In the Southwest, five-star scenery is everywhere from the mountains and lakes of Killarney, out to Kerry's craggy western peninsulas. Brightly painted villages and small harbors encourage you to stop and linger—and when you do, you're rewarded with exceptional food, particularly in Kenmare and Dingle, towns that boast an extraordinary number of talented chefs in proportion to their size. Off the western coast, the Skelligs rank as the region's most awesome sight, though it takes an often-choppy boat ride to reach them. Adare, midway between Kerry and Limerick, is both picture-book pretty and rich in historical churches and monasteries. Limerick's historic center is the gateway to an area rich in mighty castles.
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