The Kerry Way - 5 Days & 4 Nights5 Days & 4 Nights 4.5 Read 21 reviews
- Walking Kerry’s historic trails amongst the highest peaks in the Emerald Isle
- Soak up the atmosphere of County Kerry’s market villages and towns
- Lively Irish music and the ‘craic’ of authentic old-world pubs
- The 2000 year old Staigue Fort is one of Ireland’s best examples of a ring fort
- Majestic views of the Lakes of Killarney from the grounds of Muckross House
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent holiday.
Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
This trip is suitable for:
Solo Travellers, Multi-Generational
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Historical Journeys
- Coastal & Island
- National Parks & Trails
Grade & Terrain
This walk is graded moderate to strenuous (with the exception of the 5 days/4 nights option, which is graded ‘moderate’) and is suitable for regular walkers. It includes daily walks of around 20km (with more walks of around 30-33km on the 10 day/9 nights option), on varied terrain. Overall about 35% of the Kerry Way follows tarmac (bitumen) roads, which is less than most Irish national trails. This reflects the fact that rights of way are almost non-existent in Ireland. The road walking is scenic and mostly along quiet lanes, however there are from time to time some busier stretches where you will need to be cautious with traffic.
The Kerry Way is well way marked however you will also be supplied with the Rucksack Readers guidebook and detailed maps so you will have no problems following the route each day.
One of the highlights of this trip are the small and charming B&B's and Guest Houses along the route. A warm welcome is guaranteed upon arrival, as well as traditional Irish hospitality and food (either in your accommodation or nearby!).
We will always try and accommodate you at the locations that are detailed in the itinerary, but because of limited availability, it may sometimes be difficult for us to secure a booking. Some of the overnight locations are in remote valleys and for this reason, we might sometimes have to accommodate you elsewhere. Return taxi transfers to and from the path are included in the price. Please view the itinerary for more details.
We will be happy to accommodate your party with single rooms if requested and this trip is also available to solo walkers.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Alternatively, you can buy lunch at local shops or stop in a café. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs or restaurants.
- Overnights in bed and breakfast accommodation in en suite rooms wherever possible
- Door to door baggage transfer
- A detailed info pack, route notes/guidebook and OSi maps
- 24-7 Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of any issues
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
- Travel Insurance
- Personal Equipment
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
- Extra nights before, during and after your walk.
When To Go
You can start this trip on any day of the week, between March and October.
Getting to the StartTo get to and from Killarney there are a number of different airport options.
Kerry Airport: Flights are available to Kerry Airport with Ryanair from London Luton, London Stansted and Frankfurt. Aer Lingus fly between Dublin and Kerry Airport. There is a bus (25 mins) from Kerry Airport to Killarney. For bus timetables, see www.buseirann.ie
Cork Airport: Flights are available to Cork Airport with Aer Lingus from Bristol, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham. From Cork Airport it is a short bus ride (20 mins) to Cork Kent train station, then a 1h30-2hr train ride to Killarney. For train timetables, see http://www.irishrail.ie/
Shannon Airport: Flights are available to Shannon Airport with Aer Lingus from Dublin, Bristol, Manchester, London Heathrow and Birmingham, as well as Boston and New York JFK. Ryanair fly to Shannon from Liverpool and London Stansted. Air Transat fly from Toronto and US Airways fly from Philadelphia to Shannon. From Shannon Airport take a bus (approx. 2h50-3h40, via Limerick) to Killarney.
A bus service is available between Dublin/Limerick and Shannon Airport—see http://www.jjkavanagh.ie/
Dublin Airport is easily accessible from the UK with several low-cost airlines covering the route as well as scheduled international carriers. Irish Ferries also operate from Holyhead to Dublin.
By Bus around Inveragh Peninsula: There is a bus service (payable locally) which serves the key towns around the peninsula, however this is not hourly, so please check the timetable at www.buseireann.ie/
Getting from the End
Getting from Killarney, just follow the getting to suggestions in reverse.
Daily door-to-door baggage transfers are included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum weight of 20 kilograms per item.
Although most airlines have a standard baggage allowance of 23kg, we kindly ask you to distribute any excess weight over a separate bag. Please note that 2 bags per person are allowed, meaning 4 bags per couple.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jackets and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking shoes or boots, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
At up to 33km a day for the more strenuous tour, and up to a total of around 210km for the complete circuit, the Kerry Way is a fair distance and the higher your level of fitness the more you will enjoy the experience. Most of our itineraries involve an average of around 5-6 hours of walking daily so you should be comfortable walking on good tracks and paths over undulating terrain. If you currently don’t enjoy that level of fitness regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio-vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk is recommended. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
Our itineraries are mostly graded moderate and are suitable for regular walkers. Youll be walking along green roads, historic old roads, farm and forest tracks, paths across moorland and fields and minor roads. It is generally a low-level (albeit undulating) walk, interspersed with several ridge and spur crossings of between 200-300m. The highest point of the route is the summit of Knockavahaun at 371m.Overall about 35% of the Kerry Way follows tarmac (bitumen) roads, which is less than most Irish national trails. This reflects the fact that rights of way are almost non-existent in Ireland. The road walking is scenic and mostly along quiet lanes, however there are from time to time some busier stretches where you will need to be cautious with traffic.
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Kerry Way is extremely popular especially over April/May and July/August. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. Our info packs have a list of all equipment to bring on your walk.
Traditionally April through to August is a very pleasant time of year to walk.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets and several sections of the way are closed to dogs as they are permissive paths through farm land.
You can use public transport, local taxis or our baggage van may be able to move you to the next overnight stop. Full details are included in your info pack.
This route is well way-marked and much of it does follows a path. It is always advisable that you are know how to navigate with a map and compass although the Way is largely very straightforward to follow, especially with the maps and guidebook we provide.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive Killarney and overnight
Arrive in Killarney and check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the nearby sights.
Toni and Danny look forward to welcoming you to Larkinley Lodge situated just a 2 minute walk from the town centre of Killarney in County Kerry. The B&B has elegant ensuite guestrooms furnished with LCD flat screen TV, crisp linen, power showers, and luxury breakfasts. Guests will also be able to make use of complimentary wifi, and free parking. The B&B also run Killarney Private Tours which is a service provided by the accommodation taking guests on very bespoke tours of the region. Please contact the B&B direct if interested.
Abbey Lodge is a family run, newly refurbished B&B located just a 3 minute walk from the town centre.
Killarney Lodge is a large four-star guesthouse superbly located in Killarney, minutes from the town centre and nearby train/bus station.
Owned and managed by the Treacy family – you are guaranteed the highest level of personal service. All visitors will appreciate the superb location, exceptional service and charming ambience, not to mention the finest home baking! Free wifi is available throughout the house.
The lively ‘small’ town of Killarney is the official start of the Kerry Way. Relax into the Irish ‘craic’ at one of the many pubs or bars, or sample some of the country’s excellent seafood in one of the great restaurants you’ll find here.
Head south from this popular tourist town, crossing the River Flesk, and walk a gravel road which you’ll share with horse-drawn jaunting cars! Skirt the edge of Castlelough Bay with wonderful views across Lough Leane to the Shehy Mountains as you hike towards the Victorian townhouse and gardens of Muckross House and then on to the foot of Torc waterfall.
From time-to-time, you’ll be following the famed Ring of Kerry road route, with impressive views across to the Purple Mountain, and MacGillycuddy’s Reeks beyond. Revel in the serenity of the wild moorland, oakwoods and lakes of Killarney National Park. Here you’ll also find Lord Brandon’s Cottage and a beautiful six-arch bridge which crosses the Gearhameen river, in the heart of Black Valley.
Please note: Due to a lack of accommodation available in Black Valley, you may be accommodated in Killarney for an extra night. Taxi transfers will be provided to take you from the trail to your overnight accommodation in Killarney and back the next day.
You are assured a very warm welcome from Trevor and Nana at Black Valley Lodge. Scenically situated in the heart of Killarney's Lake and mountain area, with picturesque views.
Hosts Robert and Mary Tangney welcome you to Hillcrest Farmhouse, a traditional homely farmhouse, scenically situated in the heart of Killarney's Lake and mountain area, with picturesque views of the McGillicuddy Reeks. All bedrooms are en-suite with television, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. In the evening can relax in the lounge or enjoy watching the sheep and lambs grazing from your bedroom window. Drying room for wet clothes and boots available.
You are assured a very warm welcome from Sheila & Margret O'Sullivan at Shamrock Farmhouse. They offer recently renovated en suite bedrooms with shower/WC and a standard bedroom with own separate bathroom. All rooms offer views of the mountains and the Black Valley. Hot and cold-water hand basins are available in all rooms. The rooms are centrally heated. Enjoy the views from the guest lounge/dining room while having your Irish or Continental breakfast or your evening dinner! Comfortable armchairs, fire-place and colour TV add to the homely atmosphere.
A picnic table and garden chairs are available for you to enjoy the scenery outside the house on fine days.
Encounter some of the most rugged landscapes of the Emerald Isle. Ascend out of the Black Valley to find views of Bridia Valley ahead. Walkers will need to take care on a couple of steep and bouldery descents from the two passes on this section. Follow quiet tarmac and gravel roads, as well as paths through forest and fields.
Take in views to the wide Caragh River Valley and the range of hills beyond, dominated by the tilted triangular peak of Mulaghanattin (773m). Soon you’ll reach the shores of Lough Acoose, with views beyond to the Dingle Peninsula, western Reeks and Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain (1,039m). Finally, you approach Glencar on the main road.
Blackstones House B&B is an old style award winning house scenically situated beside Blackstones Bridge on the Upper Caragh River. There are 6 en-suite bedrooms. All bedrooms are en suite with powered showers, tea/coffee making facilities, with satellite television, hairdryer and free WiFi. Each of the rooms are decorated to the highest of standards and are spacious. Each room has a panoramic view of the Caragh river, mountains and woodlands together with the soothing sound of the Blackstones Falls.
A genuine Irish Welcome, tranquillity and breath taking views await you at Lough Acoose House B&B! With friendly rooms, all ensuite, as well as a wide range of facilities and services plus home cooking is a specialty! They are well prepared for walkers, offering evening meals, packed lunches and laundry service.
A warm welcome awaits you at the Stepping Stone B&B. In a stunning location and the nearest accommodation to Carrauntoohil. All rooms have ensuite facilities and each room comes with a hospitality tray in each room, tea, Coffee, Mineral water & Confectionary. A laundry service is available from €8.
Easy trails characterise this section as you follow first a ‘boreen’ (small road) then gravel forestry tracks to Lickeen Wood. Panoramic views to the wooded valley of Glencar and Lough Caragh enchant you as you round the hill and then ascend the gentle lower slopes of Seefin.
You have a choice of (both delightful) paths to Glenbeigh; either descending on a more relaxed but longer approach (9km), or following a shorter rocky track to Glenbeigh (4km) ascending 100m to the saddle at Windy Gap, from where you will enjoy vistas over beautiful Inch Strand beach and the Dingle Peninsula. Glenbeigh is situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and a great place to revel in traditional music and old-world pubs.
Kerry Ocean Lodge is a 20-room lodge providing B&B accommodation with some rooms having fantastic views of 6-mile long Rossbeigh Beach and the Seefin Mountains. Guest bedrooms are bright and spacious and have been tastefully decorated with pine floors and modern furnishings to ensure maximum comfort and relaxation. All rooms are en-suite, with TV, power shower, tea/ coffee making facilities and hairdryers.
Your hosts extend a warm welcome to this small traditional hotel. They have 12 well-appointed rooms and a bar and restaurant where you are sure to get a hearty meal and a drink and perhaps some live music!
Established in 1895, the family run Towers Hotel is located in the heart of the picturesque village of Glenbeigh. The cosy rooms all include bathrooms with baths, showers and hairdryers. They also feature TVs and tea/coffee-making facilities and rooms either have views of the village or the beach. The Curra Restaurant serves modern Irish cuisine and sources its meats from local suppliers and seafood from Dingle Bay. The lounge bar has a baby grand piano and artwork from Irish artists. Towers Old Bar has a range of bar food, a real log fire and a large-screen TV showing live sports. There is also an outdoor seating area in the garden.
After breakfast you will take a bus to Killarney where your walking holiday will come to an end. See the Travel Info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
Walk of the Week: The Kerry WayThis week, we're off to the Emerald Isle to experience its lush green ...
Top Reasons to Visit IrelandIf you are in need of an authentic and memorable experience, then loo ...
Essential Facts About the Kerry WayThere are some considerations when walking the Kerry Way in Ireland a ...
Festivals and Events in IrelandIreland can be enjoyed at any time of the year with its outstanding n ...
The Macs Adventure Way
- Tailor-Made Adventures
- Book With Confidence
- Positive Impact
- Knowledgeable and helpful friendly specialist adventure planners
- Tailor-make your trip to suit your interests
- Start on any date that suits you
- Choose your ideal trip length and difficulty
- Range of accommodation options
- Choice of trip styles
- Choose your own travel companions
- Walk, cycle and explore at your own pace
- Make your own decisions
- Choose your own path
- Indulge your passions
- 15,000+ unbiased trip & service reviews
- Feefo Platinum Award 2021
- As featured in the Guardian, National Geographic Traveller, and more
- Founder owned & operated since 2003
- Passionate team members based in the US, the UK & Europe
- 100% Financial Protection
- "Peace of Mind Guarantee" means no worries if you need to change your plans
- Meticulously planned adventures
- Quality, hand-picked accommodation
- Seamless and reliable arrangements
- Comprehensive trip information & insider tips
- Detailed maps, route notes and mobile GPS app
- Helpful 24/7 support should you need it
- Travel responsibly
- Explore off the beaten track
- Support locally owned businesses
- Engage with local communities
- Minimise your impact
- Maximise the benefit of your travel
- Challenge yourself & grow