The Ring of Kerry in Ireland, along the perimeter of the Iveragh Peninsula, is one of Ireland’s single most popular tourist routes. With every turn of the road, you will see spectacular coastal and mountain views. Along the Ring, visitors can stop at any number of picturesque Irish towns and villages for hiking, lodging, dining, or simply a bit of sight-seeing and exploring.
Be forewarned: the Ring of Kerry day trip should be planned carefully, as the route is very popular. On sunny summer days, the two-lane road is packed with Ring of Kerry tours, cars, bicyclists, and backpackers. Most tours start in Killarney and travel counterclockwise around the ring, so consider starting in Killorglin or traveling clockwise around the ring from Kenmare. You should allow at least one full day to explore the beauty of the ring. The Ring of Kerry day trip is a must, but many visitors are reluctant to leave after a day and their day trip slowly becomes a week-long exploration of this beautiful region.
Kenmare is a good starting point for a Ring of Kerry day trip, with lots of restaurants and accommodations. Interested tourists can learn more about the town at the Kenmare Heritage Center, which explains the town’s history. For travelers grim about the mouth, Seafari helps take to sea with its two-hour nature and seal-watching sea cruises. Their partner business, the Marine Activities Center, offers sea fishing, sailboat day trips, sailboarding, canoeing, waterskiing, and tube rides.
Other picturesque towns in the Ring of Kerry in Ireland include Sneem, a pretty village on an English-style green on the Ardsheelaun River estuary; Waterville, a great game-fishing town and home of the famed 18-hole championship golf course; and Valentia Island, with rock islands and the breathtaking Skellig Michael, which has the remains of a settlement of early Christian monks.
Cahirciveen is the gateway to the western side of the Ring of Kerry. It is also the main market town for southern Kerry, and visitors can pick up all sorts of delicious meats, cheese, produce, and drinks. Glenbeigh, northest of Cahirciveen, offers excellent hiking in the surrounding mountains, known as the Glenbeigh Horseshoe. Killorglin boats the annual Puck Fair, which is three days of merrymaking and fun during the second weekend in August.
Be sure to buy a Ring of Kerry map, as it is easy to get a bit lost along the curvy roads and many villages and towns. In addition, many Ring of Kerry maps will indicate special sights, attractions, and other information. Ring of Kerry maps can be purchased from many travel agencies, as well as local stores and gas stations in the Iveragh Peninsula.
If you want to avoid the hassle of car rental and traffic, reserve a space on one of the many Ring of Kerry tours. Some tours are day-long, others one-to-two week trips. Talk to an Irish travel group or stop at an information center within the Iveragh Peninsula, and you will be supplied with a list of companies that run Ring of Kerry tours.
With glimmering ocean views, towering mountain vistas, and countless Irish towns to explore, the Ring of Kerry in Ireland is a fabulous excursion and the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.