The Ring of Kerry is a scenic drive that circles the Iveragh Peninsula in southwestern Ireland. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland, and for good reason – the route offers stunning coastal and mountain views, historic landmarks, and charming villages.
Here’s more information on what to see and do along the Ring of Kerry:
- Take in the Scenery: The Ring of Kerry offers a variety of stunning landscapes to take in. The route hugs the coastline, offering views of the Atlantic Ocean and the rugged coastline. You’ll also pass through lush forests, rolling hills, and dramatic mountain ranges. There are many lookout points along the route where you can stop to take in the views, and the scenery is especially spectacular in the early morning or late evening light.
- Visit Historic Landmarks: The Ring of Kerry is home to a number of historic landmarks that are well worth a visit. One of the most popular is Muckross House and Gardens, a 19th-century mansion set on beautiful grounds that include gardens, woodlands, and a lake. You can take a guided tour of the house, which is filled with period furnishings and artwork, and explore the gardens at your leisure. Another must-see is the 6th-century monastery at Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site accessible only by boat. The monastery is perched on a rugged island and can be reached by a steep climb up a stone staircase.
- Experience Local Culture: The Ring of Kerry is a great place to experience the unique culture of southwestern Ireland. The town of Killarney is a good place to start, with its lively pubs, shops, and restaurants. You can listen to traditional Irish music sessions in many of the pubs, or browse the local crafts and artwork in the town’s shops. Sneem is another charming village along the route, known for its brightly painted buildings and craft shops. The Skellig Experience Visitor Center is also a great place to learn about the area’s history and culture.
- Go Hiking: The Ring of Kerry is a popular destination for hikers, with many trails of varying difficulty. Some of the most popular hikes include the climb up Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain, and the Kerry Way, a long-distance walking route that takes in some of the best scenery in the region. There are also many shorter hikes, such as the stroll around Torc Waterfall or the hike up to the top of Staigue Fort.
- Enjoy Water Activities: With its rugged coastline and clear waters, the Ring of Kerry is a great place to enjoy water activities. You can take a boat tour to see the Skellig Islands up close, or rent a kayak and paddle along the coast. There are also many opportunities for fishing, with salmon and trout plentiful in the area’s lakes and rivers.
The Ring of Kerry is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Ireland. Whether you’re taking in the stunning scenery, exploring historic landmarks, or experiencing local culture and outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone on this iconic route.