Derrynane And Caherdaniel

Best Place To Holiday In Ireland

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Judges choose the 25 best places to holiday in Ireland. The Irish Times Best Place to Holiday in Ireland competition attracted more than 1,400 nominations.

Derrynane & Caherdaniel, or CaherD as we call it is our favourite place in Ireland by a long shot. From the first time we saw the glorious selection of beaches, to the breathtaking seascapes, glorious craggy mountains, CaherD has become our 'soul food'.

A week, or longer if possible, on this magical tip of the Iveragh Peninsula provides my family and I with images that sustain us through dark cold never ending Kildare winters.

It's the location, the sun, sea, sand, mountains, the crocosmia and fushia hedgerows, the lilting voice of west Kerry people, Mass at Lohar Church on The Ring... Whether approached via Killorglin to the north or Kenmare to the south, that final hour's drive towards CaherD is always full of happy anticipation of the wonder awaiting us. Once there... Heaven on earth!

Local attractions

Derrynane house, Staigue ring fort, Portmagee, Valencia island (via the tiny car ferry), glanleam gardens, scellig interpretive centre, slate mines, walk around lamb's head, & then the pubs, coffee shops, art galleries..

Highlights for us include the friday morning market, the blind piper pub, the Victorian tea rooms in CaherD, Jam in Kenmare, scellig chocolate factory in st finian's bay, the fish shop and French patisserie in cahersiveen, cill rialig art gallery & cafe in ballinskelligs...

But best of all, e rolling the children in the derrynane sea sports camp & sitting on the harbour beach watching them having a glorious Irish beach holiday experience completed by a pint and a fistful of jelly snakes in Bridie Keatings bar on the way up from the beach.


3 wonderful beaches, each of different character and vista, Coomakista pass, derrynane house, the ship house emerging from the rock over on lambs head, the sweet tiny village of Caherdaniel, ogham stones, tidal inlet


Water sports+++, horse riding, walking, cycling, skiff trips on Kenmare bay, boat trips to the scelligs


Festivals in Killorglin, cahersiveen & sneem, artist studios in locality, cill rialig art gallery, mobile cinema in Waterville,..


The beach, water sports camps & lessons, swimming lessons, playground at the blind piper


U must have a car to be able to take advantage of this wonderful location

Eating and drinking

Superb food in cafes, pubs, restaurants all along The Ring


Mainly self catering around Caherdaniel, lots of different types from mobile home camp sites, to houses of every size


Caherdaniel has 2 great food shops; an alladin's cave old style grocery at Freddie's pub in the village, with the most eclectic & cosmopolitan foods on offer & a modern supermarket 2kms south of the village on The Ring. No clothes shops. Gifts at the Friday market Caherdaniel is a complete break from the consumerist life!

Submitted by

Mairead Franklin

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