Things To Do in Kerry: Explore Magnificent Rugged Coastlines and Uncover Hidden Gems in the County

Updated On: September 15, 2023

Things To Do in Kerry

County Kerry is located in the southwest of Ireland and is well known for its stunning landscapes, historical landmarks and rich cultural heritage. It’s the perfect destination to immerse yourself in Ireland’s natural beauty and there is a lot that you can get up to around the county. 

In this article, we’ll list some of the amazing things to do in Kerry, whether you want to explore the national parks or pick up a board to go surfing in Dingle Bay, we have all the details you need to make your visit to Kerry a memorable one. 

Best Things to do in Kerry

County Kerry is home to some of Ireland’s best spots, from castles to cliffs, you can immerse yourself in rich history and natural beauty. Check out some of the best things to do in Kerry below!

Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a scenic route around the Iveragh Peninsula, stretching for 179 kilometres. It offers visitors breathtaking views of Kerry’s landscapes, showcasing Ireland’s rugged coastline, picturesque towns, ancient monuments, and panoramic mountain ranges. 

Things to do in Kerry
Things to do in Kerry – Ring of Kerry

Highlights of this route include Killarney National Park, Muckross House, and Torc Waterfall. You’ll also catch glimpses of surrounding islands including Skellig Michael and Valentia Island. You can tour the Ring of Kerry via car, bike or by hiking, but no matter how you do it, it will be a memorable journey through some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery

Killarney National Park

Killarney National Park, located in County Kerry, Ireland, is a 26,000-acre expanse of diverse and stunning landscapes. It’s Ireland’s first national park and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The park features the country’s only native herd of red deer, the majestic MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountains, and the iconic Lakes of Killarney. 

Things to do in Kerry
Things to do in Kerry – Killarney National Park

Visitors can explore Muckross House, a 19th-century Victorian mansion, and its surrounding gardens. The park is also home to diverse flora and fauna, ancient woodlands, waterfalls, and historic sites. Whether hiking, cycling, or boating, Killarney National Park offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Gap of Dunloe

The Gap of Dunloe is a stunning mountain pass nestled between the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountain. This narrow valley stretches over 11 kilometres and is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, featuring serene lakes, rugged landscapes, and a quaint old bridge. 

Things To Do in Kerry
Things to do in Kerry – Gap of Dunloe

Visitors can explore the Gap by walking, cycling, or taking a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car. The journey offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the opportunity to experience Ireland’s raw, untouched nature. The Gap of Dunloe is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone seeking tranquillity and scenic beauty.

Ross Castle

Ross Castle is a 15th-century tower house and keep located on the edge of Lough Leane, in Killarney National Park. It was built by the O’Donoghue clan and is a typical example of the stronghold of an Irish Chieftain during the Middle Ages.

Things To Do in Kerry
Things to do in Kerry- Ross Castle

Ross Castle is also stepped in Irish Lore, legend has it that O’Donoghue was sucked out of the window of the grand chamber at the top of the castle and disappeared into the waters of the lake along with his horse, his table and his library. 

The castle is now open to the public for tours, where visitors can learn about its history and enjoy the beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding national park, but don’t worry you won’t be sucked out of the castle when you visit (we hope!). 

Lakes of Killarney

The Lakes of Killarney are a renowned scenic attraction located in Killarney National Park. They consist of three lakes: Lough Leane (the Lower Lake), Muckross Lake (the Middle Lake), and Upper Lake. These lakes are interlinked and together, they make up almost a quarter of the park’s area.

Things To Do in Kerry
Things to do in Kerry – Lakes of Killarney

The Lakes of Killarney are celebrated for their exceptional beauty, rich wildlife, and historical sites. They offer opportunities for boating, fishing, and photography, and are a central feature of the park’s walking and cycling routes.

Things to do in Kerry in the Rain

Ireland is renowned for its rainy weather, so on days of drizzle, be sure to check out these things to do in Kerry that will keep you dry whilst still having a great time. 

Kerry County Museum

Kerry County Museum is located in Tralee and is a vibrant cultural institution dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history of County Kerry. The museum’s collections span thousands of years, from prehistoric times to the 20th century. It’s an essential visit for anyone interested in understanding the heritage of this fascinating region.

Visit the Kerry Bog Village Museum

The Kerry Bog Village Museum, located on the Ring of Kerry, offers a fascinating insight into how people lived and worked in Ireland during the early 19th century. The museum is a fully recreated rural village set in a peat bog, featuring thatched cottages, farm animals, and antique farm machinery. 

Things to do in Kerry
Things to do in Kerry

Visitors can explore various buildings, including a blacksmith’s forge, a dairy, and a traditional Irish pub. The village also offers jaunting car (horse-drawn carriage) tours. It’s a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the harsh realities and simple pleasures of Irish rural life in the 1800s.

Visit a Traditional Irish Pub

Kerry is known for its variety of traditional Irish pubs, where you can enjoy live Irish music, local beers, and traditional Irish food. Some pubs worth that are worth visiting include Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder, James Long Pub and Ned Natterjack’s. 

Things to do in Dingle Kerry

Dingle is a charming coastal town in Kerry, with a variety of activities and experiences on offer. Check out what you can get up to below. 

Dingle Whiskey Distillery

The Dingle Whiskey Distillery is a pioneer in the Irish whiskey renaissance. Established in 2012, it was one of the first new independent distilleries in Ireland in over a century. The distillery produces artisanal, small-batch spirits, including single malt and pot still whiskeys, as well as gin and vodka. 

Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the distillation process, the history of Irish whiskey, and the unique aspects of Dingle’s production. The tour concludes with a tasting of their handcrafted spirits.

Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Peninsula is known for its rugged scenery and sandy beaches. Here you can pick up a surfboard and throw yourself into the waves of the Atlantic, or you can take a boat trip to see Fungie, the famous Dingle dolphin.

Things To Do in Kerry
Things to do in Kerry – Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Food Festival

If you happen to be visiting County Kerry in September then the Dingle Food Festival is a must. Experience a variety of food and drinks in a lively atmosphere that brings everyone in the county together.

Things to see in Kerry Ireland

Check out these places to see in Kerry and explore the stunning natural beauty and wildlife that the county so boasts. 

Whale watching off the coast of Kerry

There are a variety of companies that offer whale-watching tours off the coast of Kerry, some notable companies include, Dingle Sea Safari, Great Blasket Island Experience, Irish Adventures and Dingle Boat Tours.

Kerry Cliffs

The Kerry Cliffs are a breathtaking natural attraction that stands on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. These majestic cliffs offer visitors stunning panoramic views of the rugged coastline, jagged cliffs, and crashing waves below. 

Things To Do in Kerry
Things to do in Kerry – Kerry Cliffs

With a height of over 300 meters, they provide an awe-inspiring spectacle that showcases the raw beauty of Ireland’s landscape. The cliffs are also home to a diverse array of bird species, including puffins and guillemots, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. 

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael is a rocky island off the coast of Kerry and known for its early Christian monastery that’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s also famous for being a filming location for Star Wars and you can take a boat tour to explore the famous island. 

Things To Do in Kerry
Things to do in Kerry – Skellig Michael

Explore More of Ireland

If you want to see what other Counties in Ireland have to offer, be sure to check out these blogs: Things to do in Mayo | Things to do in Antrim | Things to do in Derry | Things to do in  Fermanagh | Things to do in Armagh | Things to do in County Down | Things to do in Monaghan | Things to do in Roscommon.

Things to do in Donegal | Things to do in Sligo  | Things to do in Leitrim  | Things to do in Louth  | Things to do in Cavan | Things to do in Longford | Things to do in Meath | Things to do in Westmeath | Things to do in Dublin | Things to do in Offaly | Things to do in Kildare | Things to do in Wicklow | Things to do in Laois

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