County Kerry Information
Getting there is simple. If you want to fly, there is a 50 minute direct air service from Dublin to Kerry Airport at Farranfore which is 16 kilometres from Killarney and 20 kilometres from Tralee.
Farranfore a sleepy provincial airport? Nothing could be further from the truth, with regular flights to Manchester, Luton and Stanstead, and routes from Germany, France and Portugal.
You could consider hiring a car and a small car can cost as little as approx. 130 Euros for seven days. Substantial sums have been invested in Irish roads in recent years and you will find that you can cover the 300 kilometres to Killarney in about four hours.
You can travel from Dublin Heuston railway station to Tralee in about four hours. If travelling by bus you may have to change routes to make the complete journey to Kerry. Fare structures can be complicated, but there are brilliant packages available which are tailored to your needs and can save you money.
When you get to County Kerry, you will be arriving in an area known affectionately as "The Kingdom". Certainly at its earliest Kerry was known as Ciar's Kingdom with a documented history going back to AD65. Indeed you may be surprised to know that some Spanish galleons were wrecked off the coast during the Armada in 1588.
There was great hardship during the potato famine of the 1840's, and many Irish families emigrated to the emerging United States of America, where their descendants have played a great part in turning that country into a world power. There were fiery times also during the Independence and Civil Wars of the 1920's, in stark contrast to the peaceful beauty you find there today.
Kerry's Top Attractions
The highlight of your visit will surely be to travel the "Ring of Kerry" route on the Iveragh Peninsula. South west from Killarney it captures all that is beautiful about the Kerry scenery, taking in towns such as Sneem, Waterville, Kenmare and Killorglin. The layout of the roads suggests that it is wise to take local advice on how to proceed, especially during peak season. For committed walkers, the Kerry Way follows a similar path. Carrantuohill, Ireland's highest mountain at 1,050 metres is also found on the Peninsula, and on a clear day Galway Bay in the north and Bantry Bay to the south can be seen.
You must also find time to visit the Killarney National Park, covering approximately 10,000 hectares of lakes, waterfalls and mountain scenery, including Carrantuohill. Look out for the native red deer, and visit majestic Muckross House which portrays life both "upstairs and downstairs" in the times of the landed gentry.
Younger family members will enjoy Muckross Traditional Farms, which comprise three separate working farms showing how farming was carried out in the days before modern conveniences such as electricity. It's great to be able to interact with the farmers to gain an understanding of their lives. The kids will also enjoy Dingle Oceanworld which is more than an aquarium, focusing on protection and conservation.
Festivals & Activities
Golf and angling are well catered for in Kerry. Sea anglers in particular benefit from the North Atlantic Current, part of the Gulf Stream, which brings many exotic aquatic visitors to the shores. Angling is a huge growth industry in Ireland with package holidays, including accommodation on offer.
Finally, Ireland is a great place for festivals and general celebration, and Kerry is no different. One of the very best is the Puck Fair Festival, which is the oldest in Ireland dating back to the early 1600's. Held every year between the 10th to the 12th August at Killorglin, it incorporates a full range of displays, parades, puppets, street entertainments, show bands and dances. Another great favourite is the Rose of Tralee Festival, which takes place in August in Tralee every year.
The opening times of pubs and restaurants are virtually rewritten – what better way to get the true taste of Ireland!
O'Connell Monument. A O'Loughl...
Walk in Glendalough
Stags in an Irish evening
"Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world" - Gustave Flaubert