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9 Must-Visit Attractions in County Kerry

Rural County Kerry is home to stunning natural sites like the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula and the Skellig Islands. It’s also famous for Neolithic monuments, medieval castles, quirky museums and – allegedly – the world’s oldest footprints. If you’re planning a road trip around Ireland, then this great, green county is a must. Here are 10 must-visit attractions in Kerry.

Skellig Michael

A jagged, difficult-to-access island off the Kerry shoreline, Skellig Michael was once an isolated hermitage and is now almost as well known for its core role in two recent Star Wars movies. To get there, you’ll need good summer weather and your climbing legs, but toiling amid the puffins is well worth it for the rustic housing and glorious views.
Muckross House
Muckross House built in 1843, Now the Kerry Folklife Centre, Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland
A rural estate that’s home to horse-pulled jaunting cars, fantastic gardens, lake views and craft stores, Muckross House will give you a glimpse into luxurious 18th-century life at this fantastic, manicured throwback.
Dingle

This Kerry gem is the kind of place you’ll want to drive around aimlessly – its quiet coastal roads are just that beautiful. You might also want to check out the astonishing dual-use pubs (think hardware store or bicycle rental shop and watering hole), an impressive local cheese store and the famous Murphy’s Ice Cream. To meet Dingle’s most famous resident, however, you’ll need to head out on a boat tour of Dingle Bay, where Fungie the Irish dolphin plays to the crowds. You can even swim with him if you like, and if he doesn’t show up, you don’t pay.

 

Carrauntoohil

The highest peak of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range, Carrauntoohil is a challenging climb for intermediate-level hikers. It rises to just over 1,000m (3,280ft) via the dramatic, slippery Devil’s Ladder. At its peak, you’ll find a huge iron cross and spectacular views across the Kerry countryside.
The Ring of Kerry
Not so much a single site as an entire circuit of rugged, rural beauty, this is the one tour you’ll have thrown at you consistently if you drop in on Kerry. The Ring takes you around the Iveragh Peninsula, past a host of gorgeous Atlantic views, quaint towns and tiny, enticing (but cold) beaches. If you can go under your own steam, do.
Ross Castle
A 15th-century lakeside castle in Killarney National Park, Ross Castle gives a taste of rural life centuries ago with its old-world charm. The stark structure contrasts nicely with the gentle lake before it, and when it’s lit up at night, the castle is quite a sight to behold.
Blasket Islands
More uninhabited islands mean more great opportunities for exploration. The Blasket Islands once had a thriving Irish-speaking population, but they were evacuated due to harsh Atlantic conditions in the ’50s. Jokingly called “next parish America”, this spot is as “battered west coast” as you can hope to see. There’s beauty in that.
Inch Beach
A poorly named spot if ever there was one, Inch Beach is a huge, sandy bar stretching between two hilly peaks. It’s a relatively isolated rural spot that’s perfect for those looking for some proper Kerry isolation. You’ll have to be brave to swim here, given the local weather, but yes, you should do it anyway.
Mount Brandon
The walk to Mount Brandon from the coast is one of a number of walks that now make up the Irish Camino, where you’ll find trails even older than the Spanish equivalent. If you’re ambitious about hill walking, we’d highly recommend the Cosán Na Naomh as an approach to the 953m (3,127ft) peak, an enticing challenge on Ireland’s ninth-highest hill.
Source: Culture Trip
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