Overflowing with breath-taking landscapes, a staycation in Kerry takes you to the furthest points of south-west Ireland along the world-famous Wild Atlantic Way. From sprawling mountain ranges to rugged coastlines and world-class beaches, a visit to the Kingdom of Kerry has something for everyone.
Kerry is a playground for the outdoorsy types and boasts Ireland’s highest mountain Carrauntoohil, the lakes of Killarney and hundreds of kilometres of stunning beaches, cliffs and not forgetting the 179km drive around the well-known Ring of Kerry. Below are just some of the things we love to do in Kerry, it’s impossible to get all our favourites in, but if we’ve left out your favourite make sure to let us know!
Located just minutes from Ballyseede Castle, the town of Tralee, known as ‘Kerry’s Capital’, is in the heart of County Kerry, bursting with shops, restaurants, and activities for everyone to enjoy.
With spectacular beaches and majestic mountains just minutes away, you can enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities such as horse riding, water sports, boating and angling. You can even enjoy a round of golf in some of the best championship golf courses in Europe such as the Tralee Golf Club, the first course in Europe designed by legendary Arnold Palmer.
It really is impossible to narrow down our favourite activities in Tralee, but we’ve picked 2 we which are guaranteed not to disappoint:
Blennerville Windmill – The largest working windmill in Ireland, Blennerville Windmill is a spectacular landmark nestled in Tralee Bay. Here you will find an exhibition gallery, go on a guided tour, as well as see a model railway before stopping off in the gift shop and café. For those of you looking for the perfect instagrammable locations in Kerry, Blennerville Windmill is certainly one of them.
Kerry County Museum - Winner of many prestigious awards, Kerry County Museum offers a wide range of permanent displays and special exhibitions for the enjoyment of locals and tourists alike. Among many highlights, a real favourite is the medieval experience where you get to walk through the reconstructed streets complete with all the sound and smells of the era. Kerry County Museum is a treat for all ages.
RING OF KERRY SCENIC DRIVE
The Ring of Kerry is a breath-taking scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula following the coastal contours taking in beautiful towns and villages, lakes, beaches, walks, and forests — quite simply some of the most stunning scenery across the country of Ireland. Located a short distance from Ballyseede Castle, it will take roughly 3 and a half hours to drive the full Ring of Kerry, but we do recommend taking your time and enjoy the stunning experiences and views along the route.
GAP OF DUNLOE
The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass separating the MacGillycuddy's Reeks mountain range. Located outside Killarney, it offers spectacular scenery that really must be experienced to be fully appreciated. One of Kerry’s most popular tourist destinations, this is a must do for anyone visiting the Kingdom.
KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK
Ireland’s oldest National park, Killarney National Park is 26,000 acres of incredible natural scenic beauty, combining mountains, lakes, woods, waterfalls and much more. We would like to highlight two activities in particular, which we would recommend to visit here:
Muckross House & Gardens – Located just outside Killarney, Muckross House and Gardens is very much the epicentre of Killarney National Park. Explore the stunning gardens of this 19th Century Victorian mansion with mountain views, lakes and forests to stroll through, before stopping off in the restaurant and gift shop.
Torc Waterfall – Located not too far from Muckross House & Gardens, is the Torc Waterfall, a site well worth visiting and easily accessible. The optimum time to visit is after heavy rain, but it’s a popular destination and picture perfect spot no matter what the weather.
Kerry is also well known for its awe-inspiring islands. In particular, the Great Blasket Island, Valentia Island and Skellig Islands are some of the best places to explore and relax in, in Kerry. There is something special about the peace and tranquillity on these islands as you gaze out over the crashing ocean. It’s like taking a step back in time! Skellig Michael is also a must see for Star Wars fans, with the filming of scenes taking place there in recent years.
Just west of the Ring of Kerry and just 45 minutes from Tralee, Dingle is a humble seaside town in County Kerry. From world-class cuisine to majestic displays of the natural world, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant village.
One of main attractions is the Dingle Peninsula, one of the Wild Atlantic Way's five great Southern Peninsulas. The peninsula is dominated by the range of mountains that form its spine, running from the Slieve Mish range to the Conor Pass and Mount Brandon, Ireland’s second highest peak. The magnificent coastline consists of steep sea-cliffs such as Slea Head, dramatic headlands broken by sandy beaches, with the award-winning beach at Inch in the south.
Some of the best things to do in Dingle (especially if the weather isn’t great) is to check out the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium, Ireland’s largest aquarium. It hosts a collection of Sharks, penguins, otters, and an plenty of different fish species.
To book your unforgettable staycation at Kerry's Only Castle Hotel, click here
All photos used in this blog are from Tourism Ireland/Fáilte Ireland.