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The Kerry Way

The enchanting Kerry Way encaptures the raw and untouched beauty of Ireland on a national walking trail that also takes in the highlights of the famed Ring of Kerry Route. Set off on captivating walks through rolling landscapes characterised by quiet valleys, dramatic coastlines and peaceful lakes in the southwest corner of the Emerald Isle.

Killarney National Park is Ireland's oldest protected wilderness and makes for a scenic walk with its lakes, waterfalls, forests and a constant backdrop of mountains. Be sure to visit Ross Castle and Muckross House from where you can take in views to the Killarney Lakes. Although County Kerry is home to the highest mountains in Ireland, the Kerry Way takes in lower-level inland and coastal routes. Walk around the Iveragh Peninsula with views to the wild Atlantic Ocean and its many offshore islands. The wild glens, old green roads and historic tracks have been travelled for hundreds of years. Sample a refreshing pint of Guinness upon arrival in one of the charming market towns and listen to the local folktales.

Enjoy world-class hospitality at our friendly, hand-picked accommodations and set off on your walks with the peace of mind that your main luggage will be transferred to your next overnight stop. This classic national trail is a must for anyone who wishes to discover the real flavour of Ireland. Simply pick an itinerary, and we will take care of anything else!

Discover The Kerry Way

  • Points of Interest
    Points of Interest

    Killarney National Park – This is Ireland’s first national park with extensive areas of native forest, calm lakes, and quiet moorland. One of the two main highlights are Ross Castle and Muckross House which are well worth a visit.

    Black Valley – This remote valley is locally known as Cummeenduff meaning “Black Valley” in Irish. It is located at the end of the MacGillycuddy's Reeks mountain range in Kerry, south of the Gap of Dunloe. It was the last place in Ireland to be connected to the national electric grid in 1976.

    Kenmare Bay – Kenmare is a small town that is also referred to as “the jewel in the Ring of Kerry”. The name is the anglicised form of Ceann Mara, meaning "head of the sea" which refers to Kenmare Bay. Make sure to wave hello to one of the local seals!

    Staigue Fort – This is one of the largest ring forts to be found in Ireland and is located just outside Sneem on the Iveragh Peninsula in Kerry. It is thought to have been built during the Iron Age between 300 and 400 AD as a defensive stronghold for a local lord or king.

    Skellig Islands – These are two uninhabited, rocky and remote islands off the southwestern coast of Ireland. Although not part of the Kerry Way route, this could make for a fascinating detour. Its well-preserved 6th-century monastery has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The islands can be visited from the coast of Portmagee. If you want to see puffins, go before August!

  • Irish Myths & Legends
    Irish Myths & Legends

    Storytelling has been a staple of the Irish culture since the dawn of time and the folklore has famous myths and legends. Think of the many songs, limericks and tales that exist. It is safe to say that mythology and Ireland go hand in hand, have you heard of any of these stories?

    • The Leprechauns (or locally known as "Leath bhrògan"): The name translates from 'shoemaker' and the leprechaun is the cultural symbol of Ireland. They were said to roam the Emerald Isle before humans did, wearing a unique hat and red hair. Leprechauns leave a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, so be sure to have a look if you see one!

    • The Pooka (or locally known as "púca"): Pooka's are shape-changing creatures that are some of the most feared in Irish folklore. They are said to be evil and bring bad luck to those who have seen them. For this reason, they are most feared by farmers around the times of harvest!

    • The Irish Harp: You may have noticed that the harp is the national symbol of Ireland, think of the company logos of famous Irish brands such as Guinness and Ryanair. The story goes that evil gods stole the first harp from Dagda (an Irish king). This caused a lack of music in Ireland and people turned very sad. The evil gods then gave back the harp and the joy returned to the entire land. This is how the harp became a national icon!

    • The Shamrock: The three-leafed clover is an important Irish legend and crucial in the spread of Christianity across the Emerald Isle. St Patrick saw a clover and decided to use it to explain the three strands of the father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as one, to the Celts. The Celts could previously not understand what St Patrick was trying to say, but with the help of the shamrock, they finally did. 
  • Must-Read Irish Books
    Must-Read Irish Books

    Reading a book can give you a really good taste of the culture, history and landscapes of a destination. Whether you are planning a trip to Ireland or have recently booked a trip, here are some classic books that are set in Ireland!

    Dubliners by James Joyce - This famous collection includes 15 short stories about the lives of ordinary people living in Dublin in the early 1900s. The book has a variety of characters and is an easy read with varied outlooks on life. 

    The Sea by John Banville - This novel is about love, loss, and the power of memory. A middle-aged Irishman called Max returns to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child to cope with the loss of his dear wife. Max comes to understand the past and this is the center of this beautifully written novel.

    The Wild Irish Girl by Sydney Owensen - This book quickly reached bestseller status after it was published in 1806. In this story, a badly behaved boy is banished to his father's estate in Ireland to mend his ways. He then falls in love with the land and with a girl that he meets, but there are some complicated family affairs.

    The Green Road by Anne Enright - This is the 6th novel by Anne Enright concerning the lives of the Madigan family on Ireland's Atlantic coast. This book is about family, selfishness and compassion when a family returns to the west coast of Ireland for a final family Christmas before their mother's home is about to sell. After a big conflict, the family is confronted with their ties and the road that brought them home. 

    Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly - This story takes place in a hidden corner of Ireland where fisherman and farmers find hope and courage in their songs, faith and celebrations. This novel describes the life of a young couple starting a family and selling their crops and catch to pay rent. Potatoes have become the bread and butter of their existence and when three harvests are destroyed, the natural disaster turns into The Great Starvation.

    The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey - This novel delves into the politics of Northern Ireland at the beginning of the 20th-century where main character Eileen is torn between two men, each drawing her to one extreme. As war is declared, Eileen begins working at a local mill and tries to save money to hold onto her dreams. This story describes her struggles in trying to separate politics from her personal life.

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