The county of Kerry is known by the name of the Kingdom and is located in the far southwest of the island in the province of Munster. Kerry is the fifth largest county in Ireland and shares it’s borders only with County Cork and Limerick. Kerry remains one of the most important tourist destinations in Ireland, offering stunning natural attractions, such as the Killarney Lakes and the picturesque Dingle Peninsula.
Some of the best places to visit in County Kerry include:
● The Ring of Kerry
● Dingle Peninsula
● Valentia Island
The Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a circular road that runs across the stunning Iveragh peninsula and passes through picturesque towns and villages such as Killarney (usually the starting point of people who take this journey), Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Waterville, Kenmare and then back to Killarney. The road stretches over 170 km and we recommend that if you plan to cycle it then an early morning start is a must. This is advised so you can make as much progress as possible during the day.
Major attractions and sights along the Ring of Kerry include the Ladies View, The Gap of Dunloe, Killarney National Park, Kerry Bog Village, Derrynane House (home of Daniel O’Connell) and Staigue Fort (the country’s largest stone fortress).
Visit The Dingle Peninsula
No trip to County Kerry can be taken without a trip the the beautiful Dingle Peninsula. One of the best places to see while on the peninsula is that of Inch Beach. Clogher Strand and Coumeenoole Beach aren’t too bad either. Each one offers stunning views and a great space to walk around. They all could easily content to be Ireland’s most beautiful beach.
A short stopover is recommended in the village of Annascaul. This quaint little village is home to The South Pole Inn, which pays homage to its former owner, the famous Antartic Explorer, Tom Crean. Not only does it offer a lovely setting for a few quiet pints, but also some delicious hot food.
In the charming fishing town of Dingle, the picturesque street and buzzing cultural and nightlife scene have attracted people for decades. Out in Dingle Harbour, is the famous Fungie the Dolphin. Regular boat tours go out onto the water in search of Fungi. If you love dolphins and the sea air then this tour is recommended.
Other attractions on the Dingle Peninsula include th Slea Head Drive with stunning views of the Blasket islands and the Gallarus Oratory . This oratory is an old chapel that dates back hundreds of years. It is noted for its interesting stone design.
Climb the Peaks Of Carrauntoohil
Being the highest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohil is located at an altitude of about 3,400 feet and has been a popular destination for climbers for years. The mountain is part of the famous MacGillycuddy Reeks, which is a gorgeous range of silt stone and sandstone mountains located near Killarney and Killorglin. There are a number of different ways to the top, which often depend on the level of experience of the climber in question. The “Devil’s ladder” is really only recommended for experienced climbers.
Experience the Charm of Killarney
Thanks to its great location and bustling cultural scene, Killarney is one of the most visited towns in Ireland. You should put aside a few hours to explore the scenic views of Killarney National Park or to do a horse-drawn car ride to see the town’s sights. Other attractions in Killarney include a boat ride along Killarney Lakes, some cycling/hiking routes, or just an afternoon stroll among the souvenir and craft shops that dot the vicinity. Not surprisingly, in order to cater for the large tourist numbers it enjoys, the town hosts many excellent cafes, bars and restaurants that you can enjoy.
The Town of Tralee
Tralee, is the county town (capital) of County Kerry. Like Killarney, it is a popular tourist destination. There are a range of attractions that you can enjoy in the town. An excellent spot for the family is that of the Aqua Dome. It is an indoor water park that hosts lots of fun slides and pools.
The Kerry County Museum is another great place to visit in the town. It will give you an in depth look at life in Kerry throughout the ages. There is also a dedicated room to Tom Crean. As mentioned earlier the Kerry man is famous for his expeditions down to Antarctica numerous times, including once when he courageously saved a man.
The Siamsa Tire Folk theater is another places that should be visited if you come to the town. The Theater is home to the National Folk Theater. Between the months of May and September it hosts folk theater productions. The development of traditional music, dance and other art is a focus of the theater. The rest of the year the theater has many events on, including touring comedy and drama shows to name just a few.
One of the most unique structures in Tralee that you might stumble across is the Blennerville Windmill. This tall white windmill stands over Tralee Bay and can be seen from a distance. It is located in an area that saw many people of Kerry emigrate during the Great Irish Famine. At the windmill you will find an emigration display and also a Kerry model railway. This model shows the Tralee Dingle narrow gauge in miniature form. In addition to these attractions you will also get a glimpse into the inner workings of the old still working windmill. This place is definitely for those interested in the engineering of such structures.
Valentia Island has some breathtaking scenery and unforgettable views of the coast. It is also home to the charming villages of Knightstown and Chapeltown. You can reach Valentia via a road bridge from Portmagee, or during the summer months, we recommend taking advantage of the wonderful car ferry from Renard Point – it’s only 5 minutes and the views are spectacular.
Once you reach Valentia Island, go to the beautiful village of Knightstown. It is Valentia’s largest settlement and has really nice eateries and cafes. Interestingly enough the village was planned. It was finally built in the 1840’s, having been planned over a decade earlier. The planning worked nicely however, resulting is some very pretty streets and a quaint feel to the village.
During your travels of the island some other places to visit include the Grotto and Slate Quarry, Fogher Cliffs, and Glanleam Beach. This island surely is one of the gems of the entire county.
If you are looking for a relaxing holiday and some fresh Irish countryside air than Kerry is the place for you. A place that has plenty to offer to people of all ages, from couples to families. There are many places to choose from Dingle to Killareny and of course the mesmerizing Ring of Kerry! Activities range from hiking, walking and water sports. If you do plan on coming here just remember that it has a lot to offer, so you might want to consider spending more than just a day or two here.