General Information About the Ring of Kerry
In Ireland’s beautiful far South West – where the ancient Kingdom of Kerry stretches miles out into the ocean. Hugging the coast the Ring of Kerry’s breath-taking views unfold at every turn. It’s the furthest west in all Ireland and there’s a distinctly edge-of-the-world feel to the Iveragh Peninsula, as both the mainland and everyday life are left far behind.
Ring of Kerry Day Tour Details
This tour has been curated based on some of our most popular Kerry, Ireland tour requests. The tour will commence in an anti clockwise direction so you avoid the crowds from the daily tour buses. A private experience you’ll not forget for a long while.
The tour picks up from your hotel in the Killarney. Leaving Killarney and driving to Killorglin you’ll see the town famous for the annual Puck Fair where a wild mountain Goat is crowned King Puck, the locals celebrate this festival which is 200 years old for a full weekend. The town is busy all weekend with many horse dealers trading their prized ponies and horses on the street using deal making methods going back 200 years!
You’ll head on to the beautiful village of Glenbeigh often referred to as “The Jewel in the Ring of Kerry” stopping at Rossbeigh beach where we can see the mountains of the Dingle peninsula in all their beauty. A couple of minutes up the road is the Kells Sheep Centre, run by Sheepdog trainer Brendan Ferris and located in Kells where Brendan trains Border Collies in the art of sheep herding responding to his every command. Visitors can watch demonstrations of sheep dogs rounding up sheep, a very entertaining show.
We’ll drive through Cahersiveen where the famous Daniel O’Connell was born, often referred to as The Liberator or The Emancipator he was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century. The only church in Ireland not named after a saint is here and it is called after Danial O’Connell as are many of the main streets in our cities and towns. The magnificent Military Barracks is also a great visitor centre displaying the history of the town.
Leaving Cahersiveen we’ll leave the official Ring of Kerry route and drive to Valentia Island where we get to visit the small picturesque fishing village of Portmagee. The larger buses cannot drive this route so we get to see part of Kerry not familiar to many, just recently Lonely Planet named the Skellig Ring as top destination for 2017. Valentia Island is where the transatlantic communications cable was established in the mid 1800’s, it was the point where all commutations came to Europe from Canada and the USA. Driving from Portmagee to Ballinskelligs we’ll get the best view of the famous Skellig Islands now made more famous by featuring in Star Wars the movie.
As we travel further south we meet the famous Skellig Chocolate Factory, this is a great place to stop as they give a wonderful tour of the factory with tasting many of the fabulous chocolate flavours.
Arriving at the quaint town of Waterville famous as the town where Charlie Chaplin and his family spend many holidays. Waterville has a world-famous golf course played by the greatest golfers in the world. One of these golfers is the famous Payne Stewart and the club erected a bronze statue to this friend of Waterville after this tragic death. A good spot for lunch and being halfway along the Ring of Kerry route it comes at the perfect time. There are many restaurants and cafés to choose from and of course the pubs also serve food. The most famous pub is owned by a famous footballer called Mick O’Dwyer and indeed there is also a statue next to Charlie Chaplin dedicated to ‘Micko’s’ amazing achievements both as a player and manager of the Kerry team. As you leave Waterville you get another view of the Skellig Islands off the coast, made more famous recently through the Star Wars movie.
Caherdaniel is the next point on the route, stopping at the viewing points we can see the magnificent views of the nest of small islands that lay off the coast and the Mediterranean style beaches. The Staigue Ringfort is also on this route; this fort’s construction is probably around the first century BC and shows great skill in building. No mortar was used; the stones were not dressed and was built to protect a wealthy Chieftain, his family and animals.
Sneem is a village long associated with a remote and relaxed way of living, the village has its own feeling and special beauty. Famous as a holiday destination for the former French President Charles de Gaulle who visited Sneem on several occasions and a sculpture commemorates this in the village. Sneem has many shops which sell the best of Irish woollen and craft products.
Kenmare is a haven of tranquillity, gourmet food and breath-taking scenery in one of the most natural, unspoilt environments in Europe. Very popular as a tourist destination and base to discover the County of Kerry. In the town you must find the Kenmare Stone Circle which is estimated to be 3,000 years old, built by the Druids it is a great example of a stone circle.
Leaving Kenmare we travel over Molls Gap, is named after Moll Kissane she ran a small pub (or sibin) here during the construction of the Killarney – Kenmare road in the 1820’s. In her time, Moll Kissane was popular for her illicit home-made poitin or whiskey, which she sold in her sibin. Views of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountains, the area and its shop is a panoramic spot visited by thousands of tourists each year.
Travelling down the narrow road to Killarney, Torc Waterfall is well worth visiting and like all waterfalls it is best seen after heavy rains (no problem in Kerry!). Torc waterfall is a 5 minute walk off the Killarney Kenmare road through scenic woodland. The waterfall is some 70 to 80 feet high and the Owengarriff river which feeds it rises in “The Devil’s Punchbowl”.
Muckross house & Gardens
The last part of the Ring of Kerry tour we visit Muckross House and Gardens.. This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney’s three lakes, famed worldwide for their splendour and beauty. In 1932 it was presented by William Bowers Bourn and Arthur Rose Vincent to the Irish nation. It thus became the first National Park in the Irish Free State (now Republic of Ireland) and formed the basis of the present-day Killarney National Park.
Duration approx 8 hours
Whilst on route to each point our guide will entertain you with stories of growing up in Ireland, historic information about Kerry and fun facts about Ireland. We have looked high and low to find our taxi guides. We’ve made sure they have the gift of the gab and are blessed with a friendly and welcoming attitude. Don’t be afraid to ask our guides any questions about the city. They will be more than happy to help you making sure you have a wonderful stay whilst you in Ireland. These guys are our ambassadors of Ireland.
They’ll have you smiling for the whole duration of the trip.
Once we have received the booking you should get an email confirmation of the payment. If you would like to amend any of the destinations with something slightly different please add the amendments to the booking forms comment section.
We will then get in touch and and work with you to plan the amendments.
Collections & Drop Info
We can pick you up from your hotel or anywhere in Killarney. Please enter your required pick up point, time, passengers travelling and contact number when filling in the booking form. We’ll contact you if we require any more information.
We can drop you back to your ship, hotel or any other destination in the city centre once your tour finishes. The usual drop off point is Killarney main street as it is located in the centre of town. Should you require to be dropped of somewhere else please let us know on the day and you can be dropped somewhere else instead.