Welcome to Kerry
KERRY has been named among the top 10 travel destinations you need to visit before you die.
Maybe it’s the gorgeous coastline, picturesque scenery or wealth of heritage sites but Kerry has never been more popular. Further proof of that comes courtesy of global travel website Big 7 Travel’s countdown of the Top 50 Bucket List Destinations
With a rich history, delicious food, and unique wildlife, Kerry offers experiences for any traveller. Learn what makes Kerry the best, and start planning your next trip.
It’s said in Kerry that, “There are only two kingdoms, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Kerry.”
Kerry faces the Atlantic Ocean and, typically for an Atlantic coastal region, features many peninsulas and inlets. The county is bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and on the north by the River Shannon. The Ring of Kerry on the Iveragh Peninsula is a popular route for tourists and cyclists. The pedestrian version is the scenic Kerry Way which follows ancient paths generally higher than that adopted by the Ring of Kerry.
County Kerry’s Irish motto, “Comhar, Cabhair, Cairdeas,” translates to “Cooperation, Help, and Friendship.”
The blue and white mountains in the center of the County Kerry crest symbolize Kerry’s mountains – the highest in Ireland. The crown at the top stands for the Ciarraige, the pre-Gaelic people who gave their name to the county. The crosses on either side of it represent the monasteries of Ardfert and Aghadoe. The boat represents St. Brendan the Navigator, who is said to have discovered America long before Columbus did.
Kerry contains two of the three highest mountains in Ireland, Carrauntoohil, part of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks range and Mount Brandon, part of the Slieve Mish range.
The Lakes of Killarney are a celebrated Kerry landmark, and have been renowned for their beauty for centuries. They consist of three lakes all within the Killarney National Park – Lough Leane, Muckross Lake also known as the Middle Lake and Upper Lake as situated near Killarney, County Kerry. The area around the lakes itself is rich in both natural and cultural history.
Just off Kerry’s coast are a number of islands, including the Blasket Islands, Valentia Island and the Skelligs. Skellig Michael is a World Heritage Site, famous for the medieval monastery clinging to the island’s cliffs. Kerry contains the extreme west point of Ireland Dunmore Head on the Dingle Peninsula, or including islands, Tearaght Island, part of the Blaskets. The most westerly inhabited area of Ireland is Dunquin, on the Dingle Peninsula. The River Feale, the River Laune and the Roughty River flow through Kerry, into the Atlantic.
The North Atlantic Current, part of the Gulf Stream, flows north by Kerry and the west coast of Ireland, resulting in milder temperatures than would otherwise be expected at the 52 North latitude. This means that subtropical plants such as the strawberry tree and tree ferns, not normally found in Northern Europe, thrive in the area. There are a number of gardens in the county, open to visitors
County Kerry contains some of Ireland's most iconic scenery: surf-pounded sea cliffs and soft golden strands, emerald-green farmland criss-crossed by tumbledown stone walls, mist-shrouded bogs and cloud-torn mountain peaks.
With one of the country's finest national parks as its backyard, the lively tourism hub of Killarney spills over with colourful shops, restaurants and pubs loud with spirited trad music. The town is the jumping-off point for Kerry's two famed loop drives: the larger Ring of Kerry skirts the mountainous, island-fringed Iveragh Peninsula. The more compact Dingle Peninsula is like a condensed version of its southern neighbour, with ancient prehistoric ring forts and beehive huts, Christian sites, sandy beaches and glimpses of a hard, unforgiving land.
Kerry's exquisite beauty makes it one of Ireland's most popular tourist destinations. But if you need to escape from the crowds, there's always a mountain pass, an isolated cove or an untrodden trail to discover.