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29 Best Things To Do In Kerry {Ireland} Epic 2019 Guide

Written by:
Cazzy Magennis
/
Last updated:
September 14, 2019
Travel stories
Kerry is one of Ireland's most famous areas and if you need some inspiration then check out our guide to the best things to do in Kerry for all you need...
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things to do in kerry
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County Kerry is probably one of the most popular and well known areas in Ireland and it is bursting with amazing things to do.

It was a must stop on our Ireland road trip itinerary, and I'm sure you will want to visit as well!

You could spend weeks in this one area viewing it all, but to give you some inspiration, we’ve listed the ultimate list of the best things to do in Kerry, Ireland! 

You may need to pop the kettle on for this one, there is lots to do!

1. Drive The Beara Peninsula

Country Kerry is FULL of amazing drives. It’s part of the Wild Atlantic Way, so you naturally know it’s going to be beautiful. But the Ring Of Beara was one of my favourite drives in all of Ireland, and Kerry (Brad would agree- I think!). 

We thought it was even more beautiful than the Ring of Kerry. Although it’s also super beautiful, the Ring of Beara felt more rugged and more quiet and less looked at, which made it even more appealing. 

If you get the chance to visit the Ring of Beara, make sure you do. 

Really the ring of beara isn’t about the things to do there, just appreciate the drive and spot off at the point where you think “omg that’s so beautiful”...there is a lot. 

It’s a drone lovers dream!

ring o beara

2. Drive the Ring Of Kerry

Ah, the Ring of Kerry. Probably one of the most famous things to do in Kerry, and all of Ireland in general. The Ring of Kerry is awesome, and lots of people see it via coach tour, which is fine if you’ve got no car. 

But, I HIGHLY recommend you do it yourself. There are so many amazing spots to pull over at. What I will say is, it’s better if the weather is on your side, as a lot of the views are cliff views and nature views and if the fog/mist is out, then you might find your view is obstructed.

Either way, driving the Ring Of Kerry has to be on everyone's Ireland bucket list!

It’s 179 kilometres around, so you can do it in a day, but if you have time, I suggest you stop half way at one of the towns overnight. 

ring of kerry

3. Check out Portmagee Cliff View

So these are also known as the “Kerry” Cliffs and they offer amazing views of the Aran islands, views of puffins and science views for miles. There is a couple of euro entrance fee and you walk to the view point. 

BUT, when we visited, it was raining and misty, so it wasn’t the same view...therefore it’s up to you as to whether you think it is worth it or not. 

That’s the problem with Ireland, a lot of the amazing views depend on the weather, which isn’t always on your side. 

But still, this is definitely one of the top things to see in Kerry. 

Read Also: Our In-depth Ireland Travel Guide

4. Party in Killarney town

Killarney is the stop or start point of the Ring of Kerry and it’s very popular and very touristy. I’ve done a whole post on the things to do in Killarney which you can check out. But you should definitely visit and have a night out at the many many pubs on offer in Killarney. 

It doesn't get much more irish than this! This is one of the most fun things to do in Kerry at night. 

5. Visit Ross Castle

Ross Castle is a great castle that’s within the Killarney National Park region. It sits on the lake and boat tours around the castle can be conducted here, or you can rent your own rowing boat on the lake. You can pay to enter the castle or simply enjoy the views from outside.

Up to you!

Read Also: The 35 Best Castles In Ireland That You Need To Visit

ross castle

6. Discover Torc Waterfall

Waterfalls in Ireland aren’t like waterfalls in say, Asia. They aren’t massive, but they're still beautiful. Torc waterfall is quite science and “pretty” and you can walk up cardiac steps (yup, that’s the nickname) for an amazing view above the waterfall. 

Not for the faint hearted. It’s free to visit Torc waterfall and to reach it, it’s only a 5 minute easy walk from the entrance. 

7. Take a trip to Muckross garden park (with house and abbey)

Muckross Garden Park is a beautiful area to explore. You’ve got one of the 3 beautiful Killarney lakes as your backdrop and you can explore inside the house too if you wish for a fee. I think it’s a great place to have a walk and take a picnic when the sun is shining (which it was for us!). 

Read Also: The Best Places To Visit In Ireland

8. Discover the lakes of Killarney National Park

Killarney is famous for its lakes and you can discover them all on a trip there. You can even rent a boat out and relax on the lakes themselves or you can head to the Meetings of the water point (where all 3 lakes meet) for an epic view and tranquility at its best. 

9. Admire Gap of Dunloe

The Gap Of dunloe was one of my favourite places in Ireland and it's one of the best things to do in Kerry (if not thee best!). It’s like something from Lord Of The Rings and Jurassic Park. I half expected a leprechaun to pop out amongst the stunning green scenery. 

No way I could describe this place would ever do it justice in real life. So go! 

You can take a boat tour in the area, or walk it as far as you wish, or you can drive through it which isn’t for the inexperienced driver, but the views are AMAZING and it takes you through to Blackvalley, which is next on my list of awesome things to do in Kerry. 

gap of dunloe

10. Awe at the amazing Blackvalley

South of the Gap of Dunloe and North of Molls Gap, the Blackvalley area is a walker's paradise and a nature lovers dream. The views here are spectacular and it’s one of the most beautiful areas in Ireland (in my humble opinion). 

Again it’s another see it to believe type place, so you’ll just have to go see it…

11. Relax at Molls Gap

Molls Gap is another beautiful spot in Kerry to see. Think rolling fields, beautiful views and lots of sheep and cows and you’ve got Molls Gap. Brad and I parked up our Spaceships campervan and made lunch here. Lunch with this type of view is pretty darn amazing. 

Read Also: The Best Things To Do In Ireland

12. Check out the amazing Ballaghbeama Gap

At this stage you’re probably thinking Ireland has a lot of “gaps”! Well, this one is a little less known and unless you have your own form of transport, you’ll probably not get to see it on a tour. 

So, I guess it’s one of the more unique things to do in Kerry. 

Anyway, it’s luscious, it’s green, the road is tiny so motorhomes may struggle, but the whole time we drove through, not a single car came our way which was amazing. It felt like we had this little corner of the world with green, mountainous beauty all to ourselves- amazing!

ballaghdeamna gap

13. View from below or climb Ireland’s tallest mountain: Carrauntoohil 

As you make your way through Ballaghbeama Gap, you’ll eventually find yourself at Carrauntoohil, which is Ireland's tallest mountain. 

Since you’re already at an altitude from all the driving, it doesn't seem so high (compared to other mountains in Mayo), BUT, it’s the highest!

You can climb it, we didn’t because we didn’t have enough time for that, because I don’t think my heart could take it right now (whoops!)

If anyone has ever climbed it, then please do let me know how difficult it was. 

14. Check out Kenmare Town 

Kenmare is a town in Kerry that’s super cute, super colorful and super Irish. If you want to gather some souvenirs, sit in an Irish bar with real pub food then this is the place to be. It’s a nice place to stay an evening if you’re touring around Ireland. 

kenmare

15. View Ladies view 

Ladies View is a beautiful view in Kerry that doesn’t require too much effort. You’ll get views of the Killarney lakes and it was supposedly named after the ladies who visited with the Queen as they were so impressed with the view…

We didn’t go because one of the main driving routes was blocked off which basically meant it would have taken an extra hour to get there, which we didn’t have! 

16. Drive round the Dingle Peninsula

Ah the Dingle Peninsula...another one of the amazing drives that County Kerry has to offer. This was another one of my favourites and there are so many beautiful spots, scenic viewpoints and cute cafes etc. The Slea Head Drive is the most famous of the area and its beauty is outstanding. 

I loved it and it doesn’t take too long to drive so you can easily slot it into an Ireland road trip itinerary. 

dingle

17. Visit the oddly named Inch Beach

Inch beach is actually 5 km long...so why they called it inch beach is beyond me! But it’s located in Dingle and it is beautiful. I believe when the sun is shining this place is packed! 

There is a restaurant close by which offers beautiful views and it’s a nice place for a stroll, even if the sun isn’t fully shining. 

Read Also: The Best Things To Do In Donegal, Ireland: Complete Travel Guide

inch beach

18. Admire Minard Castle

Minard Castle is more the remains of a castle and you should be careful when visiting. But my gosh, it’s in a stunning location, right by the sea and it’s actually an awesome place to wild camp. 

It’s an absolutely beautiful area that’s worth visiting in Kerry and it’s free to visit! I suggest you visit in the evening with some food and just take in the tranquil atmosphere. 

minard castle

19. Grab some Fish and Chips at Dingle

Speaking of food, Dingle is home to some awesome fish and chip joints. Bradley and I ordered some from “Dingle Ahoy” and it was the best fish and chips I had in all of Ireland. 

Dingle town is filled with awesome little pubs serving good food and playing Irish traditional music, so I suggest you stay overnight here to really get a feel for it!

Read Also: Things To Do In Dingle

20. Get up close and personal with sheep at The Lios stone circle 

Map Coordinates [52°06'30.5"N 10°23'34.9"W]

We came across this spot when driving around Kerry by accident. I saw a sign saying “sheep petting” and thought, pull in! It was 3 euro entrance into the field (which is also an old stone circle) and you got a pot of sheep feed and could feed the sheep. 

This excites me because I’ve never touched a sheep before and I was curious as to how they felt. They’re really friendly towards humans and there are some ponies and pigs roaming around too. 

It’s definitely one of the more unique things to do in Kerry and it’s a perfect thing to do in Kerry with kids! (I’m just a big kid at heart.)

sheep

21. Check out the BeeHive Huts

There are a variety of BeeHive huts when driving around the Wild Atlantic way in Kerry. Whilst this is something Bradley and I didn’t do as it didn’t interest us, I figured it’s still worth mentioning in case it interests you. 

22. Holding baby lambs

This is seasonal, so I couldn't do it, but you can hold a baby lamb if you wish. It’s just a random sign on the road on a farm, so they’ve obviously found a little business to create in the lamb holding business. 

22. Other neolithic sites and settlements all around the Dingle Peninsula

Driving around the Dingle Peninsula will bring you a range of different neolithic sites and settlements, especially to do with the famine in Ireland.

So if you’re interested in anything like that, then you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are signs going off everywhere so just pull into the ones you're interested in (another beauty of having your own vehicle when driving around Kerry)

Read Also: The Best Things To Do In Mayo, Ireland: Complete Travel Guide

23. Check out beautiful Coumeenoole Beach

Coumeenoole Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland and it’s a popular place for families. This is another great wild camping spot if you need somewhere unique to stay for the night. But it’s a great place to just walk around and enjoy the sun! 

Coumeenoole Beach

24. Get an iconic photo at Dunquin harbour (great picture spot we didn’t go to)

So, we had every intention of going here, but we suddenly realised we had driven past it, but it was 40 minutes back, so we didn’t have time to drive back again. Whoops! 

Brad was quite disappointed as he had seen this awesome spot online which is famous of its winding picture point where all the sheep go down, basically google it and you’ll recognise it! 

Perhaps next time we can visit. But make sure this is on your list of places to visit in Kerry! 

25. Visit Kilmalkedar Church

This is just the ruins of a small church that is seriously very old. I found it as a last minute thing to do see in Kerry and I thought it was quite beautiful. 

Whilst I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it, if you’re driving around kerry along the WIld Atlantic Way, it’ll only be a 5 minute detour from your route. 

It’s also got beautiful walking routes that surround it if you’re interested. 

26. Check out the views at Brandon’s Point

Mount Brandon is the second highest peak after the MacGillycuddy Reeks and it’s an absolutely beautiful viewpoint in Kerry. There is a medium sized parking spot and you park up then walk to the main “point”. 

There is a little coffee shop that’s been set up which is perfect to grab a quick drink and this is a popular cycling area too. 

I really enjoyed this area as it wasn’t on our original Ireland itinerary as we just seen a random sign and thought, let’s follow it! That’s the beauty of doing an Ireland roadtrip, you always discover something new. 

27. Visit Castlegregory

Funny story, well, funny to me. We visited CastleGregory with the intention of finding a castle. So we drove around this town a few times and thought where is the damn castle! 

Alas, Google was no help, so we parked up and Brad went into the local Spar supermarket and asked where is Castle Gregory. The response, was there is a brick arch at the back exit of the store, that’s what’s left of it…

We laughed and thought ohhhh, the town is named after what was once a castle here! But the town itself is typically irish, cute and actually caters for families well, so it’s worth a visit. 

Just don’t go thinking there is a castle! 

Read Also: Our Backpacking Ireland Travel Tips

28. Walk the Kerry Way 

Before travelling Ireland, we’ve never really heard of the MANY walks in Ireland. Brad likes to walk, he did the Spanish camino afterall. And Ireland has its own version of it too. One of the most famous and most popular walks in Ireland is the “Kerry Way”. It’s 214 K long.

See every spot I basically mentioned above? Well, the Kerry way will take you there.  I think it would take maybe 20ish days to do it all, but the Kerry Way website will give you all the details you need. 

29.  Take a day trip to Skellig Island - The film location for Star Wars 

This is something Bradley and I really wanted to do, but it was just a little out of our budget. But, if you’ve seen Starwars, the island where they find Luke living on, you’ll recognise this area. Skellig looks amazing and I do hope to visit some day.

Oh and if you want a high chance of seeing puffins (I know I do) then here is your best bet. 

All the information you need is on their website, but to get “on”the islands its 100 euro and to sail around the island on an “eco” tour it’s 40 euro! 

Planning what to do in Kerry (Ireland): All common questions answered

When is the best time to visit Kerry?

The majority of the things to do in Kerry are all outside, so you are going to want to visit when the weather is at least dry, and hopefully there is some sunshine. Therefore, your best time to visit Kerry is during the months of June, July, August and September. Sometimes May can bring nice weather too. 

Either way, if you want to avoid crowds (although it never seems that crowded in Ireland), then you can visit during June and September. 

kerryy

Getting around Kerry

When it comes to getting around Kerry you’ve got a few options. Most visitors find themselves going on tours to the Ring of Kerry and other areas. And this is a great way to see the sights if you like to have everything organised. Plus tours in Ireland are well priced. I’ve mentioned some of my favourites below. 

Another alternative is to have your own vehicle so you can create your own Kerry itinerary and truly see it all! I recommend you get your own campervan because there are some awesome places to camp around Kerry, but you can also rent your own car for a couple of days. 

Ireland isn’t exactly known for it’s train or bus links, so car and tours are the best way to go. 

Read Also: A Guide To Getting Around Ireland: Everything Explained!

How long do you need in Kerry?

Gosh Kerry is literally bursting with things to do and whilst you could rush through them in a couple of days, I think you need around a week to really explore all the amazing delights that Kerry has to offer. But if you have limited time, then 5 days should cover it. 

Where to stay in Kerry? 

When we took a road trip around beautiful Ireland we opted for an awesome campervan from Spaceships Rentals. We had a BRILLIANT time with them and you can read our in-depth review of them here.

The majority of our nights were spent in wild camping spots or campsite. However, if you need high quality hotels, hostels, homestays or whatever else in Kerry, then you’re in luck! There is lots of choice. We recommend using the following sites to find the best deals.

  • Airbnb - We use this for all of our trips around Europe 
  • Booking.com - We use Booking.com for all of our hotel bookings
  • HostelWorld - Great for finding cheap deals on the most popular hostels
  • Couchsurfing - The cheapest way to find places to stay in …

Can you book tours in Kerry?

Absolutely. As mentioned before, tours are one of the best ways to see all the best things to do in Kerry and if you prefer not planning your own itinerary then it’s perfect for you. 

When it comes to booking tours we use two main websites. 

  • GetYourGuide - Our typical top choice when booking tours in Ireland
  • Viator - Sometimes has more unique local tours 

Useful tools for planning your visit to Kerry

If you’re in search of cheap flights to and from Ireland then begin your search with Skyscanner.

It’s always important to have insurance when travelling to Ireland, and we suggest you start with World Nomads for an affordable option. 

Want your own awesome campervan or motorhome to take you around Ireland? Then opt for Spaceships Rentals to experience #vanlife.

Need car rental? RentalCars.com is a great place to start. 

Other useful posts for planning your trip to Ireland

Below I’ve included some other great guides which should be useful for your trip.

So there you have it, my guide to the best things to do in Kerry. If you’ve got any other places to visit in Kerry that you think I should add to this list then please do comment below and I can pop them in! 

Happy travels!

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