The Ring of Kerry: A Journey Through Ireland’s Natural Wonder

Adventures like make life worth living. What a trip!

In the core of County Kerry, the Ring of Kerry carves a breathtaking journey through some of the most stunning landscapes that Ireland offers. Spanning 179 kilometers (111 miles), this circular route weaves through ancient forests, rugged coastlines, pristine lakes, and quintessentially Irish towns and villages. It’s an idyllic setting for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, or anyone seeking a peaceful retreat, embodying the essence of Ireland.

Must-See Highlights of the Ring of Kerry

  • Killarney National Park: The vibrant town of Killarney is your gateway to the untouched beauty of Killarney National Park. From the world-famous Lakes of Killarney to MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range, this park is a sanctuary for outdoor aficionados. Muckross House and Gardens, a stunning Victorian mansion within the park, is a must-visit.
  • Gap of Dunloe: A glacier-carved mountain pass offering an otherworldly landscape. The Gap is best experienced by foot, bike, or traditional jaunting car, ensuring a serene appreciation of its beauty.
  • Torc Waterfall: A short drive from Killarney leads to Torc Waterfall, nestled within mossy woods. The 20-meter (66-foot) cascade over polished rocks creates an enchanting setting.
  • Skellig Michael: This off-the-beaten-path UNESCO World Heritage site gained fame from its appearance in the Star Wars films. A 6th-century monastic site sits atop the rock, accessible by weather-dependent boat tours.
  • Derrynane House: The ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell, a key figure in Irish history, now serves as a national monument and museum. Its magnificent gardens and beaches are breathtaking.
  • Kenmare: Known as “the jewel on the Ring of Kerry,” this bustling market town is celebrated for its culinary scene, fine lace, and handmade jewelry, perfect for enjoying a meal or finding a unique souvenir.

Tips for Traveling the Ring of Kerry

  • Take Your Time: While possible to drive the Ring in a day, its beauty and charm are best savored slowly. Plan to spend several days exploring each stop fully.
  • Travel Counter-Clockwise: To avoid crowds, travel in the opposite direction of most tour buses for a more leisurely experience.
  • Respect the Locals: The Ring of Kerry is home to communities and wildlife. Drive carefully on narrow roads and respect private property.

Concluding Your Journey

The Ring of Kerry offers more than scenic drives—it’s a passage through the heart of Ireland’s natural wonders, rich with stories, landscapes, and experiences around every turn. Whether you’re soaking in the tranquility of Killarney National Park, uncovering historic treasures, or basking in Irish hospitality, your journey around the Ring of Kerry is an adventure to cherish.