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Welcome to our guide to the best hiking trails in County Kerry! If you are a keen walker and crave unforgettable adventures in the beautiful Irish countryside, then County Kerry is for you. This land of green hills, picturesque lakes and fascinating history offers countless opportunities for hiking and exploring.

Why choose County Kerry for hiking? County Kerry, located in the south-west of Ireland, is a true paradise for nature and adventure lovers. The area is renowned for its breathtaking views, ancient monuments and stunning scenery. Now, let’s look at some of the best hiking trails you can find in County Kerry. Each of these routes offers unique experiences and views.

Kerry views
Preparing for the Hike:

Before embarking on your hiking adventure, proper preparation is vital. Pack these essentials to ensure a comfortable journey:

  1. Sturdy Hiking Boots: Invest in good-quality, ankle-supporting hiking boots for added stability on uneven terrain.
  2. Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Layering is essential, as Kerry’s weather can change rapidly. Bring a waterproof jacket, moisture-wicking shirts, and warm clothing.
  3. Navigation Tools: Carry a map, compass, or GPS device to stay on track during your hike. (If you want to use your mobile for navigation, take a spare power bank.)
  4. Water and Snacks: Stay hydrated and energized with plenty of water and nutritious snacks.
  5. First Aid Kit: Include basic medical supplies such as bandages, antiseptic ointment, and pain relievers 

Checking the Weather:

Before setting off, always check the weather forecast for the hiking area. Websites and mobile apps like Met Éireann provide reliable weather updates for County Kerry. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions, especially in mountainous regions

"Things to do in Kerry"
1. Torc Mountain

The route to Torc Mountain is relatively short, making it an ideal choice for a day trip. The trail’s total length is around 7-8 kilometers (there and back), and the elevation gain is roughly 490 meters. This slight elevation gain means that this route suits most hikers, including families with children or beginners.
Difficulty and Terrain

The Torc Mountain route is moderately complex. At first, you go through a forest that leads to a mountain stream. You will then continue over beautiful boulders and stone steps to the top of the mountain. Although the terrain is often uneven and rocky, the route is well-marked and not too technical. Most hikers can handle it without a problem, but it can be slippery sometimes, especially in rainy weather. The best time to climb Torc Mountain is from spring to autumn when the days are longer and the weather is more favorable. Avoid trips in the winter months, as the terrain can be slippery.

The total duration of the trip to Torc Mountain depends on your speed and how long you stay at the top. Most tourists can complete the route in 2.5 to 3.5 hours there and back. We recommend bringing enough water and snacks to enjoy the break at the top.

The Torc Mountain Trail in Killarney is a great way to explore the beauty of the Irish countryside and get amazing views of Killarney National Park. Whether you are an adventurer or a beautiful nature lover, this route will give you an unforgettable experience. Remember to pack quality hiking gear, watch the weather, and enjoy every moment on this unique hiking trail.

Torc Mountain
2. Mangerton Mountain

If you’re after an adventure on one of the highest peaks around Killarney, there’s no better choice than climbing Mangerton Mountain. This majestic mountain rises 839 meters above sea level and offers hikers breathtaking views and a unique experience.

The route up Mangerton Mountain is more extended and demanding than the climb up Torc Mountain. The trail’s total length is around 10-12 kilometres (there and back), and the elevation gain is roughly 640 meters. Although it may seem more challenging, it is still an accessible climb for most average fitness hikers.

The total duration of the trip to Mangerton Mountain depends on your speed and stops at the summit. Most tourists can complete the route in 4 to 6 hours there and back. We recommend that you have enough time and energy for this trip to enjoy the beauty of this mountain area.

The route up Mangerton Mountain in Killarney is challenging for those looking for a more challenging walking adventure and stunning views. Whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner, this route will provide you with an unforgettable experience and the opportunity to discover the beauty of the Irish countryside. Remember good gear, watch the weather and enjoy every moment on this breathtaking walking route.

Mangerton mountain
3. Carrauntoohil

If you’re looking for something more challenging and want a peak terrain adventure, climbing up Carrauntoohil could be the thing. This majestic mountain is the highest in Ireland, reaching a height of 1,038 meters above sea level, and offers a unique challenge for experienced climbers and hikers.

The route up Carrauntoohil is longer and much more challenging than the climbs of Torc Mountain and Mangerton Mountain. The length of the way depends on your starting point, but it is usually around 12-15 kilometres (round trip), and the elevation gain is more than 1,000 meters. This is a challenge that requires good physical condition and mountaineering experience. And we recommend local guides for them.

The best time to climb Carrauntoohil is during the summer months, from June to August. The summit of Carrauntoohil rewards climbers with breathtaking views of Ireland’s mountains, valleys and Atlantic coast. The views from the top are stunning and worth all the effort of the climb. This is one of those places where you can feel the Irish mountains’ beauty and wildness.

The total duration of a trip to Carrauntoohil depends on the speed and skill of the climber. The ascent and descent should take between 6 and 8 hours. Having enough time to make the climb safely and calmly is essential. Also, remember to have enough water and food because it is necessary to maintain proper hydration in the mountains.

Carrauntoohil
4. Mount Brandon

If you’re looking for a beautiful trip to Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula and fancy a hike to the top of a majestic mountain, climbing Mount Brandon is the way to go. Located on the northwest coast of Ireland, this iconic mountain offers tourists a fantastic opportunity to explore the wild landscape and gain panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

The Mount Brandon trail is a moderate hike suitable for most hikers. The total length of the route is around 9-10 kilometres there and back, and the elevation gain is about 950 meters. Although it may seem more challenging, it is still an accessible route for average fitness.

The summit of Mount Brandon rewards hikers with spectacular views of the Dingle Peninsula, the sea and the surrounding mountains. The panoramic views are one of the main attractions of this hike and are worth the effort of the climb. Trust us, the feeling of standing on top of this mountain is unforgettable.
The total duration of the trip to Mount Brandon depends on your speed and stops at the summit. Most tourists can complete the route in 4 to 5 hours there and back. We recommend taking enough time to enjoy the beauty of this mountain area and take some photos.

Climbing Mount Brandon is a great way to explore the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula and get breathtaking views of the Irish countryside. Whether you are an adventurer or a beautiful nature lover, this route will give you an unforgettable experience. Remember quality hiking gear. Keep an eye on the weather and enjoy every moment on this breathtaking hiking trail.

Mount Brandon - Dingle Peninsula
5. Strickeen mountain

If you are looking for a lesser-known but still wonderful hike in Killarney National Park, climbing Strickeen Mountain could be just what you are looking for. Located near the famous Carrauntoohil, this mountain offers tourists the opportunity to discover the beauty of the Irish mountains without the challenging climb.

The trail on Strickeen Mountain is short and easy, making it suitable for beginners and families. The total length of the route is around 4-5 kilometres there and back, and the elevation gain is relatively low about 400 meters.

Strickeen Mountain is suitable for visiting all year round. In summer, you can enjoy green landscapes and warmer weather. At the same time, in winter, you will have the opportunity to experience a peaceful atmosphere and look forward to beautiful winter views. Due to its lower altitude than Carrauntoohil, the Strickeen Mountain route is less prone to extreme weather conditions.

The total duration of the trip to Strickeen Mountain depends on your speed and stops at the summit. Most tourists can complete the route in 2-3 hours there and back. This route is ideal for a short trip or as an addition to other hikes in Killarney National Park.

gap of dunloe

Whether you’re a beginner looking to enjoy a simple hike with beautiful views or an experienced climber looking for a challenge on Ireland’s highest mountain, County Kerry has something to amaze you. These beautiful lakes, green hills, and wild nature will impress anyone on these routes.

Be sure to choose the hike that best suits your skills and preferences, and remember that in mountainous areas, it is essential to be prepared for different weather conditions and follow safety instructions.

Whichever mountain you choose, be rewarded with stunning views, unforgettable experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. The Irish countryside offers beauty that needs to be experienced first-hand, and hiking is a great way to get closer to that beauty. So go out into nature and discover the beauty of Ireland with your own eyes!