Ireland Tourist Guide: County Kerry
With so much to discover in rural Kerry, rent a car from Kerry Airport and take in everything this vast scenic beauty has to offer.
Be it mountainous terrain, rugged coastline, winding country roads or sweeping vales, Kerry is home to some of Europe’s most stunning scenic drives.
For international travellers craving an authentic Irish experience, small villages are dotted throughout this expansive landscape. However, holiday-makers should not rely on public transport or dry weather in the rural expanse of Co. Kerry. With its far-reaching yet attainable size, a rental car is by far the best way to take in this jewel of the Emerald Isle.
It’s your choice: Where to go in Kerry
Kerry International Airport, with flights to Kerry from London and five other cities, lies at the heart of the county and sits equidistant between northern Tralee and southern Killarney. These quintessentially Irish towns, only 20 minutes by car from the airport, have some of the best hotels in Kerry and make ideal starting points for travellers. If you rent a car from Kerry airport, you will be able to go almost anywhere in this vast scenic paradise.
Golfing enthusiasts will love Ballybunion Golf Club, one of the world’s finest, in the coastal resort to the far north. To the far south, Valentia Island is famous for its lighthouse atop the rugged rocks. Be it forests or mountains, cliffs or lakes, bustling towns or rural villages, are all present in Kerry. As the most scenic driving routes pass by them all, you can choose which order to see them in.
Things to do in Kerry
As one of the county’s main towns, there are lots of things to do in Killarney. The town is packed with bars, restaurants and venues offering traditional Irish music, good food and plentiful drink. It is brimming with Irish history and heritage. In Killarney National Park alone, guests can visit 19th-century Muckross House or 15th-century Ross Castle, only a 13-minute drive from each other.
Killarney is also a good starting and finishing point for a driving tour of the Ring of Kerry. This route passes through quaint ancient Irish villages like Cahersiveen, one of the most western in Europe, and along the rugged cliffs and sandy beaches of the Dingle Peninsula with its Atlantic panoramas. From here, you can travel through the forests or venture up the meandering roads of Carrauntoohil and MacGillycuddy Reeks, two of Ireland’s highest mountains.
Important info about Kerry
Kerry is arguably one of Ireland’s most beautiful holiday destinations. Whilst the air will be often damp, this makes for a richly green countryside of great natural beauty. Kerry contributes 450km of awe-inspiring ocean views to the Wild Atlantic Way, a coastal driving route along the West of Ireland.
A drive along Kerry’s coast takes about three days, but, in reality, could take you up to two weeks due to frequent stops to absorb the scenery. As you travel, keep your eyes open for the near-endless signposts denoting ancient castles, heritage sites and historic buildings.
Should you wish to stop for a meal or an overnight stay, the region is packed with guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, hotels and restaurants. From large gastropubs to rustic local taverns, travellers can expect a warm welcome and world-class cuisine in even the most remote parts of Kerry.