Ring of Kerry, Killarney National Park, & Killarney Town, Republic of Ireland

Ring of Kerry, Killarney National Park, & Killarney Town, Republic of Ireland (6/26/2016)

Landscapes Ring of Kerry Republic of Ireland
Amazing Landscapes - 
Ring of Kerry, Ireland
We were greatly looking forward to our day of driving Ireland’s Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park... and we were not disappointed.

Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland.

Emerald Pastures Ring of Kerry Republic of Ireland
Emerald Pastures - Ring of Kerry
Located west of Killarney Town, the Ring of Kerry is the longest and most diverse of Ireland’s designed drives. It offers the visitor breathtaking emerald pastures, beautiful coastal views, and picturesque Irish villages – all with mountains in the background and numerous lakes.

Map Ring of Kerry Republic of Ireland
Map of Ring of Kerry
Travel tip... Like many visitors, we stayed in the town of Killarney and started on this 110-mile drive from there (see more about Killarney below). It is recommended to go counter clockwise on the Ring of Kerry because that is the direction the numerous bus tours go. Because the road is narrow is some areas, it is better to be behind a bus then to be forced to closely hug the rock wall to make room for the buses coming from the other direction. The bus drivers know the route well and travel pretty fast. Also, going a bit slower is fine because you can better view the beautiful scenery.

Ocean Views Ring of Kerry Republic of Ireland
Ocean Views -
Ring of Kerry
Driving west on N70, the first towns you will come across are Killorglin and Glenbeigh... a couple of pretty Irish towns to drive through. After you drive through the town of Cahersiveen, you have a choice. If you have time and enjoy seeing wild Irish countryside with less traffic and no tour buses, take the following diversion from the Ring of Kerry – don’t worry, it takes you back to it. 

Skelligh Ring Ocean Republic of Ireland
Beautiful Skelligh Ring
Interesting Skellig Ring diversion: Take the car ferry (turn off a couple of miles past Cahersiveen) to Knightstown on Valentia Island. Drive across Valentia Island to the bridge crossing over to Portmagge. Before you leave the island, you may want to stop at the Skellig Experience to learn about the history of Valentia Island and the time of the Skellig monks. Two-hour boat trips around the Skellig Islands are offered from April to September. Portmagee is a cute seacoast village and has some pubs to stop into if you are ready for a break.

Steps Torc Waterfall Killarney National Park Republic of Ireland Hikes
Steps to Torc Waterfall 

in Killarney National Park
Continue on the Skellig Ring to the town of Ballinskellings and where you pick up R556 back to the Ring of Kerry (N70). The Skellig Ring is a beautiful drive of unspoiled countryside but be aware the roads are narrow in many places and travel is slow.

Waterville is the next town on the Ring of Kerry where many people, including the tour buses, stop for lunch. It does make for a good stop if you are ready for lunch but don’t expect much in the way of attractions. Fans of Irish history will enjoy the next town, Caherdaniel, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connor, Ireland’s hero of the revolution.

View from Bridge Sneem Republic of Ireland
View from Bridge - Sneem
Beautiful Lakes Killarney National Park Republic of Ireland
Beautiful Lakes - Killarney National Park
We liked the next two towns on the Ring of Kerry the best - Sneem and Kenmare. Sneem is a cute small village with a beautiful river running through it. There is a public restroom here and some restaurants if you are ready for a break. The drive along the coast to Kenmore is beautiful. Kenmore is the largest town on the Ring of Kerry and you should stop, walk around, and may want to visit some of its attractions such as the Kenmare Heritage Centre. There are lots of restaurants, shops, and pubs to enjoy.

Pat Dunlap Hike Hiking Killarney National Park Republic of Ireland
Pat Liking Hiking in
Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park

Easy to take in on your visit to the Ring of Kerry, we greatly enjoyed the Killarney National Park. The scenery and view are spectacular! 

Located in the Killarney National Park is Ireland’s largest area of ancient oaks woods and views of its major mountains. The drive along N71 takes you by many beautiful lakes. Do take the time to stop and take in the views from the many opportunities available along the road. Some popular stops include Moll’s Gap and Ladies View.

Torc Waterfall Killarney National Park Republic of Ireland
Torc Waterfall -  
Killarney National Park
Driving through the extremely beautiful woods was wonderful. There are many trailheads where you can take hikes. You should take a short walk through the woods to enjoy Torc Waterfall. There is a parking lot right off the road.

Muckross Estate Gardens Killarney National Park Republic of Ireland
Muckross Estate and Gardens -
 Killarney National Park
We liked our visit to the Muckross Estate and Gardens. Visiting the beautiful gardens is free and you can view the mansion from the outside. If you enjoy touring stately mansions with period furnishing, you should pay for the interesting 1-hour tour given by knowledgeable and friendly guides. Look for the sign to the Muckross Estate because it is about 2 miles off the road and you can drive right up to the mansion.

Killarney Town

Killarney Town Republic of Ireland
Killarney Town - 
Republic of Ireland
Killarney Town is an attractive town with loads of accommodations for visitors who come here to visit the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, and Killarney National Park.

Many restaurants, shops, and pubs are located in town. High Street, New Street, and College Street are loaded with them. Traditional Irish music is offered at many places and it is fun to sit, have a pint, and enjoy this Irish tradition.

Bus tours to the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, and Killarney National Park can easily be taken from Killarney if you don’t want to drive.

Beer drinkers: It is not a myth that Guinness beer tastes better in Ireland. It most certainly does! Although a wonderful beer anywhere in the world, a slightly different process is done for the beer made for export. So, drink up and enjoy.

Wonderful Irish Countryside Republic of Ireland
Wonderful Irish Countryside
Travel advise about visiting Ireland: While visiting Ireland, we learned a few important lessons. The beauty of our Ireland experience was more about the genuine Irish people and beauty of the countryside and less so about how many important sites and buildings there are to visit. We found the best pub experience in the world in Ireland. So, slow down, enjoy the vibrantly green countryside, the Irish people, and visit a pub or two when you ‘fancy a pint’.

Please see our other 9 travel blog posts on Ireland:

Dublin, Republic of Ireland (capital)

Blarney Castle & Stone, Ireland

Galway City, Ireland

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland 

Dingle Peninsula & KillarneyTown, Ireland 

Belfast, Northern Ireland Great Britain

Westport, Kylemore Abbey, Connemara National Park, Ireland 

Kilkenny, Ireland  

Cork, Ireland

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1 comment:

  1. ... finally found the button for the comment ;) We were travelling the UK for half a year and wanted to proceed to Ireland afterward. But we had to postpone our plans. It looks like we missed out.


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