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10 Things to Do in Kerry

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Boasting remote ancient islands, sublime cinematic scenery, world-famous heritage sites and sandy shores galore, County Kerry does a pretty fine line in exquisite. Covering much of the Wild Atlantic Way’s Southern Peninsulas region, revel in exceptional walking trails and breathtaking driving routes that stretch over up to five striking peninsulas

Wondering why they call it The Kingdom? Try just 10 reasons of many, below:

  • Killarney National Park, County Kerry

1. Ring of Kerry

A spectacular driving loop around the Iveragh Peninsula, this is 179km of picture postcard beauty that technically only takes a day to drive but to truly savour, deserves far more. Prepare to be awed by the lush majesty of the Gap of Dunloe, Torc Waterfall, Moll’s Gap, Muckross House and more stunning sights.


2. Sceilg Mhicíl (Skellig Michael)

Like your ancient history with a Hollywood twist? Only in Kerry would you find a sixth-century monastic island perched 11km out to sea that’s also doubled as a Jedi hideaway. While boat trips to the island are seasonal and limited, a boat trip around the island showcases just why Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw declared it “part of our dream world.”

Prefer dry land? Take the Skellig Coast driving route, this 18-kilometre loop is just off the Ring of Kerry and was recently named one of Lonely Planet’s top ten travel destinations. Hit the road and enjoy inspiring views of the Skelligs, Portmagee, Valentia Island, Waterville and Ballinskelligs too.


3. Killarney National Park

Covering 10,236ha of idyllic wilderness and one of five national parks along the Wild Atlantic Way, this natural wonderland offers lakes, islands, a 15th-century castle, a 19th-century mansion, incredible wildlife and the highest mountain and mountain range in the land.

  • The Ring of Kerry, County Kerry

4. Ballybunion Beaches

Just some of the many Kerry beaches to while away the days on surround the popular seaside town of Ballybunion. With exceptional cliff walks and dizzying views over Loop Head, a cliff also separates two of the most popular sandy stretches here - Men’s Beach and Ladies’ Beach. With their names a callback to the bygone days of separate bathing, today both beaches are bona fide beauty spots for everyone to enjoy.


5. Blasket Islands

Inhabited by a unique community of hardy, Irish-speaking storytellers until 1953, the beautiful Blasket Islands on the edge of the Dingle Peninsula are a compelling snapshot of times past. Discover more about 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.


6. Bray Head

One of the many spectacular viewing points dotted around Valentia Island, Bray Head beckons with a sturdy uphill stroll towards a signal tower’s ruins sitting atop beautiful windswept cliffs. From this mesmerising height you can embrace panoramas of the Skellig and Blasket Islands and the Dingle Peninsula. Refreshing and utterly enveloping, this one’s worth the climb.


7. Slea Head Drive

A jaw-dropping circular jaunt past much of the Dingle Peninsula’s truly astounding scenery, Slea Head Drive is on many a visitor’s to-do list. Taking in Blue Flag beaches, sheer cliff faces, historic forts, ancient Early Christian sites and dramatic island views, the butterfly-inducing Atlantic vistas are the cherry on top.

  • Bray Head, County Kerry
  • Derrynane National Historic Park
  • Ross Castle, County Kerry

8. Derrynane House

The ancestral home of one of Ireland’s best-known historic figures, Daniel O’Connell, Derrynane House showcases relics and items from The Liberator’s life and is nestled within the expansive and lush Derrynane National Historic Park. So when you’ve brushed up on your history, you can take off for a scenic wander.

9. Blennerville Windmill

Perched on the edge of Tralee Bay, quaint Blennerville Windmill marks the main port of emigration for Kerry locals fleeing the Great Famine, 1845-1848. At the visitor centre, discover more about the hardship of emigration and take a peek through the on-site telescope which overlooks Slí na nÉan or The Way of the Birds.


10. The Kerry Way

Stretching all the way around the incomparable Iveragh Peninsula, the Kerry Way long-distance walking route starts in beautiful Killarney and takes a hefty 11 days to complete. Ever-popular, it follows rural roadways, valley passes and forest trails, as well as parts of Killarney National Park and the famed Ring of Kerry.

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