The Ring of Kerry is a true treasure, perfect for lovers of fantastic scenery ranging from dense forests to the crashing waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a trail of rugged, majestic landscapes and a small taste of the wild spirit of the West of Ireland. Visiting the West without driving the Ring of Kerry, is like visiting Ireland without having a pint of Guinness, it’s just not right! Cahernane House Hotel offers you a great location to start your drive or a comfortable place to recover after a long day of exploring.
About the Ring of Kerry?
The Ring of Kerry is a road or a route that takes you through ten thousand years of Irish history. The road takes you through forests where wild stag still rule and past powerful waterfalls and streams that are home to wild salmon. The Ring of Kerry has something for everyone. You can plan to climb the tallest mountains in the country or spend a peaceful afternoon enjoying the best fishing in the West of Ireland.
The Ring of Kerry circuit measures 179km (111 miles) in length and the route takes around 3.5 hours to drive without stopping. We recommend taking at least a full day to explore the loop as there are photo opportunities or something new to explore around every corner.
A peaceful haven and a great place to stretch your legs after a drive, Derrynane is an extensive sandy beach close to Derrynane House. The village of Caherdaniel is located two miles northwest of the beach and is on the Ring of Kerry. The blue flag beach is a bow of white sand and gives those brave enough a great opportunity to swim in the crystal waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The nearby Derrynane House played an important part in Irish History as it was the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell, a lawyer, politician, statesman, and one of the great figures in modern Irish history. You’ll see many relics of O’Connell’s life in the museum and learn a lot about the area along the way.
Torc Waterfall is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Killarney National Park, 5 minutes walk from the Killarney/Kenmare Road through scenic woodland. The impressive waterfall looks best after rainfall (usually not a problem in Kerry!) and if you climb the 100 or so steps to the left, you’ll have the best view from top to bottom and of the surrounding lakes and woodland. It can get busy during the summer months so make sure to get there early and get back on the road as soon as possible.
Skellig Michael became a household name after it starred in Star Wars Episode VII “The Force Awakens” in 2014. For locals however, it’s more important than the movie. Originally the island was the site of an old Irish monastery and a completely unspoiled part of the religious history of the country. The monastic site sits on top of a rock in the middle of the ocean and represents the Christian search for solitude that would bring you closer to God. After the monastery was built (possibly in the 6th or 7th Century AD), it was occupied by monks for over 600 years, went through numerous Viking attacks and remains a place a pilgrimage to this day. Skellig Michael was included on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1996 and has been open to select visitors since 2019.
Innisfallen Island which sits just over a mile over water from Ross Castle is the largest island on the Killarney Lakes at approximately 21 acres. It can be accessed by motorboat which runs from Ross Castle in the summer months. The island contains some of the most impressive archaeological remains from early Christian Ireland and the ruined monastery founded in the 6th/7th century by St. Finian the Leper. It’s a beautiful natural place with a feeling of peace and stillness to it, despite being close to the busy castle.
This is the tip of the iceberg for the Ring of Kerry, the rest you’ll have to explore for yourself. Discover Killarney in your own time with a relaxing stay in Cahernane House Hotel. Check out some of our suggested holiday itineraries https://www.cahernane.com/local-area-and-itineraries and some staff favourites on our website. Book our best available rates and special offers exclusively on our website.