SELF GUIDED TOUR
The perfect way for the independent explorer to see our hidden gems & discover the many paths less travelled.
7 nights stay, 6 days hiking
The ideal way to enjoy a self-guided hike for those unable to walk more than 15km per day.
“Perfect for us. Beautiful walks and lots of variety!”
– Hendrik, The Netherlands
Ireland’s fabled County Kerry consists of a series of spectacular mountainous peninsulas divided by deep-sea inlets. MacGillycuddy’s Reeks form the centrepiece of the famous Ring of Kerry drive, a 179-kilometre circuit from Killarney, following around the perimeter of this beautiful peninsula. Weaving between this driving route are a network of ancient paths that are nearly as old as the land itself, many of which form part of a long-distance walking track known as the Kerry Way. The name ‘Kerry’ comes from the Old Irish word Ciarraige meaning the people of Ciar, an early Celtic tribe that settled in the area around 300 BC.
Kerry has an outstanding collection of historical and archaeological sites that date back over 7,000 years, with several ancient forts and numerous early Christian churches. Impossibly green pastures stretch as far as the eye can see, completely empty save for small herds of sheep or goats, and at almost every turn there are spectacular views of mist-covered mountains and wild stretches of uninhabitable coastline where deep fissures have been carved, over the eons, by the pounding waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Here and there along the coast, pretty fish-ing villages, such as Caherdaniel and Portmagee, have successfully withstood the elements and offer a pictur-esque contrast to the verdant hills that surround them. The Skellig Islands lie 8 miles off the tip of the peninsula, two rocky peaks rising sheer out of the Atlantic Ocean. Skellig Michael is a world heritage site on account of its 6th century monastery, with beehive huts, oratories and inscribed crosses. Small Skellig is home to over 40,000 gannets, the second largest colony in the world. This is a delightful one-week walk taking you to many of the highlights of this well-known peninsula.
If you would prefer a more challenging hike then you should check out our 8 Day Ring of Kerry Hike
Click the days below to reveal more information.
Arrive in Killarney – the popular town which sits on the edge of Killarney National Park and is renowned for its three magnificent lakes in the heart of Kerry. On arrival at your first guesthouse, your host/hostess will give you your full detailed information pack. They will also be able to suggest some of the many local restaurants or pubs for food and possibly music.
Access for this holiday can be from Dublin, Cork or Shannon Airports with bus and/or train connections available to Killarney all year round.
Today you will be transfered to the start of your walk at Muckross House – a beautiful mansion built in the 19th century & now forming the central point of the wonderful Killarney National Park. From here you follow a circular route around the middle of the Three Lakes – Muckross Lake – a magnificent walk with wonderful views across the lake as you follow through some of our ancient woodlands. At the end of your walk, your transport will take you back to your accommodation in Killarney.
Walk Details: Distance: 12kms. Max. Height: 160m. Surfaced tracks and some rocky uneven paths through woodland. Boots recommended but not essential.
From Killarney, you will be driven to the beautiful Galway’s Bridge and Derrycunnihy Church. From here you follow an old “Mass Path” along the shores of the Upper Lake of Killarney to reach an old “hunting lodge”. With time on hand to enjoy this tranquil place, you can enjoy lunch before taking a boat trip through the Three Lakes to return to Killarney. This is a wonderful trip, giving you a great opportunity to really experience Killarney at its best. At the end of your boat trip you arrive at Ross Castle – an old tribal stronghold with a wonderful history. From here you will walk back to your accommodation in Killarney. (Please note – the boat journey is approx. 1 hr and 15 minutes in duration). Option: at the end of your trip enjoy a tour of Ross Castle.
Walk Details: Distance: 4.5kms. Max. Height: 150m. Forest tracks and country lanes. Boots essential.
Leaving Killarney and travelling south today, your transport will leave you back to Galway’s Bridge and Derrycunnihy Church. From here you walk south following an old “butter road” to finish in the beautiful town of Kenmare. This is a glorious walk into the heartland of the peninsula, yet finishing at the coast. Enjoy your evening in one of the many great bars or restaurants in this vibrant town. Overnight in Kenmare
Walk Details: Distance: 12kms. Max. Height: 400m. Country lanes, grass tracks and road walking. Boots essential.
A transfer this morning brings you to the beginning of your walk at the famous 2500 year old Uragh stone Circle following a quite country road to the breathtaking Gleninchaquinn Park. This working sheepfarm is home to one of Irelands most beautiful Waterfalls and a stunning location to explore on foot. Your walk takes you through fields dotted with sheep and up to the top of the waterfall with sweeping views across the valley and its glistening lakes out to Kenmare Bay. Following your walk you will be transferred back to Kenmare. Overnight in Kenmare
Walk Details: Distance: 8kms. Max. Height: 293m. Rocky and grass tracks, mountain tracks and bogland and some road walking. Boots essential.
Today you begin your walk to the award winning village of Sneem at the beautiful bridge spanning the Balckwater river. This walk takes you along the shores of Kenmare Bay with great views across to the Beara Peninsula and the Caha Mountains. Overnight in Sneem.
Walk Details: Distance: 13kms. Max. Height: 200m. Rocky and grass tracks, mountain tracks and bogland and some road walking. Boots essential.
Your final walk takes you on a lovely circular walk around Derrynane House– once home to the famous Daniel O’Connell. This walk follows an old Mass Path as well as a beautiful beach, before taking you inland through ancient oak forests. Finishing back in Derrynane you have time to take a tour of this historical house. You will then be transferred back to your accommodation for your final overnight in Sneem.
Walk Details: Distance: 7.5kms. Max. Height: 180m. Grass tracks with some rocky sections. Gravel tracks and beach. Boots optional.
Following another delicious breakfast you will be transferred to Killarney where you can connect with all major rail and bus networks.