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12 Things to Do in County Kerry

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Wild Atlantic waters, cinematic headlands, picturesque lakes and formidable peaks – Kerry is Ireland from legendary movie scenes and epic dreams. But with such vastness and variety to explore in The Kingdom, where do you even begin? Here are the places in Kerry that everyone should experience at least once.


Lakes of Killarney

1. Killarney National Park 

There are plenty of great ways to explore the spectacular Killarney National Park, but journeying through the Ice Age-formed Gap of Dunloe is a bucket list trip for many. Gather at Kate Kearney’s Cottage on the northern side of the pass before experiencing the famous mountain pass with Gap of Dunloe Tours
You’ll be surrounded by native oak and yew trees as you explore 100km2 of parkland, designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Keep an eye out for red deer during your time here — this is the only place on mainland Ireland in which you can find them! 

2. Kayak the Lakes of Killarney

Explore hidden islands and inlets as you kayak across the legendary Lakes of Killarney with Outdoors Ireland or Mór Active. Find out how this stunning landscape was formed and uncover the incredible history and wild nature of one of Ireland’s most beautiful places. 

3. The Ring of Kerry 

A spectacular driving loop around the Iveragh Peninsula, The Ring of Kerry is 179km of breathtaking beauty that takes in Torc Waterfall, Moll’s Gap, Muckross House and much more. If yours is a flying visit, the drive can be completed in a day. But if you have more time, take it at your leisure and really soak in the atmosphere of this otherworldly place.


4. Skellig Michael 

While the Skellig Michael UNESCO World Heritage Site will not open to visitors in 2020, you can still take a boat trip to see the island (trips are seasonal and sea condition dependent — may the force and weather be with you!).

5. Derrynane House 

Five minutes from Caherdaniel, it’s worth a stop to visit Daniel O’Connell’s ancestral home Derrynane House, where many relics of The Liberator’s life and career are preserved. While the site facilities are currently closed, you can take a scenic stroll through the adjoining gardens and the lush grounds of Derrynane National Historic Park. 

6. The Kerry Way 

Starting and finishing in lively Killarney, The Kerry Way is an epic, long-distance walking route that takes 11 rewarding days to complete. Take your time as you hike rural roadways, picturesque valley passes and forest trails, as well as parts of Killarney National Park and the Ring of Kerry.



7. Bray Head on ValenTia Island 

Travel across the road bridge from Portmagee to beautiful Valentia Island or, if you’re visiting from April to October, by car ferry from Cahersiveen (check that the ferry is operating before you travel). On the southern tip of the Island, Bray Head is a spectacular viewing point where a bracing, uphill stroll to the cliff-top signal tower is rewarded with panoramic seascapes featuring the Skellig and Blasket Islands and Dingle Peninsula. 

8. Dingle

No trip to Kerry is complete without a stop off in delightful Dingle, with its collection of characterful pubs and resident dolphin friend. Wetsuit up and head out on the water with Irish Adventures. If you’re lucky, Fungie might make an appearance and jump over your kayak as you venture into the beautiful bay. Afterwards, reward your efforts with a trip to Dingle’s famous Murphy’s Ice Cream. Try the local’s favourite Irish Brown Bread and Dingle Sea Salt flavours. 

9. Blasket Islands 

While you’re in Dingle, explore island life at Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhóir (The Blasket Centre) in Dún Chaoin, before taking the boat to the largest of the islands, Great Blasket. A compelling snapshot of times past, you’ll learn about the unique community of hardy, Irish-speaking storytellers that lived on the island until 1953.



10. Slea Head Drive 

From Dingle, Slea Head Drive is a jaw-dropping jaunt around the peninsula’s Blue Flag beaches, sheer cliff faces, historic forts, and dramatic Atlantic vistas. Give yourself at least a half-day to complete the 47km loop, so you can have plenty of stops to take it all in. 

11. Blennerville Windmill

Just 40 mins away, Blennerville Windmill is perched on the edge of Tralee Bay where it meets Dingle Peninsula. The site marks the main port of emigration for Kerry locals fleeing the Great Famine and was once home to the famous emigrant ship, The Jeanie Johnston. Climb to the top of the working windmill, learn more about the hardship of emigration at the visitor centre or peek through the telescope that overlooks Slí na nÉan or The Way of the Birds.

12. Ballybunion Beaches 

Whatever the weather, Kerry’s beaches have some of the most postcard-worthy panoramas in the country and the sandy stretches that surround the seaside town of Ballybunion in North Kerry are no different. Separated by steep cliffs, Men’s Beach and Ladies’ Beach have names harking back to the days of separate bathing and are ideal for beautiful cliff walks with dizzying views over Loop Head. 

Wherever you plan to go in Kerry as you make your break, 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 embark on a new adventure. With so much to explore in picture-perfect Kerry, you’ll soon be heading back for more.

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...



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

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