The Ring of Kerry is a scenic drive to see some of Ireland’s natural beauty in the southwest of Ireland in the county Kerry. The driving route starts in Killarney and travels around a 179 km circular road passing through the beautiful towns of towns of Killorglin, Cahirciveen, Waterville, Sneem and Kenmare. It is a popular day trip with a lot of attractions to see along the way. If your time is short these are the five must see things along your journey.
The Kerry Bog Village Museum
Step back in time as you see how people lived and worked in the 18th Century. This is the only village of its kind in Europe. The village consists of exact replicas of dwellings in the early 1800′s. See how Blacksmith’s worked and talk with the villagers as you take a step back in time. The village also features the rare Kerry ponies.
The Skellig Experience
Experience the aspects of the Skillig Islands without leaving the mainland. Through recreations and replicas you can experience the lives of the Skellig Michael Monks, who inhabited the island for 600 years. Fionan’s Restaurant features an amazing view of the Portmagee Channel and is a perfect place to stop for lunch and enjoy a sandwich.
Home of Daniel O’Connell, a famous statesman of Ireland who helped Ireland gain Catholic Emancipation in 1829. His beautiful home is located 120 hectares of the land in Derrynane National Park. The home features many artifacts from his life including the gold chariot he rode through Dublin. The sprawling grounds surrounding his home feature garden walks and plantations.
Located in The Killarney National Park this is the site was founded in 1482 by the Franciscian friary for the Observantine Franciscans by Donal McCarthy Mor. The friars were often raided by marauding groups and the violent history has caused the building to be reconstructed many times. Though there is no longer any roof, the abbey is preserved. The central courtyard with it’s large Yew tree is magnificent. It is also the burial site of some of Ireland’s famous poets.
This circular, stone fort thought to be built in the Iron Age is located 3 miles west of Sneem. It is thought to have been built as a stronghold for a local lord or King. The nearly 1500 year old fort is built without mortar and is an amazing architectural structure. The interior has various stairways leading to various terraces. The fort is surrounded by a large ditch and banks. Much folklore is surrounding the use of why the fort was built including people of small stature coming to mine for ore or copper in the area. The observation center tells the story of it’s history. This is the largest and finest stone forts in Ireland today.
The Ring of Kerry is one of the most beautiful driving tours in the world. Be sure to stop your car and enjoy the rich culture and history of County Kerry along the way!