The Ring of Kerry is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places on earth and considered the “Jewel in the Crown” of Ireland’s scenic locations. Known officially as the Iveragh Peninsula, but referred to as “The Kingdom” by locals, the 111 mile route around County Kerry boasts stunning panoramic landscapes, rich history, and picturesque villages.
The best way to enjoy Kerry is simply to drive the route and stop when something catches your eye. Time-wise you should budget most of the day to get around the entire ring.
Tour buses always drive counterclockwise on the N70 main road, so it’s recommend to drive clockwise to avoid traffic and delays getting stuck behind large coaches.
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1) Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park was the first national park in Ireland founded in 1932, and expands over 25,000 acres. Within the park you’ll find the Lakes of Killarney, Torc Waterfall, and Managerton Mountain. The National Park is globally known for its incredible scenery and it’s popular with tourists and local Irish alike.
Ladies View is a scenic lookout to enjoy a panorama of Killarney. In 1861, on a visit from London, Queen Victoria and her ladies-in-waiting took delight in this vista and henceforth the name stuck.
2) Torc Waterfall
Torc is a magnificent waterfall in Killarney National Park that visitors are able to hike and enjoy. The waterfall is easily accessible with a nearby car park just a short walk from the falls.
3) Muckross House and Gardens
Located at northern edge of Killarney National Park, Muckross dates to Victorian times and displays one of the best stately homes in the country. The gardens and grounds are also known for their exceptional elegance.
Explore the exquisitely designed internal rooms which showcases how the wealthy lived in the late 19th century.
Kenmare is a beautiful small town just south of Killarney serving as a great launching point to explore the wider Ring of Kerry. Founded in 1670, the unique charm and inherent beauty of the town remains unchanged for centuries.
5) Horseshoe Pub
Everyone loves the atmosphere at this pleasingly old-fashioned pub and restaurant located at the bottom of Kenmare’s Main Street.
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Nestled between mountains and rugged coast, Sneem offers wonderful views and a quaint atmoshpere. The village is split into two halves by Sneem River with each part having its own feeling and special beauty.
7) Derrynane House
This is the family home of renowned politician, lawyer, and statesman, Daniel O’Connell. Spread out across 300 acres of land, this lovely country home is surrounded by the natural scenery of the Kerry coast, and inside the house you can find many items related to the life and times of O’Connell.
Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the fresh water lake of Lough Currane sits the charming village of Waterville.
Waterville is unique in that it’s the only village on the Ring of Kerry that is actually right on the coast. Visitors to the village should walk the pathway, known locally as the promenade, which stretches along the seafront staring out into the Atlantic ocean.
9) Bog Village
An amazing insight into the life of Irish locals in the 1700s can be found at Bog Village. Sitting along the Ring of Kerry, this village is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region, and quite unique throughout all of Europe.
Killorglin is situated on the north end of Kerry and if you’re driving by car, should be your last stop on the Peninsula.
This lively town on a hill is best known for Ireland’s oldest, longest and most unusual festivals, Puck Fair. This annual event celebrated on the 10th, 11th, and 12th of August is Ireland’s oldest street festivals. Its exact origins are unknown.