Ring of Kerry
Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way:
Roadtripping the Ring of Kerry
Total Length: 220-250 km (136-155 miles)
Recommended Drive Time: 6-8 hours
Roadtripping the Ring of Kerry is our favorite part of the Wild Atlantic Way, one of the best road trips in Ireland. On part of Also along the route is Killarney National Park, Ireland's first national park.
If you were to drive the entire Ring of Kerry it would take anywhere between 4-5 hours. Granted, this does not include any stops along the way which is why we recommend 6-8 hours. Of course you don't have to drive the entire thing in one day.
Though we spent a couple nights in Killarney, we made our way west along the Ring of Kerry on our final day. Exiting near Kenmare, we ended up finishing our day in County Cork. Read more below about some cool spots to see while roadtripping the Ring of Kerry.
Roadtripping the Ring of Kerry
The Wild Atlantic Way is known for being one of the best road trips in Ireland. There are so many great sections of this drive, including the Ring of Kerry. This stretch of road spans over 200 km around County Kerry, and is one of the most beautiful drives of Ireland. The road forms a giant ring winding along the coast and dipping inland through lush green hills.
Unfortunately, the only way to properly experience this stretch of road is in your own car. Unless you happen to know somebody with a car in Ireland, you would need to rent one on your own. Read more about our car rental experience in Ireland here.
Cliffs of Kerry
The Cliffs of Kerry are probably the most popular stops while roadtripping the Ring of Kerry. When we visited it wasn't nearly as crowded as the Cliffs of Moher. In our opinion, these cliffs are a little more impressive featuring incredibly blue water and layering rocks. Similar to the Cliffs of Moher, the winds can be extremely strong here. Even on a warm day, the wind chill could necessitate a wearing windbreaker.
Another lesser known spot along the Ring of Kerry is the Loher Cashel. This partially reconstructed stone fort dates back to the 9th century. It was originally built to defend a farmer's home and surrounding property. The outer walls are nearly 2 meters high and 3 meters thick!
It's located on private property, so please be respectful to of the property. The owner allows visitors to take a look and there's is a donation box on the property to help with upkeep. Not too many people know about this place (we didn't either before we were recommended by a local) making it a cool tourist attraction off the beaten path that's definitely worth a visit.
No matter where you start roadtripping the Ring of Kerry, Killarney National Park will be along the way. For us, we started the drive here which made it a great beginning to a lovely journey. We spent the prior day walking around the park discovering the beauty of Ireland’s first National Park. We highly recommend giving this place a visit, learn more about taking day trip to Killarney National Park here.
Kate Kearney's Cottage
Located just outside Killarney National Park, along the Ring of Kerry is a famous local pub called Kate Kearney’s Cottage. Kate Kearney was an important figure during the Great Famine of 1845-1849 known for her hospitality towards weary travelers, and distilling Poitín, an Irish distilled beverage that ranges from 40-90% ABV. Today, Kate Kearney's Cottage is a well known local pub that has an authentic Irish atmosphere, absolutely worth stopping for a pint.