Current as of: April 25, 2024 - 00:00

Walking the Kerry Way and Killarney National Park

Walking the Kerry Way and Killarney National Park Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Self-Guided Holidays
  • Destination: Ireland
  • Programmes: Walking & Trekking
  • Activity Level:

    3 out of 7 - Moderate

  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 18+
  • Trip Code: W07KE

Trip Overview

The Kerry Way is the Emerald Isle’s longest trail – at 210km, it offers fantastic views of the unspoilt landscapes – a walk here will swathe you in 10,000 years of dramatic Celtic history.

Nestled in the south-west corner of Ireland, you’ll spot contrastingly beautiful landscapes at every turn. From rugged cliffs to some of Europe’s finest golden beaches, small friendly villages and velvety green fields to picturesque mountain ranges.

Starting in the famous town of Killarney, boasting the magnificent ‘Three Lakes of Killarney’. This circular coastal route follows the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way, you’ll pass lovely towns and villages – Waterville, a favoured fishing location for Charlie Chaplin, Sneem famous for its little bridge and Kenmare with its historic textile industry.

Meandering the landscape, which was carved out of rock by the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago, marvel at Iron Age forts and ruined abbeys amongst the many sheep that dot the fields, crisp blue loughs and pretty waterfalls. As you head southwards, the coastal views get better and better.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of HHH, HHHH and 4-star hotels
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps

Highlights

  • Peaceful, beautiful walks in the south-west corner of Ireland
  • Killarney National Park: Ireland's oldest protected wilderness with Ireland's only herd of wild red deer
  • Panoramic views of glistening lakes and rugged mountains
  • A million shades of green as the road follows the contours of the land
  • 10,000 years of dramatic Celtic history

Is This Trip for You?

Average daily distance on move on days: 22km.
No. of days walking: 6
Terrain and route: The walking is on well marked trails, the terrain at times can be a little muddy underfoot and some rocky sections. There are some coastal paths which are wide but do have drops. Walking boots are essential and poles are highly reccommended.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. Please note: the walking and luggage transfers included in this tour are subject to a minimum of 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. A supplement (payable in advance) to cover these transfers and sole occupancy of a room will apply if only 1 person travelling on a departure date.

Adult min age: 18

Itinerary

Walking the Kerry Way and Killarney National Park

Land Only

  • Start City: Killarney
  • End City: Killarney

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Killarney

This popular town is renowned for its three magnificent lakes in the heart of Kerry. Check into your B&B and then explore the town, choosing from one of its many restaurants for dinner and perhaps enjoying some live music.
You stay at the Abbey Lodge (breakfast included)

Day 2
Glenbeigh to Cahersiveen

After a transfer to just outside Glenbeigh, today’s walk takes you along the northern shores of the peninsula, to the town of Cahersiveen. Following an old 17th century ‘stage coach’ route, passing through deserted villages, once busy centres of activity, trading with passengers on the old stage coaches. You’ll be met by spectacular views across to the Dingle Peninsula, with Rossbeigh Strand and Inch Beach, famous for the film, Ryan’s Daughter.
You stay at San Antoine B&B (breakfast included)

Distance covered: 13mi (21km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3
Cahersiveen to Waterville

From Cahersiveen, you will once again be driven a short distance to the starting point of today’s walk at Coars Cross. From here you will be walking to the town of Waterville. This walk takes you across the tip of the peninsula with views north over the Dingle Peninsula and south to Kenmare Bay.
You stay at Seaclusion B&B (breakfast included)

Distance covered: 11mi (18km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4
Waterville to Caherdaniel

Continuing from the town of Waterville, you walk around and above the coast to reach the village of Caherdaniel. Glorious coastal views out towards the Skellig Islands and Ballinskelligs Bay await along the route.
You stay at Derrymane Bay House (breakfast included)

Distance covered: 9mi (15km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5
Caherdaniel to Sneem

Continue walking from the village of Caherdaniel, following an old ‘butter road’ to the village of Sneem. The views across the Beara Peninsula and out to the Atlantic Ocean are fantastic.
You stay at Coomasig View (breakfast included)

Distance covered: 7mi (12km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Sneem to Kenmare

This morning you will be transferred to Tahilla Church, just outside the town of Sneem to walk to the renowned town of Kenmare. This walk takes you along the shores of Kenmare Bay, with views across to the Beara Peninsula and the Caha Mountains.
You stay at Rockcrest House (breakfast included)

Distance covered: 17mi (27km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7
Kenmare to Killarney

You will start your walk from your accommodation, through Esknamucky Glen and Killarney National Park to arrive at the magnificent Muckross House & Gardens – about 5kms outside Killarney. After spending some time exploring the House and Gardens at Muckross you will make your way to Killarney for your overnight This is a glorious walk, giving you an opportunity to see or hear some of Ireland’s native red deer as you walk through the National Park.
You stay at Abbey Lodge (breakfast included)

Distance covered: 16mi (25km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8
Leave Killarney

Departure after breakfast. Transfers can be arranged at a supplement, perhaps enjoy extra nights in Killarney to finish your trip.

Meals included: Breakfast

Ascents, descents and distances

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. Please note, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Accommodation

Hotels

Walking the Kerry Way and Killarney National Park

You’ll stay in a mix of friendly bed and breakfasts. You will be sure of a warm Irish welcome everywhere.

It is easy to add extra nights in all of the towns – perhaps you’d like to visit Valencia Island or take a boat trip to the Skellig Islands. Just ask your sales adviser to arrange.

*This holiday is also available as a 4-night Short Break*

Single supplement from £ 268

Food & Drink

All breakfasts included.

Irish food is not exactly famous, but what you will find is extremely good ingredients used to create basic and classic dishes, both Kerry beef and Kerry lamb, are certainly well known all over Ireland and further afield. You will see rack of lamb, lamb stew and shepherd’s pie, in most places. The county’s other basket is the Atlantic Ocean, and its rivers and loughs. Sea bream and Sea Bass are popular.Trout and Salmon can be served in many different ways, and there is an abundance of shell fish, local chowders are excellent and look out for crab gratin.

Wine is readily available but of course one of the symbols of Ireland is Guinness, and we can say from experience that it tastes better in Ireland, but if have a thirst after a long walk, beware the Guinness is not poured quickly, many might say there is a certain amount of time you need to leave after filling the glass halfway up the harp. However it should be left until you see a vivid distinction between the dark body and the creamy white head. Only then can the rest of the glass be filled. Learning from the
locals, you should order your second pint before you have finished your first!
Craft beer is making a name for itself in Ireland and there are some excellent local ones. Then there is the Irish whiskey, the famous one being Bushmills and Jameson’s, and there are many local whiskies for you to try, the Dingle distillery produces a good whiskey and an excellent gin.

Weather & Seasonality

The climate on the South West Coast of Ireland is mild due to its location and the influence of the Gulf Stream. The weather, however, is temperamental and proves quite hard to predict, therefore it is important to be prepared for all weather. The warmer months tend to be the summer months, July and August, with an average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. Temperatures rarely fall below 0 during the year. The wettest months tend to be from October through to March. April is often the driest month. Rain can be expected at any time of the year.

Weather Charts

Walking the Kerry Way and Killarney National Park

Joining Instructions

If you have pre-booked a transfer you will be met at Killarney train station and transferred to your bed and breakfast, less than five minutes walk from the centre of Killarney . Please contact us or your local agent to advise of arrival time.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Killarney
Location end: Killarney

Transfer Details

Transfers are to and from Killarney station are available to book, for a supplement.

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Waterproofs
  • Warm jumper/fleece
  • Suncream
  • Water bottle (1 litre) you will be able to refill each day at the accommodation.

Practical Information

Visa

Ireland

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter the Republic of Ireland. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

Vaccinations and Health

Ireland

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus and rabies (bat lyssavirus). Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

Local Time

Ireland's time zone: Europe/Dublin (UTC +01:00)

Electricity

Ireland's electricity: Plug type G (three rectangular pins) – 230V, 50Hz

Walking the Kerry Way and Killarney National Park

Money

Ireland's currency: Euro (EUR)

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can’t get to a bank at the start of the trip. Cards are widely accepted. 

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need spending money for meals not included in the itinerary and all drinks. We suggest €25 per day to cover a few drinks if not then €10 per day. On the days where lunch or dinner is not included expect to spend €10-€15 for lunch and €15-€35 for dinner.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.