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People come to Killarney for the legendary beauty of the lakes, waterfalls, mountain peaks and heart stopping views. And they come for the “craic agus ceol” the good times, the banter, the pubs, live music, and easy Irish charm. The town is on the north-east shore of the largest of the three Lakes of Killarney, Lough Leane or Lake of Learning , where the medieval monks of Inisfallen recorded the earliest history of Ireland. Killarney makes it easy to enjoy nature, to be as active or as laid-back as you choose. There are easy strolls and challenging hikes, trips and tours, bike hires and boat rides. Traditional horse-drawn jaunting cars with their drivers known as “jarveys” wait in the centre of town to take visitors into the National Park. Killarney is a great base for exploring South West Ireland’s three wild Atlantic peninsulas, Dingle, Beara and Iveragh and the world-famous Ring of Kerry. Back in town, the streets are a hive of activity, full of life Irish through and through.
It’s hard to whittle Kerry's attractions down to just five, but here are a few to kick off any sightseeing tour
We liked Kerry’s coast so much we put a ring on it. Introducing the Ring of Kerry. Starting in Killarney, take the N72 to Killorglin where there is a variety of Outdoor Activity Centres. Cyclists should take the Glencar route that will bring you along the mountainous spine of the peninsula taking in glacial lakes and mountain passes to the heart of the Iveragh Peninsula’s Gaeltacht at Dromid (na Dromoda). From Killorglin to Glenbeigh, the Bog Village is an interesting visit and in Glenbeigh, take time for a pony trek along the beautiful Rossbeigh Beach. From Glenbeigh, the route will open up to wonderful views of Dingle Bay as you approach Kells, where the Victorian Gardens of Kells Bay are located. In Cahersiveen, the history of the area can be discovered at the Old Barracks Heritage Centre. Enjoy a fun filled boat trip around Cahersiveen Harbour and Valentia Lighthouse. After Cahirsiveen drive on to the beautiful fishing port of Portmagee or take the ferry to Valentia Island. This region, called the Skellig Ring, is a place to linger. From Portmagee, the ferries leave for the spectacular Skellig Rocks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you cross the bridge at Portmagee, stop to walk up to Bray Head and Geokaun Mountain for amazing views. At the Slate Quarry, the views over Valentia Lighthouse and Knightstown are the icing on the cake! Take time to visit the Tetrapod Track and take an eco tour around the harbour. From Portmagee, continue on the Skellig Ring Road, over Coomanaspig Pass to St. Finan’s Bay and on into Ballinskelligs (Baile na Sceilge), a Gaeltacht village, Valentia Island where the Cill Rialaig Famine Village and Ballinskelligs Blue Flag Beach are well worth a stop. Waterville, with wonderful views of Ballinskelligs Bay, is home to Waterville’s famous Links Course and the angler’s paradise, Lough Currane. Onwards to Caherdaniel, the Coomakista Pass offers sublime views over Kenmare Bay, Derrynane Harbour, Scariff and Deenish Islands. Caherdaniel is an ideal base for outdoor pursuits and is home to Derrynane House & National Historic Gardens. At Castlecove, visit Ireland’s largest circular stone fort, Staigue Fort. Next, the colourful village of Sneem, home to the Sculpture Park and Garden of the Senses, is a delightful village to spend some time. In Kenmare, enjoy a lovely choice of charming shops, galleries, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Stay longer to enjoy the fun and adventure of local Activity Centres, Kilgarvan’s Motor Museum and the heritage of the region is captured at Bonane Heritage Park and Gleninchaquin Park. To complete the Ring of Kerry, travel north to Killarney via Moll’s Gap. Marvel at the panoramic vistas at Ladies View, with breathtaking views of the glorious Lakes of Killarney. Get further information about the Ring of Kerry
Whether your passion is golf, fishing or splashing about on a surfboard, Kerry is a perfect location - with surprises around every corner, a backdrop of stunning coastline and beautiful countryside, and a whole host of thrilling activities.
A full list of festivals for the year can be found on Here are some highlights:
The southwest of Ireland is renowned as a gastronomic epicentre and Killarney is no exception. An abundance of seafood and locally grown produce ensure that chefs have the freshest possible ingredients at their fingertips. Some of the best traditional and contemporary Irish cuisine can be savoured in Killarney, as well as some of the highest quality seafood.
There are a number of cafés in Kerry offering the finest coffees and teas from around the world along with a wide selection of delicious food and sweet cakes to accompany them.
Kerry has no shortage of establishments in which to stop for a pint and a bit of craic. Most pubs provide food during the day and many have live entertainment at night. So whether you are looking for a sing-along Killarney style, or a good trad session, or just a quiet pint, you are sure to find it in Kerry
In the larger towns of Tralee and Killarney, there is a large selection of international high-street and designer shops, along with a fantastic selection of specialist shops and unique boutiques. The smaller villages and countryside are dotted with a wonderful selection of art and craft studios. The traditional Irish knitwear and shimmering cut-crystal are still widely available and always make wonderful gifts. But they have been complemented by stylish new companions. The woollen goods have new styles, thanks to vibrant new colours and textures. Crystal and hand-blown glass are found in glorious new designs and intriguing shapes. Crafts have always been part of the Irish shopping scene, but never in such profusion and of such high quality as now. Designer knitwear, jewellery, ceramics, and the full range of art have been infused with an impressive 21st century style, without sacrificing their distinctive Celtic touch. More and more craft studios are welcoming visitors to meet the artist and see their work in progress. World-class shopping, but with a uniquely Irish air, awaits you in Kerry. So much to buy, so little time.
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