The Kerry Way
The Kerry Way

The Kerry Way is one of the longest signposted walking trails in Ireland. It is approximately 215km long  (135 miles) and one of the most enjoyable ways to see the true Kerry if you are in to walking. How long it takes you to complete the trail (you don’t have to do it all) depends obviously on your level of fitness and how quickly you walk. In general the Kerry way is broken into 9 main stages,

Stage km Miles
Killarney to the BlackValley 22 14
BlackValley to Glencar 20 12
Glencar to Glenbeigh 18 11
Glenbeigh to Cahirciveen 28 17
Cahirciveen to Waterville 30 19
Waterville to Caherdaniel 28 17*
Caherdaniel to Sneem 19 12
Sneem to Kenmare 30 19

Kenmare to Killarney

25 16

* The coastal route from Waterville is shorter at 13km.

If you wish to walk the entire route you should allow around nine days. We would recommend that you buy a good book (one possible choice is The Kerry Way - Sandra Bardwell) which will give more detail on the route itself along with the relevant maps. You will not find one ordnance survey map that covers the entire region but we would recommend that you get map numbers 78, 83,84 from the discovery series (from the OSI, Ordnance Survey Ireland). These in effect cover most of Kerry and can be purchased at any good bookshop. In general the walk starts and finishes in Killarney walking in an anticlockwise direction. As the walk is largely circular in nature with a few spurs you can start and finish where you please.

The walking route predominantly follows paths and “unsurfaced roads” with no vehicular traffics (there are a few linking pieces on surfaced roads) and is generally quite firm underfoot. Sections of the walk go through forestry, national park, and private farmland. (The Kerryway has been set up in agreement with local farmers and landowners so please respect the landowner's property. It is after all the source of their livelihood). Parts of the route can be rough underfoot and parts can be boggy. That said for the most part the route is very well laid out and extremely pleasant. The Kerry Way in general follows routes that are higher than the main roads thus enhancing the views (the highest point is 385m ). Route marking is discreet and wherever the route leaves a road the walking man symbol is used, elsewhere on the route yellow arrows on posts or rocks are used. Preparation is as always the key to a successful walking holiday.