Kerry Camino: 3-day walking pilgrimage

Inspired by the pilgrims of old, the Kerry Camino is the best way to discover beautiful County Kerry. As you go from the stunning Tralee, through the Irish countryside to popular Dingle, you will explore two of Ireland’s tourist hot spots and discover some hidden gems along the way.

Day One: Tralee to Camp

The first day of the Kerry Camino is the easiest. You will be tackling a 200m ascent and covering 18km, which should take you anywhere between five to seven hours.

Kerry Camino stamping point at St Johns Church in Tralee
Kerry Camino stamping point at St Johns Church in Tralee

The starting point is at the entrance of St John’s Church in Tralee. Be sure to stamp your passport at the first stamping station which is situated across from the doors of the church.

A stroll through Princes Street and Basin View breaks you in slowly before you start the 2km walk down the beautiful canal path that will lead you to Blennerville.

Make sure that you stick to the Kerry Camino trail instead of the North Kerry Way, which intersects at the Blennerville Windmill.

Blennerville Windmill in Tralee
Blennerville Windmill

This is a stunning building so have a camera handy. The next part of the route sees you join the N86 towards Dingle, and climb the stunning Slieve Mish mountains.

You will be walking parallel to Tralee Bay. The first day concludes when you reach Camp village after exploring 14km of the mountainside, with a stunning view to take in whilst you rest for day two.

The Junction Bar, Camp
The Junction Bar, Camp

If you have time to spare you could go down to the gorgeous Camp beach. More than likely you will have the whole beach to yourself(No lifeguards).

Camp Beach
Camp Beach

Day Two: Camp to Annascaul

In terms of ground covered and ascent, day two will be harder. However, the 270m ascent and 17km will take you on a large variety of barely used roads and terrains.

It will take you approximately three to four and a half hours to cover the necessary ground advised during day two of the Kerry Camino.

Once you have left Camp, you will rejoin the route to the west of Finglas River and head south-westerly for around 2km.

One of the real highlights of the journey lies up ahead, as you reach Caherconree Mountain, which is 835m in height. The summit provides stunning views of the Irish countryside.

Next up is the only forest you will journey through on the route, which is made up of beautiful, coniferous trees.

After 2km of trekking through the forest, you will meet a small back road. This road provides you with the perfect opportunity to cross the Emlagh River, another stunning photo opportunity, before rejoining the trail.

The track will eventually give way to a breathtaking view of Inch Beach, which will provide you with your first look at the Wild Atlantic Way. This is the perfect place to stop off and have a meal at the local pub.

Sammy shop at Inch Beach, Kerry
Sammy in Inch Beach

After the seaside trip, you will start to head back inland towards Maum. This is a gentle ascent. Following your stop off at Inch Beach, the terrain is mostly made up of quiet country roads.

Inch Cliff looking out to sea
Dingle Bay

Don’t mix this up with the road R561 which runs parallel to Dingle Bay and which is a busy road. You will now head up the second mountain range of the day, as you climb Knockafeehane.

This provides you with a stunning view of Lough Annascaul below. On your descent, be sure to keep an eye out for ancient stone formations.

This point will also mark the final 2km of day two of the Kerry Camino. Once you have completed the final 2km, you will find yourself in the heart of beautiful Annascaul village.

South Pole Bar in Anascaul
South Pole Bar in Annascaul

This quaint Irish town is the perfect stopping point for the day, with plenty of accommodation options and eateries available. Have a drink at the South Pole next to the Annascaul river.

Anascaul River
Anascaul River

Day Three: Annascaul to Dingle

The last day of the Kerry Camino may be the most challenging, especially for non-seasoned hikers. On the third day, you will cover 22km and ascent 340m.

This will take you somewhere between four to seven hours to complete. Once you are ready to depart from Annascaul, you will journey down the busy Tralee-Dingle road before joining 4km of quiet, winding roads.

They will eventually lead to the magnificent 16th-century Minard Castle. Once you have explored Minard Castle, you will embark on crossing 6km of Irish farmland and country lanes. But be careful not to get confused with the Tom Crean Trial.

Before long you will reach Lispole, which will provide you with breathtaking views of the Croaghskearda and An Cnapan Mor mountain ranges.

After you have taken in the sights, cross the N86 and head north towards the Croaghskearda mountains.

Once you have followed the mountain trail for around 2km, it is time to be careful because the following 4km of the Kerry Camino is renowned for being the dirtiest, so be ready to embrace the mud.

After you have crossed the Garfinny River, you are on the home stretch to Dingle. For the final 4km, you will see Dingle in the distance.

Now, this may seem like a road that never ends, but you are almost there. The road, Conor’s Pass, is also very popular in terms of road traffic, so remember to be careful.

Then you have arrived in Dingle, one of the most popular locations in the whole of County Kerry. Be sure to relax, eat some good food, and get yourself a pint of Guinness.

Stamping Stations

In order to receive your walking certificate at the end of Kerry Camino, you must collect eight stamps in your passport. Below, I have listed the various venues you can go to in order to collect your stamps.

Tralee

  • St Johns Church
  • Hilsers Jewellers
  • Tralee Tourist Office. (Only open during Summer months)
  • Landers Outdoor Shop
  • Siamsa Tire
Kerry Camino stamping point at St Johns Church in Tralee
Stamping point at St John’s Church

Blennerville

  • O’Shea’s Gala Shop

Camp

  • The Junction Bar
  • O’Neills Railway Tavern
  • Ashe’s Pub

Inch

  • Sammy’s Bar Next to the Beach

Annascaul

  • Hanafin’s Bar
  • The South Pole Inn

Lispole

  • Keane’s Shop and Petrol Station
  • Kate’s Cross Cafe

Dingle

  • Dingle Tourist Office
  • Benners Hotel
  • Fitzgerald’s Centra
  • Kool Skoops Ice Cream Shop
  • St James Church

Once you have collected your eight stamps, you can collect your certificate at either Dingle or Tralee tourist office. (The Tralee office is only open during the summer)

Safety Points

Before you embark on any walking or hiking expedition, there are always safety rules that you must follow. The Kerry Camino is a safe and recognized walking route, but before you start, be sure that you pack the following:

  • Fully charged mobile phone
  • A map
  • Warm and cooler clothes, waterproofs, and suitable footwear
  • Walking poles
  • Torch
  • A sufficient first-aid kit
  • Sun cream and insect repellent
  • Food and water

And that concludes my guide to Kerry Camino. If you are heading to County Kerry for the first time, and want to see the sites, there is no better way to explore this hidden gem than completing the Kerry Camino.

Another website to look at is called the Kerry Camino.

Q/A

Where do I get the Kerry Camino Certificate?

You can get the Kerry Camino Certificate in two places

Dingle Tourist Office

Tralee Tourist Office. (Only open during Summer months)

Kerry Camino Certificate of Completion
Kerry Camino Certificate of Completion

Where is the Kerry Camino?

Kerry Camino is located in beautiful County Kerry in Ireland. The route connects two of the biggest tourist hotspots in the County, Tralee, and Dingle.

How long is the Kerry Camino?

Across three days, you will walk approximately 57km.

Where does Kerry Camino start?

The official starting point of Kerry Camino is at St John’s Church in Tralee. The starting point is easily identifiable by a stamping station opposite the church’s entrance.

Kerry Camino stamping point at St Johns Church in Tralee
Kerry Camino stamping point at St Johns Church in Tralee

How difficult is the Kerry Camino?

There is no official difficulty level associated with the Kerry Camino. However, a certain level of fitness is expected in order to complete the route. This is due to the distance covered during the trail rather than anything else.

Where do you get a Kerry Camino passport?

You get your very own Kerry Camino passport at the Dingle and Tralee tourist offices. If Tralee is closed you may be able to get it in the Ashe Memorial Hall. It is free.

The Kerry Camino Passport
The Kerry Camino Passport

Can you do the Kerry Camino without a passport?

Yes. You can do the trial without having to collect the stamps for the passport. The passport serves as a link to County Kerry’s pilgrim past.

Check out my web pages on the Ring of Kerry Drive, The Skellig Ring and Slea Head Drive.