Stretching over 179 kilometers through Ireland’s awe-inspiring southwestern coast, the Ring of Kerry isn’t just a route—it’s an experience. Majestic mountains, quaint villages, and historical landmarks seamlessly intertwine with the Emerald Isle’s vibrant culture.
Wondering where to start on this iconic circuit?
Join us as we guide you through the unmissable stops and hidden gems of the Ring of Kerry.
County Kerry in Ireland is home to a plethora of wonderful attractions that are sure to capture your interest and leave you with lasting memories. From historic sites to natural wonders, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s explore some of the top attractions in County Kerry.
Carnegie Arts Centre
If you have a love for the arts, be sure to visit the Carnegie Arts Centre. This cultural hub is located in the picturesque town of Kenmare and offers a diverse range of artistic experiences. From live performances to art exhibitions, you will be immersed in creativity and cultural expression.
Paul F Kelly’s Jewelry Workshop
For those who appreciate craftsmanship and unique designs, a visit to Paul F Kelly’s Jewelry Workshop is a must. Located in the heart of Killarney, this workshop showcases the skill and artistry of master jeweler Paul F Kelly. You can even have a piece custom-made just for you, making it a truly special experience.
Step back in time and explore the enchanting ruins of Derrynane Abbey. Located in Caherdaniel, this historical site offers a glimpse into Ireland’s rich religious and cultural heritage. As you wander through the ruins, you will be transported to a different era and can imagine what life was like centuries ago.
For breathtaking views of County Kerry’s stunning landscapes, a drive through Coomakista Pass is a must. This scenic route will take you through winding roads and offer stunning vistas of mountains, lakes, and coastline. Be sure to have your camera ready, as you won’t want to miss capturing these awe-inspiring sights.
Tetrapod Footprints on Valentia Island
Valentia Island is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its unique geological wonders. One such wonder is the Tetrapod Footprints, which are fossilized footprints of ancient four-legged creatures dating back millions of years. Take a stroll along the coastline and marvel at these remarkable imprints from the past.
Skellig Island Tours
No visit to County Kerry is complete without embarking on a tour of Skellig Island. These rugged and mysterious islands have a rich history and were even featured in the Star Wars movies. Explore the ancient monastic settlement, marvel at the diverse wildlife, and soak in the awe-inspiring beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
County Kerry’s stunning landscapes and diverse terrain make it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you prefer hiking and walking, cycling and biking, golfing, fishing, kayaking and water sports, or horse riding, there is an activity to suit your interests.
Hiking and Walking
With its rugged mountains, coastal cliffs, and beautiful national parks, County Kerry offers endless opportunities for hiking and walking. Lace up your hiking boots and explore trails that will take you through breathtaking scenery, from winding mountain paths to coastal routes boasting stunning views. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, you’ll find a trail that suits your level of experience.
Cycling and Biking
Hop on a bike and explore County Kerry’s scenic landscapes at your own pace. From challenging mountain biking trails to leisurely routes along the coast, there is a cycling path for every skill level. As you pedal through picturesque towns and countryside, you’ll have the chance to discover hidden gems and enjoy the freedom of the open road.
County Kerry is a golfer’s paradise, with a variety of world-class golf courses that offer stunning scenery and challenging fairways. Tee off amidst breathtaking coastal views and lush green landscapes as you enjoy a round of golf in this golfer’s haven. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner, you’ll find a course that suits your skill level.
With its pristine lakes, rivers, and coastline, County Kerry is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. Cast your line and try your luck at catching salmon, trout, or even sea bass. Whether you prefer fly fishing in peaceful streams or deep-sea fishing on a chartered boat, you’ll have a memorable angling experience surrounded by stunning natural beauty.
Kayaking and Water Sports
For those who love water sports, County Kerry offers a wide range of activities to choose from. Grab a kayak and explore the coastline, paddle through calm waters, and discover hidden coves. If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at surfing, windsurfing, or kiteboarding. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you ride the waves and embrace the thrill of these water sports.
Experience the beauty of County Kerry on horseback with a horse riding adventure. Dromquinna Stables offers lessons, training, and horse and carriage services for weddings and events. Explore picturesque trails, trot along sandy beaches, and immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes while bonding with these majestic animals. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner, there’s an option for everyone to enjoy.
County Kerry is steeped in history and is home to a variety of historical sites that offer a glimpse into Ireland’s rich past. Explore ancient castles, preserved ruins, and impressive forts as you delve into the stories that have shaped the region.
Muckross House and Gardens
Located in Killarney National Park, Muckross House is a magnificent Victorian mansion that dates back to the 19th century. Step inside and discover the opulent interiors, learn about the fascinating history of the house, and wander through the beautifully manicured gardens.
Situated on the shores of Lough Leane, Ross Castle is a striking tower house that dates back to the 15th century. Take a guided tour and immerse yourself in the turbulent history of this fortress, which played a significant role in the conflicts of its time. Enjoy panoramic views from the top of the castle and soak in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Explore the ancient past of County Kerry at Staigue Fort, an impressive stone fort dating back to the Iron Age. Admire the craftsmanship and engineering of this circular structure as you step back in time and imagine what life was like for its inhabitants. The fort offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, making it a must-visit for history and nature lovers alike.
Nestled in the mountains near Kenmare, Gleninchaquin Park is home to a variety of historical sites, including standing stones, ancient burial sites, and a holy well. Take a leisurely stroll through the park and uncover the secrets of the past while surrounded by enchanting natural beauty.
Located near Cahersiveen, Ballycarbery Castle is a dramatic ruined fortress that dates back to the 16th century. Climb to the top of the castle and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and Cahersiveen Bay. Be transported back in time as you explore the remains of this once mighty stronghold.
County Kerry is renowned for its scenic drives, offering breathtaking views at every turn. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region as you embark on one of these picturesque routes.
The N70 – Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a 179-kilometer circular route that takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes in County Kerry. The N70 road offers breathtaking coastal views, charming towns, and historical landmarks. Wind your way through majestic mountains, along rugged coastlines, and past shimmering lakes, immersing yourself in the beauty of the region.
The R561 – The Skellig Ring
For a more off-the-beaten-path experience, venture onto the Skellig Ring. This 29-kilometer loop takes you along the stunning coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula, offering panoramic views of the Skellig Islands. Marvel at the rugged cliffs, picturesque beaches, and charming villages as you discover this hidden gem.
The R597 – The Ring of Beara
The Ring of Beara is a scenic drive that takes you through the rugged landscapes of the Beara Peninsula. Experience breathtaking coastal views, dramatic mountain passes, and quaint fishing villages as you explore this lesser-known route. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of this untouched region and discover its hidden treasures.
The N71 – The Healy Pass
For a truly unforgettable drive, take on the challenge of the Healy Pass. This narrow mountain road winds through the Caha Mountains, offering stunning panoramic views of Bantry Bay and the Beara Peninsula. Brace yourself for hairpin bends and steep climbs as you journey through this remote and breathtaking landscape.
Local Events and Festivals
County Kerry is known for its lively events and festivals that celebrate the region’s culture, music, arts, and traditions. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and experience the warmth and hospitality of the locals.
The Puck Fair
One of Ireland’s oldest festivals, the Puck Fair takes place annually in the town of Killorglin. This three-day event celebrates the coronation of a wild mountain goat as King Puck. Enjoy live music, street performances, parades, and fireworks as the town comes alive with festivities. Experience the unique charm of this traditional Irish festival and join in the merriment.
Cahersiveen Festival of Music and the Arts
Each summer, the town of Cahersiveen hosts the Festival of Music and the Arts, bringing together local and international artists for a week-long celebration of culture. Enjoy a diverse range of performances, including music, theater, dance, and visual arts. Immerse yourself in the creative energy and vibrant atmosphere of this lively festival.
Kenmare Halloween Howl
Get into the spirit of Halloween at the Kenmare Halloween Howl. This family-friendly festival offers a range of spooky activities, including costume parades, pumpkin carving, storytelling, and live music. Join in the fun and experience the magic of Halloween in the heart of County Kerry.
Each summer, Killarney hosts the Killarney Summerfest, a month-long celebration of music, entertainment, and family-friendly activities. Enjoy live concerts, street performances, food markets, and fireworks, all set against the stunning backdrop of Killarney’s natural beauty. Experience the energy and excitement of this lively festival and create memories that will last a lifetime.
County Kerry offers a variety of shopping experiences, from browsing craft shops and art galleries to exploring vibrant local markets. Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs, exquisite artwork, or locally crafted goods, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your shopping desires.
Discover the creativity and craftsmanship of County Kerry by visiting its many craft shops. From handmade pottery and textiles to unique jewelry and woodwork, you’ll find a wide range of locally crafted treasures. Support local artisans and bring home a piece of Kerry’s artistic heritage.
County Kerry is renowned for its thriving arts scene, and art galleries abound in the region. Explore these galleries and discover a diverse range of artwork, from traditional Irish landscapes to contemporary pieces. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply appreciate beautiful creations, you’ll find inspiration within these creative spaces.
For a truly authentic shopping experience, visit one of County Kerry’s vibrant local markets. These bustling markets offer a variety of goods, from fresh produce and homemade treats to unique crafts and clothing. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and connect with local vendors as you browse through the stalls.
County Kerry offers a range of unique experiences that will leave a lasting impression on your visit. From bird of prey experiences to boat trips to Skellig Michael, immerse yourself in the extraordinary and create memories that will stay with you forever.
Glenbeigh Falconry – Bird of Prey Experience
Have you ever dreamed of getting up close and personal with majestic birds of prey? At Glenbeigh Falconry, you can fulfill that dream. Enjoy a hands-on bird of prey experience, where you’ll have the opportunity to fly and handle these magnificent creatures. Learn about their behaviors, habitats, and conservation efforts while witnessing their grace and power up close.
Boat Trip to Skellig Michael
Embark on a boat trip to Skellig Michael and be transported to another world. These rugged and mysterious islands have captivated visitors for centuries, and a visit will give you a glimpse into the lives of the monks who once inhabited this remote monastic settlement. Marvel at the dramatic cliffs, explore the beehive huts, and soak in the breathtaking natural beauty.
Experience the unique artistry and skill of sheepdogs at a traditional sheepdog trial. Watch as these intelligent canines work in harmony with their handlers to herd sheep with precision and speed. Learn about the history of sheepdog trials and gain insight into the vital role that these dogs play in farming life in County Kerry.
Night Sky Stargazing
Escape the bustling towns and embrace the tranquility of County Kerry’s dark night skies as you embark on a stargazing experience. Join a knowledgeable guide who will lead you on a journey through the cosmos, pointing out constellations, galaxies, and the wonders of the universe. Marvel at the beauty of the night sky and gain a new perspective on the world around you.
County Kerry truly offers something for everyone, from breathtaking natural scenery to rich history and vibrant cultural experiences. Whether you’re exploring historic sites, embarking on outdoor adventures, indulging in delicious cuisine, or immersing yourself in the local culture, County Kerry is sure to leave a lasting impression. So pack your bags, embrace the friendly atmosphere, and get ready for a truly unforgettable experience in this captivating corner of Ireland.