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.
Day 1 Arrive in Glenbeigh
Arrive at Cork, Shannon or Kerry Airport and take a bus to your first accommodation in Glenbeigh, situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. A village that welcomes you with traditional music and dance in its old world pubs.
Day 2 Glenbeigh to Foilmore
The trail takes you out of Glenbeigh to cross the river Behy, over Rossbeigh Hill where you will have fantastic views looking out across the Dingle Bay and over to the Dingle Peninsula. The Kerry Way continues onto the slopes of Drung Hill to follow an old coach road, giving spectacular views over the Atlantic.
Your day finishes in Foilmore.
Distance: 19 km/12 miles, Ascent: 420 m/1260 ft
Day 3 Foilmore to Waterville
This section 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 like Keelmagore, Kanckayahaun, Coomduff and Knag and across 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 (An CoireÁn) “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.
Day 4 Waterville to Caherdaniel
Today’s walk is short but exceptionally beautiful, taking you along some minor roads, 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.
Distance 14 km/9 miles, Ascent 300 m/900 ft
Day 5 Caherdaniel to Sneem
Leaving Caherdaniel the trail takes you somewhat inland to round the base of Ballycarnahan Hill before revealing some lovely views across the inlet of Kenmare. You will travel along “The Old Butter Road”, which was used to transport butter to Cork in the 19th century for export to foreign shores. Along the way you can take a short detour to visit Staigue fort, one of the largest and finest ring forts to be found in Ireland. It is said that this fort dates back to the first century BC.
Overnight in the colourful village of Sneem.
Distance 18 km/11 miles, Ascent 350 m/1050ft
Day 6 Sneem to Kenmare
The trail leaves Sneem to take you through Derryquin Forest and along by the headland of Kenmare Bay. This section of the Kerry Way is relatively easy with only minor rises and falls. Along the way you will pass Dromore Castle, built in the early 19th century for Denis Mahony, a minister of the Church of Ireland. The final stage takes you on a short ascent to reach the summit of Gortamullin Hill before descending into Kenmare for your overnight stay.
Distance 28 km/175 miles, Ascent 520 m/1560 ft
Day 7 Kenmare to Killarney
Your final days walk 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 from excellent restaurants to traditional pubs and nice shops, but also a fine cathedral, Ross Castle andMuckrossHouse; the perfect place to end your Kerry experience.
Distance 25 km/15.6 miles, Ascent 560 m/1680 ft
End of tour :)