A traveler’s guide to the Ring of Kerry

Skellig Michael, photo by Arian Zwegers

Even the smallest cluster of houses and a pub in Ireland has a hefty dose of charm, and the cities and towns of the Emerald Isle are generally worth even the longest trip even if they don’t have any traditional tourist attractions to speak of. But if you are looking for tourist magnets in the Irish countryside, you don’t have to look far, nor do much research, because the best attractions are so famous that they are known far beyond the borders of Ireland. The Ring of Kerry is one such attraction – it is most likely the most famous tourist trail Ireland! The 180 kilometers of circular route is a must-visit for those who want to see some of the best sights in Ireland during on trip! So here is a traveler’s guide to the Ring of Kerry for those who want to discover this wonderful trail.

Killarney

A tour of the Ring of Kerry typically starts in Killarney, one of the most  popular tourist destinations in Ireland. The town of Killarney is small but it has several attractions, so it is worth dedicating at least one way to exploring it. Killarney National Park is a great destination for those who like the outdoors with a side dish of historical attractions. From Killarney, the trail traditionally around the Iveragh Peninsula, on its scenic coast.

Killorglin

photo by jf1234

One of the quaintest stops on the Ring of Kerry is the small town of Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair Festival held in August. The town’s mascot is the statue of the King Puck, a goat with a crown, the symbol of the town and its festival. Killorglin is a very pleasant small town with plenty of things to do and lots of accommodation options for tourists.

Ladies View

The Ring of Kerry has lots of amazing views along the way where you can stop and admire the coastal scenery, but none can compare to the Ladies View. According to legend (or perhaps fact, even), the view was immensely enjoyed by Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting when they visited Ireland in 1861. The view is located on the N71, and there is a small cafe and a car park.

Staigue stone fort

Ladies View, photo by Charlotte Mariller

Staigue Stone Fort is one of the most interesting sights in the Ring for those who are interested in ancient Irish history and historical sites. The partially ruined stone fort was built in the late Iron Age, probably as a defensive fort for a local king. The fort is a marvel of ancient engineering, but its main appeal is the fact that it is a romantic ruin surrounding by spellbinding scenery.

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael, despite being an island off the coast of Co Kerry, it is considered to be one of the most impressive attractions on the Ring, and cannot possible miss from a traveler’s guide to the Ring of Kerry. This rocky island was the center of Irish monastic life in the Middle Ages, and the Gaelic Monastery built on top of the island is considered to be one of the finest monasteries in Europe, and the least accessible one too.

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