County Kerry is located in the south west corner of Ireland and should definitely be on your travel itinerary when in Ireland. It’s blessed with spectacular scenery and a diverse landscape of mountains, rivers, beaches and lakes so it’s a paradise for outdoor activities. It’s also got some interesting historical attractions and some pretty towns which are definitely worth a visit!
1. Do the ‘Ring of Kerry’
The ‘Ring of Kerry’ is a circular driving route of the Iveragh Peninsula in Kerry, starting in Killarney, and passing through the picturesque towns of Killorglin, Cahirciveen, Waterville, Sneem, Kenmare and back to Killarney again.
This route is about 170km long and takes a full day if you leave early in the morning. The Ring of Kerry boasts spectacular scenery, stunning views, attractions, pretty towns and lots of Kerry accommodation on the way.
Things to look out for on your travels include the Kerry Bog Village (Glenbeigh), the Barracks in Caherciveen, Derrynane House, Staigue Fort (Ireland’s largest stone fort) and the Skellig Islands.
The ‘Ring’ also has lots of picnic areas and sandy beaches along the way if you’d like to pull over and stretch your legs.
2. Enjoy a round a golf
County Kerry is a mecca for golfing enthusiasts and has a record number of about 20 golf courses!
You can test your golfing skills on 9 hole courses or 18 hole golf courses with a range of lakeside courses, parkland courses and links courses to choose from.
Kerry golf courses draw visitors from far and wide and the Old Course in Ballybunion is regarded to be one of the best links courses in the world!
3. Explore Killarney
Killarney is the perfect destination for a break away, as it’s got all the ingredients for a memorable stay. During the day you can enjoy a jaunting cart ride in the National Park, go spotting some red deer in the park, take a boat ride on the lake, go horse riding, fishing, golfing, cycling or hiking.
Of course, Killarney town has an atmosphere like no other and is famed far and wide for its legendary nightlife with gourmet restaurant, traditional pubs and disco bars in full swing every weekend. Killarney is also a great spot for a bit of retail therapy as its got lots of boutiques, clothes shops and an outlet discount shopping centre.
4. Discover the National Park and Lakes
Killarney is blessed with a spectacular 26,000 acre National Park, which is an expanse of lakes, mountains, woods, rivers, open green areas and waterfalls.
Top sights to see in Killarney National Park include Muckross House & Gardens, Muckross Abbey, the Traditional Farms, Torc Waterfall, Ross Castle, the three lakes, Ladies View and Moll’s Gap.
The National Park has lots of National Trails for visitors to enjoy – you might be lucky enough to spot some Red Deer, the only remaining herd of wild Red Deer in Ireland!
5. Visit Kenmare
The pretty town of Kenmare is located in Kenmare Bay on the famous Ring of Kerry, just about a 30 minute drive south of Killarney town on the N71.
It’s a very popular destination due to its position on the Ring of Kerry and Ring of Beara.
Its colourful streets are dotted with charming craft shops, cafes, restaurant, traditional pubs and disco bars. It’s renowned for its food, nightlife and spectacular scenery and it’s also got lots of accommodation from Kenmare hotels to Kenmare B&Bs
6. Dingle Peninsula
The Dingle Peninsula juts out into the Atlantic Ocean and it has the most westerly point in Europe! It is an area full of culture, history and heritage and has a Gaeltacht area, where the native Irish language is the spoken tongue.
Dingle is a special place with a rugged, raw natural beauty and miles and miles of cliffs, beaches and islands. The Dingle Peninsula is renowned for its spectacular scenery that it has been the scene for many films, most notably Ryan’s Daughter.
The fishing town of Dingle, is its focal point. This bustling harbour town is a popular destination in Ireland and it has a fantastic nightlife scene with lots of restaurants, music bars and a nightclub and there’s plenty of Dingle accommodation to choose from.
While touring Dingle make sure to visit the Beehive Huts, the Blasket Islands, Dingle Oceanworld and Fungi the Dolphin!
7. Enjoy a spot of fishing
Kerry is a fisherman’s paradise as you’re never too far away from a lake or river in Kerry!
From the Lakes of Killarney and numerous rivers, to the beaches along the coast, you won’t be short of a place to sling your hook.
If you want to try some salmon and trout fishing, coarse fishing or sea fishing, Kerry is the place to go!
8. Climb Carrauntoohil
Carrauntoohill is Ireland’s highest peak and can be found in the McGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Range not far from Killarney.
The peak is roughly 3,406 feet tall and is usually ascended from Cronin’s Yard in Beaufort.
Guided tours of the climb to the top can be organised and only take on the challenge if you’re an experienced climber.
9. Visit Kerry’s capital – Tralee
The town of Tralee in north Kerry is the county’s largest town. It’s steeped in history and was founded back in the 13th century by the Normans. It was also the stronghold of the Earl of Desmond.
Visit the Geraldine Experience in the Ashe Memorial Hall to see Tralee, as it was, during the medieval period in Ireland.
Tralee is home to the Aqua Dome water park, which is a fun day out for all the family and just outside the town you can hop on old vintage steam train to Blennerville. Here you’ll see Blennerville Windmill, one of the biggest working windmills in Ireland today.
The Kerry County Museum is also located in the Ashe Memorial Hall and is a treasure trove of artefacts, including a rifle used by Daniel O Connell in the early 19th century.
The National Folk Theatre of Ireland, better known as Siamsa Tire, is located in Town Park, Tralee. It attracts 40,000 visitors a year to its variety of stage performances reflecting the country’s wealth of music, dance and folklore on stage.
10. Relax on one of it’s many golden beaches..
Kerry boasts some of the finest beaches in Ireland and some of the cleanest in Europe! Some are secluded, while some are exposed to some serious waves (ideal for surfing!)
The most popular beaches in Kerry include, Inch Strand (featured in films like the Playboy of the Western World and Ryan’s Daughter), Rossbeigh Beach, Derrynane Beach, Ballybunion Beach, Kells Beach and Banna Beach.
Most of the beaches in Kerry are safe to bath in or to enjoy watersports in and on the sands you can enjoy horseriding, walking or just soaking up the sun.
Hope this inspires you to put Kerry on your travel itinerary when in Ireland! If you’ve already been to Kerry, let us know what was your highlight – feel free to add to this list – just leave it in the box below.