There are a number of Islands off the coast of Kerry that offer remote wildernesses to explore. And off Slea Head – the most westerly tip of the Dingle Peninsula – lies a deserted village with a poignant past, on an archipelago that gave birth to Ireland’s greatest born storytellers: the mystical Blasket Islands; now an emblem of the Irish story of emigration. Anchor a boat in the Blasket Sound on the edge of Europe. Climb to the top of An Blascaod Mór and look west. Imagine you can touch America, you can feel the past and history of the people who went before you, There is an aura there, a feeling, it’s mystical. And visit the Blasket Centre a wonderful interpretive centre in a long, white hall ending in a wall-to-ceiling window overlooking the islands. Great Blasket’s rich community of storytellers and musicians are profi led along with its literary visitors like John Millington Synge, writer of Playboy of the Western World. The more prosaic practicalities of island life are covered by exhibits on shipbuilding and fishing.
Further west of Ireland, out to sea, is an extraordinary, far-fl ung place of pilgrimage: Skellig Michael – one of the wonders of the world. 1300 years ago, early Christian monks built a remarkable hermitage at the top of this jagged ocean crag – then at the further limits of the known world. This mysterious and awe-inspiring place, described by George Bernard Shaw as “part of our dream world”, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can be reached by the adventurous on a small boat, only when the weather allows from the small picturesque fishing village of Portmagee. This beautiful little fishing village was the winner of Ireland’s first ever Tourism Town in 2012, and once you arrive here it’s easy to see why. You can really get to know people here. There are small family-run businesses, local food producers, artists and craftspeople. Pubs with peat fires and traditional music sessions, artisan chocolate, and some of the best seafood in Ireland. And across the bridge is the Skelligs Experience Centre where you can experience an audio-visual tour recreating the magic of the Skellig region and enjoy the history.
At Molly Gallivan’s you will experience the simple country lifestyle in rural Ireland before the days of electricity and modern conveniences. Molly’s enchanting cottage is over 200 years old, with animals, fowl and traditional farm machinery. Discover the ghostly remains of a famine dwelling and a Neolithic stone row part of a rare ancient sun calendar.
Tucked away in Kerry’s most tranquil spots, you’ll find some of the finest and most luxurious spas in the world. These sanctuaries of calm and pampering combine the nourishment of the island’s natural resources, such as mineral-rich seaweeds, with cutting-edge treatments from around the world. Throw in a good dose of that famous Irish hospitality, and you have a spa getaway that is pretty much unforgettable.
From internationally renowned courses to welcoming local clubs in every corner of the country, Ireland is a golfer's paradise. From green parkland to rugged coastal links and everything in between, there is a course to suit every skill level from beginner to pro and, now more than ever before, every budget.
Some of the best seafood in the area can be found at Gaby’s, with availability of dishes depending on the daily catch. From the moment you enter the little bar with its open fire you know you are in good hands. Seafood is not the only option and freshness is a priority with all ingredients.
A classical themed décor welcomes all walks of life creating a friendly social meeting point. Unique artwork incorporating Mozart’s manuscripts and music. All day dining bringing flavour and tastes from both side of the Atlantic, unique flavours serving food to tantalise the pallet. Food sourced locally.
Famous for her wicked brews, Kate Kearney’s legacy lives on in her cottage. Nestled at the entrance to the magnificent Gap of Dunloe, the cottage offers full bar facilities and bar food, as well as crafts for sale and traditional entertainment during the summer months.
EU Citizens are entitled to free hospital treatment in a public ward and should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (which replaced the old E111 form) prior to departure. For further details see www.ehic.ie. Private medical insurance is advised for Visitors from non-EU countries.
Air access is available through Kerry International Airport, located 15km from Killarney at Farranfore. www.kerryairport.ie Cork International Airport (100km from Killarney) is easily accessible by bus or rail. Bus Eireann operates a bus service to and from Killarney bus station, which takes about twenty minutes. Check www.buseireann.ie for more details. Taxis are available outside the terminal and take about fifteen minutes to reach the centre of Killarney, costing between €24-30.
Influenced by the Gulf Stream, Ireland has a mild temperature climate with summer temperatures generally ranging from 14 to 16 degrees Celsius(60-70 Fahrenheit). The temperatures are generally around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degree Fahrenheit) in Spring and Autumn and between 4 and 7 degrees Celsius (30-40 degrees Fahrenheit) in Winter. For regional forecasts, please consult www.met.ie