What Did Other People Think Of The Ring Of Kerry?
Worth Every KM of Driving
Reviewed June 13, 2011
We took a spring break trip to Ireland with a family group including grandparents (ages from 11-68). Driving the Ring of Kerry was one of the things we planned for a full day. It was worth every second. We made sure to stop whenever we saw something especially beautiful or when someone needed a break.
We went down to the beach near Glenbeigh/Rossbeigh and then took a very narrow, very steep road back up the hill overlooking the water to the main road. It was worth every terrifying second! We stopped for lunch at a great little place near Caherdaniel and enjoyed everything we ate there.
My husband's favourite part of the drive: seeing the golf course in Waterville: a links course right on the water. He drooled. But, for me, the highlight of the trip was near the end in Killarney National Park. The views from the overlooks are phenomenal and easy to miss.
Take your time and be ready to turn off quickly when a view presents itself. We stopped to see the Torc Waterfall, too, and it was a nice way to end our drive. Highly recommend this drive; even with less than perfect weather it was amazing. You'll need a fully charged camera battery and a good-sized SD card!
Reviewed June 5, 2011
“O’Connor tours is a good company for Ring of Kerry”
Worth it! We used Rick Steve’s book and followed his suggested path. We never ran into any traffic or buses. Well worth it if you have a car. Our GPS helped us also. You will see ancient ruins, forts, chocolate factories, beaches, breath taking landscapes, cliffs, museums and more. FYI, we started in Kenmare and finished in Dingle before the sun went down. It can be done.
Reviewed June 3, 2011
We very much enjoyed our tour of the Ring of Kerry on the O'Connor Tours. Our guide Don O'Neill was a good driver, quite the entertainer, and a good kisser.
Wonderful views, natural splendour, landscapes, spectacular seascapes around every bend. Much to remind us of our Lord's creation!
We spent Sunday 17th April driving, stopping, photographing, experiencing and eating - so glad we did this particular trip in the spring, just before 'the season' when we understand it becomes pretty crowded with tourist buses. We had very little traffic, and although we were strongly advised to travel anti-clockwise so as to be driving in the same direction as most other traffic we would recommend travelling clockwise - in order to NOT get stuck behind tour buses.
The roads are narrow but not so narrow that it becomes dangerous 'meeting' a bus coming in the other direction. Definitely take the time to detour and explore Valentia Island, including the Skellig Isle Heritage/visitor centre, and the slate quarry road just outside Knightstown gives amazing sea views.
If we return we would allow an extra day just to do the 6 hr Skellig Isle boat trip. Sneem, Kenmare both beautiful. Waterville not so quaint - and a touch tacky. All-in-all we drove about 260km's that day - ending with a great pub supper in Killarney. We preferred the
Ring of Kerry to driving the 'similar-but-different' Dingle Peninsula.
ABSOLUTELY STUNNING, BREATHTAKING, OVERWHELMING”
We drove around the entire Ring of Kerry on a brilliant April day with clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine. It took us from about 10am and we got back to Killarney at 9pm, having stopped at quite a few places on the way.
The roads are fine, they are not too narrow or windy, and I’ve driven on much, much worse. We went round in an anti-clockwise direction and only saw 1 tour bus, so it’s a bit of a myth about being stuck behind tour buses. We stopped at a few beauty spots with stunning views; I don't know the name of them all.
We also stopped at the lovely little village of Cahersiveen, home to the Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church and the barracks’ built in a German Castle style and also Carbury Castle and 2 amazing ancient stone forts. Really, stop here and go see the castle and forts, it's a lot of history to take in and it's free and it's wonderful!
Lot's of lovely tea shops and places to eat, I'd thoroughly recommend it.
In addition to the Ring of Kerry, it's very very very worthwhile to do the Skellig ring which will bring you around the remote tip of the peninsula which the official Ring of Kerry doesn't quite reach. By doing this, you'll get magnificent views of Skellig Michael.
The road on both rings can go very high up the mountains, but the views over the Atlantic Ocean and the bays are breathtaking. Being from Scotland with our rugged mountains and amazing scenery, I thought I'd be underwhelmed, but I wasn't...I was overwhelmed. The views were absolutely breathtaking.
A lovely surprise was the road from Kenmare to Killarney which for some reason I thought would be a civilised straight line. It wasn't. It twisted and turned at every point and was I think the most difficult but one of the most fun to navigate. Just take your time driving round, don't care about who is behind you, stay safe. You never know what’s coming up ahead and you should drive slowly, because you'll want to see as much of this scenery as you possibly can.
Stopped for a delicious pub lunch in Port Magee and although we stopped quite a lot, we also due to time constraints, had to miss a lot of heritage sights and view points, so you will not be stuck for things to see and do. I'd really look forward to going back again.
• Date of visit: April 2011
Do you know who you are? Does your great, great grandfather come from County Kerry?
Into The West Of County Kerry, Ireland
From Killarney National Park, we headed straight for Dingle. The closer we got to the ocean, the more excited I was. When we finally reached Inch Beach
, I couldn’t wait to jump out of the car and get some photos. The wind was so strong that I had to hold onto the car while I was shooting, for fear I was going to get blown over the side of the rocks.
There are a lot of windy roads on the coast, so if you are driving, take care of the sharp turns. There are shorter and less windier roads around southwest County Kerry, but far less scenic. You really do miss out on things if you don’t go off the path once in a while.
Castle Wood House was our lodging destination this time. This, by far, was the best place we stayed during our entire trip. It was clean, lovely and the owners were extremely friendly. They recommended a place for dinner, Out of the Blue, which we headed to shortly after checking in. I ate monkfish for dinner. You can google that, but beware the ugly. Thankfully, I had no idea what monkfish was when I ordered and I was able to full enjoy my dinner. We followed it with a couple of pints at a local pub that happened to have some of the best live music we heard throughout our trip.
In all, I wish we had planned to stay in Dingle a day or two longer, but reservations in Doolin awaited us. The next morning, we had a delicious breakfast (I highly recommend Helen’s Breakfast Treat) and packed our things before checking out. With a quick stop in Ennistymon to grab a hot coffee at Oh La La Cafe, we continued our journey up the west coat.
Out Of The Blue
Seafood only Restaurant
Purveyors of Fresh Fish & Shellfish
Meat eaters need not apply: Out Of The Blue is strictly for seafood lovers!
Everything depends upon the catch of the day and nothing but the best will do. If there’s no fish, the restaurant doesn’t open.
The menu, given on blackboards, changes every day offering a huge variety of whatever is available from the boats that morning.
Anyone who is lucky enough to get a table in this small casual restaurant can expect seriously delicious seafood cookery.
"Tim Mason's harbour fish bar is some sort of bliss!" - The Bridgestone Guide
"This place is a little gem!" - Georgina Campbell's Ireland
OOTB again from Thursday 8th March
Open 7 days, Dinner: 5.30pm-9.30pm
Lunch: Sundays and Bank Holiday Weekends, 12.30pm- 3pm
Special Fish Deal: 5.30pm-6.45pm (Mon-Fri)
Celebrating 10 years as a Seafood Only Restaurant
with Head Chefs: Jean-Marie Vaireaux and Eric Maillar
“TPs Bar, Ballydavid, Co Kerry, Ireland: a must for visitors to Dingle”
Reviewed 30 August 2012
This is arguably the best pub in the world, and it was our good luck to have rented a holiday home beside it. In front of it, the outdoor tables look onto the beach, and from there across Smerwick Harbour to the Three Sister's; one of the most beautiful views in Ireland. Sitting here on a nice summers evening and watching the sun set, was a highlight of our holiday.
The pub has traditional Irish music every night, and the most friendly staff imaginable. There's even a restaurant in the back, which was excellent but pricey. The pub is in the Gaeltacht area, so Irish was the first language of most customers, which added to the experience for me. Every visitor to Dingle should make the small detour from the Slea Head drive to visit this pub, especially on a nice evening.
Article in International Living
Dingle: The Most Beautiful Place on Earth
Posted on September 14, 2012 by Steenie Harvey
Endings should be spectacular. And this one doesn’t disappoint. With the day signing off in a crimson sunset, I’ve driven to Slea Head on Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula. In County Kerry, in the country’s southwest, this is where Europe runs out.
The finale is one of silvered sands and Atlantic swells…of cliffs and mountains and sheep-scattered fields colored paint-box green. The Blasket Islands loom out of the mist like ghost islands. The last farewell is the cry of seagulls on the western wind.
National Geographic Traveler once called the Dingle Peninsula “the most beautiful place on earth.”
For property buyers, beauty comes at a price—a small restored two-bedroom cottage with sea views can still fetch around 185,000 euro ($237,000). But although Kerry has less costly options, there is nowhere quite like Dingle.
Pointing into the Atlantic like a finger, it looks wild, feels wild. Even the hedgerows flanking the roads and little lanes known as boreens are untamed—throughout summer they become banners of brilliant colour. I’ve never before seen such an extravagant explosion of scarlet fuchsias, orange montbretia, purple loosestrife, and yellow ragwort.
Road signs add to the notion that you’ve travelled beyond maps and time. Geill Sli—an instruction to yield at a junction. Trá—a signpost to a beach. Everybody speaks English, but the western half of the peninsula is a Gaeltacht area. Here the ancient language of Ireland survives and thrives.
People have lived here since prehistoric times. Meshed with walking trails, the peninsula is an archaeologists’ dreamscape of standing stones, ring forts and clusters of tiny beehive huts created from dry, unmortared stone.
Home to around 2,000 inhabitants, Dingle Town (An Daingean) is the largest settlement. Saturated in deep colours, its houses, pubs and shop fronts are so bright that it’s tempting to wear sunshades even at night.
Visitors flock here in summer for coastal activities such as dolphin-spotting and fishing, but the town doesn’t feel overbearingly touristy. Maybe it’s the whole food cafes, the farmer’s market and the flyers for yoga and Tibetan meditation, but there’s an arty, new age feel—the kind of ambiance that attracts creative spirits.
In the current financial climate, it’s reassuring to see few empty shop premises. What’s more, unlike in many other parts of Ireland, there isn’t a glut of properties for sale. The least expensive I could see was a three-bedroom modern bungalow for 150,000 euro ($192,000). No sea views, but within walking distance of the town centre.
The ceol (music) in pubs and elsewhere is as much for residents as visitors. Other Voices is an acclaimed Irish TV music series filmed every winter from a tiny Dingle Town church—the 200-year-old Church of St. James with a capacity of 85. International musicians who have made the pilgrimage to perform here for locals in the depths of winter include the late Amy Winehouse.
For most bands, it’s an escape from the pressures of celebrity—a chance to also enjoy hot whiskey, oysters, a roaring turf fire and impromptu sessions with local musicians in Dingle’s pubs. During summer, the church hosts weekly folk music concerts. (Tickets cost 12 euro, $15, from the music shop below the Blue Zone—a wine bar with Japanese salads and Friday night jazz sessions.)
I didn’t count them all, but 52 pubs are rumoured to be crammed into the town’s seven main streets. For traditionalists, Dick Mack’s is still going strong—it’s one watering hole where Robert Mitchum drank while filming Ryan’s Daughter. Some scenes were filmed at nearby Inch Beach—a glorious three mile stretch of silver sand.
Dingle is incredibly hard to leave. It feels like my kind of place.
Have You Found What You Are Looking For?