Road Trip


  • A serene saunter around the Kerry countryside

    This 110-mile horseshoe around the Iveragh Peninsula on Ireland’s south-west coast weaves through some of Ireland’s most majestic and varied landscapes. From enchanting forests peppered with wild stag to storm-carved coastlines, you’ll find it hard not to pull your car over to admire the beauty beyond every bend in the road.
    A little tip before you start: this route can be prone to tour buses in the peak season, all of which take the route in the anti-clockwise so you’re best going the opposite way around to avoid congestion.

  • Killarney

    Starting in the town of Killarney, head south along the N71 and into the Killarney National Park, home to Ireland’s only herd of wild red deer.

    Aside from admiring the wildlife and views out onto the glacial lakes dotted with islands along the way, you must explore Muckross Estate, which includes a fifteenth century abbey that was torched by Cromwell and Muckross House, a stately home where Queen Victoria stayed in 1861. You’ll also encounter reproductions of 1930s Kerry farmhouses, where you’ll find a bean an ti (‘woman of the house’) baking soda farls on an open fire.

  • Kenmare

    Continuing your journey on to the pretty little town of Kenmare you’ll pass Ladies’ View, a much photographed scene, which gives a jaw-dropping view of the lakes of Killarney and the steep mountains that climb above them.

    You’ll know you’ve reached Kenmare, reputed to be Ireland’s first planned town, by the rainbow of colours splashed across the walls of the main street’s houses and shops. For a picturesque view, head to Kenmare Pier and look out across the spectacular Kenmare Bay.

  • Caherdaniel

    Named after Irish political hero Daniel O’Connell, who campaigned for Catholic emancipation in the early 19th century, the tiny village of Caherdaniel offers almost Mediterranean views, with nearby golden beaches surrounded by turquoise seas.

    A one-mile detour will take you to Derrynane, where you’ll find O’Connell’s house, which is now a museum containing many of his personal belongings. If the weather holds up (never a guarantee in this part of the world) then it’s well worth stretching your legs along one of the three local unspoilt beaches.

  • Cahersiveen

    A 30-minute drive along the coastline and across country will take you to the capital of the Iveragh Peninsula, Cahersiveen, a bustling town that also offers plenty of history.

    Located just north of the town, which lies at the foot of the Beentee Mountain, are two stone ring forts, one of which dates back as far as the 6th century. The later of the two structures, Cahergal Stone Ring Fort, features a ten-foot thick wall housing an amphitheatre-like interior with tiered seating.

  • Killorglin

    Continuing north along the coast, you can gaze across the water to the Dingle Peninsula before arriving at Killorglin, famous for its annual August fair where a wild mountain goat is crowned and raised on a high pedestal in the town square.

    Looping back towards the start of your route, you’ll pass the haunting MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range to the east, which includes Ireland’s highest peak, the 3,406ft-high Carrauntoohil. Seven miles beyond Killorglin, there’s a short detour that you simply must take. The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow path that meanders through Purple and Bull mountains, past slate-coloured valley lakes and weather-beaten old cottages, offering a wonderfully serene end to your road trip.

Image 1 credit: mozzercork

Image 2 credit: ilaria

Image 3 credit: Caitlin

Image 4 credit: Steve Edge

Image 5 credit: Robin Moody

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