The Ring of Kerry (or Iveragh Peninsula to give it its correct name) is the Kerry tourist trail and part of the mystical & unspoilt region of Ireland that has attracted visitors for hundreds of years. Its spectacular beauty is beyond question and it is a natural centre for outdoor pursuits that include golf, water-sports, cycling, walking, running, riding and the very best fishing in freshwater rivers for salmon & trout and at sea for bass, ray, pollack, conger eel, cod, flounder, wrasse, mullet, mackerel and tuna.
The Ring of Kerry has some of the Europe's finest beaches (See Rossbeigh in the Ross-Maine area) that provide all the facilities for a traditional seaside holiday. Above all, the Ring of Kerry provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland - see the Iron Age Forts & Ogham Stones, Old Monasteries and a landscape carved out of rock by the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. Visitors to Ireland should not miss a trip to the beautiful Ring of Kerry Tourism.
To experience the real Ireland, lodging in an Irish Bed and Breakfast or a Family Home in Kerry brings the visitor closer to the people, their culture, traditions and genuine Irish hospitality. It will be a pleasure for your host to provide local knowledge of where to go what to see and they will often book cycle hire, boat trips and coach tours to make your Ring of Kerry experience fulfilling. You may get the chance to taste traditional Irish Soda Bread or an "Irish Fry" and regardless of your tastes, the variety of food on the breakfast menus is sure to satisfy.
A Holiday Home Rental on the Ring of Kerry is the perfect place for family or friends to enjoy the freedom, activities, pursuits, visit all the attractions of the area, eat & drink at leisure. Our Holiday Home Rentals section offers a wide choice of selfcatering holiday rentals. Owners take great pride in their properties and Ring of Kerry holiday homes include many of the things you would expect to make your stay a pleasant one - TVs, Fridges, washing machines, microwave ovens etc.
The map below allows you to zoom in and out. Zooming out renders less detail, zooming in more. To achieve this just use the plus and minus buttons, top left of the map. At the western ends lies the Skellig Ring and Valentia Island, to the south Kenmare and to the east Killarney and its lakes. The map may be moved around with the left mouse button.
DRIVERS Please travel anti-clockwise round the Ring of Kerry to minimise traffic problems on the narrower sections of road. Careful some sat nav systems have been directing traffic in a clockwise direction. Buses & Cars may travel clockwise from Killarney to access Torc Waterfall car park.
BUS TOURS: The Ring of Kerry tour leaves the Deros Tours Office in Main Street Killarney at 10.30 daily during the season and returns at approximately 17:00 hrs (5pm). This tour includes the towns of Glenbeigh, Waterville & Sneem, returning via "Ladies View" and Killarney National Park & Lakes.
Gap of Dunloe - the pass through the MacGillycuddy Reeks is magical - take a jaunting car, walk, cycle or jog right through to the Black Valley. A day trip from Killarney through the gap and returning by boat through the lakes of Killarney and back to Ross Castle can be booked at Dero Tours.
Kate Kearney's Cottage - Originally a coaching inn, this welcoming cottage is the starting point for those jaunting through the gap.
Bog Village- Located on the Ring of Kerry just before Glenbeigh, this is a unique rural attraction; the village is made up of six dwellings with thatch roofing, restored to their original setting.
Rossbeigh - the scenic beach in Glenbeigh, with 8km of golden sand and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains is Kerry's most popular. The west side of Rossbeigh facing the Atlantic ocean is perfect for surfing or windsurfing, whilst the east side is protected somewhat from the Atlantics breezes - great for beach games, canoeing and learning how to windsurf.
Once an old RIC Barracks, burnt down in 1922 now restored to its former glory, as part of a Community project. The Barracks is an interpretive centre for the area.
Derrynane House - home to the late Daniel O Connell "The Liberator" .The house is restored to its former glory with the addition of a museum and period furnishings.
Skellig Experience Valentia Island - Accessible from the bridge at the town of Portmagee, the island features a slate quarry with a huge natural grotto, tropical vegetation and magnificent seascapes to view.
Staigue Fort - Located near Castlecove just off the Ring of Kerry, a circular stone fort, with a single doorway entrance and stairway as high as the wall, built during the Iron Age this fort is around 2,500 years old. It is an excellent example of dry masonry and shows remarkable sophistication in design and workmanship.
Kenmare Lace - The lace making industry in Kenmare (one of Irelands heritage towns) originated in the the 'Little famine years' of the 1860s. The Poor Clare nuns taught lace making to the women of the area, thus giving them a skill enabling them and their families to survive in hard times. This unique lace is still made in Kenmare today.
Molls Gap - located amongst the long and winding road between Kenmare and Killarney, perfect for viewing the famous MacGillycuddy's Reeks and surrounding lakes on the many Jaunting cars on offer.
Ladies View - approximately 16 km from the town of Killarney, displays panoramic views of the three lakes and primary mountains.
Torc Waterfall - 7km from Killarney town, this waterfall is 60 ft high with surrounding trees, with views of the Lake area on the way up to the waterfall.
Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms - A Magnificent Victorian mansion and leading stately home. The rooms are elegantly furnished reflecting the lifestyle of the period. The gardens portray unblemished beauty. There are three separate working farms with a selection of poultry, Kerry cattle and traditional farm machinery. The farms are in working use where you can observe the daily routine of the many craftsmen with their specialised trade.
The Blue Pool - As you journey from Muckross House to Killarney turn right just before Molly Darcy's pub - here you will find one of the Killarney's best kept secrets - the Blue Pool Nature Reserve - here the local wildlife has made its home - see Kingfishers feasting on trout - Badger trails - and much more. The reserve has special trails for the blind.
Ross Castle - the gateway to the Lakes of Killarney, now fully furnished its open to the public. If you are staying in Killarney, the Ross Peninsula is a perfect distance for walkers and joggers - around 5 Kilometres (3 miles) round the peninsula and back to town.
From Ross Castle you can take a boat around the lake or walk the many footpaths to see the flora and fauna unique to the area. Just sit and enjoy the peace, watch children feeding the swans and take in the beauty that has made Killarney so famous.
Ogham Stones: Ogham was the earliest system of writing to appear in Ireland. The language used was an early form of Irish but was script based on the Roman alphabet. The letters represented by sets of strokes cut across or on either side of a vertical stem line formed by the edge or corner of a standing stone. There is a very good example of these stones between Beaufort village and the Gap of Dunloe on the left hand side.
Stone Circles - Associated with the Bronze Age, a stone circle consists of five or more standing stones, which enclose a flat piece of ground. The small stone circle found in Lissivigeen near Killarney town. These stones are known locally as the seven sisters, while the outlying stones are known as "pipers" or "musicians". The stones were probably erected for ritual or ceremonial use.
St. Mary's Cathedral - Killarney - Building of the church commenced in 1842 on the church but was interrupted in 1848 as a result of the famine and didn't resume again until five years later. The cathedral was consecrated in 1855 but was not finally completed until 1912 when the tower and spire were added. St. Mary's is a cruciform church with a nave and aisles, two large transepts and a central tower crowned with a spire, with simple rose windows. The church is a fine example of late nineteenth century Gothic architecture.
Muckross Abbey - Founded in the 15th Century this Franciscan friary is preserved to a high standard, it was built of local limestone. The tower, added after the church was built is the only Franciscan tower in Ireland which is as wide as the church.
Franciscan Friary - Built in 1860 it is situated in Fair hill in Killarney town. It holds similar style to Muckross Abbey with a unique piece of stained glass at the entrance.
Killegy Church - Built as an 18th century reconstruction of an earlier church. Located on the Kenmare to Killarney road.
O' Connell Memorial Church - Built in memory of the late Daniel O'Connell "The Liberator". The church can be found in the town of Caherciveen. The materials used were black limestone found locally and Newry granite.
Holy Well - Located 1.2km from Killarney town, this well is reputed to have special healing powers.
Sneem Church and Cemetery - the church of the Transfiguration built in 1810, displays a salmon as a weather clock, the cemetery is a burial ground for a former Irish president- Cearbhaill O'Dalaigh.
Skellig Michael - is a large jagged rock, which hoists itself dramatically out of the Atlantic 8 miles off the coast of Kerry. There is a flight of steps leading to the remains of the monastic settlement, which occupy a series of terraces, enclosed in drystone walls on a narrow shelf of rock nearly 600 feet above the sea, the enclosure also contains the ruins of St. Michaels church.
Beehive Cells - Located at Skellig Michael, these corbel-roofed cells are round in the outside and square in the inside. One of the clochans has a cross of white quartz stones built onto the wall above the door.
Stone Pillars and Erect Slabs - usually inscribed with a cross, the erection of these stones was an Irish tradition. These stones often marked the grave of the founder of the monastery and in some cases they were old pagan standing stones converted to Christian usage.Back to the top
The Kerry Way, at 230km the longest of the Irish Waymarked Trails, is a circular route that circumnavigates the peninsula, starting and finishing in Killarney, and also passing through fine Kerry towns such as Glenbeigh, Caherciveen, Waterville, Sneem and Kenmare.
The landscape the route passes through is very varied, from the lakes of Killarney to high and remote mountain moorland: Carrauntoohil and Caher tower over the route west of Black Valley and the return leg passes along the startlingly contrasting semi-tropical, palm-treed south coast.
Terrain consists mainly of quiet tarmac roads, open moorland, woodland and field paths and boreens. Some sections of the open moorland can be very isolated, and off-road sections can often be very wet and muddy. Aggregate ascent over the whole route is about 5400m, and there are some sustained and quite steep climbs. The highest point on the Way is 385m above sea-level, at Windy Gap between Glenmore and Caherdaniel There are some long stretches between overnight accommodation possibilities, and walkers should plan their days carefully.
The Kerry Way, at 230km the longest of the Irish Waymarked Trails, is a circular route that circumnavigates the peninsula, starting and finishing in Killarney, and also passing through fine Kerry towns such as Glenbeigh, Caherciveen, Waterville, Sneem and Kenmare. The landscape the route passes through is very varied, from the lakes of Killarney to high and remote mountain moorland: Carrauntoohil and Caher tower over the route west of Black Valley and the return leg passes along the startlingly contrasting semi-tropical, palm-treed south coast. Terrain consists mainly of quiet tarmac roads, open moorland, woodland and field paths and boreens. Some sections of the open moorland can be very isolated, and off-road sections can often be very wet and muddy. Aggregate ascent over the whole route is about 5400m, and there are some sustained and quite steep climbs. The highest point on the Way is 385m above sea-level, at Windy Gap between Glenmore and Caherdaniel There are some long stretches between overnight accommodation possibilities, and walkers should plan their days carefully.