“To holiday in Kerry and not explore the Ring of Kerry is like visiting Ireland and not trying a pint of Guinness: there’s just something missing.” – I would have to agree with this, and would even take it a bit further by saying to visit Ireland in general and not visit the Ring of Kerry is wrong, so very wrong.
Never in my life have I driven a more beautiful road. “It’s a road that takes you through 10,000 years of dramatic history. It’s a road that takes you from deep forest to the crashing waters of the wild Atlantic. It’s a road through rugged, majestic landscapes: where wild stag roam and where tumbling waterfalls crash into crystal streams teeming with wild salmon.”
We drove the first half of this route as we headed towards our B&B (where we would stay before visiting Skellig Michael), and upon leaving to head towards Cork we drove the other half. This route can be driven all at once of course, but we stopped for a night in between.
The road is a 179km circular route around the South Western peninsula of County Kerry with castles, parks, and other attractions along the way. We were able to visit Portmagee, the Skellig Islands, Ross Castle, and drove through Killarney National Park.
To describe this route in words or photos is nearly impossible, this is something you must experience in real life. Around each corner is a view more beautiful than the last. If that wasn’t enough, there are sheep.
The route took us from the heart of Kerry to our next destination of Cork. As the driver, I found it was difficult at times to focus on the road. I had to pull over a few times to snap these photos, and to soak it all in. There are plenty of pull out spots for drivers to stop and savor.
We went counter clockwise on the route, because that’s what coincided with our destinations, but also because we wanted to avoid coming head on with any tour buses. Fortunately we didn’t see a single bus, and overall the road was mostly desolate.
We gave ourselves a few hours to travel at leisure, and this turned into my favorite drive of the trip. If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, the Ring of Kerry is a spot you cannot miss. There are plenty of shops along the way for a snack or a souvenir. We stopped at a few, my favorite being Avoca.
The view from the parking lot of this shop was enough to get me to stop.
I can still see the green rolling hills and smell the sheep. I was driving in my home state a few days ago and was driving behind a truck with multiple bales of hay. The smell immediately took me back to this day, it is a forever memory I will associate with the smell of farm land.
I’ve never loved the smell of animals more.
Travel Tip: Visit Ireland at the end of May/ early June to avoid the masses. This is still early enough in the travel season to not be overwhelmed by tourists, but late enough you can still experience decent weather.
27 thoughts on “The Ring of Kerry”
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This is AMAZING!! I’m drooling over all these wonderful pictures!! so so dramatic!! I love these kind of landscape so much!
I’m drooling too. Forever drooling!
The Ring is one of the great things to see in Ireland. I hope you got to the Cliffs of Moher on a clear day.
Last year we got to spend 7 weeks in Ireland and we’ll never forget it.
I DID get to see the cliffs on a clear day!! 7 weeks sounds absolutely amazing. I see myself doing that soon.
Love, love, love!! Super jealous! Wished I could have made the adventure with you but I’ll settle for the next trip you go on 😉
Girrrrl, I’m going back to Ireland in a heartbeat. You let me know when. 😉
The terrain in your pictures and of course lots of areas in Ireland is much like it is in Scotland so I love to hear about someone being excited about or falling in love with it, it reminds me not to take it for granted and appreciate its beauty! I have been absolutely loving your Ireland recaps!!
THAT is precisely why I MUST visit Scotland. You live in a beautiful area friend!
An Unrefined Vegan
I sound like a broken record, but – – beautiful, beautiful photos. Makes me feel peaceful just looking at them. Must be something about the Irish and sheep :-):
Let me be weak,
Let me sleep
And dream of sheep.
Ooh, their breath is warm
And they smell like sleep,
And they say they take me home.
Like poppies heavy with seed
They take me deeper and deeper. – And Dream of Sheep, Kate Bush (a lovely Irish lass) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_256xd9N27o
LOVEEE this. That song is so soothing! Watched an interview with her because I wanted to hear her speak.
An Unrefined Vegan
Yay!! She’s so incredible. Check out any song on Hounds of Love. Just amazing.
Beautiful. I have fond memories of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula, all of it … I can almost smell the Irish air just from seeing your photos.
I sadly didn’t explore Dingle, but plan to go back for this!
I’m adding this drive along with the California coast to my bucket list.
Ohh count me in for both, I’m moderately close to California. Lol
This place is stunning, but ummm… are the sheep camera shy?
😂 the sheep were not amused by my tourist ways.
The color of that water though…such a unique, magical-looking blue!
It reminded me of Hawaii I was like whaaaaat!?
Ah, gorgeous. Just absolutely gorgeous!
Some of the best landscapes I’ve ever seen. Ever.
Man o Man, THESE PICS! Stunning! -Kat
GAA! I would have been trying to pet all the sheep! LOL! AMAZING VIEWS!!
The sheep were SO AWESOME!!
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