Ireland

Co Kerry

Here you’ll find travel reports about Co Kerry. Discover travel destinations in Ireland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day33

    Today we went on a beautiful scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry, a very scenic Pensinular out from Killarney. We stopped off first to try some Irish Coffee..Yummo.....We then stopped off at a cafe with spectacular views can The Scarriff Inn. From there we drove around the Pensinular back through the Killarney National Park, where there are beautiful lakes. Afterwards we were dropped into town for free time. We had dinner of wood fired pizza at the Killarney Craft Beer Distillary....We then walked back to our hotel.Read more

  • Day141

    Fairly relaxed day today, as we didn't have much to do besides driving. Checked out of our Airbnb at the usual time and started the drive south - it was going to be a few hours today.

    First stop was the small city/large town of Limerick, the largest city on the western coast of Ireland. We didn't really have anything planned for here, but we parked up anyway and wandered around. It seems like a nice small place with a bit of interesting history; we had a look around the castle and the older buildings though we didn't pay to go in any of them.

    Also had a nice lunch at a trendy cafe Shandos had read about, which was quite good.

    Back to the car where we continued the drive south to county Kerry. Stopped again at the village of Adare which is rated as one of the prettiest in Ireland. It was quite nice, though it would've been a lot prettier without the giant tour buses cramming the main street, trying to show off the pretty-ness. I feel sorry for the people who live there, as their nice little town gets gradually converted into a circus attraction. Maybe not so bad if you owned a cafe or a souvenir shop I guess!

    Drove on to our accommodation for the night, at the little hamlet of Rathmore about 20 minutes from Killarney, the main town in Kerry. We'd had trouble finding dog-friendly accommodation for a reasonable price in Killarney, so as usual we were staying 20 minutes outside of town. This was a large terrace house owned by an older gent in his 60s. He wasn't around, so we let ourselves in using the spare key under the flowerpot.

    Even after staying in 50+ places now, I still find it super weird to just let yourself into someone else's house, particularly when they're clearly still living there. We settled in and relaxed for a while before eventually Denis came home and we had a chat with him.

    Given the tiny village, there weren't many food options, so we ended up driving about 10 minutes down the road to a takeaway. Not the world's greatest food, but still quite a bit better than expected for what was essentially a truck stop!
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  • Day32

    Today we drove down to Killimer to catch yet another vehicular ferry across to Tarbert, which crosses the Shannon River. We then proceeded to Dingle and around the Peninsula for stunning scenery...We have a dry day today, with cloud. We then went back to the town of Dingle to look around and have lunch. After that we came onto Killarney where we spend 2 nights at the Holiday Inn, not far from the city centre.Read more

  • Day142

    Super long day today, driving the Ring of Kerry! Apparently it's the second-biggest tourist destination in Ireland behind only Dublin, so I was a little apprehensive about it. Though we'd had one good tip: the tour buses all drive the ring anti-clockwise, so it's better to drive clockwise as it's much less crowded.

    We got off to an early start, as we had 200 kilometres of driving to do as well as all of the stops! First up wasn't too far away, with a lovely waterfall to start things off. This first part of the drive was quite spectacular, going through a rugged national park with jagged stone hills and glacial lakes. Very pretty, and we stopped a couple more times to take some photos.

    Up next was Ladies Point, which was a great lookout across a valley. Apparently it was named because of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting, who were super impressed with the view from that spot during a visit in the 19th century. It certainly looked nice, and the cafe there was doing a roaring trade, so we skipped.

    Next stop on the loop was the town of Kenmare, a pretty but again very heavily touristed town. Denis our Airbnb host had told us to visit the old stone circle (a la Stonehenge) just near town, but on arrival we found it cost 5 euros each! No thanks. Instead we had an ice-cream and coffee here and a poke around the "cute little shops" (Shandos's term, not mine) before heading on.

    Up next we visited a town called Sneem, which to me just looked like they'd spelled the name backwards. But Meens doesn't make sense either, so I assume not. Grabbed some lunch from the bakery and had another look around. More cute little shops of course.

    Following the road we eventually made it to the Atlantic, where the ring (which had been heading vaguely south-west) started to turn northwards. The main highlight down here is a place called Skellig's Chocolate Factory, where they make delicious artisan chocolates out of local Irish dairy. Lots of samples available and they were all extremely tasty, though I didn't see any glass elevators or oompa-loompas. We of course bought some supplies for the remainder of the drive!

    Around the tip of the peninsula we drove over a couple of spectacular mountains, where we could see the island of Skellig Michael just off the coast. This was a little heart-breaking for us, since it's a UNESCO world heritage site but we weren't able to visit. We'd tried a month ago to get tickets, only to discover that it was completely sold out! Given the precarious state of the natural environment there (it's only a small rocky outcrop and home to several unique wildlife species), it's fair enough that it's protected from mass tourism. Just annoying that it's Star Wars fans going to see Luke Skywalker's home rather than people who'd appreciate it a bit more. Another time I guess.

    We turned away and started heading north-east back up the ring, through a few little towns. Stopped at Portmacgee which had a nice little harbour, though not much else to see. Found a ruined castle nearby as well which was great - a crumbling ruin that you could climb all over and hardly anyone else around. Though we did get talked into a photo with a baby goat by a local farmer - for a small price of course!

    Final stop on the long drive back up the peninsula was the Gap of Dunloe: a long narrow pass between two tall hills, bordered by lakes, large boulders and a tiny, winding road. Apparently the done thing is to ride a donkey cart through the pass, but because it's at one end of the loop and we'd gone the opposite way to the tour buses, the donkeys had all gone home!

    So we had the place almost entirely to ourselves. Drove very slowly through the Gap as it's a very narrow and windy road, almost like the roads in coastal Italy! Stopped constantly and took lots of photos along the way of course.

    Finally we turned for home, though we stopped for dinner at a bar in Killarney - a much larger and busier town than we expected. Since it was a Friday night many places were booked out or had long queues, but we managed to find a bar that could seat us immediately. Good traditional food, though we didn't get to see the traditional music as it was starting later than we felt like staying!

    Back home very tired after a long day, where we went to bed fairly quickly. Denis wasn't home as he was out at a wedding!
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  • Day7

    Our day started on bouncy roads, as we were trying to catch a boat for trip around Skellig Micheel. We did make in on time, but unfortunately the ride wasn't as smooth as we hoped-the waves were too big so we had to go back. From Skellig experience center you can see the little colorful town called Portmagee. We decided to go up high to Geokaun mountain and Fogher cliffs to catch a breathtaking 360 view(see it for yourself) and stopped for a coffee in Knightstown on our way back.Read more

  • Day6

    From Kenmare to Killarney it's a real scenic drive. The famous Ladies' view leaves you speachless as well as Killarney national park. A real treat was a short walk to the Meeting of the Waters, where the Upper lake flows into the Muckross Lake. 20m Torc Waterfall doesn't dissapoint either. We stopped at Killarney for lunch(amazing seafood) and ended our journey at Kinmare pub with live music.

  • Day6

    Drove from Cork to Kenmore, this was our starting point for our sightseeing around the Ring of Kerry and the Skellig Ring today. Couldn't believe the wild flowers on the sides of the road and purple/pink heather all over the mountains. Large Red Fushia bushes growing wild on the sides of the road, orange, yellow, purple flowers and wild blackberries everywhere. The homes all have the largest hydrangeas bushes I've ever seen with colours from white to pale pink to blue to purple to almost a red - stunning. The scenery was amazing - deep emerald green fields held in by rock walls dotted with white sheep. Rugged stony outcrops laced with lichens. The sheer Cliffs of Kerry at Portmagee and sleepy fishing villages. Grand!Read more

  • Day29

    Looking out the window this morning, it's not looking too bright, but by the time we'd packed up and had breakfast it was improving with patches of blue sky peeking through!

    We're heading off to drive around the Dingle Peninsula hopefully we'll be seeing a lot more than yesterday. We did have a few showers here and there but it was mostly clear and the wind had dropped off a bit thank goodness.

    The Dingle Peninsula is quite a bit more dramatic than the Ring of Kerry. Beautiful scenery all the way around and lots of places to stop and take photos. More stone forts, they are everywhere around here. Makes you wonder why they would have wanted to settle on the windy hillsides and not somewhere more cosy.

    Stae Head is gorgeous, you walk out onto the end of the peninsula with all the sheep and look down over the cliffs into the bright clear water of the Atlantic. Freezing cold and windy but lovely views!

    I'd seen a photo of somewhere on the Peninsula and nearly missed it. We asked the waitress where we had lunch, " Oh yeah that's Dunquin Peir this is, you'll be needing to go back a bit" ha ha she sounded exactly like that!

    Luckily it was only 5 klms back so didn't take long, think lots of people miss it, only a few of us there to see the lovely headland. It's where the ferry leaves for one of the islands and it's rarely used by the look of it.

    More gorgeous views all the way back to Dingle where we would have been happy to stay another night, but all booked up.

    Pouring rain when we pulled up in Tralee. This is a working town by the look of it, not many tourists around. Still lots of pub but not much food or accommodation. We went into one pub and asked for rooms, after calling a couple she sent us to a B and B down the street.

    Sweet young girl in the tea shop there was so thrilled to have us, we didn't have the heart to turn her down. " You'll be wanting a private room then?" I didn't know there was any other kind!! Ha ha ha It was cheap anyway which is about the best thing you could say for it! It's a good story for another day. The look on Graham's face cracks me up every time I think about it!

    Back to our friendly bar maid for a Guinness and a recommendation for dinner. OMG the food was delicious. I keep waiting to be disappointed with a meal, but it hasn't happened yet!
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  • Day29

    Coming up to the Cliffs of Moher. We take the ferry across the River Shannon into County Clare. Takes a big chunk out of the driving and it's an interesting addition. They have it down pat on that ferry, no mucking around. The trip only takes about twenty minutes and the cars and buses are on and off in no time.

    Lovely scenic drive up to The Cliffs. We have a gorgeous day for it, blue sky, not too much wind and sunshine. They are just as huge and majestic looking as I imagined. Lots of people there, but it's a big place so doesn't matter really.

    Had lunch in little Doolin about 10 klms away. We had a chat to a couple of young girls on a bus tour. Sounded like it was a lot of driving and not much stopping. Drove down through The Burren after lunch, totally different landscape, much barer, big rocky wind swift mountains.

    We were heading to Galway tonight but when we came through Kinvare it was starting to rain so we stopped her for the night. I wanted to try an Irish coffee, haven't had one yet and I'd seen a sign for them just down the road so off we went to get one. It's pretty good, and while we were drinking it three guys at the next table had their instruments out and entertained us for a couple of hours!
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  • Day4

    This the first leg of the Kerry Way. We started from the B&B early in the morning after having a nice irish breakfast. The weather forecast was pretty bad for today, so we were prepared for the journey ahead. At least, the was no rain at the start.

    The way went past the road for 3 km before it lead us to the Lough leane, the big lake close to Killarney. We came across Muckross Abbey and its Castle just until Torc Waterfall. After that we had to make a steep climb of 200 m. We ended up in a highland valley. The path continued and the weather turned out to be not as bad as the weather forecast predicted. Yes we did get some rain but as we thought there would be.

    We took a Cappuccino and a cake at Lord Brandon's Cottage. from here just 8 more km to the finish in the Black Valley at Shamrock Farm House !!!

    From here you can go through the Gap of Dunloe, a small passage over the mountain that leads directly back to Killarney. You can make this tour in one day by starting at Killarney by boat, which takes you to Lord Brandon's Cottage an from here you can bike over the Gap back to Killarney. Nice tour.

    The Black Valley is one of the most remote places in Ireland. The Valley got electricity only in the 1970s. It's also home of Ireland's highest peak, the Carrauntoohil with 1040 m above sea level.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Ciarraí, Ciarrai, Co Kerry, KIR

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