Best Holiday County

Kerry is a much-loved destination that returning visitors enjoy year on year with Kerry voted as the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards Best Holiday County.

From our awe-inspiring scenery shaped by the landscape to our warm welcome, Kerry has everything you could ask for in a dream destination. Let’s take a tour around Kerry as we show you our award-winning beaches, attractions, accommodation and more! 


Breathtaking Beaches

Kerry’s Wild Atlantic Way Coastline is home to the highest number of Blue Flag Beaches in the country, and host to some of Ireland’s most breath-taking beaches and WAW Signature discovery points. The Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards placed Inch Beach at number 2, Derrynane Beach at number 6, and Ballybunion Beach at number 7 in its Top Ten Beach Category. 


World Famous Stays

It isn’t just our amazing landscapes and beaches that have been drawing attention our way, we’ve been collecting accolades in all the categories which visitors care most about. When it comes to hospitality, Kerry is first in class. 

Perched regally on the shores of Lough Leane, and looking over the mighty MacGillicuddy Reeks, The Europe Hotel claimed the prestigious title of ‘Supreme Winner’ of the Virgin Media Gold Medal Awards, marking it as the Best Hotel in Ireland, just months after Condé Nast ranked it in the Top 10 Hotels in Europe. 

Number one in Ireland and top ten in Europe is no small feat, but here in Kerry, it’s the norm.

The accolades for hospitality in Kerry show throughout these various awards categories. Sitting at the foot of Carrauntoohil, The Dunloe Hotel secured 4th place in the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards Top 10 Hotels, as well as a Silver Medal for Dining at their esteemed restaurant in the Virgin Media Gold Awards. 

The Killarney Park Hotel also features in the list of Ireland’s Top 10 Hotels as voted by the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards, and Pax House in Dingle wins out as the best small stay in Ireland. 

With our beaches, hotels, dining options and attractions featuring so prominently across these visitor and industry awards, it is no wonder that so many people flock to Kerry for a getaway each year!


Pax House

If there is one place that embodies the serenity and physical beauty of Dingle, it’s the…

World Class Food

Culinary triumphs for Kerry once again showcase the range of dining options and quality of food product at The Virgin Media Gold Awards with The Park Hotel in Kenmare and The Dunloe Hotel both taking medals in the Best 5 Star Dining Hotel Restaurant category and O’Donoghue’s Bar at The Towers Hotel in Killarney took 1st place in the Best Casual Dining Award. Castlewood House was runner up in the Best Hotel Breakfast and Killarney Royal Hotel were runner up in the Best Afternoon Tea category.


There genuinely is a magical aura surrounding this corner of Ireland. From our mist-draped mountains and award-winning beaches, to our charming streets and award winning stays, the Kerry experience is rivalled by few.

Most recently, the CIE Tours Annual Awards recognised Kerry’s hotels and visitor attractions, highlighting the warm Kerry hospitality on offer throughout the county, as well as the distinct heritage of Kerry through some of our most iconic places to visit. Congratulations to the Ballygarry Estate Hotel & Spa, Great Southern Hotel, Killarney Plaza, The Brehon, Killarney Avenue Hotel, Tangney Tours, Killarney Horse & Carriage Tours, Tom Crean South Pole Inn, The Blasket Centre / Ionad an Bhlascaoid and John B. Keane’s bar.


As awards season continues we also wish to give a special mention to a few other Kerry based award winners. The Killarney Coffee Cup Project also picked up the Independents Green Light Judges Award for their campaign to free Killarney from coffee based waste. The campaign is estimated to over a million coffee cups a year from going to landfills in the area. Kerry’s artistic side has also been hailed recently.

Valerie O’Sullivan took second place in the Multi-Media Category of Press Photographers Ireland Annual Awards for her amazing work on “In Search of the Elusive Cuckoo” which was filmed in the Killarney National Park. “A Different View” has been selected for the Chicago Irish Film Festival 2024 shorts programme. This short film was developed within the Reeks District area of Kerry, with the support of South Kerry Development Partnership & Leader funding. The festival’s theme is ‘films from the land of storytelling’ and this short does just that, exploring the stories of people living and working in the county. 


Whether you’re looking for your next great adventure on our coast or mountains, sanctuary in our National Parks or for the best place to spend St. Patrick’s Day, Kerry is the place for you. 

Discover Kerry – where every award-winning moment awaits!