The Iveragh Peninsula may be the most visited region in Ireland, but instead of driving the famous Ring of Kerry we invite you to explore this breathtakingly beautiful place on foot.
The north side of the peninsula mirrors the old red sandstone of the Dingle Peninsula, gradually changing as you venture south to the limestone crags of the Beara Peninsula. Long sandy beaches on the north side give way to rocky inlets and coves. The climate is warm and temperate, allowing sub-tropical plants to flourish.
The glaciated Lakes of Killarney have been long famous as a tourist destination and are the centre of the Killarney National Park, home to native oak woods, birch, beech and one of the last remaining herd of red deer. Beyond the Park boundaries, trails become sheep paths, old droving and butter roads and formed forest tracks. There are no great ascents but there are some long and challenging days. This is not a route for the faint hearted, or the first time hiker!
Walking the Ring of Kerry offers a chance to see Bronze Age forts, early Christian remains and a 6th century monastic settlement. This tour is the perfect blend of bustling towns with plenty of options for tourists and rural villages when you seek the quieter side of Ireland.
The Kerry Way provides 215km (135mi) of remote valleys, expansive coastline and beautiful historic villages.
The 8-day tour is an abbreviated tour that starts at Glenbeigh and follows the full route from Glenbeigh to Killarney via Caherciveen, Waterville, Sneem and Kenmare.
This tour is split equally between MODERATE and STRENUOUS days, with options to shorten some of the longer routes.
See how we determine levels of difficulty for each of our hiking tours by visiting our FAQ page.
From Cork or Shannon airports, travel by bus to Killarney and take a local bus to Glenbeigh, a traditional seaside village on the north side of the peninsula.
Overnight accommodation in Glenbeigh village.
Your route passes under Seefin mountain with stunning views over the magnificent Rosbeigh Beach and Dingle Bay. The route turns inland at Drung Hill before walking through the Foilmore valley overlooked by the majestic Knocknadobar.
Distance 19km (12m) or 25.5km (16mi). Ascents up to 470m (1,542ft). Approximate walking time 6-8 hours.
Shorter route is possible by taking a transfer from Foilmore/Srugreana.
Total distance varies according to where your accommodation is located.
Overnight accommodation in Foilmore/Caherciveen.
Walk through the Caherciveen hinterland. The route passes through turf bogs and pine forest. Some short climbs give views over Valentia Island and the stunning scenery of the western end of the peninsula. Waterville is a colourful coastal village, bounded by a long white beach and the lovely Lough Currane.
Distance 20.5km (13mi). Ascents 520m (1,706ft). Approximate walking time 7.5 hours.
Total distance varies according to where your accommodation is located, Foilmore or Caherciveen.
Overnight accommodation in Waterville village.
A wonderfully scenic route rounding to the south side of the peninsula. The distance is short and there is time to take a detour at Derrynane and visit Derrynane House and Gardens, home of Daniel O’Connell known as ‘The Liberator’ who was the father of Catholic Emancipation during the 19th century.
Distance 15km (9mi). Ascents 320m (1,040ft). Approximate walking time 5 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Caherdaniel village.
Walk on the old “Butter road” – from where butter was transported by cart to Cork in the 19th century. The Way climbs again on the foothills of Eagle Hill and a short detour takes you to the 3rd century, stone built Staigue Fort. Your route stays above the main Ring of Kerry road, following rocky paths through sheep country to Sneem.
Distance 16.5km (10mi). Ascents 370m (1,214ft). Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Sneem.
This walk takes you along the rocky shoreline of Kenmare Bay, easy walking through forest and the estate of Dromore Castle. The delightful Blackwater Bridge spans the Blackwater River coming from high in the Macgillycuddy 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 and settled by Englishmen, who built a prosperous fishing industry and an ironworks.
Distance 28.5km (18mi). Ascents 600m (1,969ft). Approximate walking time 9.5 hours.
Shorter option: Distance 15.5km (10mi). Ascents 340m (1,115ft). Approximate walking time 5.5 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Kenmare.
Walk on the “Old Kenmare Road” a delightful pass at 500m between Peakeen & Knockanaguish mountains. Descend through Killarney National Park, old oak forests, lichens, red deer, views over the Lakes of Killarney. The end of the Way passes 18th century Muckross House and Gardens and into the tourist town of Killarney.
Distance 25km (16mi). Ascents 460m (1,509ft). Approximate walking time 6.5 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Killarney.
Depart by bus or train from Killarney.
July 2021 – Jim, California
We are leaving Killarney today, I just wanted to thank you for everything. We had an incredible walk along the Kerry Way. Everything was perfect. We loved the variety of b & b’s along the way and all of the owners were wonderful to work with. We could not be happier.
September 2019 – Mike + 4, UK
We all survived the Kerry Way!
Thank you for sorting a wonderful selection of accommodation. All of the hosts and rooms were perfect. Nothing was too much trouble for the hosts despite our arriving at the end of their season. The documentation was excellent and your own route guide surpassed all of the purchased guidebooks. The weather was mixed but generally bearable and any low spots were soon forgotten in the post mortem which took place each evening over a meal and a few drinks.
Many thanks again for your splendid organisation and support.
May 2019 – Joan & Vincent, Newfoundland & BC, Canada
Thank you for the very organized holiday!!! We didn’t have to worry about a thing, the B&B’s were all pleasant and clean, good food!!!! The trails were as well marked as can be expected, I would prefer more markers but that’s just me. I know its not plausible to have markers every 50 metres.
Hope to do another tour in a few years, I’ll recommend your company to everybody I tell my holiday stories to.
April 2019 – Stefan, Furfeld Germany
as promised, a short summary of my trip: fantastic!
Thank you so much for the orginisation, I had fabulous four weeks and I enjoyed every single day with no exception, I even cannot tell what was best.
All BnBs were good choices, but of course, some were better than others; my favorites are Failte Farmhouse (Catherine is wonderful), Derrynane Bay House and Rowan Tree. Anyway, I’m already thinking of doing the next walk next spring, so be prepared
August 2019 – Henk & Laura, Utrecht, The Netherlands
We would like to tell you that our walking holiday was a great success. We enjoyed every day. No problems of any kind. The owners/landlady’s of the B&B’s were very nice and we had good conversations with them. We admire the way they do their business, especially those in farmhouses. They work hard for a living!
May 2019 – Maria + 5 friends, NY
Just want to thank you for planning such a great trip for us. We had a wonderful time and all of the arrangements/accommodations were terrific. You even managed to get us good weather. Most of all, the people of Ireland were friendly, kind and funny.
June 2019 – Miriam, Karlsfeld, Germany
THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH for all the organizations und preparations that made my holidays work out so well. Starting off with a whole week of pure sunshine, was so special and I kept thinking to myself: “what are people telling about the weather in Ireland”!? I had a wonderful time and I´m sure I will come back.
August 2019 – Colin & Mike, Toronto, Canada
I have been meaning to write to tell you that my friend Mike and I really enjoyed the walk on The Kerry Way. After some rain the first few days, it started to clear up, and there was sunshine and blue skies for the last couple of days. The scenery along the trail was fabulous, and the trip to the Skellig Islands was quite an adventure. All of the B&Bs were very good, but special note goes to Mrs. Morris at Failte Farmhouse. She was very welcoming and even offered to do our laundry! All in all, it was a great trip. Thanks very much!