One of our favorite places to be is County Kerry and we are sure that you will also fall for its many charms!
Known as the “Kingdom”, it is safe to say that the entire Kerry county lives up to the high expectations of its name. Its incredibly rich offering of attractions, not only in terms of stunning landscapes, but also iconic castles, lively traditional music, festivals and great food will make you want to return year after year!
Situated on the south west coast of Ireland, we would recommend that you spend a few days to travel around and explore this great county. If you are tight on time, then it is possible to skim some of the best bits as part of a (busy!) day tour (for example, a horse-drawn jaunting car ride around the Lakes of Killarney, Killarney National Park and Ross Castle, Muckross House and Gardens or to the beautiful Gap of Dunloe.)
A visit to Kerry is almost an essential part for any Irish road trip. Not only does the Kerry coastline feature all along the epic Wild Atlantic Way route, it also is home to the famous Ring of Kerry loop drive around the Iveragh Peninsula. Along the route lies Valentia Island, which is home to the eastern terminus of the first transatlantic telegraph cable and to the best preserved tetrapod footprints in the world (dating back between 350 and 370 million years ago!).
The stunning scenery of the Dingle Peninsula, particularly around Slea Head is well worth adding to any itinerary. If time allows, include a trip to the now uninhabited Blasket Islands. The Great Blasket Island was home to many prolific writers and poets during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Outdoor enthusiasts will be captivated by the diverse range of activities including hiking (Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil, is located in the Macgillycuddy Reeks near Killarney), surfing, kayaking, cycling and rock climbing.
Nature lovers on the other hand will be charmed by the breathtaking scenery of the county by both day and night. The Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve offers a fantastic view of the night sky (when the weather cooperates!)
Kerry is also a haven for filming locations with scenes from Ryan’s Daughter, Far and Away, Harry Potter and last but not least, Star Wars being filmed here. The far off planet of AHCH-TO in Star Wars is set on the striking old monastic settlement on the island of Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast.
For more details about the Skellig Islands UNESCO World Heritage site and other filming locations in Kerry and beyond, check out our ultimate Star Wars Ireland Guide here and our comprehensive Harry Potter Ireland Guide here.
Killarney and Kenmare are lively, buzzing towns, packed full with all things green and Irish and are but two of many popular day trips from Cork. Dingle on the Dingle Peninsula is another charming harbor town.
One of its unique claims to fame is its resident wild dolphin, Fungi, who has been living in and around the harbor area since 1983. Boat tours to see Fungi take place daily throughout the high season.
After a day of sightseeing, check out one of the many great authentic pubs with traditional live music sessions to fill your evenings or time your trip to coincide with one of the bigger festivals, such as the internationally well-known Rose of Tralee Festival or the Killorglin Puck Fair.
Kerry Airport, located outside Farranfore offers direct connection to several destinations across Europe.
Read more about County Kerry in the following articles and be sure to add Kerry to your bucket list of places to see in Ireland!
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