Killarney is a dream destination for those hoping to soak up Ireland’s history, as well as its beauty. It’s a popular spot for both local and international visitors throughout the year, from bright summer breaks to Autumn escapes. The town has a unique charm only found in the more rural parts of the country and is surrounded by some of the most impressive scenery, natural beauty and picture-perfect attractions you could hope for. Here are our top 10 things to do to get the most out of your trip.
1. Killarney National Park
A jewel in Killarney’s crown, the National Park should be on everyone’s bucket list. Sitting at an impressive 10,236 hectares, Killarney National Park contains the very best of the countries flora and fauna, The Killarney Lakes, stunning woodlands and breath-taking mountain scenery. You can get around easily on foot, by bike (free bikes available in Cahernane House Hotel) or by hiring a jaunting cart for a unique perspective narrated by a knowledgeable guide.
2. Muckross House & Gardens
Muckross House is a 16th-century mansion sitting lakeside in Killarney National Park surrounded by luscious gardens and parkland. You can explore the house, which was once home to three generations of the Herbert Family & housed Queen Victoria on her visit in 1861 and admire the surrounding gardens. The traditional farms are also worth a visit to learn about farming methods from the 1930s & 1940s.
3. Muckross Abbey
Founded in the 15th century, Muckross Abbey is a former Franciscan friary which remains remarkably preserved within the Killarney National Park. Its most notable feature, the tower, was added after initial construction but most of the structure is original. The Yew trees surrounding the abbey date back to the 15th Century and the graveyard is still in use for modern burials.
4. Ross Castle
Another picturesque attraction within Killarney National Park is Ross Castle. It’s less of a Disney fairy-tale and more of a historically significant site steeped in tradition, legend and heritage. The castle is reachable by land or water, ideal to see the lakes from another perspective.
5. Innisfallen Island
From the pier at Ross Castle, catch a boat to the picturesque little Innisfallen Island. Travel across Lough Leane to the island’s main attraction, a 7th-century monastery and a small 12th-century church of red sandstone. Legend has it that Irish King Brian Boru studied here so you will literally be walking in the footsteps of royalty.
6. Torc Waterfall
One of the natural wonders of Killarney National Park is the stunning Torc Waterfall. The 20ft high waterfall is best after heavy rainfall, sending thousands of litres of water cascading down from the rocks above to the river below. The way is clearly signposted or a jaunting car can bring you to the closeby car park.
7. Ring of Kerry
Killarney is a perfect start or finish point to explore one of Ireland’s top attractions, The Ring of Kerry. This 179-kilometre route is the most scenic touring route in the country, taking in the rugged coastline, sheer cliffs, stunning mountains, sandy beaches and peaceful lakes along the way. Have your camera ready for picture-perfect shots around every corner.
8. Gap of Dunloe
For more of the most scenic natural wonders in Kerry, drive about 11km to the picturesque Gap of Dunloe. This rocky pass separates Purple Mountain in the Killarney National Park from the majestic MacGillycuddy’s Reeks on the Iveragh peninsula. You can only drive so far when at Kate Kearney’s Cottage, the four-kilometre climb is usually completed in a jaunting car or on foot. Its worth the climb however, ending with superb views of hills, valleys, lakes and mountains.
9. Dinner in Herbert Restaurant
After a day of exploring, there is nothing better than a delicious meal and drinks in a fantastic setting. Herbert restaurant in Cahernane House Hotel uses only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients to create dishes that you will crave long after you’ve returned home. Our restaurant is fine dining without being stuffy, accented by the warm service and opulent surrounds, ideal to create lasting memories of your time in Killarney.
10. Enjoy Killarney Town
Even if you never set foot in the national park or the Ring of Kerry, Killarney Town has a distinct small town charm. It’s filled with pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, shops and cobbled streets, ideal for an Autumn break and a short walk from Cahernane House Hotel.
We are delighted to welcome guests to Cahernane Hotel in Killarney for mid-term breaks or Autumn escapes. Contact our friendly team or book your stay on our website for exclusive access to our best available rates and special offers. We look forward to helping you fall in love with Killarney this Autumn.