County Kerry is one of the jewels in the crown of Irish tourism. Spectacular scenery, a vibrant culture and some of the friendliest people in Ireland combine to make this corner of the Emerald Isle a very special tourist destination. The Southwest coastline of Ireland blesses Kerry with some of the tallest mountains in Ireland (including the tallest which is Carrauntuohill). A visit to Kerry will appeal particularly to travellers with a love of the outdoors.
The landscape is simply spectacular and whether it’s the 10,000 hectare national park, the history, the food or the good old fashioned Irish hospitality which appeals to you, Kerry is guaranteed to tick all your boxes. Every visit to Kerry promises to be a unique experience. There are so many options to explore and many of the attractions listed below are so magnificent that they could fill a whole holiday alone. If you are planning an adventure to Kerry some of the highlights include:
Gap of Dunloe and Lakes of Killarney
Thousands of years of glacial activity in Kerry have created one of nature’s true masterpieces in the Gap of Dunloe and the surrounding lakes. There are a number of options available for making the breathtaking 7 mile journey through the Gap. Some people choose to walk, others cycle and more go on horseback. However you decide to go it’s impossible not to be blown away by the rugged beauty on display in the glen.
If you want to know what life was like in Ireland over 50 years ago a trip to the Blasket Islands is highly recommended. They are the most westerly landmass in Europe and are free from all the trappings of modern life including electricity, cars and telephones. The last human inhabitants of the Blasket Islands were moved to the mainland in the 1950s and today they are home to several different species of birds. Explore the unspoilt beaches of the islands with nothing but the sound of the Atlantic Ocean crashing into the islands for company if you’re in need of some relaxation.
The Dingle Peninsula
The Dingle Peninsula is another stunning tribute to the raw beauty of nature in Kerry. Jutting majestically into the ocean the peninsula is surrounded by steep cliffs, glorious beaches and numerous islands. The peninsula is extremely popular with hikers and there are many trails available which vary in difficulty. And if you’re lucky you might get to meet Dingle’s most famous resident, Fungie the friendly bottle-nosed dolphin, who has been greeting visitors to the Dingle Peninsula for over 20 years.
Ring of Kerry
If you don’t have access to a vehicle, this is one drive that is worth renting a car for. The Ring of Kerry is a mesmerising 179km stretch through some of the best Irish scenery on offer. Glittering golden beaches, historic ruins and shimmering lakes provide an idyllic backdrop to one of Ireland’s best hidden gems. Stop off along the way for a coffee and food in one of the small towns or villages that dot the route.
Greg is a chef and spend five years living in Ireland in his early 20s. He runs a travel blog with his best friend chris.