1. Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a 179 km scenic route along the captivating coastline of County Kerry, Ireland. To make the most of it, travel counter-clockwise to avoid bus traffic and start early to enjoy peaceful views.
We have compiled a list of must-see stops to ensure you make the most of your visit.
Embark on a remarkable journey through Killarney National Park, where your first stop should be the delightful drive-thru café, Ri-ra, for an exceptional cup of coffee. Continue your adventure to marvel at the captivating Torc Waterfall, soak in the mesmerizing views from Ladies View, and experience the awe-inspiring scenery at Molls Gap.
As you traverse Kenmare, please go to the charming town of Sneem, where you simply cannot resist indulging in its renowned local ice cream. Remember to include the hidden gem of Skellig Ring in your itinerary, offering breathtaking vistas of Skellig Michael, Kerry Cliffs, and beautiful beaches.
Before crossing over to Valentia Island, take a delightful break in Portmagee, where you can relish the finest seafood at one of their local restaurants. To elevate your trip, consider renting electric bikes from South Kerry Cycles in Portmagee and discover the wonders of Valentia Island at your own pace. Finally, conclude your expedition with the awe-inspiring sunsets at the magnificent Rossbeigh Beach.
2. Dingle Peninsula
Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes and rich culture of the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. Begin your journey in Inch Beach, one of the longest beaches in Kerry, and for the adrenaline ones, there’s a surf school where you can arrange a surf lesson. Continue your journey in the vibrant town of Dingle, where colourful houses line the streets and traditional pubs resonate with lively music. Indulge in fresh seafood at local restaurants, and take the chance to try Dingle’s famous gin.
Venture along the Slea Head Drive, a scenic coastal route that offers mesmerizing views of rugged cliffs, golden beaches, and dramatic Atlantic waves. Stop at Dunquin, where you can take a ferry to the stunning Blasket Islands, renowned for their untouched beauty and Gaelic heritage.
3. Skelling Michael
This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to an ancient monastic settlement and is a must-visit for history and nature lovers.
The best way to get to the island is to take the ferry from Portmagee. There are several ferry companies. You can book Eco boat Tour around the Skellig Islands or Skellig Michael Landing Tour, which takes about 4 – 5 hours but is worth it.
The journey to Skellig Michael is an adventure in itself. As you cruise across the crystal-clear waters, you can watch playful dolphins and graceful seabirds that call these seas their home. The captivating views of the coastline and the rugged cliffs will leave you breathless.
4. Killarney National Park
Welcome to Killarney National Park, covering 103 square kilometres. This park offers everything from fascinating lakes, mountains, forests and waterfalls.
A diverse range of flora and fauna thrive in the park’s rich ecosystems, and the park offers a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature photographers.
Killarney National Park is home to several captivating attractions that showcase the region’s rich history and natural beauty. Ross Castle, a 15th-century tower house on Lough Leane’s shores, is a magnificent testament to Ireland’s medieval past. Torc Waterfall, with its cascading water and lush surroundings, is a picturesque place to relax and explore. Muckross House, a magnificent Victorian mansion set amid beautiful gardens, offers a glimpse of the richness of the past. Muckross Abbey, with its famous tree in the centre of the courtyard.
5. Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre
Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre is a fascinating eco-friendly attraction in County Kerry, Ireland. This unique nature reserve and visitor center offer an immersive experience of the diverse wetland habitats of the region. Here are some interesting facts and highlights about the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre:
Exploring the Wetlands: offers guided nature walks, boat trips, and interactive exhibitions. Visitors can watch birds from the observation tower or participate in guided tours.
Nature Trails: Well-maintained nature trails meander through the wetlands, allowing visitors to explore the natural beauty at their own pace.
Educational Programmes: the Centre offers educational programs and workshops for children and adults focusing on environmental awareness, wetland conservation, and the importance of biodiversity.
6. Conor Pass
Connor Pass is one of the most scenic and famous passes in Ireland. It is located on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry and is the highest point on the road between Dingle and Castlegregory. The pass reaches a height of 456 metres, making it the highest pass in Ireland. The road over the Connor Pass is narrow and winding, making it attractive to keen drivers and cyclists. It is also a popular hiking route to enjoy while walking or cycling.
After driving over Connor Pass, you can explore other attractions. You can visit the picturesque town of Dingle with its traditional atmosphere and the opportunity to sample fresh seafood. Other places of interest include Inch Beach and Ventry, or a trip to the westernmost point of Ireland, called Slea Head.
7. The beaches
Kerry is known for its picturesque coastal landscape and offers several stunning beaches. Here are some of the most beautiful beaches in Kerry:
1. Inch Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Kerry. It’s a popular spot for surfing and coastal walks located on the Dingle Peninsula.
2. Banna Beach, also known as Ballyheigue Beach, is another beautiful beach in Kerry. The beach is a popular place for family outings, walks and picnics.
3. Rossbeigh Beach is located near the village of Glenbeigh and is one of the longest beaches in Kerry. It is ideal for walking, horse riding or bird watching.
4. Coumeenoole Beach lies on the Dingle Peninsula, surrounded by steep cliffs and beautiful countryside. It is a great place for those looking for peace and relaxation.
5. Ballinskelligs Beach is located on the southwest coast of Kerry, near the village of Ballinskelligs. You can rent kayaks or swim in the refreshing waters.
6. Derrynane Beach is located in Derrynane Bay on the Iveragh Peninsula. It’s a great place for swimming, snorkeling and walking on the dunes.
8. The Gallarus Oratory
In the remote and rugged beauty of County Kerry, Ireland, lies a remarkable piece of history that takes us back to the early days of Irish Christianity. The Gallarus Oratory, a stone church dating back to the 8th century, stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Irish religious heritage. Let us embark on a journey to explore the captivating story and architectural marvel of the Gallarus Oratory.
Stepping inside the Gallarus Oratory, one cannot help but feel a profound sense of tranquillity and spirituality. The intimate space, adorned only with natural light filtering through a small window, connects to the ancient Irish Christian traditions. It is a powerful reminder of the enduring faith that once permeated the Irish landscape.
Visiting the Gallarus Oratory offers more than just a glimpse into the past. The surrounding area boasts breathtaking natural beauty, with rugged cliffs, sweeping beaches, and awe-inspiring vistas. Visitors can immerse themselves in the captivating landscapes, stroll along the nearby Gallarus Castle ruins, or explore the nearby Gallarus Oratory Visitor Centre for further insights.
9. The Blasket Island
A visit to the Blasket Islands is an extraordinary journey into the heart of traditional Irish island life. From the captivating landscapes to the stories of the resilient islanders, every step unveils a treasure trove of cultural heritage and natural beauty. Whether exploring the remnants of the island’s past or marveling at the untouched landscapes, visiting the Blasket Islands promises an unforgettable experience that connects visitors with the essence of Ireland’s remote coastal charm.
10. The Traditional Music Scene
Kerry’s traditional music scene is a captivating journey into the heart and soul of Ireland. From the live sessions in the local pubs to the vibrant festivals, the melodies of traditional Irish music will transport you to a world filled with joy, camaraderie, and a profound connection to the rich cultural heritage. So, be sure to visit a local pub in Kerry, grab a pint, and let the enchanting sounds of the traditional music scene sweep you away on a memorable musical adventure. Ask your accommodation provider for recommendations of the best spots for local music. If you’re visiting Ireland during the Summer, towns like Killarney will have music most nights of the week. Although even in the off-season, traditional music isn’t too hard. to find.
We’re truly lucky here in Kerry with all there is to do, if you’re in Kerry for a bit longer be sure to try to following:
Old Kenmare Road
Hike one of the many mountains
Surf at Inch Beach
Drive the Skellig Ring
Visit Derrynane House & Gardens
Visit Dingle Aquarium
Take a boat trip on the Killarney Lakes
See the Dolphins at Dingle
Walk up to Bray Head and explore Valentia Island
Visit Carragh Lake
Do the Blue Pool Walk in Killarney
Explore the Copper Mines in Killarney
Go to a concert in the INEC
Have a spa day at the Muckross Park Hotel
Do the tour of Muckross House