torc Waterfall to join the Old Kenmare Road where you will have some great views of the Killarney Lakes and surrounding countryside.

As you walk, you will pass many ruins of old homesteads and fields that were once tilled and harvested by a generation that has long since passed. Your day finishes in the tranquil Black Valley where you will stay overnight.

Distance: 22 km / 13.8 miles, Ascent: 550 m /1650 ft, Approximate walking time: 6 / 7 hours

Day 3 - Black Valley to Glencar

The route takes you through a spectacular mountain landscape that frames the crossing of two passes, separating a beautifully cultivated valley and peaceful lakes. The surroundings are simply beautiful with imposing mountains to your right and left. The trail passes Cummeenduff Lake which is situated at the southern flanks of MacGillycuddy Reeks mountain range. You will continue down by Lough Acoose to finish your day in the townland of Glencar.

Distance: 20 km / 12 miles, Ascent: 670 m / 1530 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

Day 4 - Glencar to Glenbeigh

You have an easy day ahead that takes you on a landscape that comprises of lovely woodland paths and open mountains that offer you some superb views of the MacGillycuddy Reeks, Lough Caragh and meandering rivers. You will also have stunning views of Dingle Bay and part of the Dingle peninsula. Distance: 19.5 km / 12.15 miles, Ascent: 450 m / 1350 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

Day 5 - Glenbeigh to Cahirciveen

Today's trail takes you out of the village, across the river Behy and up through Behy Forest to join an old rail track. Your route passes the magnificent Rosbeigh Beach with stunning views over Dingle Bay before taking you through the Foilmore valley overlooked by the majestic Knocknadobar.

Distance: 30 km / 18 miles, Ascent: 640 m / 1940 ft, Approximate walking time: 6 / 8 hours

Day 6 - Cahirciveen to Waterville

Today's route passes through turf bogs and pine forests. Some short climbs give views over Valentia Island and the western end of the peninsula. This may be a long day but the views along the way are invigorating and you finish in the colourful and lively village of Waterville on the edge of Ballinskelligs Bay.

Distance: 25 km / 15.6 miles, Ascent: 850 m / 2550 ft, Approximate walking time: 7 / 9 hours

Day 7 - Waterville to Caherdaniel via the coast

Today you are walking along a wonderfully scenic trail by the coast. It is a short walk and time allows you to take a detour at Derrynane to visit Derrynane House and Gardens. It is the home of Daniel O’Connell, called ”The Liberator” and father of Catholic Emancipation during the 19th century.

Distance: 15 km / 9 miles, Ascent: 400 m / 1200 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hours

Day 8 - Caherdaniel to Sneem

The trail today takes you on one of Ireland’s “Old Butter Roads” where butter was transported to Cork in the 19th century. The walking trail climbs again on the foothills of Eagle Hill and a short detour takes you to the 3rd century stone-built Staigue Fort, one of the largest and finest ring forts you are likely to see in Ireland. Your walking route stays above the main Ring of Kerry road, following rocky paths through sheep country to the village of Sneem. Distance: 19 km / 11.8 miles, Ascent: 350 m / 1050 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

Day 9 - Sneem to Kenmare via Tahilla and Blackwater Bridge

You have the option today to walk 21 km/13 miles or the full route which is 30 km/18.6 miles. This walk takes you along the rocky shoreline of Kenmare Bay, followed by some easy walking through the forest and the estate of Dromore Castle. The delightful Blackwater Bridge spans the Blackwater River coming from high in the McGillycuddy Reeks.

Kenmare is an interesting and colourful market town on the banks of the Roughty River where it opens up into Kenmare Bay. It was founded in 1670 by a handful of Englishmen who built a prosperous fishing industry and an ironworks in the town.

Option 1: (Taxi Transfer) Blackwater Bridge to Kenmare.
Distance: 21 Km / 13 miles, Ascent: 650 m / 1950 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 6 hours

Option 2:(Full Route) Sneem to Kenmare
: 34 km / 21 miles, Ascent: 700 m / 2100 ft, Approximate walking time: 9 / 11 hours

Day 10 - Walk to Killarney along the "Old Kenmare Road"

Your final day of walking on the Kerry Way is on a delightful trail between Peakeen and Knockanaguish Mountains. You will descend through Killarney National Park, enjoying old oak forests, lichens, red deer and some amazing views over the Lakes of Killarney. As you near the end of your walking trail, you will pass the 18th century Muckross House and Gardens and continue into the tourist town of Killarney where you will stay overnight.

Distance: 25 km / 15.6 miles, Ascent: 720 m / 2160 ft, Approximate walking time: 7 / 9 hours

Day 11 - Depart

After a hearty Irish breakfast, you will depart for home.

All travel details will be supplied in your tour pack for your onward journey.

A few words from our customers...

After doing some research on the internet for a hiking trip in Ireland we decided on Footfalls Walking Tours. We are so glad we did - it was fantastic. Christopher and Teresa were great to work with - we are sorry though we never met them. Footfalls planned the 11 day trip for us, made all B&B arrangements, sent us maps and a narrative for each day and off we went. We started in Killarney and hiked from B&B to B&B We were also in Black Valley, Caherciveen, Glenbeigh, Kenmare and other places. The trip was perfectly planned, and the daily narratives were great and guided us thru our hike. It was an adventure of a lifetime. A fantastic vacation - we were happy we finished the Kerry Way, but we were very sad to come off the trail! THANK YOU, FOOTFALLS!!!
Vicky & John
I actually did back to back tours with Footfalls. Kerry hike followed immediately by Donegal. Both were a wonderful introduction to Ireland for me as I had not been there before. Hiking with Footfalls was an incredible way to experience this magical country. The walks were stunning even with some pretty extreme weather the first week, the BnBs accommodation delightful. Christopher and Teresa arrange all this with expertise and good nature and always made us feel at home in their stunning country. The walks across the two weeks were very varied and beautiful and manageable for everyone. I found the two trips I did nicely complemented each other, and I enjoyed exploring both the south and north of Ireland. Thank you, Christopher and Teresa. I am so happy that I found Footfalls and hope to meet up with you again one day.