Kerry, Ireland Great Destination for Tourists

Welcome to Kerry, Ireland – a charming destination that will capture your heart and leave you wanting more. Located on the southwestern coast of Ireland, Kerry is a picturesque county known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality.

One of the main attractions in Kerry is the Ring of Kerry, a scenic driving route that takes you through rugged mountains, sparkling lakes, and quaint villages. As you wind along the narrow roads, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views at every turn. Don’t forget to stop at one of the many viewpoints to snap some photos and take in the beauty of this region.

Kerry-Ireland

For those seeking adventure, Kerry has plenty to offer. Hike to the top of Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil, or explore the dramatic cliffs and sea caves of the Dingle Peninsula. If water activities are more your style, head to the charming town of Killarney and take a boat tour of the famous Lakes of Killarney.

But Kerry isn’t just about outdoor adventures – it also has a rich cultural heritage waiting to be discovered. Visit the Skellig Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see the ancient monastic settlement perched on a rocky island. Or step back in time at the Muckross House and Gardens, a grand estate dating back to the 19th century.

After a day of exploring, you’ll want to refuel with some traditional Irish cuisine. Kerry is home to many award-winning restaurants and pubs serving up hearty dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. And of course, no trip to Ireland would be complete without trying a pint of Guinness or a dram of whiskey.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, culture, or simply a peaceful getaway, Kerry has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the magic of this beautiful county. You won’t be disappointed.

The Natural Beauty of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry: A Scenic Drive Like No Other

One of the most popular attractions in Kerry is the Ring of Kerry, a 179-kilometer driving route that takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes in Ireland. This circular route starts and ends in Killarney, taking you through rugged mountains, lush valleys, and charming villages.

The Best Stops Along the Ring of Kerry

Killarney-National-Park

  • Killarney National Park: This expansive park is home to the famous Lakes of Killarney and offers endless opportunities for hiking, cycling, and wildlife spotting.
  • Muckross House and Gardens: Step back in time at this grand estate and explore the beautifully manicured gardens and historic house.
  • Sneem: This colorful village is known for its charming shops, traditional pubs, and friendly locals.
  • Valentia Island: Take a short ferry ride to this island and visit the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre to learn about the history and wildlife of the nearby Skellig Islands.
  • Kenmare: This picturesque town is a great place to stop for lunch and browse the many art galleries and craft shops.

Tips for Driving the Ring

  • Start early: The Ring of Kerry can get quite busy, especially during peak tourist season. Starting your drive early in the morning will allow you to beat the crowds and enjoy the scenery without any distractions.
  • Take your time: While the route can be completed in a day, it’s best to take your time and stop at the various viewpoints and attractions along the way. Plan for at least two days to fully experience the beauty of the Ring of Kerry.
  • Be prepared for narrow roads: Some parts of the route have very narrow roads, so be sure to drive carefully and watch out for oncoming traffic.
  • Consider taking a tour: If you’re not comfortable driving on the left side of the road or navigating the narrow roads, consider taking a guided tour of the Ring of Kerry. This way, you can sit back and relax while someone else does the driving.

The Dingle Peninsula: A Haven for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Located just north of the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula is another must-visit destination in Kerry. This rugged peninsula is known for its dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming villages. It’s also a popular spot for outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and kayaking.

The-Dingle-Peninsula-Kerry

Hiking on the Dingle Way

The Dingle Way is a 179-kilometer long-distance walking trail that takes you around the entire peninsula. The route is divided into eight stages, each offering stunning views and a chance to experience the local culture. Some highlights along the way include the famous Slea Head Drive, the Conor Pass, and the charming town of Dingle.

Exploring the Cliffs and Caves

The Dingle Peninsula is home to some of the most dramatic cliffs in Ireland, including the famous Cliffs of Moher. Take a boat tour from Dingle to see these towering cliffs from a different perspective and keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. You can also explore the sea caves and hidden coves along the coast by kayak or stand-up paddleboard.

Discovering the Local Culture

The Dingle Peninsula is steeped in history and tradition, and there are many opportunities to learn about the local culture. Visit the Gallarus Oratory, an ancient stone church dating back to the 9th century, or stop by the Blasket Islands Centre to learn about the island’s former inhabitants and their way of life.

Uncovering the History of Kerry

The Skellig Islands: A Journey Back in Time

Located just off the coast of Kerry, the Skellig Islands are a must-visit for history buffs and nature lovers alike. These two rocky islands are home to an ancient monastic settlement dating back to the 6th century. The well-preserved beehive huts and stone structures offer a glimpse into the lives of the monks who once lived here.

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How to Visit the Skellig Islands

Visiting the Skellig Islands is not for the faint of heart. The only way to reach the islands is by boat, and the journey can be rough and unpredictable. However, the reward is well worth it. You can take a boat tour from Portmagee or Ballinskelligs, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can hire a private boat and explore the islands at your own pace.

Exploring the Monastic Settlement

Once on the island, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the monastic settlement and learn about its history from a knowledgeable guide. Be sure to climb the steep steps to the top of the island for breathtaking views of the surrounding sea and coastline.

Wildlife on the Skellig Islands

Aside from its historical significance, the Skellig Islands are also home to a diverse range of wildlife. Keep an eye out for puffins, gannets, and other seabirds nesting on the cliffs, as well as seals and dolphins swimming in the surrounding waters.

Muckross House and Gardens: A Glimpse into Victorian Life

Built in the mid-19th century, Muckross House and Gardens is a grand estate located in Killarney National Park. This stately home offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the wealthy Victorian families who once lived here.

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Touring the House

Take a guided tour of the house and see how the wealthy lived in the 19th century. The rooms are beautifully preserved, with original furnishings and decor, giving you a sense of what life was like for the owners of Muckross House.

Strolling through the Gardens

The gardens at Muckross House are a sight to behold. With over 11 hectares of manicured lawns, colorful flower beds, and peaceful woodland walks, it’s the perfect place to relax and take in the beauty of nature. Don’t miss the traditional Victorian walled garden, which is still used to grow fruits and vegetables today.

Activities at Muckross House

Aside from touring the house and gardens, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy at Muckross House. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the estate, rent a bike and explore the surrounding park, or stop by the traditional farm to see demonstrations of traditional farming methods.

Indulging in Kerry’s Culinary Delights

Traditional Irish Cuisine: A Taste of Kerry

No trip to Ireland would be complete without trying some traditional Irish cuisine, and Kerry has no shortage of delicious dishes to offer. From hearty stews and fresh seafood to creamy cheeses and rich desserts, there’s something for every palate in this county.

Must-Try Dishes in Kerry

Irish-Stew-Kerry

  • Irish Stew: Made with tender lamb, potatoes, carrots, and onions, this hearty stew is a staple in Irish cuisine.
  • Seafood Chowder: With its coastal location, Kerry is known for its fresh seafood, and the chowder here is a must-try. Made with a creamy broth and loaded with chunks of fish, shrimp, and mussels, it’s the perfect comfort food on a chilly day.
  • Boxty: This traditional Irish potato pancake is a popular dish in Kerry. It can be served as a side dish or filled with savory ingredients like bacon and cheese for a hearty meal.
  • Kerry Lamb: Known for its high-quality lamb, Kerry is the perfect place to try this tender and flavorful meat. Whether roasted, grilled, or stewed, you won’t be disappointed.
  • Irish Whiskey Cake: For those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on trying this rich and decadent cake made with Irish whiskey and topped with a creamy glaze.

Where to Eat in Kerry

  • The Chart House: Located in Dingle, this award-winning restaurant serves up modern Irish cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood.

The-Chart-House-kerry

  • The Smokehouse: This family-run restaurant in Killarney is known for its delicious smoked meats and seafood, all prepared in-house.
  • Bricín: For a taste of traditional Irish pub food, head to Bricín in Killarney. Try their famous boxty or indulge in some fish and chips.
  • Cronin’s Restaurant: This cozy restaurant in Killarney offers a mix of traditional Irish dishes and international cuisine, all made with locally sourced ingredients.
  • Murphy’s Ice Cream: No trip to Kerry would be complete without trying some of the famous Murphy’s ice cream. Made with fresh milk from Kerry cows, it’s a delicious treat any time of year.

FAQs

What is the best time of year to visit Kerry?

The best time to visit Kerry is during the summer months (June-August) when the weather is mild and the days are long. However, this is also peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices. Spring (March-May) and fall (September-November) can also be great times to visit, with fewer tourists and pleasant weather.

How do I get around Kerry?

The best way to get around Kerry is by car. This will give you the freedom to explore at your own pace and visit more remote areas. However, if you prefer not to drive, there are also bus and train options available.

Are there any festivals or events in Kerry?

Yes, Kerry hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Dingle Food Festival in October, the Killarney Summerfest in July, and the Rose of Tralee International Festival in August.

Is it safe to hike in Kerry?

Hiking in Kerry can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to take proper precautions. Always check the weather before heading out, wear appropriate footwear, and let someone know where you’re going. It’s also recommended to stick to marked trails and bring a map or GPS device with you.

What is the currency used in Kerry?

The currency used in Ireland is the Euro (€). Most places in Kerry will accept credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases or in case of emergencies.

Conclusion

Kerry truly has something for everyone – from stunning natural landscapes and rich history to delicious cuisine and warm hospitality. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a cultural experience, this charming county in Ireland will not disappoint. So why not add Kerry to your travel bucket list and start planning your trip today? You won’t regret it.

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