Killarney – County Kerry
From Kinsale to Killarney we drove to the little town Clonakilty where someone has told my husband his family is from on his fathers side. We decided to drive through and walked on the beach.
From Clonakilty we got on The Ring of Kerry starting at Kenmare.
We decided to drive The Ring of Kerry before heading to our hotel this day since we were doing the Dingle Peninsula the next day. This drive is also part of the Wild Atlantic Way. The Ring of Kerry was a beautiful drive, it was cloudy when we did it but we still really enjoyed the views and there are plenty of areas to safely pull off and use as lookouts. Our first town we stopped in on The Ring of Kerry was Sneem.
Pro Tip: Be smart when pulling off and getting out of your car to experience the views. There are plenty of safe areas to pull off, do not just stop and get out of your car.
In Ireland they host a Tidy Towns Competition yearly and Sneem was 1987’s winner. Fun fact the year before 1986’s winner was Kinsale, in both of these towns you can tell they take their appearance very seriously.
We shared a small lunch at a cafe and a beer at Murphy’s while in Sneem and then walked around to the local shops before getting back on the road.
Another fun fact, our last name is McCarthy and my husbands mothers maiden name is Murphy. This means we stopped any and every where with these names and I am sure you can imagine there were a lot!
I am going to share some of the images we took while on The Ring of Kerry, but due to the fog while in the mountains we weren’t able to get too many.
Ring of Kerry:
The drive is stunning and something I definitely would recommend to anyone. A lot of people I think are afraid to drive in Ireland, but in my opinion it really is the best way to see the country. Sean did so good navigating on the narrow roads, but the biggest difference I noticed was these small narrow roads were not as crowded as we are used to back home in NJ. Also, everyone is very polite and pulls over and takes turns letting people go, which made it also a very stress free experience throughout the entire trip.
As you can see the weather was getting worse as we progressed, so pictures were not easy to get. The drive is still worth it to do while the weather is not good, you will still get to experience the beauty.
We ended the Ring of Kerry and drove into Killarney to head to our next hotel.
The Lake Hotel in Killarney, our accommodations for the next two nights were amazing. I have to say, the company we used really did such a great job with every place they chose for us.
The coolest part about The Lake Hotel was that it is situated on Lough Leane on the outskirts of the Killarney National Park and they have castle ruins on premise. The castle ruins just happen to be those of the McCarthy’s.
This evening we ate at the hotel dining room The Castlelough Restaurant. There is also the Lakeside Bistro restaurant on site. The Castlelough Restaurant is the fancier of the two restaurants and reservations are suggested.
I started with the mushroom soup, which was perfect. Followed by steak for me and duck for Sean. I thought my steak was superb and Sean said it was the best duck he has ever had.
The room where dinner is is absolutely stunning, full length windows to view the lake and mountains outside. This is also the same room for breakfast!
Pro Tip: Most places in Ireland provide breakfast with your stay, make sure to look into this at your accommodations! (All of ours did).
Our first full day in County Kerry was our anniversary and we spent the morning going on a hike to the Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park. We then proceeded on one of the trails through a small portion of the park.
Killarney National Park:
I wish we spent more time in Killarney National Park, but we just had so much we wanted to do and see. After our small hike we went on to Muckross House. We walked the outdoor grounds and garden.
Muckross House & Gardens:
We then headed to Ross Castle after this. We did not take a tour, so we were not able to go inside, but could walk round outside.
As you can see we really packed this day in, and this was still only the morning. We did not stay around for the tour because we were headed to the Dingle Peninsula! The plan all along was to be in Dingle for our anniversary and it certainly did not disappoint.
Dingle is one of the cutest towns in all of Ireland that we stopped! We loved driving the Dingle Peninsula, the weather was much better than when we did The Ring of Kerry the previous day. Also, wait til you see where we went that blew us away more than The Cliffs of Moher!
Pro Tip: Fungie is Dingles beloved dolphin, and you can take boat tours to see him!
I loved the town of Dingle and all the shops, pubs and beautiful water views.
Lunch was at another Murphys!
Sean had the burger and I had the Guinness Beef Stew with Brown Bread.
Dingle Peninsula & Dunquin:
I am just going to say this is probably the most beautiful place that I have ever been. Exploring the Dingle Peninsula and Dunquin was breathtaking, it blew us away! We actually enjoyed it more than The Cliffs of Moher. Reasoning being that it was much more secluded, not crowded at all and we got to explore freely.
Okay, I could literally post 1000 more pictures of this place! Seriously though, this is just amazing!
We walked around this area and finished driving the Dingle Peninsula before heading back to our hotel. We decided for our anniversary to have a night out in the town of Killarney. We walked around a bit into the local shops, stopped at a few pubs before settling on dinner.
You have no idea how upset I am that I cannot remember the name of the restaurant we ate in while in Killarney. It was delicious!
I had pasta in a cream sauce with pancetta and Sean had venison stew over gnocchi, the restaurant is set up so where we were sitting we watched the woman cook our food. This was a Mediterranean restaurant.
Our last night in Killarney was spent listening to traditional music in a few different pubs in the downtown area.
Pro Tip: The downtown area of Killarney is easily walkable to experience everything. There are jaunting horse cars you can hire as well to take you around Killarney and the national park.
Part 4 County Clare – Coming Soon.
Missed Part 2 County Cork? – Available here.