The Bottom Line
- Drive takes you along the stunning coast of Kerry.
- Fantastic landscapes, both coastal and mountainous.
- Several tourist attractions on the tour.
- Roads can get very crowded in Summer.
- Landscapes can get repetitive after a while.
- One of the best known tour routes in Ireland.
- Fantastic coastal scenery between Dingle Bay, the Atlantic and the Kenmare River.
- Perfect day trip from Killorglin, Kenmare or Killarney.
Guide Review - Ring of Kerry (County Kerry)
I have done the Ring of Kerry twice, once at near-crawling speed and for two-and-a-half days in Summer. The other drive was in late October, an enjoyable daytrip with lots of pauses. There is no competition regarding the resulting recommendation - do it outside the tourist season, pick only some highlights for longer stops and do not contract sensual overload. And avoid the cafes en route, better grab a sandwich and a coffee in a local store. It'll save you money and (in some cases) disappointment.
Just to be quite clear: I recommend driving the Ring of Kerry! But I simply cannot see the reasons to spend an entire holiday doing so, exploring every cove and cliff just because they are there. The coastal as well as the inland landscapes touched by the Ring of Kerry are fabulous, that is true. But after a while a certain feeling of deja vu might set in. Like a travel companion (usually very much into nature) of mine said in a rather bored tone, "Oh yeah ... another cliff, another unique view ... let's move on then."
Highlights of the Ring of Kerry are
- Killorglin - home of the semi-pagan Puck Fair,
- Cahersiveen - birthplace of Daniel O'Connell,
- Valentia Island - picture-postcard-pretty but a detour,
- The Skellig Experience (Portmagee) and the Skelligs - another detour ... and boat trips to the islands are not for the faint-hearted,
- Waterville - has a great beach,
- Derrynane Estate (Caherdaniel) - home of Daniel O'Connell,
- Staigue Fort - the best preserved ring fort, around 2,500 years old,
- Kenmare - another picture-postcard-pretty location.