Your Trip to the Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is the entire coast road around the County of Kerry and is part of the unspoilt region of Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way. It is a circular route of mountains and cliff-top roads flowing through towns and fishing villages adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. You will also find the tallest mountains in Ireland, along with breath-taking coastlines. There are many routes to take through the ring, with many interesting stops and points to visit. We have devised an itinerary of all the stops worth seeing during your exploration. The stops we have outlined in The Ring of Kerry are our recommended stops, and do not all have to be conquered in one trip, so you are welcome to visit only some of the outlined locations below if they catch your eye. If you’re planning a trip from Adare Manor, we’re always delighted to do whatever we can to make your journey smooth: all you need to do is ask. We hope this in-depth guide to the Ring of Kerry is a good first step!
Eagles Nest, The Long Range, Upper Lakes, Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry
Your first stop on the ring of Kerry is Killarney, an approximate 1 hour 20 minute drive from Adare Manor. Killarney is a vibrant town that has a vast array of shops, bars and restaurants, and acts as a great resting point at the end of the day when commuting between local attractions. A must see close to the town is Killarney National Park, a 26,000 acre landscape, filled with hiking and walking trails and stunning landscapes, as encompasses the McGillycuddy Reeks mountains which is home to Ireland’s tallest mountain, Carrauntoohill. Within the park you will find the three famous Killarney lakes, which provide breathtaking views as they sit beside the mountain range.
Things to do: for the adventurers, we recommend canoeing or kayaking on the lakes to fully embrace the wonderful nature that the park brings. Booking in advance is necessary, and details on how to book and obtain a permit,
Muckross House & Gardens
Located 6km/3.6 miles from Killarney and within the grounds of Killarney National Park, you will find Muckross House & Gardens, a 19th century mansion house that is surrounded by a plush landscape which you can explore via guided tour only. The house and gardens are open daily, with the exception of the Christmas period, and you can view their timetable along with admission prices here.
Muckross House in Killarney National Park. Photo: www.irelandscontentpool.com
Next on your trip, you will venture towards Cahirsiveen, one of the most western towns in Europe which is located approximately 1 hour and 10 minute drive from Killarney (2 hours 10 minutes from Adare Manor). Located within the Ring of Kerry, this sea side town hosts majestic views and is within close proximity to the Skellig Islands. Here you can expect to see an island that became a Christian Monastery between the 6th and 8th Century. Catholics that lived here sought refuge from the oppression of the Penal Laws in Ireland, and lived in stone huts shaped like beehives. The monks left the island in the 13th Century and Skellig Michael has become a place of pilgrimage. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to many wildlife, including puffins, and grew notoriety after featuring in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Things to do: You can tour this island and tours depart the marina in Portmagee in Kerry (2 hours 30 minutes from Adare Manor). There are two types of tours available including Eco tours which take place between April and October, where you can view the island by boat but will not have access to the island. Landing tours allow you to explore the island for a number of hours, but are only available between November to March. You can for more information on your trip to one of the most unique sites in the world.
Next stop, the beach! A 40 minute drive from Portmagee (2 hours 45 minutes from Adare Manor), this will be your ultimate beach destination on the Ring of Kerry. Amongst all the hiking, driving and sight-seeing, take time out in Derrynane, a secluded public beach located in Caherdaniel. Perfect to relax and to take a stroll along the beach, or if you are still up for adventures, you can take a swim in the Atlantic Ocean. A trip to the beach will leave you feeling revitalised for the next stop.
Coming to the other side of the ring you will drive 1 hour from Derrynane (2 hours from Adare Manor) and approach Kenmare, a small Irish town that provides an ideal stopping point for some lunch and a coffee. In the town itself, you will find a prehistoric stone circle dating back from anywhere between 2,200 – 500 BC. It is one of the largest examples of a stone circle in South West Ireland.
We’re almost Home!
On your way back to Adare Manor, we recommend taking the scenic route and fully experience the Irish landscape of Kerry. Upon leaving Kenmare, you will drive towards where we started in Killarney which will take you approximately 40 mins (Kenmare to Adare Manor is just shy over a 2 hour journey). You can drive through Molls Gap, Black Valley, Gap of Dunloe and make your way back to the town of Killarney. From here, you will have an approximate 1 hour 20 minute drive until you can rest at Adare Manor, and reflect on your adventure.
While there are endless ways to spend your time at Adare Manor, we also love helping guests discover the many incredible places they can visit within driving distance of the hotel. These day trips are full of adventure, and by the time people return to us in the evening, they are full of stories to share and ready for a relaxing drink by the fire. Whether you would like to explore the entire Ring of Kerry, or just take a slice out and explore one or two attractions, our Concierge team are happy to assist you in planning the perfect itinerary. We hope we have the opportunity to welcome you soon.