Ring of Kerry
The spirit of Kerry
Rolling green hills and sparkling lakes. Sheep bleating and cows grazing in patchwork fields. Pristine golden strands giving way to jaw-dropping cliffs. This treasure trove in the southwest coast of Ireland really has it all, which is why people come from far and wide to see the Ring of Kerry.
This scene-stealing route around the Iveragh Peninsula, beginning and ending in Killarney, takes in all the big hitters – Moll’s Gap, Torc Waterfall and the Gap of Dunloe are winners – but really, the route itself is so much more than the sum of its parts. Within this 179km of road, you’ll find that each turn brings a new treat to the eye, from lakes, rivers and waterfalls, to grand houses and castles. If you’re feeling adventurous, the Ring of Kerry cycling route is one of Ireland’s most famous, and there is really nothing like breathing in the fresh Kerry air as you drink up the incredible views around you.
This part of County Kerry is known for its pristine stretches of white, sandy beaches. Derrynane, Rossbeigh and St Finian's Bay are some of the most stunning, each strand a beautiful border between the glinting ocean and mountains of the Iveragh Peninsula.
Views fit for a queen
There’s a story behind the stunning "Ladies View" at the Lakes of Killarney – when Queen Victoria visited the Ring of Kerry in 1861, this spot was a favourite of her ladies-in-waiting. And the grandeur doesn’t stop at the scenery: sleeping on the edges of the world-famous lakes sits Muckross House & Gardens. This 19th century mansion, along with its lush gardens, became Ireland’s first National Park in 1932. Inside is luxury on another level, and upstairs you can even enter the perfectly preserved room that housed Queen Victoria during her famous stay!
3 colourful towns to visit
Neat colourful houses line the streets of this pretty village that is bursting with rural charm.
Smart galleries and old-world pubs, traditional charm mixes with contemporary cool in this atmospheric town.
Backed by deep green mountains and facing the Atlantic Ocean, this coastal village is the ideal place to relax.
The mystical beauty of this part of the island has enchanted some unexpected visitors in its time. The Skellig Ring, just off the main route of the Ring of Kerry, was given a starring role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In the pretty village of Portmagee, the cast and crew were received by the locals as they welcome all their visitors: with a warm reception, a hot meal and some rousing traditional music!
I can’t believe they let us shoot there – it was so beautiful!J.J. Abrams, Star Wars director
On the Ring of Kerry, you really are far away from the hustle and bustle of life. So remote and tranquil is this area, that it is home to one of just three Gold Tier International Dark Sky Reserves on the planet – and the only one in the northern hemisphere. Under a canopy of twinkling lights, you can make as many wishes as you like...
Ring of Kerry highlights
Don't miss these things to see and do