Planning Your Time

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Planning Your Time

If you're here for a short stay—three or fewer days—you'd do well to base yourself in Killarney and devote your time to exploring the surrounding area, then heading out to the Ring of Kerry or the Dingle Peninsula. With more time at your disposal, consider a half-day trip to Skellig Michael, an unforgettable remote, rock-hewn monastery, or Adare, one of Ireland's prettiest villages.

You also want to pick your peninsula, for two of Ireland's most scenic destinations sit side by side on the map: the Iveragh Peninsula (also known as the Ring of Kerry, for its scenic drive) and the Dingle Peninsula (also known by its Irish name, Corca Dhuibhne). If you like wild, rugged scenery, archaeological remains, and Irish music, Dingle is for you. In contrast, the Ring of Kerry is a longer drive with more varied scenery, ranging from lush subtropical vegetation to rocky coves and long sandy beaches near Glenbeigh. The scenery is punctuated by a series of small villages, all much quieter than Dingle.

If You Have Three Days

Spend day one driving the Ring of Kerry, pausing often to take in the varied coastal scenery. Spend the night in Kemare or Killarney, then head out the next morning to explore Killarney National Park either on a boat trip or in a horse-drawn jaunting car. Next head for Dingle and drive the Slea Head loop, before enjoying fresh seafood and live traditional music in Dingle Town, a good overnight stop. On your third morning, drive the Conor Pass to Tralee, heading away from the rugged coast to rich farmlands and a short walk around historic Adare. Finish the day with a walking tour and overnight stay in Limerick City.

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