Ireland is famed for its beauty and the 110-mile (180km) Ring of Kerry answers this promise, passing through some of the most beautiful scenery in southern Ireland.
The most important thing to keep in mind if you choose to drive this circular route around the Iveragh Peninsula is that the road is very narrow in parts, and it is recommended that you drive in an anti-clockwise direction to avoid congestion.
It’s possible to drive the Ring of Kerry in only a couple of hours if you are happy to stop briefly at the best photo spots and then keep going but to really get the most of this area and the friendly people who live here, take your time, perhaps even stop somewhere overnight.
The largest town on the route, Killarney has an exceptionally lovely national park which includes McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland; Lough Leane; and the 19th century Muckross House and Gardens, which is one of the prime attractions of County Kerry.
Near Killarney is the glacial valley of Gap of Dunloe where you can follow a 6 mile (10 km) track alongside five lakes, including deep Black Lake and Echo Lake. The traditional way to travel this path is by pony and trap starting from Kate Kearney’s Cottage.
A day trip tour of the Ring of Kerry passes along the coast and there are wonderful beaches and traditional fishing villages and many places to fish in rivers, lakes, and the sea. The small Atlantic island of Skellig Micheal once held a monastery and is now nature reserve. There are also many spectacular golf courses and walking tracks.
For cyclists and walkers, as well as those who take a Ring of Kerry rail trip from Dublin, there is a similar route, the 120 mile (200 km) Kerry Way, which takes quieter roads to visit the same high points of the area.