It could be argued that there are few places in Ireland that rival the beauty and charm of Killarney. The town is located with the awesome MacGillycuddy Reeks, as its backdrop overlooking the town.
What makes Killarney special is that it has all the amenities that a big city has from a great selection of bars, restaurants combined with a festival atmosphere. In addition, the mountains and countryside are all close by so it is easy to get out and explore your surroundings. In this blog post, we have put together a selection of our favourite things to do in Killarney.
Killarney National Park sits right alongside Killarney town. The park is ideal for walking, cycling or running and you can also get a jaunting car (pony and trap) around it. In the park, you will have a chance to catch a glimpse of the Wild Red Deers, the last remaining of the indigenous herd in existence in Ireland.
While in the park, keep a lookout for the white-tailed sea eagles that were reintroduced into the park in 2007 after they became extinct during the Victorian age. These birds are a great sight to behold if you are lucky to catch a rare sight of them.
A visit to Killarney and Kerry is not complete without a visit to the Black Valley and Gap of Dunloe. These are two of the most popular attractions that are located close to Killarney. There are many ways to see the scenic landscape from a trap and pony, car, walking or cycling. Enjoy the quiet serene roads and experience the incredible views of the Lakes of Killarney, MacGillycuddy Reeks, Purple Mountain, Ladies View and Muckross Park. We recommend that you grab a bite to eat at Kate Kearney’s Cottage and then experience the Gap of Dunloe, Black Valley and discover some special memories.
Located in the heart of Killarney National Park is Muckross House and Gardens. This 19th century Victorian Mansion offers breathtaking views over the surrounding lakes. Close to the house, walk around a traditional farm which will give you a picture of what a working farm was like back in Ireland in the early 1900s. You can also see Muckross Abbey ruin which was constructed in the 15th century close to the picturesque Lough Leane. Walk or cycle the park surrounding the house and take some amazing pictures.
Ross Castle is located within a short distance from the town centre. The castle was built by the O’Donoghue Mor clan (family) during the 15th-century. The structure overlooks Lough Leane and during the Middle Age period in Europe, the castle was a stronghold of the Irish Chieftain clan. Ross Castle is open to the public during the summer months and is a very popular attraction and should be on everyone list of things to do in Killarney.
The waterfall is located just over 2.5km from the Killarney National Park entrance and only a 5-minute walk from the N71 Killarney and Kenmare Road. Torc Waterfall measures 20 metres high and 110 metres in length and the waterfall originates at the Owengarriff River where it drains from the Devil’s Punchbowl lake at Mangerton Mountain. The waterfall is one of Killarney’s most well-known attractions, it can get very congested during the summer months so be patient.
If you are feeling energetic and enjoy hiking, it is worth hiking Torc Mountain. Continue walking past Torc Waterfall and it will lead you on the trail to the mountain. It takes around two hours roundtrip and it is worth it with some breathtaking views out over Killarney town and the surrounding areas.
Carrauntoohil is situated among the Macgillycuddy Reeks and covers an area of 100 square kilometres. It is Ireland’s highest mountain at a height of 1,039m. Like any mountain, one needs to be prepared before embarking on the mountain. Read about the usual mountain safety procedures before attempting any climb – have enough clothing, food and water and phone fully charged. The weather is changeable and can be dangerous, so if you don’t have a lot of experience mountaineering, you may be better off booking an experienced hiking guide. It is a challenging climb but well worth it, where at the summit you can see out over Killarney, Cork and Limerick on a clear day.
The world-famous Ring of Kerry or Iveagh Penninsula as it is also known by is a must-do when in Kerry and planning your top things to do in Killarney. Killarney is the gateway to starting the drive. This amazing driving route allows you will travel 180 to 200km of the most unspoilt and beautiful landscape around, stopping at quaint town and villages as you go. Pass through Killorglin, home of Puck Fair, Glenbeigh, Caherciveen, Waterville, Derrynane, Sneem and Kenmare and back into Killarney through Molls Gap and Ladies View. Take your time on the journey and give yourself a full day to enjoy it so you will not rush through it.
If you have time you should detour off the Ring of Kerry in Caherciveen and take in the unmissable Skellig Ring scenic drive. The beauty of this is that there are no big bus coaches allowed on it, so it is less congested. You will get a chance to visit Skellig Chocolate Factory, producers of premium chocolate and the factory offers great views of Skellig Michael where the latest instalment of Star War films was filmed.
Part of the unique charm and attraction of the town is the selection of bars that have a great selection of good quality food and Irish music. A recent addition to the pub scene in Killarney is the Killarney Brewing Company and they have created craft brewery that is reminiscent of the age-old craft beer production that goes all the way back as far as the 1800s. All the craft beers are additive and preservative free and include a range of lagers, ales and stouts. It is located on the Muckross Road, less than 10 minutes from the centre of the town.
One of the best ways to experience the true beauty of Killarney National Park is from the water. On each of the three lakes that are located in the national park, you will be able to experience what the park has to offer from the vantage point of being on the water and get a grasp of its full size. There will be a chance to see Innisfallen Island, Library Point, Governors Rock, Old Copper Mines, Innisfallen Abbey and White Tailed Sea Eagles which can be seen regularly over the lake.
The best way to learn about Killarney, its sights and attractions are to visit yourself. We offer a range of ways to experience Killarney as it is one of our most visited destination on our tours. All our Self Drive, Chauffeur or Rail take in Killarney and County Kerry. Contact us today for a quotation including some or all of these attractions today –
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