An Irish Camino: The Kerry Camino

The Kerry Camino:

Started my third Camino to Santiago in 4 years from Ireland. This one beginning on the Dingle Way from Tralee, surprised me with its connection to The Camino in Spain.

Passing beautiful Inch Beach on Dingle Bay

 

Start of Kerry Camino in St. John’s Church in Tralee

Long ago pilgrims from Ireland would walk to Dingle and set sail for Coruña and walk the English Way (Or why not call it the “Irish” Way.) There is even a church of St. James in Dingle Town with a Camino Shell on the front gate.

 

In 1992, a pewter scallop shell with a bronze-gilded statue of St James attached and mounted on a brooch was found in Ardfert Cathedral – only a few kilometres from Tralee. This was most likely a pilgrim’s badge brought back from the Camino de Santiago and, when found in a grave, suggests that the person had been a pilgrim to the apostle’s burial place in Santiago.

Reaching Tralee Bay

Setting out this morning at 8:00 and immediately experiencing and feeling these strong connections to The Camino de Santiago made for a most joyous beginning.
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After inadvertently happening upon the Kerry Camino I finished it in Dingle where medieval Irish Pilgrims would walk to and catch a boat for La Coruña and walk the remaining 74K to Santiago.


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Today if someone plans to walk the Camino Ingles and want a certificate they need to start from Ferrol which is 118K. Now I have proof of walking the Kerry Camino 57K from Tralee to Dingle enabling me to start from La Coruña in the Fall and get a Certificate by showing a 131K total walk. The 3 day walk which is also the first 3 days of The Dingle Way is a beautiful walk taking in the Kerry coast and Dingle fields and hills.


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The end was a bit anticlimatic when arriving at St. James Church found it empty and set up more as a music venue. No final stamp available here. But they did have a Camino Shell on the front gate and St. Brigid’s Cross with a Shell as well.

And later I found out there were 3 places to get your final stamp; Benner’s Hotel across from the small church, The Dingle Tourist Office, and Kool Scoops Ice Cream Shop. I chose to get my final stamp at Kool’s along with a well deserved soft ice cream. 


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There is no boat anymore from Dingle to La Coruña so I guess I’ll just keep walking The Dingle Way before flying to Lourdes and starting a Camino de Santiago from there. Camino Aragones From Lourdes

I happened to be carrying an Irish Camino de Santiago Credentials so it seemed appropriate to use it on The “Irish” Camino

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2 thoughts on “An Irish Camino: The Kerry Camino”

  1. A while ago I posted on the Facebook group about which hikes to undertake in Ireland and you were kind enough to respond and give me a link to your blog. I’ve loved reading it but I’m wondering if I can pick your brain some more about the Dingle way followed by the English way because I’m hoping to do them both back to back in 2024. It looks like I’ll probably be making a solo trip 😔I’ve heard that walking in Ireland on your own can be tricky without going through a tour group because accommodation is sparse and you can go all day without seeing a fellow walker but honestly, I’m on a Camino budget and am trying to do it the most cost effective way. Any advice or tips would be so gratefully received! Jacki

    1. Hi Jacki. Happy to be of service. Nice combination the Dingle and English Way with the first 3 days of Dingle Way also being the Kerry Camino. You run into local people and depending upon when you do it you will see other walkers at the B&B’s and other accommodations. The one place that is a bit difficult is Dunquin assuming the Hostel has not reopened. But that is a straightforward walk and easy to set up accommodations ahead of time. You can check my blog for places I stayed at. Happy to talk with you about any aspect of it. The English Way you can just show up at Ferrol. I did them both in 2019. These days there seems to be a bit more people walking on the Camino but depending upon when you are planning to walk you should be ok. If you are on Facebook you should be able to send me a text and I can give you my phone number if you want to chat.

Happy to answer any questions and help in any way.