This 12-day walking tour starts and finishes in Killarney and takes in the entire Kerry Way walking route. While the daily itineraries are not overly strenuous, this tour is graded a 4 for its duration and the best section through the Black Valley and Lack road.
- Walking above and beyond the very famous Ring of Kerry. All the best sites and sights in peace, on foot.
- Muckross House and Killarney National Park, by track and trail.
- Looking west to the Skellig Islands and the Atlantic from Foilclogh Hill. Get there if you can. And don’t miss the Skellig Chocolate makers!
- Derrynane House and Park, blissful gardens, dunes and coffee shop.
From Cork or Shannon airports, travel by bus to Killarney. The town is world renowned for the unsurpassed beauty of its setting on the shores of Lough Leane. It is an interesting place to stay, with plenty to see and do.
Overnight accommodation in Killarney town centre.
Day 2 – Killarney to Black Valley
Follow the lake shore through Killarney National Park, passing Muckross House & Gardens, Torc Waterfall, and through native oak forests. The Way is well marked and a pleasant start to the tour. Lunch at Lord Brandon’s Cottage at the head of the Upper Lake before entering the remote Black valley – the last place in Ireland to be electrified in 1967.
Distance 22km. Ascent 400m. Approximate walking time 7 hours.
Overnight in Black Valley farm guesthouse. Dinner will be in your guesthouse.
Day 3 – Black Valley to Glencar
Old green roads and mountain sheep country, under the magnificent Magillicuddy Reeks and Carrauntohill, Ireland’s highest mountain. The Black Valley passes into the Bridia Valley and mountain farming communities are all that are to be found here. Old roads from settlements go by the magnificent Lough Acoose under the Reeks to Glencar on the Caragh River.
Distance 23km. Ascent 300m. Approximate walking time 6 or 7 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Glencar townland.
Day 4 – Glencar to Glenbeigh
Start through the old woodlands of Glencar and lovely Blackstones Bridge. The route climbs above Caragh Lake then crosses Seefin Mountain via the Windy Gap with views of Dingle Bay. Descend through the Cummergorm Glen to the seaside village of Glenbeigh.
Distance 13km. Ascent 200m. Approximate walking time 4 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Glenbeigh village.
Day 5 – Glenbeigh to Derrymore
Pass under Seefin mountain with stunning views to the north 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 or 23 km. Ascents 300m. Approximate walking time 7 hours.
Overnight in Derrymore valley. Dinner will be in your guesthouse.
Day 6 – Free Day
Free day in Derrymore with a number of options. Transfer to Cahirciveen to take a ferry to Valentia Island and walk on the island (11km). Take a boat trip from Portmagee to the Unesco heritage site at the Skellig Islands (45 minutes, fare not included); spectacular scenery with 5th century monastic remains perched on the Atlantic edge.
Overnight accommodation in Derrymore valley.
Day 7 – Derrymore to Waterville
Walk through the hinterland of Cahirciveen. The route passes through turf bogs and pine forest. Some short climbs give views over Valentia Island and the western end of the peninsula. Overnight in Waterville, a colourful coastal village.
Distance 25km. Ascents 350m. Approximate walking time 7 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Waterville village.
Day 8 – Waterville to Caherdaniel
A wonderfully scenic route as the Way rounds the southern side of the peninsula into a different climate. 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’ and was the father of Catholic Emancipation during the 19th century.
Distance 15km. Ascents 200m. Approximate walking time 5 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Caherdaniel village.
Day 9 – Caherdaniel to Sneem
Walk on the “old Butter road” – from where butter was transported 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 19km. Ascents 280m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Sneem village.
Day 10 – Sneem to Kenmare
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.
Distance 14 or 26km. Ascents 320m. Approximate walking time 6 or 8 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Kenmare town.
Day 11 – Kenmare to Killarney
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. Ascents 550m. Approximate walking time 7 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Killarney town centre.
Day 12 – Departure from Killarney
Departure by bus or train to Killarney.
Prices & Booking
€198 single supplement.
* Eleven nights Bed & Breakfast guesthouse accommodation.
* Luggage transfers each day.
* Detailed route descriptions.
* Relevant 1:50000 maps.
What’s not included:
* Other meals.
* Entries or excursions.
* Transfers to or from Killarney.
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 organisation, 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 🙂 or give me some suggestions!!
August 2019 – Henk & Laura, Utrecht, The Netherlands
We would like to tell you that our walking holiday was a great succes. 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 2010 – Miriam, Karlsfeld, Germany
THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH for all the organizations and 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!
Location & Grade