There’s no doubt that the Ring of Kerry is one of the most visited regions in Ireland for vacationers globally and it’s easy to see why. Between rugged mountainsides and lush green fields, you really do get to see the best of Irish scenery in this corner of the country. The best way to see it is definitely by car. It is possible to cycle it or take the odd horse drawn jaunting cart, but to see it in all its glory, most of the best points are most easily accessible by road. This is where we come in! Let us take you on a tailor made journey of some of Ireland’s most famous attractions, all designed with your interests in mind and most importantly, at your pace.
We were recently contacted by Meg and Rob from Vancouver who were visiting Killarney for a few days and the Ring was on their bucket list. We picked them up at their hotel and set off on a bright sunny day. Our first stop was just outside the town in Killarney National Park where we stopped just outside Ross Castle, a superb example of a 15thcentury Irish castle. We paused for a while to take in the scenery on the edge of Lough Leane before setting off on the road again.
Next on our list of must-sees was Torc Waterfall. The falls are nestled just a five minute walk from the main road within mature forestry, perfect for some photo opportunities! As we were there early, we almost had the place to ourselves to take in the beauty of the cascades.
Just another twelve miles along our way, we just had to stop at Ladies View. Famous the world over from postcards sent by vacationers, this is one of the most breath taking scenes you can experience on the drive. Named after Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting who visited in 1861, this vantage point offers stunning views over the lakes and hills of the National Park. There’s a nice café with a gift shop next door at this point, handy for picking up some souvenirs! Meg picked up a gorgeous hand knitted scarf, perfect for the breeze that had picked up around us.
From here we headed south to join the coast road which would take us along the Atlantic shoreline. Meg and Rob had the joy of taking in the scenery as we navigated the twists and turns of the road. We had left early enough that we were ahead of the tour buses so traffic was light along the way. We stopped up in Waterville, a town famous as Charlie Chaplin’s favourite vacation spot with his family. It was just coming up to lunch time at this stage so we popped in to An Corcan, a great spot to grab a delicious fresh lunch before taking a stroll along the beach. Waterville is such a friendly town, we always try make time for a stop here along the way!
Refreshed from our stopover, we set off on the home stretch back to Killarney. Rather than taking the same route as the tour buses, we brought Meg & Rob off the beaten track, through the mountains so they could get a good look at Ireland’s tallest mountain, Carrauntoohill. Rob was an avid hill walker so he was eager to see it up close. The road we took was winding and steep so it offered spectacular views across the valleys. We stopped a couple of times to take some photos of the impressive scenery around us. This route also took us away from the dreaded tour bus traffic so we dodged the afternoon rush that can hinder so many tourists braving it alone!
We arrived back in Killarney late afternoon, just as the music was starting to pour out of the windows and doors of the many bars that line the town’s streets. We said our goodbyes to Meg and Rob and gave them some of our top recommendations for a few drinks later that night! The Ring of Kerry is a drive we think everyone should experience once in their lifetime. We are lucky enough to have driven it probably hundreds of times by now so we know it inside and out, including all the best off the beaten track destinations so many overlook! Email us today for more information on how we can help you make the most of your vacation in Ireland.