- Discover Kerry
They call Kerry 'the kingdom' and when you get there you will see why. Kerry is long sandy beaches, spectacular mountains, deep clear lakes, and varied wildlife.
Lough Leane, Muckross lake, and upper Lake lie at the foot of the McGillycuddy Reeks in Killarney National Park. The Black Valley, where the lakes are, is surrounded by mountains including the highest in Ireland, Carrauntoohill (3400ft) and has beautiful forests and waterfalls.
The Iveragh Peninsula is better known as the Ring of Kerry and is a major tourist trail. The area is hugely popular with tourists but remains unspoilt and spectacular. There is so much to see and do here, pass through the Gap of Dunloe, surf on the stunning Rossbeigh beach or climb to the top of the Torc Waterfall to name but a few. Between Muckross House and Killarney turn right at Molly Darcy’s pub. Here you will find the Blue Pool Nature Reserve, which has trails that will take you around the lake. It’s a great place to sit and take in the sounds of nature all around you. Start in Killarney and drive through Kenmare, Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen and Glenbeigh before returning to Killarney. Make sure to travel in an anti-clockwise direction on the Ring of Kerry as this will minimise traffic problems on the more narrow sections of road.
Killarney town is surrounded by some of the most stunning countryside in the world but is itself a worthy place to visit. There are some really great restaurants, bars and hotels in Killarney but you will pay a bit more here than in most places in Ireland outside of Dublin. If you want to avoid the rather considerable crowds that flock here every year, you should visit in late spring or early autumn.
The Skellig Islands lie 16km off the coast of Kerry. Little Skellig and Skellig Michael are the two islands, and are home to thousands of seabirds, including the worlds' largest colony of Northern Gannets. There are also thousands of Puffins and other birds. On Skellig Michael stands a 6th century christian monastery, and the island is a designated UNESCO world heritage site. Scenes for Star Wars The Force Awakens were filmed here in 2015.
The Blasket Islands will remind many an Irish student of the quite depressing story or biography of Peig Sayers, but don't let that put you off visiting a unique place and one that may someday be a world heritage site. In its day the Blaskets were a wild and inhospitable place but today it is simply a stunning place to visit. It's a great place to come for a walk and to explore a bit. Puffins and seals can be seen as well as an abundance of sea life. If you're lucky, whales and dolphins as well as the mighty basking shark can be spotted around the island. The islands inhabitants were moved to the mainland and also Massachusetts in America in the 1950s. They were a completely Irish speaking population.