Getting Oriented

  • Killarney and Nearby. Nineteenth-century visitors found the views of Killarney every bit as romantic and uplifting as the mountains of Switzerland; the unique combination of glacial landscape and abundant subtropical vegetation, studded by the bright blue waters of the lakes, creates an unforgettable vista—and it smells good, too, with peat-fire smoke mingling with fresh mountain air.
  • Kenmare. A lively little town, its streets lined with restaurants and boutiques, Kenmare is a natural stopping place where the roads from Bantry and Killarney intersect.
  • Sneem. This small, lively village with brightly colored houses is a highlight of the lush, sheltered southern route of the Ring of Kerry.
  • Waterville. Popular with golfers and anglers, and boasting spectacular sea views on its eastern approach, this is a popular holiday spot for outdoors types.
  • The Skelligs and Valentia. Two of Ireland's most westerly points, sheltered Valentia Island contrasts with the wild offshore vista of the rocky, twin-peaked Skelligs of Star Wars fame.
  • Cahirciveen. Its main market town, Cahirciveen has the Ring's only sizeable supermarket and an interesting heritage center.
  • Glenbeigh. Blink and you miss the village it's so tiny, but follow the signs for Rossbeigh on its outskirts for a walk on its superb wild, sandy beach.
  • Killorglin. Famous for the annual Puck Fair in August, this little market town on the River Laune is especially lively in summer.
  • Annascaul. The wide road in this quiet little village is a relic of its importance as a cattle-trading center in the past century; most visitors today seek out the pub once owned by Polar explorer Tom Crean.
  • An Daingean (Dingle Town). Beware, this little Irish-speaking town on a sheltered harbor backed by mountains and abounding in friendly pubs and restaurants just might steal your heart away.
  • Ceann Tra (Ventry). More a village than a town, Ventry is chiefly known for its long, sandy beach.
  • Ceann Sléibhe (Slea Head). The rocky southwest extremity of the peninsula boasts dramatic coastal scenery and deserted beaches.
  • Great Blasket Island. The nimble-footed will enjoy an excursion to this rocky offshore island, which was inhabited by hardy souls until 1953.
  • Tralee. The largest town in County Kerry, Tralee is the county's main business and shopping destination, worth visiting chiefly for its folk theater and excellent museum.
  • Adare. The thatched cottages make this one of Ireland's prettiest villages, but don't miss the monastic remains and imposing manor house, now a luxury hotel.
  • Limerick City. Ireland's third-largest city, and the nearest to Shannon Airport, is located on the wide River Shannon, and has a riverside walk that visits most of its historic attractions.

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