Exploring the Magnificent Ring of Kerry: A Journey Through Ireland's Breathtaking Peninsula

By: MapQuest Travel  | 
ring of kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a 179-kilometer scenic route in County Kerry, Ireland. Pawel Toczynski / Getty Images

Welcome to the enchanting Ring of Kerry, one of Ireland's most captivating destinations. This 170-kilometer-long circular route, which encircles the picturesque Iveragh Peninsula, is a treasure trove of natural beauty, ancient history, and vibrant culture. Prepare to embark on an unforgettable adventure as we guide you through the wonders of this stunning region.


Understanding the Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is composed of three national roads, namely N70, N71, and N72, creating a scenic loop that showcases the best of Ireland's landscapes. This extraordinary journey takes you through contrasting terrains, from the majestic mountains and serene lakes around Killarney to the mesmerizing coastal vistas along the Atlantic Ocean. Buckle up and get ready to be amazed at every turn.


Choosing Your Starting Point

While many choose to begin their exploration in the bustling tourist town of Killarney, you have the flexibility to start your journey from either Killorglin in the northeast or Kenmare in the southeast. Each starting point offers its own unique charm and attractions, allowing you to tailor your experience to your preferences.


Driving the Ring of Kerry

As you embark on your adventure, you may wonder whether to drive the Ring of Kerry clockwise or counterclockwise. While some recommend going clockwise to avoid getting stuck behind tour buses, don't worry too much about this decision. The main road is often shared with tour buses, but you'll have ample opportunities to explore off-the-beaten-path attractions, where the true magic of the Ring of Kerry unfolds.


Exploring Killarney National Park

Kickstart your journey by immersing yourself in the natural wonders of Killarney National Park. This expansive park showcases Ireland's stunning landscapes, with its pristine lakes, verdant woodlands, and towering mountains. Take a leisurely stroll along the shores of Lough Leane, rent a boat to explore the picturesque Muckross Lake, or venture deeper into the park to discover hidden gems such as Torc Waterfall and the enchanting Muckross House.


Unearthing Ancient Treasures

As you venture further along the Ring of Kerry, prepare to step back in time and unravel the mysteries of Ireland's ancient past. Make a stop at Staigue Stone Fort, an imposing structure that dates back to ancient times. Marvel at the impressive drystone walls, which were meticulously constructed without the use of mortar or cement. Imagine the lives of the people who sought refuge within these walls during times of tribal conflict.


Discovering Fascinating Towns and Villages

The Ring of Kerry is dotted with charming towns and villages, each with its own unique character and stories to tell. Explore the laid-back town of Sneem, where the east side of the town square is known as South Square and the west side as North Square—a testament to the Irish quirkiness. Visit Waterville, a picturesque coastal village that was once a favorite retreat for the legendary Charlie Chaplin. Immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of these communities and embrace the true spirit of Ireland.


Embracing Coastal Splendors

As you approach the western edge of the Iveragh Peninsula, prepare to be spellbound by the breathtaking coastal vistas that unfold before your eyes. The Atlantic Ocean stretches out endlessly, its waves crashing against rugged cliffs and pristine beaches. Take a moment to soak in the beauty of places like Ballinskelligs Castle, perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea, or indulge your sweet tooth at Skelligs Chocolate, where you can savor delectable handmade treats while enjoying panoramic views.


Delving into History and Culture

No journey through the Ring of Kerry is complete without immersing yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of the region. Pay a visit to Derrynane House, the former residence of Daniel O'Connell, a prominent figure in Ireland's fight for independence and equality. Explore the Skellig Experience Centre, where you can learn about the captivating history of Skellig Michael, an ancient monastic island that played a significant role in preserving knowledge during the "Dark Ages."


Extending Your Adventure

While the Ring of Kerry offers a wealth of attractions, consider extending your adventure by exploring the nearby Skellig Ring or venturing to Valentia Island. These detours provide additional opportunities to witness the breathtaking beauty of the region and delve deeper into Ireland's fascinating landscapes and history.


Unforgettable Memories Await

As you conclude your journey around the Ring of Kerry, take a moment to reflect on the countless memories you've created along the way. From the awe-inspiring natural wonders to the captivating tales of ancient civilizations, this remarkable region has left an indelible mark on your heart. The Ring of Kerry invites you to return, to delve deeper into its treasures, and to uncover even more of what makes Ireland truly magical.

Start Your Adventure Today

Embark on a journey through the Ring of Kerry and immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of Ireland's southwest. Let the winding roads, dramatic landscapes, and vibrant culture captivate your senses. Whether you choose to explore in the footsteps of tour buses or venture off the beaten path, the Ring of Kerry promises an adventure of a lifetime. So, grab your map, hit the road, and let the magic of this enchanting peninsula unfold before your eyes.

This article was created using AI technology.