Ring Of Kerry

Visitors have taken this route through deep forest and rugged Atlantic coastline for hundreds of years.

The Ring of Kerry is a 110-mile (177-kilometer) trail through unspoiled County Kerry countryside. It winds through dense forests, over sandy beaches, along the rugged Atlantic coastline and past clear freshwater streams and tumbling waterfalls.

The Ring of Kerry has attracted visitors for centuries. Take in its breathtaking beauty and use the location as a base for outdoor pursuits, including golf, cycling, walking, running, riding and fishing.

The journey begins at Killarney town. Take a bus tour or rent a car from within the town. Many visitors prefer to go by private car to enjoy detours and stops along the way. Take the road to Killorglin and follow the signposts for “Ring.” This will lead you around the coastal road in a counterclockwise direction, which provides the most spectacular views.

You’ll come across larger towns as well as small traditional villages. Stop at Bog Village on the main road between Killorglin and Glenbeigh. This replica of a 19th-century village has displays and museum exhibits. Experience life as it was at the end of the 19th century and visit thatched cottages, hen houses, blacksmith’s quarters and an old forge.

Explore the quiet beaches and coves along the coastline, such as the long sandy beach at Derrynane Bay. Stop by one of the many seafood restaurants to try fish pie, seafood chowder and other specialities featuring local produce.

Other interesting sights along the coast include Skellig Michael, the site of an ancient Irish monastery that sits on top of a rock in the Atlantic Ocean. Take the slight detour from the main road toward Waterville to visit Valentia Island. The effects of the Gulf Stream mean the island is an unexpected haven for many subtropical plant species, which can be seen at Glanleam Gardens.

Finally, the road between Kenmare and Killarney opens onto rugged scenery, including the “Ladies' View” over Killarney Valley, one of the most photographed vistas along the route.

The Ring of Kerry is open year-round and has no fee or tolls.

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