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.

129 travelers at this place:

  • Day32

    Galway to Kenmare

    October 2 in Ireland

    Just loving Ireland and today another of many contrasts. Set off from Galway for the Cliffs of Moher. The hour and a half drive was gorgeous, yet the countryside so rugged and farms so underdeveloped due to the land being so poor. The cliffs were another tourist site which was very well managed and we were lucky that they were not so busy although by the time we left we counted 15 tourist buses. The sun came out and the scenery was amazing although was very nervous about how stable the ground under our feet was. We drove on to a very old fashioned town full of pubs where we actually found a reasonably modern cafe for lunch. Our next stop was Adare, a beautiful tourist town with lovely shops and some thatched roof cottages. The scenery by now had completely changed and the whole area of Kerry seemed very prosperous compared to County Clare. We drove through Killarney but realised we would now be doing the most picturesque part of the Ring of Kerry as we made our way to Kenmare. Not wanting to get there too late and knowing we wanted to explore the area more tomorrow, we decided not to make any more stops and just carry on. The scenery was breathtaking and we arrived an hour later in Kenmare at 5 30 to find the loveliest little Irish town. Our accomodation was O’Donnabhain’s Hotel and our room was above the main bar. We wandered around the streets before settling into the bar for a lovely pub meal and live music. All gorgeous. After another walk around we retired upstairs and were surprised at how sound proof the room was- but how hard the bed was! Oh well can’t have everything!Read more

  • Day27

    To Gort

    September 30 in Ireland

    According to google maps it should take just over 2 hours to travel from Killarney to Gort but there’s no fun in taking the direct route. I headed first to Dingle, finding a lovely beach at Inch Strand - very sandy and golden. Despite the cold cloudy day there were quite a few surfers out.
    I then took the Conor Pass over to Castlegregory. Like all of the mountain passes I have taken the scenery was beautiful. The road was quite narrow in places and I had to back up quite a bit in one spot.
    Up to Talbert and then I took the car ferry crossing from County Kerry into County Clare. I went up the coast to Lahinch and then across to Gort which is where I’m staying tonight. Basically I couldn’t decide between Ennis and Galway and Gort is halfway between. The hotel I’m in seems to be a hotel for business travellers as tonight is cheaper than the next two nights.
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  • Day25

    (Half) the Ring of Kerry

    September 28 in Ireland

    Today was the Ring of Kerry. I wanted to make sure I got an early start (for me) as everything I have read says the tour buses are painful to get stuck behind but you need to go in the same direction as them because meeting them is even worse.
    I thought the buses left 10-10:30am so I thought I was okay when I hit the road just before 9am. After stuffing around trying to find the right road I left Killarney following two buses. I wasn’t terribly impressed but I turned off the route to visit Caragh Lake and lost the buses. I didn’t really come across them again as I didn’t stick to the route (the N70) road as I kept going off to look at scenery off the actual route.
    At Rossbeigh I finally found public toilets that weren’t attached to a pub or restaurant. They were locked!

    To visit Valentia Island there are two routes - bridge or car ferry. Obviously I chose the ferry, why go the conventional route? I’ve been on car ferries before but this time I found the experience really weird, sitting in a car that wasn’t moving but it was.
    Valentia Island is reasonably large and had great views. I did take the bridge to Portmagee.

    From Portmagee I took the Ring of Skellig but as I was relying on signs rather than the GPS I went a little awry. I took a turn in which the road was even narrower but all was good for 15 - 20 minutes until I ended up in someone’s driveway. The road didn’t go any further. Looking at the map know I think it was Cahereamore.
    By this stage it was close to 4pm so I decided that rather than finish the full Ring of Kerry I’d go back via the Ballaghisheen Pass which basically bisects the Ring. It was worth it, especially as it was after 6pm by the time I got back to Killarney.

    It’s still light until nearly 8pm so I wandered down the High st. It is very touristy but tastefully done. There are plenty of souvenir shops but also some buskers and Irish dancers. I walked past a pub and heard live music so I mustered up my courage and went in. It was just one woman with her guitar rather than a band but she was very good. She even played “The Wild Rover”. I sat there for half an hour or so listening to her. I wasn’t sure if I’d be brave enough to sit in a busy pub on my own but I found a spot on a bench opposite the singer and it was fine.
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  • Day26

    Today I started the Ring of Kerry clockwise. The road took me through the Killarney National Park which is just gorgeous especially the lakes.
    At Molls Gap I took the minor route down to Sneem and then joined the official ring of Kerry again.

    I came across Kissane Sheep Farm. I got there just in time to join a tour, unfortunately it was with a bus load of Germans and the guide was speaking German. It didn’t stop me from enjoying the sheepdog demonstration. It was traditional hill farming. The dogs were border collies and the sheep black faced Scottish mountain sheep. That much I could understand. It was a great demonstration of the dog’s skills.
    After this was a shearing demonstration. That was okay but once he’d finished the guide then spoke for another half an hour and I couldn’t leave the group without appearing rude.
    As I was looking in the shop another tour group appeared and this time they were Americans so I went back up to the sheep dog demonstration. It was much better with the commentary. The farm has 2000 sheep on 2500 acres, much of it mountains. A lot of it isn’t really accessible by vehicle so they still use dogs and their trainers on foot to bring the sheep in.
    I again watched the shearing demonstration learning that the wool is a coarse wool and used for making carpets. All the processing is done in Leeds and Bradford in the UK.

    From there I headed back to Killarney. I stopped off at the meeting of the waters, where the three lakes in the National Park meet. It was very tranquil.

    I decided I wanted something with some spice for tea so stopped at a Tapas bar. The prawns in chilli oil were very bland but the other two dishes I had were very good.
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  • Day7

    Ring of Kerry

    October 9 in Ireland

    We heard first thing this morning that Sue Whiteley died earlier today. This cast a pall over our day, especially as we will not be able to return for her funeral.
    It was pretty grey and overcast this morning, with a good wind blowing. Our host at Rivers Edge Guest House mentioned that it wasn “a bit blustery” which was the understatement of the day.
    The Ring of Kerry is a great drive around many of the best features of Southern Ireland, and is approximately 180kms in length. On any day there are around 60 buses doing their version of this. I say “their” version, because there is no way a bus can get to some of the more out of the way places along the way.
    Rather than try and fit everything in we just ambled along, stopping when we were intrigued by something. We were disappointed that the ferry to Valencia Island had stopped for the season, so we had to take the long way around to get to Knightstown. The wind along the edge of the water was just howling and was so strong that Robyn wouldn’t walk out along the jetty. Perhaps she thought she would be blown away!
    We took the long road around from Portmagee to Waterville, travelling on very narrow coastal roads. We saw a disused slate mine, an Abbey that had been the replacement for Skillag Michael, but was now in disrepair, a number of castles of which there were only remnants, and some beautiful scenery.
    By the time we arrived in Sneem it was getting late so we had a coffee and then headed on a true back road up through Glencar to Killorglin. Honestly, in my work I travel along backroads regularly, but the one over the mountain pass from Glencar to Killorglin makes them look normal. The sheep, on the unfenced road were more like mountain goats, and the road was almost impassable for two vehicles with trailers!
    Dinner was at the same pub - different food but the same happy, smiling and friendly staff.
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  • Day6

    Ring of Kerry, Skellig Ring, Ireland

    August 25, 2017 in Ireland

    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 side of the road and purple/pink heather all over the mountains. Large Red Fushia bushes growing wild on the roadside, 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

  • Day100

    Muckross Abbey, House & Torc Waterfalls

    December 12, 2016 in Ireland

    I was set to do the Ring of Kerry this morning before moving onto Cork but my tour was cancelled. Bummer I was really looking forward to it but I was the only one going so it wasn't feasible for the tour company. Instead I decided to go up to Torc waterfalls on the park. It was drizzling when I left and by the time I stopped off to have lunch and give my feet a rest (12km in) it was pouring down rain. The last 8 kms were really wet. The polish girls at the hostel were super and threw my coat into the dryer. My feet really hurt but it was well worth it. I also found out that the creatures in the park were the original Red deer of Ireland, which have existed only in Ireland for centuries. The crazy looking second creature is the purebred Japanese Sika deer and was brought to the island by nobility for hunting purposes. Interestingly both deer graze side by side with cattle in the National Park.Read more

  • Day101

    Dingle all the way

    December 13, 2016 in Ireland

    Wow it just keeps getting better. I am in Dingle the most westerly part of Ireland and it is so green including the water. It has been stormy all but I have given to the rain and pressed on. I was going to go on a boat cruise to see the dolphins but the wind picked up and the rain set in. Checked into my hostel and so far am the only one here, yeah! Maybe I'll get a good night sleep. Dingle us very touristy and so a lot of places are shut down for the season. I had fresh fish and chips at a local pub and managed to check the whole town out already, population 1200. I don't remember the water this green in Newfoundland but then again they don't have palm trees like Dingle.Read more

  • Day141

    Day 141: To Kerry via Limerick

    July 6, 2017 in Ireland

    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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  • Day10

    Dingle peninsula.... OMG

    May 21 in Ireland

    OK so now this country is looking for trouble.... I drove all day and did not drive more than 10 kilometers without stopping for a photo... It's official... I'm in love.
    The scenery and the people and the weather (always changing today !) and the sea and the green and...
    Well you get the picture !

You might also know this place by the following names:

Ciarraí, Ciarrai, Co Kerry, KIR

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