Kerry is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, rich culture, and friendly people. From the rugged cliffs of the Dingle Peninsula to the tranquil lakes of Killarney National Park, Kerry offers visitors an incredible experience in the southwest of Ireland.
One of the top attractions in Kerry is the Ring of Kerry, a 179-km circular route that takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Ireland. The route passes through small villages, along rugged coastline, and through the Killarney National Park, home to the famous Lakes of Killarney and the McGillycuddy Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range. Visitors can also take a traditional jaunting car ride through the national park to see the sights.
Another must-see attraction in Kerry is the Dingle Peninsula, a narrow strip of land that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. The peninsula is known for its rugged coastline, charming villages, and ancient historical sites, including the Beehive Huts and the Gallarus Oratory. In the past, visitors could take a boat trip to see Fungie, a wild bottlenose dolphin that made Dingle Bay his home for over 30 years. Sadly Fungie moved on a couple of years ago, hopefully for other waters.
For those interested in history, Kerry is home to a number of historical sites, including Muckross House and Gardens, a 19th-century mansion that is now open to the public, and the Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a rocky island off the coast of Kerry, where an early Christian monastic settlement from the 6th century still standing. Skellig Michael has become well known around the world after its starring role as Luke Skywalker’s Island Sanctuary on the planet Ahch-To. The Skellig Islands are 12 km (8 miles) off the coast and can be accessed by boat from Portmagee in South West Kerry.
Festivals & Events: 2023
Kerry is home to some great festivals throughout the year, including:
- The Kerry Festival of Music (running this year from Listowel on the 11th and 12th August, 2023)
- The Dingle Food Festival (this ran from the end September 2022, no date yet for 2023).
- National Circus Festival of Ireland (2nd-5th November 2023) – ‘Ireland’s largest circus festival’, now in its 21st year
- Puck Fair – ‘Ireland’s oldest fair’. A street festival with origins in the Gaelic calendar. It’s held on the 10th, 11th and 12th of August every year. Free, with family-friendly street entertainment
- The Rose of Tralee International Festival. Live concerts, street entertainment, circus, markets, a funfair, fireworks and the famous Rose Parade. (August 18th, 2023)