LAST UPDATED: 4/27/23 – All You Need Ring of Kerry Guide
The county of Kerry in Ireland has some absolutely amazing and beautiful places to see within it. So much so that we consider it a must-see for anyone who is thinking about visiting Ireland. However, it is also a pretty big area, and planning what to see and how can be a pretty daunting task unless you have some guidance.
Well fear not, because that is exactly what we plan to give you in this guide to visiting the Ring of Kerry. We are going to explain to you what the Ring of Kerry is, as well as touch on some of the top attractions that you can view on this famous Irish road trip.
An All-You-Need Guide to the Ring of Kerry
In this Ring of Kerry guide, I am going to provide you will all of the information that you need to plan a successful trip to see this beautiful region of Ireland. I cover the best times to visit and the best ways to get there so that you can maximize what you are able to see and do on your trip.
I also outline all of the top things to see and do while you are there and where the best places to stay and eat are. With the information in my Ring of Kerry guide in hand, you can be confident that your trip to see some of Ireland’s most beautiful sights that you will remember for a lifetime.
Top 5 Things to See in Ring of Kerry
There is a wealth of great things to see and do on the Ring of Kerry, and a lot of really great resources out there should you want to spend a good deal of time exploring this famous road route. I have included some fantastic resources in my Ring of Kerry guide below that you can use to do some more in-depth planning for your visit.
- TheRingOfKerry.com – Visitor Guide
- The Independent – A Traveler’s Guide to the Ring of Kerry
- Fodor’s – Ring of Kerry Traveler’s Guide
I have included my Top 5 favorite things to see along the Ring of Kerry in my Ring of Kerry guide below. These are some of the more amazing and scenic places we visited in all of Ireland. Do you have a favorite place along the Ring of Kerry that we didn’t mention below? If so, make sure you let us know about it in the comments section. I am sure other travelers will be very grateful to hear your feedback as well!
The Muckross House is a fully furnished 19th Century Mansion that is set against the unbelievable beauty of Killarney National Park. It is an incredibly beautiful building, inside and out, and is very much worth the time to tour. The property also includes some stunning gardens and farms that make it one of the most beautiful and unique properties in Ireland.
The Muckross Abbey was one of our favorite stops along the Ring of Kerry. This old Irish monastery and graveyard is absolutely amazing and beautiful. It is fascinating to tour the remains of the monastery and appreciate the architecture and the history.
One of our favorite features was a large tree that has grown up from the inside of the Abbey. It is stunning how much the tree fits into the facade. It makes for some truly incredible photo opportunities. Make sure you bring a wide-angle lens to really capture the essence of this amazing place.
Gap of Dunloe
Set in between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain by glacial flows, the Gap of Dunloe is one of the prettier mountain passes you will ever see. There is a road that takes you thru the pass and the scenery along the way is breathtaking.
Along the way, you might see some free-ranging sheep and some fantastic old buildings that seem to melt right into the rocky landscape. The Gap of Dunloe is a landscape photographer’s dream, especially around sunset, so make sure you plan plenty of time to take some fantastic shots if you visit.
This 70 – 80-foot-tall waterfall, set within the wooded area surrounding the town of Killarney, is absolutely stunning. It is only a short hike to get to the waterfall, so this is a hiking experience that the whole family can enjoy. The Torc Waterfall is an absolute must stop if you are doing the Ring of Kerry and are in the Killarney area.
Tetrapod Tracks on Valentia
If you are a history buff, you are going to love the Tetrapod Tracks on Valencia Island. And when I say history, I am talking about a time long, long ago past. 385 million years ago, to be precise.
The Tetrapod Tracks are the footprints left by a Tetrapod, which is one of the first animals to leave the water to live on land, that has been imprinted in stone.
Just as cool as it is to find a dinosaur fossil, looking at these tracks with your own eyes is truly awe-inspiring. It isn’t that often that you get to witness ancient history in this manner. If you do decide to visit, please make sure you are respectful of the tracks. Their preservation is incredibly important.
How to Get to the Ring of Kerry
The County of Kerry sits in the South Western part of Ireland, and is known for its pockets of Irish language speaking population and rugged, beautiful coastline. The best way to tour this gorgeous countryside is to follow the popular circular route that has become known as the Ring of Kerry.
The Ring of Kerry is a route that follows the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula for much of the route, and includes some forays into the stunning Killarney National Park. It really is an amazing road trip.
There really is a ton of beautiful and amazing things to see all along the Ring of Kerry. However, when we visited Ireland a few years ago and did the Ring of Kerry, we found that a lot of our favorite sites were near the city of Killarney.
If you are short on time and are unable to do the whole route, we would recommend that you at least hit this area. Between the Muckross Abbey, the Muckross House, the Torc Waterfall, and the Gap of Dunloe, there are some pretty amazing things to see in all in close proximity to each other.
The town of Killarney is a great place to setup base camp if you are going to be doing a lot of exploration along the Ring of Kerry. It is a really neat town, with a lot of really great shops and restaurants, and it is in close proximity to many of the top sights to see along the route. If you are going to be in the County of Kerry, we absolutely recommend stopping into Killarney to do a little bit of shopping and exploration.
The town of Killorglin is another great place to setup your base camp if you are going to be spending a lot of time exploring the Ring of Kerry. Like Killarney, it has a lot of really neat shops and pubs that you can enjoy while taking a break from exploring the route.
Best Time to Visit the Ring of Kerry
Ireland is an amazing place to visit year-round, but like most other places in this world, certain times of the year are better than others. In order to assist you in determining which time of year would be best for you to make your visit, I have outlined several weather factors in my Ring of Kerry guide below to help you make an informed decision.
Average Temperature (°F)
While Killarney, Ireland is blessed in that the temperature typically doesn’t get too hot or too cold for comfort, the temperature does fluctuate throughout the year.
In fact, throughout much of the year the temperature seems to hover right on the threshold of being too cold to not have a jacket, but too warm to wear it. To give you a better idea of what kind of whether you can expect on your trip, I have included a chart below that outlines the average high and low temperatures throughout the year.
Average Precipitation (Inches)
As you can see by the chart I included in my Ring of Kerry visitor guide below, Killarney, Ireland tends to get quite a bit of rain throughout the year. This is especially true along the coastline. If you are looking to avoid the rain, I would suggest targeting the summer months of May thru August, as they get typically see the least amount of rain.
Where to Stay Near the Ring of Kerry
One of the most important decisions you are going to have to make when planning your trip to see the Ring of Kerry is where you will stay. When you travel, the accommodations you choose are oftentimes amongst the biggest expenditures for your trip.
So not only do you need to be comfortable where you are staying, but you also need to be comfortable with how much you are paying to stay there.
Finding the right accommodations for your trip involves looking at the amenities, the location, and most importantly, the price. If you are starting to plan your trip to Ireland and want some hotel and hostel suggestions, I have included some great options at different price points in my Ring of Kerry guide below for you to review.
Where to Eat Near the Ring of Kerry
When most people plan a trip, the primary focus is on how to get there, where to stay, and what is on the list of things to see and do. What many travelers neglect to plan, is where to eat when they are there. Granted, it is sometimes fun to be spontaneous when choosing a restaurant while traveling, and it is always smart to get recommendations when you arrive.
However, it can also be advantageous to have some ideas of restaurants you would like to try during your trip written down beforehand as well. This way you can be assured that you won’t miss out on a highly recommended culinary experience that you will regret.
To help you decide on some restaurants near the Ring of Kerry to add to your list, I have included a list of some highly recommended options for you to review in my Ring of Kerry guide below.
|The Blind Piper (Caherdaniel)||Irish, Bar, European||$$-$$$|
|The Lobster Bar & Restaurant (Waterville)||Irish, Bar, Seafood||$$-$$$|
|No 35 (Kenmare) (Michelin Star)||Irish, Seafood, European||$$$$|
|Kingdom 1795 (Killorglin) (Michelin Star)||Fine Dining, Healthy||$$$$|
|Cronins Restaurant (Killarney)||Irish, European, Healthy||$$-$$$|
|Rozzers Restaurant (Killarney)||Irish, European, Contemporary||$$$$|
Other Things in the Area to See
While you are on the west coast of Ireland, there are some additional places that I would recommend seeing as well. In fact, there are many incredible places you may want to visit, but the Cliffs of Moher and the Blarney Castle are two places I would make sure to add to your itinerary. If you would like to learn more about these incredible places, I have linked to my guides for you to review below.
|Blarney Castle Visitor Guide|
Touring the Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is an amazing road trip that everyone should experience for themselves. There are so many amazing things to do and see along the route, which makes it a must-do activity for everyone visiting Ireland. To give you a sense of what it is like to tour the Ring of Kerry, we have put together the short highlight video below.
Ring of Kerry Photo Gallery
There are a lot of beautiful and amazing things to see along the Ring of Kerry. Below are some of our favorite pictures we took at some of our favorite spots along the route.
If you would like to view some more of my top photos from this trip, as well as photos from some of my many other travel adventures, make sure you are following me on Instagram as well!