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Showcasing Kerrys Hidden Gems: A Complete Travel Guide To Kerry

    Welcome to the ultimate Kerry travel guide, here you will find everything you need to make your trip to Kerry unforgettable! From stunning landscapes to incredible wildlife, Kerry has it all. In this guide, I will showcase the lesser known gems of the region. Whether you’re looking for more thrilling outdoor activities like hiking, surfing, or cycling or exploring picturesque villages I will outline some of the best things to see and do in Kerry.

    A little bit about Kerry…

    Kerry is located in the southwestern part of Ireland and is known for its breathtaking beauty and rich cultural heritage. It has some incredible mountains, coastlines and charming villages.

    Kerry is also several places in Ireland which still has Irish speaking villages. There are two Gaeltachts in the West Ring Of Kerry and along the Dingle Peninsula. In these areas the Irish language and customs are protected and cultivated to it can continue to flourish and live on.

    Some basic Irish Phrases…

    Conas atá tú – How are you?

    Dia dhuit – The Irish greeting meaning God and Mary be with you

    Sláinte – Used to say goodbye in Gaelic, Sláinte means Good Health

    Ta mé go maith – How are you?

    the Best Time to visit Kerry…

    Kerry is a great holiday destination all year round but if you are looking for the best time to see wildlife or grab some sun then it is important to take into account the weather and the tourist season.

    One of the most busy times to visit Kerry is during the summer months. This is when you will almost be guaranteed lovely sunny weather but also lots of tourists and expensive accommodation. I would always recommend to try and visit during the off months, from October- April. This is when accommodation will be cheap enough and you won’t have to book months in advance for a boat tour.

    Must-visit destinations…

    Kerry is blessed with some of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Ireland, and there are several must visit destinations that should be on everyones itinerary.

    Killarney National Park

    If you’re looking to see gorgeous woodland and lakes then Killarney National Park is the place to go. This gorgeous national park has everything from mountains, lakes, and woodlands. Here, you can go on scenic hikes, cycle along picturesque trails, or even take a boat trip on the famous Lakes of Killarney.

    Dingle Peninsula

    The Dingle Peninsula is one of the places in this guide that should not be missed. With its rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming villages, the Dingle Peninsula offers a glimpse into traditional Irish life. You can drive along the scenic Slea Head, take a stop of Dunqiun Harbour or visit one of the most famous villages in Irelands, Dingle.

    Valentia Island

    Valentia Island is one of the most southerly western points of Ireland. It is known for being one of the first places in Ireland which had a transatlantic cable run from the island over to Newfoundland. Here you will find beautiful little beaches, quaint coffee shops and one of the most popular activities, tours over to see the famous Skellig Michael

    The Gap Of Dunloe

    This is by far one of the most famous drives in all of Ireland and for a very good reason, The Gap Of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain. It was forged thousands and thousands of years ago by glacial flows. The Gap is around 11km and you can either drive, hike or hire a horse a carriage to take you around.

    Again this is one of the most popular spots in Ireland so during the high season the Gap can be extremely busy so if you are planning on driving around this may not be possible. When it is is very busy the Gap Of Dunloe closes the entrances to prioritise hikers and horse and carriages but don’t worry there is a medium sized car park at the entrance where you can park your car.

    Dingle

    Now you may have heard of Dingle for its very famous resident a few years ago. Dingle was once home to one of the most famous dolphins in Ireland called Fungie, Fungie lived in the Dingle area for over 5 years and was known to appear very close to the harbour and play around with the passing boats and kayaks. Unfortunately since 2021 Fungie has actually left the Dingle area so you can no longer expect a visit from him but don’t worry there are still plenty of wildlife to keep you busy.

    Dingle is located near the Basket Islands so jumping on a boat tour here is one of the best things you can do! You can spot anything from dolphins to seals and if you’re lucky maybe even some whales. The Village of Dingle is also a great place to really delve into the Irish traditions, with plenty of pubs, Irish music and food to try out.

    Best activities in Kerry…

    Kerry has a wide range of activities for you to explore. If you’re a fan of hiking, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the numerous trails throughout the county. if you’re looking for some summer activities Kerry is known for being one of the best places in Ireland for surfing!

    Hiking Trails

    Kerry has some of the most incredible hiking trails and mountains. From the challenging climb to the summit of Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest peak, to the scenic walks along the Kerry Way, there’s something for hikers of all levels. Though most of the hiking trails will be marked along the trail I would always recommend downloading an app like Hiiker to search for the best hikes in your area and have a map on hand incase you find yourself on an unmarked trail.

    Check out some of the best hiking spots below:

    Cycling

    Cycling is another popular activity in Kerry, with plenty of scenic routes to explore. The Great Southern Trail, a converted railway line, offers a unique cycling experience through picturesque countryside and charming villages. For the more cycling adventures or mountain biking trails can be found in locations such as Killarney National Park and the Gap of Dunloe.

    Check out some of the best cycling tours below:

    Unique Activities

    As well as Kerry being a great spot for getting out for hiking and cycling it has also has some incredible activities to try out. From surfing to cuddling up with baby lambs in the spring you will be spoiled for choice on your trip down here.

    Check out some of the best activities below:

    best spots for a drink or bite to eat…

    No visit to Kerry would be complete without sampling the delicious local cuisine. From hearty Irish stews to fresh seafood, Kerry offers a wide range of culinary delights. Stopping off in a traditional Irish pub is a must if you are looking for some great food and drinks and maybe even some traditional Irish music!

    If you’re a seafood lover, Kerry’s coastal location means you’ll have access to some of the freshest seafood in Ireland. Sample the local catch of the day in pubs and restaurants, including succulent lobster, crab, and mussels, or try the famous Dingle Bay oysters for a taste of the sea.

    Some of the best places to try out local cuisine:

    Dingle– A recurring place on my travel guide and for a good reason. The food and drink options here are amazing and you will definitely find somewhere to suit everyones needs. I would recommend checking out An Cuppan Tae for some coffee and the famous Marina Inn for some good Irish cuisine.

    Avoca Molly’s Gap– If you are planning on traveling around Killarney National Park and The Gap Of Dunloe then this is the perfect stop for a nice bite to eat. All of the food is made fresh daily and they have some of the best lunch options including cold and hot dishes.

    Accommodation options in Kerry…

    When it comes to accommodation, Kerry offers a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference. If you’re looking for a cozy and authentic experience, consider staying in a traditional Irish bed and breakfast. These family-run accommodations offer warm hospitality and home-cooked meals.

    For those seeking a little bit of luxury, there are several high-end hotels scattered throughout the county. From five-star properties with spa facilities and gourmet restaurants to boutique hotels with stunning views. Luxury hotels include Sheen Falls Lodge, Parknasila Resort & Spa and The Europe Hotel & Resort.

    Alternatively, If you are looking for something that is self catering you can do what I did and rent a house in the area of your choice on Airbnb. I stayed in this gorgeous house on Kells Bay and the views from the each of the bedrooms was overlooking the surrounding bay and mountains.

    If you prefer a more rustic experience, there are numerous camping and caravan sites available for throughout the county. This way is great for people who want to get closer to nature and avoid the traditional hotel route or like to stay on the go.

    Transportation in Kerry…

    Getting around Kerry is relatively easy thanks to a good transportation network. If you’re flying into Ireland, the closest airport to Kerry is Kerry Airport, located just outside the town of Killarney. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to your desired destination.

    Kerry is also well-served by public transportation, with regular bus services connecting major towns and villages. If you prefer not to drive, this is a convenient and affordable option for getting around. Additionally, several tour operators offer guided tours of the county, which can be a great way to explore Kerry’s highlights without the hassle of planning and navigating yourself.

    I would recommend if you can to rent a car, as this way you can travel to all of the spots you would like to see as well as having the freedom to stop and see some of the scenic spots along the way.

    Check out some more Irish destinations here.