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12 unmissable things to do in Kerry
The beaches of the Blasket Islands need to be seen to be believed.
Wild Atlantic waters, cinematic headlands, picturesque lakes and formidable peaks – County Kerry is the Ireland from legendary movie scenes and epic dreams. From scenic kayak trips to spectacular hikes, there's so many incredible things to do in Kerry.

Check out the places in The Kingdom that everyone should experience at least once.

1Visit Killarney National Park

There are plenty of great ways to explore the spectacular Killarney National Park but journeying through the ice age formed Gap of Dunloe is a bucket list trip for many. Gather at Kate Kearney’s Cottage on the northern side of the pass before experiencing the famous mountain pass with Gap of Dunloe Tours.

Enjoy views of native oak and yew trees as you explore the 100km2 of parkland, designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Keep an eye out for native Irish red deer during your time here – this is the only place on mainland Ireland that you can find them.

View of lakes and mountains, Killarney, Co. Kerry
See the incredible Killarney National Park.
2Kayak the Lakes of Killarney

Explore hidden islands and inlets with Outdoors Ireland or Mór Active as you kayak across the legendary Lakes of Killarney. Find out how this stunning landscape was formed and uncover the incredible history and wild nature of one of the most beautiful places to visit in Kerry.

Reflections on the water of Killarney Lakes, Co. Kerry
Explore the majestic Killarney Lakes in Kerry.
3Drive The Ring of Kerry

A spectacular driving loop around the Iveragh Peninsula, The Ring of Kerry is 179km of breathtaking beauty that takes in Torc Waterfall, Moll’s Gap, Muckross House and much more. If yours is a flying visit, the drive can be completed in a day. But if you have more time, take it at your leisure and really soak in the atmosphere of this otherworldly place.

Plan an unforgettable road trip on the Ring of Kerry route with our complete guide so that you don't miss any of the incredible highlights.

Two people posing for a selfie at Ladies View, Killarney, Co. Kerry
Pose for a snap at one of the many viewpoints along the Ring of Kerry.
4Sail to Skellig Michael

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Skellig Michael is a tiny 6th century monastic settlement perched on a jagged rock, 11km off the coast of Kerry in the roaring Atlantic. If that’s not enough to entice you, it also stars as a Jedi refuge in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Catch a boat trip to the island from PortmageeCaherdaniel or Ballinskelligs Pier and enjoy the epic views.

Boats run on a seasonal schedule but if your timing and the weather is right — this is one not to be missed. 

View of Skellig Michael, Kerry with seagulls overhead
The iconic Skellig Michael in County Kerry.
5See Derrynane House

Five minutes from Caherdaniel, it’s worth stopping to visit Daniel O’Connell’s ancestral home, Derrynane House where many relics of The Liberator’s life and career are preserved. Afterwards, take a scenic stroll through the historical park and admire its lush grounds.

The stone exterior of Derrynane House, Co. Kerry
Learn about the history of Ireland at Derrynane House.
6Walk The Kerry Way

Starting and finishing in lively KillarneyThe Kerry Way is an epic, long-distance walking route that takes 11 rewarding days to complete. Take your time as you hike rural roadways, picturesque valley passes and forest trails, as well as parts of Killarney National Park, the Ring of Kerry and so many of the best places to see in Kerry. 

People walking near Ross castle, Killarney, Kerry
Kerry's sensational scenery is second to none.
7Hike to Bray Head on Valentia Island

Travel across the road bridge from Portmagee to Valentia Island or, if you’re visiting from April to October, by car ferry from Cahersiveen. On the southern tip of the Island, Bray Head is a spectacular viewing point where a bracing, uphill stroll to the cliff-top signal tower is rewarded with panoramic seascapes featuring the Blasket Islands and the Dingle Peninsula.

A couple looking out from the top of Geokaun Mountain, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry
Enjoy incredible views from Valentia Island.
8Enjoy Dingle

No trip to Kerry is complete without a stop off in Dingle, with its cosy pubs and charming streets dotted with brightly coloured shopfronts. Wetsuit up, meet the crew at Irish Adventures and head out on the water.

Afterwards, reward your efforts with a trip to Dingle’s famous Murphy’s Ice-Cream. Try local favourites Irish Brown Bread and Dingle Sea Salt flavours.

A group of people learning how to kayak in Dingle, Co. Kerry
Learn how to kayak during your stay in Dingle.
9Explore The Blasket Islands

While you’re in Dingle, explore island life at Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhóir (The Blasket Centre) in Dún Chaoin, before taking the boat to the largest of the islands, Great Blasket. A compelling snapshot of times past, you’ll learn about the unique community of hardy, Irish-speaking storytellers that lived on the island until 1953.

Two people walking on Great Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry
Set off on a memorable walk around The Blasket Islands.
10Experience Slea Head Drive

From DingleSlea Head Drive is a jaw-dropping jaunt around the peninsula’s Blue Flag beaches, sheer cliff faces, historic forts, and dramatic Atlantic vistas. Give yourself at least a half day to complete the 47km loop, so you can have plenty of stops to take it all in.

Groups of drivers and cyclists taking the view at Slea Head, Co. Kerry
Don't miss the stunning Slea Head Drive.
11Visit Blennerville Windmill

Just 40 mins away, Blennerville Windmill is perched on the edge of Tralee Bay where it meets the Dingle Peninsula. The site marks the main port of emigration for Kerry locals fleeing the Great Famine and it was once home to the famous emigrant ship, The Jeanie Johnston. 

Climb to the top of the working windmill, learn more about the hardship of emigration at the visitor centre or peek through the telescope which overlooks Slí na nÉan or The Way of the Birds.

The tall, white Blennerville Windmill, Kerry
Discover Kerry's history of emigration at the Blennerville Windmill.
12Stroll on Ballybunion Beaches

Whatever the weather, Kerry’s beaches have some of the most postcard-worthy panoramas in the country and the sandy stretches that surround the seaside town of Ballybunion in North Kerry are no different. Separated by steep cliffs, Men’s Beach and Ladies’ Beach have names harking back to the days of separate bathing and are ideal for beautiful cliff walks with dizzying views over Loop Head.

Calm waters and grass covered cliffs at Ballybunion in Co. Kerry.
Take in the unbeatable views at Ballybunion Beach.


Start planning your trip to Kerry now

With so much to explore in picture-perfect Kerry, you’ll soon be heading back for more. Don’t miss our Kerry destination page where you’ll find lots of information on the things to do in Kerry.

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