The Ring of Kerry - The most popular day trip in Ireland
For many people around the world, the Ring of Kerry drive encapsulates their image of Ireland: ancient monuments, romantic castles, spectacular gardens and colorful towns and villages. The stunning scenery, dramatic coastline, charming locales and ancient archaeological treasures have been featured in postcards, film, poetry, and song.
Here, the idealized view of Ireland as a land of rural greenery and natural beauty springs to reality. Tourists come to Kerry to experience this rare dip into a lifestyle foreign in pace, philosophy, and spirit. Each twist and turn on a drive around the Ring of Kerry reveals new sights – windswept cliffs, breathtaking scenery, spectacular lakes, rich flora and fauna, green and yellow checkered hills and unspoiled beaches.
There is evidence of the region’s unique heritage and culture everywhere, in the place names, the standing stones, and the many archaeological sites. The 6th-century beehive huts and ruined monastery on Skellig Michael are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also worth checking out are the stone forts at Caherciveen and Castlecove, the Neolithic stone circle in Kenmare, the 15th-century Ballycarberry Castle, the magnificent O’Connell Memorial Church, Derrynane House and Gardens or the pretty 19th century Heritage town, Kenmare.
The Ring of Kerry is also highly regarded for its culinary delights, such as the local cheeses, seafood and shellfish, lamb and homemade breads. The town of Kenmare, in particular, has a number of very highly regarded restaurants. (It is thought to be the only town in Ireland that has more restaurants than pubs.)
The area is a favorite among artists, writers, and sculptors, and there are a number of craft shops and galleries such as Cill Rialaig showcasing their best works. It’s also ideal for activity holidays, such as walking and cycling routes, diving and angling and adventures sports, to its array of championship golf courses – Waterville (An Coireán), Dooks, Kenmare, and Killorglin.
The coastal roads provide an ever-changing landscape around the Iveragh Peninsula, with snapshots of the famous offshore islands popping in and out of view around every corner.