I didn’t expect to find the sun in Ireland. Ireland is green for a reason: the (very) frequent rain. I found the sun instead.
Based in southwestern Ireland for a few days, on a lovely Saturday afternoon I was taken for a drive around County Kerry to discover some of its towns and beautiful scenery. Main focus: the area around Killarney and Kenmare.
Killarney (or Cill Airne in Irish – all road signs and town names are in both English and Irish Gaelic) is a popular tourist destination in County Kerry. The Killarney National Park, with its beautiful scenery and opportunities for cycling and hiking, together with the region’s history, is the main attractions for tourists here.
Kenmare (or An Neidín), a lovely heritage town, is also very popular with tourists and is located about 32Km from Killarney.
Road N71 connects Killarney and Kenmare, is part of the Ring of Kerry, and is a very scenic drive through mountains and forests and past beautiful lakes. There is hardly any public transport here so the best way to visit the area – and the one that gives you the most freedom – is driving a car or a motorbike. I would not recommend cycling as the road is quite narrow and drivers speed up a lot. Said that, there were several cyclists when I visited…
There are several viewpoints along the N71, one of the best ones being the Ladies View: stop here for a coffee and enjoy a stroll with view over the Lakes of Killarney down in the valley!
Muckross House&Gardens is another nice stop along the route. Located 6Km from Killarney, this mansion was built in 1843 and is surrounded by beautiful gardens leading to a lake. It also has traditional farms, craft shops, and cafes. On a beautiful sunny day, there is no better place where to enjoy the weather!