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About the The Kerry Way

214 km(133 mi)
Type of trail

Difficulty is highly personal. Be aware of the weather conditions as bad weather turns easier trails in difficult trails especially in the mountains.


Lodging means a mix of hotels, hostels or AirBnB’s.

Lodging, Camping
Elevation gain
5310 m(17421 ft)
Hills, Countryside
Some of the time
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The Kerry Way is one of the most famous long-distance trails in Ireland. The trail is a 214 km loop that begins and ends in Killarney and is a must-hike trail in Ireland. The Kerry Way goes through a diverse range of landscapes throughout Kerry County, including lakes, forests, coastlines, countryside, hills, and even some smaller mountains. The trail passes through the Killarney National Park, Black Valley, and some coastal villages like Waterville. Along the way, you can overnight in the cozy B&Bs and resupply in the villages you’ll cross.

The trail is located on the Iveragh Peninsula in the west of Ireland and is not only home to the Kerry Way, but it’s also home to the Way of Kerry, the famous drive around the island for motorbikers, cars, and campers.


Elmar Teegelbeckers

Passionate hiker Elmar spends months of his time on the trail. He’s usually on the lookout for hidden gems in one of his favourite countries such as Slovenia, Switzerland and Japan. He founded hiking-trails.com in need for a community and detailed information about the trails. Before this, he worked for the Alpine asscociation in the Netherlands[ (NKBV) but lost his heart to the trails.

With this website and socials, he hopes to shape an inclusive community for hikers all over world. No matter your speed, experience or level, you can get out there to enjoy the trails and connect with the heartwarming hiking community. Life is so much better outside and he hopes to inspire hikers to take their first, or next, step on the trail.

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The Trail

The Kerry Way begins in Killarney, a town with famous bars and enough shops to pick up your last groceries before you head out on the trail. From here, you’ll hike directly into the Killarney National Park, passing Muckross House and the Torc Waterfall. This section ends in Black Valley, a remote valley where they credit their name to the fact that they had no electricity for centuries here. You’ll likely sleep at the Black Valley Hostel, one of the only options here. You can cook yourself and if you need groceries, just let the owners know one day before you come know and they will get it for you. Trail magic.

The next day you’ll hike to Glencar through the beautiful hills of Ireland. You’ll climb some passes and see some farmer houses along the way. A last stretch through a magical forest brings you to the Climbers Inn, a hostel/hotel where you can sleep. You can also pitch your tent in their garden for 15 euros. From here you can also climb Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil, at 1038 meters (3407 ft).

A shorter stage brings you from Glencar to Glenbeigh. You’re hiking along the countryside and climbing Windy Cap, a last push before you descend down to Glenbeigh. Here there’s plenty of accommodation and a supermarket but you can also hike a bit further and look for a B&B along the way.

From Glenbeigh, you’ll have a few options to hike to. Most hikers go to Cahersiveen to spend the night and then hike backward to the trail. Another option is to go directly north, passing Cahersiveen towards Dromid where you can find the Dromid hostel. Here you’ll reach the halfway point and can bag the highest peaks on the Kerry Way. At the Dromid hostel, you can cook your own meals and there’s also a small shop for hikers. This alone makes it a perfect stop!

From the Dromid hostel, you’ll follow your way to Waterville, a cozy coastal town, perfect to stay in, or you can check out Caherdaniel as another great option for the night. From here the trail gets easier. Following a beautiful ridgeline with coastal views you can hike from Dromid to Caherdaniel and stay at the hostel here. This hostel can’t be found on Google but it exists for sure. Make sure you have some food at the pub, the Blind Piper, for a pint and some great fish & chips.

The last stages of the trail are a bit shorter and easier as you’re following mainly paved roads towards Sneem, which is a bit more of a touristy town, Greenwood where you can find a hostel, and the last town along the way, Kenmare, which is a bit fancier with high-class hotels. After Kenmare, you hike back into the Killarney National Park and follow a small part of the same trail back to Killarney to end the Kerry Way and conclude your loop of more than 200 kilometers on the Iveragh Peninsula.


You can choose your own itinerary on the Kerry Way.  This is the most used itinerary if you want to hike the trail in 9 days. Note that you can find most of the accommodations in the towns. There are not many campsites along the way and it’s not possible to wild camp in Kerry as it’s prohibited and also really difficult with the wet and not flat ground.

Kerry Way 9-day itinerary

Stage 1:

Killarney – Black Valley, 23km | 14 mi

Stage 2:

Black Valley – Glencar, 21km | 12 mi

Stage 3:

Glencar – Glenbeigh, 16km | 10 mi

Stage 4:

Glenbeigh – Cahersiveen, 28km | 17 mi

Stage 5:

Cahersiveen – Waterville, 30km | 19 mi

Stage 6:

Waterville – Caherdaniel, 13km | 8 mi

Stage 7:

Caherdaniel – Sneem, 19km | 12 mi

Stage 8:

Sneem – Kenmare, 30km | 19 mi

Stage 9:

Kenmare – Killarney, 25km | 16 mi


Hiking the Kerry Way will give you plenty of options for your sleeping spot depending on different preferences and budgets. A lot of the time, you can sleep in the cozy inns and guesthouses or at one of the hostels along the way. Sometimes you can also pitch your tent at the hostels and guesthouses, however, you won’t find designated campsites along the Kerry Way and wild camping is prohibited. It’s advisable to book your accommodation far in advance as the Iveragh Peninsula is really popular among other tourists and can be quite pricey if you need to book last minute.

Camping on the Kerry Way

It’s quite hard to find camping spots along the Kerry Way. Wild camping isn’t a possibility, so you need to stay in the gardens of the hostels and accommodation if they let you. At the Climbers Inn on the second stage and the Dromid hostel along stage five this is a possibility. Further, it will be more difficult if you need to divert from the trail for many kilometers to find a wild camping spot, so it’s advisable to just stay at the hostels or other accommodations along the way.

Best time of the year

The best time of the year to hike the Kerry Way is generally from late spring to early autumn, from May through September. These periods typically offer a favorable balance of milder weather, longer daylight hours, less crowded trails, and less chance of rain. But as you know, hiking in Ireland always brings a fair chance of rain.

Safety & Gear

The Irish weather can be unpredictable, with sudden changes affecting visibility and trail conditions. Always check the weather forecast before you start your day and be prepared for all conditions, including rain, wind, and storms even during summer months.

Wear appropriate hiking shoes with good grip, as the terrain can be rocky and uneven. Dress in layers to easily adjust to changing temperatures, and always carry waterproof clothing. Your backpack should include essentials such as extra food and water, a first aid kit, and a lightweight emergency shelter.

Check that you’re physically prepared for the challenge. The trail can be demanding, with long distances and some steeper sections. Start with shorter hikes and gradually increase your distance in the months leading up to your trip. Listen to your body and take breaks as needed, you’ll get there!

Good to know

The Kerry Way is best done in the spring or early fall. In the summer, it can be a bit busier, and it’s wise to always book your accommodations in advance. The villages are small and there usually aren’t too many affordable places to sleep. Camping is not advisable on this trail as wild camping is prohibited and you won’t find many camping spots alongside the trail. You can bring your tent but you’ll always need to stay most of the stages in the accommodations along the way. The hostels on the Kerry Way are a great budget-friendly option.


Walking the Kerry Way

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