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The Kerry Way — in 9 stages over Ireland's mountains

© Maren Kowalke

The Kerry Way — in 9 stages over Ireland's mountains

Hiking Collection by komoot

10

Tours

62:50 h

126 mi

16,825 ft

Ireland's highest mountains rise along the rugged Atlantic coast in County Kerry. The lonely landscapes are characterized by green hills and barren mountains, steep coasts and gentle beaches. The coastline consists of bays, peninsulas and islands, while on the Iveragh Peninsula, Kerry's largest peninsula, you will not only find Ireland's highest peaks, but also one of Europe's most beautiful long-distance hiking trails: the Kerry Way.

The Kerry Way takes you around the Iveragh Peninsula in nine daily stages. The hike begins in the rugged nature of Killarney National Park, from where you hike over sheep pastures, through moors and over mountain passes. It then leads you along narrow roads, country lanes and unspoiled mountain trails. On your nine-day hike, you'll have the chance to discover the scenic diversity of the entire peninsula, as well as that famous Irish hospitality in the small villages and towns that serve as stage destinations. When you arrive back in Killarney satisfied after your hike, you'll have covered over 140 miles (220 kilometers) and climbed around 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) in altitude.

The Kerry Way is well signposted and well developed. The hike does not require any special knowledge and is therefore also suitable for beginners with good physical fitness. Nevertheless, rustic paths await you, which can be muddy and humid, especially after the frequent rains. Thanks to the mild climate, you can plan the long distance hike all year round, although it is particularly beautiful in spring and autumn when there are fewer tourists in Ireland.

In addition to the Kerry Way, we have planned in one of the most challenging hikes in Ireland. From Lough Acoose, follow the Coomloughra Horseshoe trail to the top of Carrantouhill, Ireland's highest mountain. This mountain hike is not part of the official Kerry Way, however, and only recommended for experienced and enduring mountain hikers. If this section proves too intense for you, then just enjoy the view of Carrantouhill from below.

Due to the changeable weather, you'll always need good equipment whenever you go. Rainwear, additional rain cover for your backpack (and maybe a drybag or two) and ankle-high, non-slip hiking boots are obligatory at any time of the year. You should also book all accommodation in advance, as there is very little choice in some villages. In fact, even in the low season many of the rooms can be fully booked.

Ryanair flies directly from many large European cities to Kerry regional airport. From there you can easily take the bus to Killarney. Alternatively, you can fly to Dublin and travel from there by train to the starting point of the hike.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    04:26
    9.77 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The first leg of the Kerry Way takes you through the rugged nature of Killarney National Park. You'll hike along the highest mountains in Ireland, across vast moorland meadows and …

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  • Difficult
    05:13
    10.7 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,825 ft
    1,550 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the second stage, you will hike through three of the most remote valleys of Ireland. At the foot of the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, the tour takes you from valley to …

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  • Difficult
    05:10
    11.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The third leg takes you from the rugged mountainous landscape at the foot of Ireland's highest mountains to pastures and through woods to Dingle Bay. The path runs flat over …

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  • Difficult
    08:01
    18.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the fourth leg, you will enjoy breathtaking views of Dingle Bay and the hills and valleys of the western Iveragh Peninsula. The Kerry Way runs here on lonely roads …

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  • Difficult
    08:32
    18.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,475 ft
    2,500 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The fifth stage of the Kerry Way runs through the hilly interior of the Iveragh Peninsula. The path follows the natural ridges and you can enjoy beautiful views of the …

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  • Intermediate
    04:03
    9.07 mi
    2.2 mph
    875 ft
    825 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The sixth stage takes you from the idyllic coastal town of Waterville over a mountain pass to the sunny south coast of the Iveragh Peninsula. With beautiful views, it goes …

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  • Intermediate
    04:54
    10.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The seventh stage is one of the simplest stages of Kerry Way. The route is less than 20 kilometers and after two moderate passes, it goes evenly down to the …

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  • Difficult
    09:29
    21.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,000 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The full leg from Sneem to Kenmare is over 34 kilometers long and quite challenging - especially if you're already in the bone for the past seven days. It is …

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  • Intermediate
    03:22
    7.11 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,225 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The final leg of the Kerry Way takes you from the lovely Kenmare Bay landscape to a hilltop and mountain pass to the rugged mountain valleys of Killarney National Park. …

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  • Difficult
    09:40
    10.1 mi
    1.0 mph
    3,325 ft
    3,325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The Comloughra Horseshoe Trail is pure mountain adventure and the most exciting mountain hike in Ireland. In a large loop he leads up to Carrantuohill, the highest mountain in Ireland. …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    10
  • Distance
    126 mi
  • Duration
    62:50 h
  • Elevation
    16,825 ft

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The Kerry Way — in 9 stages over Ireland's mountains