A trip to Killarney, Ireland will leave you in no doubt as to why this pretty corner of the world is the second most visited Irish destination after Dublin. Blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, Killarney is a perfect launching point for a tour of Ireland’s most majestic landscapes along the Ring of Kerry scenic drive.
Things to do in Killarney, Ireland
Charming horse-drawn carts called ‘jaunting cars’ can be seen making their way around the streets of Killarney at all times of the day and this laid-back form of transport travels at the perfect pace for an Irish holiday.
Killarney is a great place to explore on foot and people flock from around the country and indeed the world to hike through the area’s lush national park. The Killarney National Park is the oldest in the country and some of the most visited Irish attractions are within its boundaries. The centrepiece of the national park is the gorgeous Muckross House, a Victorian mansion surrounded by impeccably manicured gardens on the banks of Muckross Lake, one of the three famous Killarney Lakes.
Lough Leane is the largest of the three lakes and a stroll around its tranquil banks will take you past the medieval Ross Castle and the entrance to a copper mine that is over 4,000 years old! For a relaxing end to a day of Killarney sightseeing, boat tours of Lough Leane depart from Ross Castle and are a great way to soak up nature’s splendour in quiet comfort.
Ireland’s Killarney is the gateway to the Ring of Kerry, a 176-kilometre (109 mile) stretch of road following the Iveragh Peninsula that takes you past dramatic seaside cliffs, picturesque lakes and ragged mountain ranges. Along the route, stop at Moll’s Gap for panoramic views of Ireland’s highest mountain range, Macgillycuddy’s Reeks or gaze out across the sublime expanse of Ballinskelligs Bay at Waterville.
You’ll also get an insight into Ireland’s ancient heritage along the Ring of Kerry as you trace history from Bronze Age stone circles to Iron Age forts to medieval monasteries. Authentic small towns such as Killorglin and Cahirciveen are great places to stop on a Ring of Kerry tour and soak up the essence of Ireland.
In a country so spoilt with natural tourist attractions, Killarney is rural Ireland at its finest and a welcome addition to any Irish vacation.