Kerry Way: 8-Day Self-Guided Walking Tour

8 Day Self-Guided Walking Tour along the Kerry Way in Ireland

Discover the Kerry Way, Ireland’s most picturesque walking trail

The Kerry Way is Ireland’s longest way-marked walking and hiking trail. With a total distance of 215 km (134 miles), the Kerry Way forms one part of the famous Wild Atlantic Way. From this, we have selected 128 km (80 miles) of the finest walking trails to be found anywhere in Ireland — this is wild Ireland at its very best.

Revitalise yourself in the peaceful beauty of Ireland’s natural landscape. As you hike the Kerry Way, you will encounter small towns and quaint villages, old country roads and trails, castles and traditional farms in an area 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 many visitors for hundreds of years.

If you have any questions or comments concerning the itinerary outlined below, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Prices / Dates

Price:  €789 per person sharing

Single Supplement: +€395

Solo Traveller Supplement: +€90

Tour Dates: 1 April to 31 October

Tour Grade: Moderate

Accommodation: Guesthouse & B&Bs

Included / Excluded

Day 1 - Arrival in the village of Glenbeigh

Arrive at Cork, Shannon or Kerry Airport and take a bus to your first accommodation in Glenbeigh, situated on the edge of the wild Atlantic Ocean. We will supply you with all the travel details that you will need to get to your first accommodation in Glenbeigh as soon as we have your flight details.
Glenbeigh is a village that welcomes you with traditional music and dance in its old-world pubs.

Day 2 - Glenbeigh to Cahersiveen

You have two options for the length of your walk today, 30 or 23 km, 18/14.3 miles. 

The walking trail today 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 continuing through the Foilmore valley overlooked by the majestic Knocknadobar.

Distance: 30/23 km / 18/14.3 miles, Ascent: 640 m / 1940 ft, Approximate walking time: 6 / 8 hours

Day 3 - Cahersiveen to Waterville

Today's walk takes you inland along a gentle ridge that is covered in a blanket of heather and peat. You will cross over a series of small hills including Keelmagore, Kanckayahaun, Coomduff and Knag and cross the Inny Valley. The day offers you a mixture of fantastic views of both land and sea. A network of minor road leads you into the town of Waterville.

The Gaelic translation for Waterville is "An Coirean" which means "The Little Whirlpool”. One of Waterville’s most famous sons was the great Charlie Chaplin. It was here that he and his family spend long holiday periods and a bronze statue stands on the promenade as a tribute to his love for the area.

Distance: 21.5 km / 13.4 miles, Ascent: 900 m / 2700 ft, Approximate walking time: 6 / 7 hours

Day 4 - Waterville to Caherdaniel

Today’s walk is short but exceptionally beautiful, taking you along some minor roads and through a forest of hazel trees and fuchsia hedgerows. You will have a chance to take a short detour to visit Derrynane House, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell, better known to the Irish people as "The Great Liberator" and father of Catholic Emancipation during the 19th century.

Distance: 15 km / 9.3 miles, Ascent: 400 m / 1200 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hours

Day 5 - Caherdaniel to Sneem

The walking trail today takes you on one of Ireland’s “Old Butter Roads” where butter was transported to Cork in the 19th century. The Kerry Way 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: 460 m / 1320 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

Day 6 - 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.  If you take the shorter route from Blackwater Bridge this requires a taxi transfer which is not included in the tour cost, the extra cost will be approximately €30 for the trip.
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 7 - Kenmare to Killarney on the "Old Kenmare Road"

Your final day of walking on the Kerry Way takes you along what is known as the old Kenmare Road. This disused road will guide you through remains of old farmsteads, small fields and potato furrows, clear evidence of a bygone era. On this very scenic walk, you may also encounter some native red deer that roam this land. Your tour finishes in the lively town of Killarney, a hub of activity offering you a choice of excellent restaurants, traditional pubs and interesting shops. You might also be interested in visiting the beautiful Cathedral, Ross Castle and Muckross House, the perfect place to end your Kerry experience.

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

Day 8 - 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...

I have now done 3 self guided trails - Wicklow, last year Kerry way and this year Beara way and every one a brilliant time. Everything is so well organised; great accommodation, transport of luggage to the next stopping point, and excellent clear directions and marked maps for the walking. And this year, the support they provide while walking was superb, as I got stuck on the mountain in the clouds, unable to see paths and markers - Christopher knew exactly where I was, and clearly directed me on... amazing! Just knowing I have that backup allows me to go out and do these walks alone. Having found someone who can give me the opportunity to do a mountain walk, with spectacular scenery, there is no doubt - I am off to do another one next year!
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