The three Lakes of Killarney and the mountains and woods that surround them make up this beautiful national park. It extends to nearly 25,000 acres, which includes oak holly and yew woodlands, and is populated by red deer. The National Park Visitor Centre at Muckross House offers an audio-visual presentation that is a good introduction to what you can explore on the signposted self-guiding trails that thread the park.
At the park's heart is Muckross Park
(or Demesne), the entrance to which is 4 km (2½ miles) from Killarney on N71. Cars aren't allowed in Muckross Park; you can either walk, rent a bicycle, or take a traditional jaunting car (pony and a cart).
The air here smells of damp woods and heather moors. The red fruits of the Mediterranean strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) are at their peak in October and November, which is also about the time when the bracken turns rust color, contrasting with the evergreens. In late April and early May, the purple flowers of the rhododendron ponticum put on a spectacular display.
Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland