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Making the Most of Your Short Break in Kerry



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Whether you're chasing epic scenery, exploring local histories, catching some waves or tucking into some of the best food on the Wild Atlantic Way, Kerry has something for every type of explorer.
 
With so much to experience, here's how to make the most out of your two-day visit to The Kingdom.

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Start your trip in Killarney

The vibrant town of Killarney is known for its rich heritage and hospitality. Sitting on the shores of Lough Leane and flanked by the National Park, the town is an epicentre of incredible scenery and world-famous attractions. Base yourself there for a couple of days if places like the Gap of Dunloe, MacGillycuddy's Reeks, Torc Waterfall or Ross Castle are on your must-see list.

Killarney National Park

Just minutes from the centre of town, Killarney's breathtaking National Park is a magnificent 26,000 acres of unspoiled, rugged landscape. The park encompasses Ireland's highest mountain Carrauntoohil, which stands at over 1,000 metres high. Explore gorgeous looped walks, tranquil woodlands and legendary lakes while keeping an eye out for wildlife. The park is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and home to the only herd of native red deer in Ireland. 

Muckross House and Gardens

In the National Park, you'll find the beautifully maintained Muckross House and Gardens, which you can explore on a tour (make sure to check with individual businesses before making a visit). A fine example of a 19th century Victorian mansion, the house contains original, period furniture and artworks. You'll witness the grandeur experienced by the gentry who once lived there and take a fascinating peek at the realities of servant life. 

 
 

Head West to the Dingle Peninsula 

Surfing at Inch Strand 

From Killarney, travel towards the Kerry coast for 40 minutes and jump on a surfboard at Inch Strand. This iconic 5km stretch of sand is just one of Ireland's many Blue Flag beaches popular with swimmers, surfers and anglers. Book a surf lesson or hire wetsuits and boards from Offshore Surf School
 
Staying on dry land? A stroll along on this breathtaking beach, especially at sunset, is worth every second of the journey. 

The South Pole Inn at Annascaul

Ten minutes from Inch, The South Pole Inn in Annascaul is named in honour of world-famous Antarctica explorer Tom Crean. A native of the small Kerry village, Crean's legacy is displayed triumphantly throughout the pub, with newspaper articles, photos and memorabilia in every corner and, outside, a bronze statue of the man himself, erected in his memory.

Foodie Fun in Dingle

Just 15 minutes from Annascaul you'll reach the colourful port town of Dingle, known as much for its incredible scenery as its legendary welcome (and of course its celebrity Dolphin). 
 
Here you can enjoy authentic food and drink like the locally sourced menu at The Chart House, a family-run, stone cottage restaurant. After dinner, great craic and live music awaits at local favourite, Dick Mack's. Serving up drinks since 1899, in typical Dingle style, Dick Mack's also functions as a shop. On one side, sample beer and a vast array of Irish whiskeys. On the other, stock up on leather goods. 
 
For a more hands-on food experience, Dingle Cookery School's Catch and Cook course involves venturing out on a fishing boat and bringing back your bounty to prepare personally. Or why not tackle more intricate skills, like fermentation or sourdough bread-making? While you're there, head along to neighbouring Dingle Gin's distillery for a tour and a taste. 

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While you're in the area…

The Slea Head Drive

Leaving Dingle, set out on the Slea Head drive for views of the Atlantic roaring below dramatic cliff faces. This scenic, circular route is part of the Wild Atlantic Way and will bring you right back to Dingle.

Take a Boat to The Blasket Islands 

Just 25 minutes outside Dingle on the Slea Head route, Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhóir (The Blasket Centre) is a fascinating heritage centre and museum that tells the story of a tiny Irish community who lived on the remote Blasket Islands until 1953. Learn all about what life was like for the islanders and, if you have time, take a boat trip to the island with Great Blasket Island Experience and explore this hidden treasure for yourself with an overnight stay in a restored cottage. (Make sure to check with operators before arriving to take a boat.)

Visit a Star Wars Location at Ballyferriter 

Not too 'far, far away' from Dingle, the small town of Ballyferriter played host to George Lucas's crew while they filmed Star Wars. At Ceann Sibéal, they recreated the monastic settlement of Skellig Michael, featured at the end of 'The Force Awakens' and in 'The Last Jedi'.

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If you have time to spare in Kerry

Drive Through Conor Pass

Head towards Tralee as you drive the dramatic route through Conor Pass — one of the highest mountain passes in Ireland. The narrow, twisting roads also make for an unforgettable experience by bike, for experienced cyclists only. Unmissable views along the route include stunning glaciated landscapes in the sweeping valley below — you won't be disappointed.

Wherever you plan to go, be sure to contact individual attractions and businesses in advance to confirm they're ready to welcome visitors again. And as you travel, look out for the COVID-19 Safety Charter, a symbol adopted by businesses across Ireland to show their commitment to safety measures — rely on it to bring peace of mind as you make a break for The Kingdom.
 
With so many epic things to experience and explore, you're sure to leave Kerry with memories made and tales to tell. 

After you make your escape in Kerry, it's time to start thinking about what you'll explore next on the Wild Atlantic Way. Want to go further afield? Find out more about how to make a break for other regions of our amazing island...

 

IRELAND HAS NEVER FELT BIGGER

It's finally time to pack your bags and make your escape


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