12 Unique Things to Do in County Kerry, Ireland

by Flora
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Planning a trip to the enchanting County Kerry, Ireland? Get ready to explore some of the most unique and unforgettable activities this stunning region has to offer. From breathtaking landscapes to rich cultural experiences, County Kerry is brimming with one-of-a-kind adventures that promise to make your journey truly memorable.

If you’re looking for a place that’s bursting with breathtaking landscapes and heartwarming culture, let me introduce you to County Kerry. I truly believe this is Ireland’s hidden gem, where the magic of the Emerald Isle truly comes to life.

In County Kerry, every day is an opportunity for a new discovery. If you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or just in search of a peaceful escape, there are beautiful places to visit in Kerry for everyone. This makes it one of the best areas to live in Ireland, particularly for those who cherish a connection with nature.

From the moment you set foot in this captivating land, you’ll feel the warmth of Irish hospitality and the allure of its ancient landscapes. So, let’s get ready to explore the best things to do in County Kerry. I promise that this journey will be one for the books!

Here's all the best things to do in County Kerry that you should know about.

County Kerry’s Unique Attractions & Sights

Eager to uncover the most unique things to do in Kerry? From the mystical Skellig Michael to the lively streets of Dingle, County Kerry is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences.

Whether you’re hiking the scenic Kerry Way or stargazing at the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve, there’s a unique adventure waiting for every traveler. Here’s your ultimate guide to the top attractions in County Kerry. Let’s dive in!

1. Visit Skellig Michael

Have you ever dreamed of stepping into a scene straight out of a fantasy movie? Well, Skellig Michael is that dream come to life! This UNESCO World Heritage Site, off the coast of County Kerry, is an absolute must-visit. Take it from me, the experience is as unique as it gets.

Climbing the ancient stone steps of Skellig Michael, you’ll feel like you’re ascending into another world. The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking. You’re surrounded by the vast Atlantic, with waves crashing against rugged cliffs – it’s a scene you’ll remember forever.

The journey to Skellig Michael is an adventure in itself, frequently enhanced by the company of playful dolphins!
The journey to Skellig Michael is an adventure in itself, frequently enhanced by the company of playful dolphins!

Here’s a tip: make sure to book your boat trip in advance, as this is one of the best County Kerry attractions and spots are limited. The journey to the island itself is an adventure, often accompanied by friendly dolphins!

Once you reach the summit, you’re not just rewarded with stunning views. The remains of an old monastic settlement whisper tales of a bygone era. It’s like walking through a living history book. And if you’re a fan of seabirds, the puffins here are as charming as they are photogenic.

So, pack your camera and a sense of adventure for Skellig Michael. Prepare for a journey into the heart of Ireland’s mystical past!

2. Stargaze in Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve

Get ready for a celestial adventure at the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve! This place is a stargazer’s paradise, and I can personally vouch for the awe-inspiring experience. Imagine a night sky so clear, you feel like you can touch the stars!

As one of the few places in the world with this prestigious designation, the Dark Sky Reserve offers some of the best astronomical views you’ll find anywhere. Bring a cozy blanket, a warm drink, and let the cosmos do the rest. The constellations here are so vivid, it’s like watching a high-definition movie, but in real life!

In Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve, stargazing is a magical nighttime activity, ranking among the county's most enchanting experiences.
In Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve, stargazing is a magical nighttime activity, ranking among the county’s most enchanting experiences.

For those who love photography, this is your playground. Capturing the Milky Way in all its glory is a memory you’ll cherish forever. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a shooting star.

This experience is one of the most magical things to do at night in County Kerry. Whether you’re an avid astronomer or just looking for a peaceful evening under the stars, the Dark Sky Reserve is a unique and unforgettable stop on your Kerry journey.

3. Drive the Ring of Kerry

If there’s one drive in the world that you absolutely must experience, it’s the Ring of Kerry. It’s one of the most iconic and often-cited scenic spots along the Wild Atlantic Way. This scenic route is a feast for the eyes and the soul. I recommend setting aside a full day for this journey because you’re going to want to stop – a lot!

Winding through 179 kilometers of coastal beauty, the Ring of Kerry offers views that are nothing short of majestic. From rugged cliffs to sweeping beaches and quaint villages, each turn brings a new, breathtaking scene. It’s a photographer’s dream and a nature lover’s paradise.

Driving the Ring of Kerry is a journey through Ireland's heart, revealing natural beauty and creating unforgettable moments.
Driving the Ring of Kerry is a journey through Ireland’s heart, revealing natural beauty and creating unforgettable moments.

One of my favorite stops is the charming town of Kenmare. It’s a perfect spot for a lunch break, with delightful cafes and artisan shops. For history enthusiasts, the ancient stone forts along the route are a must-see.

Driving the Ring of Kerry is more than just a road trip. It’s one of the most fun things to do in County Kerry. It’s a journey through the heart of Ireland’s natural beauty, filled with moments that you’ll treasure forever.

4. Hike the Kerry Way

Hiking enthusiasts, this one’s for you! The Kerry Way is a trail that promises not just a walk, but an epic journey through some of Ireland’s most stunning landscapes. I’ve trekked many paths, but this one? It’s in a league of its own.

Spanning about 200 kilometers, the Kerry Way weaves through lush forests, serene lakes, and rolling hills. It’s a more tranquil alternative to the bustling Ring of Kerry, offering a peaceful immersion into nature. Each step on this trail is a moment to savor the unspoiled beauty of County Kerry.

The Kerry Way is not just a walk but an epic journey through Ireland's stunning landscapes.
The Kerry Way is not just a walk but an epic journey through Ireland’s stunning landscapes.

For a truly memorable experience, I recommend the section from Glenbeigh to Cahersiveen. The views of the Atlantic Ocean from here are phenomenal! Don’t forget to pack a good camera. The landscapes you’ll encounter are the kind that you’ll want to capture and remember forever.

Without a doubt, hiking the Kerry Way is one of the coolest things to do in County Kerry. If you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, this trail offers something special for everyone.

5. Explore the Dingle Peninsula

Exploring the Dingle Peninsula is like stepping into a vibrant postcard. This area is a kaleidoscope of scenic beauty, cultural richness, and marine life. It’s one of the best places to visit in County Kerry that you simply can’t miss.

Driving around the peninsula, you’ll be greeted with stunning seascapes, ancient ruins, and colorful villages. Dingle town, in particular, is a delight with its bustling harbor, quaint shops, and friendly locals. I recommend trying some fresh seafood here – it’s as delicious as it gets!

Dingle Peninsula unfolds the epitome of Irish charm and natural beauty, creating an enchanting and picturesque experience.
Dingle Peninsula unfolds the epitome of Irish charm and natural beauty, creating an enchanting and picturesque experience.

For a unique experience, take a boat tour to see Fungie, the famous Dingle dolphin. It’s a joy to watch him play in the waters! And if you’re into hiking, the trails leading up to Eask Tower offer some of the most spectacular views of the Atlantic.

One of Kerry’s best places, the Dingle Peninsula showcases the best of Irish charm and natural splendor.

6. Visit the Gap of Dunloe

The Gap of Dunloe is a journey through a landscape so magical, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale! This narrow mountain pass, with its towering cliffs and sparkling lakes, is one of those fun places to go in County Kerry that you’ll talk about for years.

I recommend exploring the Gap on foot or by horse-drawn jaunting car. It’s a serene way to take in the stunning scenery. The winding path, with its dramatic views, is perfect for those who love photography or simply appreciate nature’s artistry.

Explore the Gap of Dunloe—a captivating fusion of natural wonder and local folklore, essential for your County Kerry adventure.
Explore the Gap of Dunloe—a captivating fusion of natural wonder and local folklore, essential for your County Kerry adventure.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the Wishing Bridge – legend says your wishes come true when you cross it! For a refreshing break, stop by one of the quaint tea houses along the route. Trust me, sipping a hot cup of tea surrounded by such beauty is an experience in itself.

So, if you’re wondering where to go in Kerry, you’ve got to check out the Gap of Dunloe. It’s a unique blend of natural wonder and local folklore, which is a must-visit spot in your County Kerry adventure.

7. See the Puffins on the Skellig Islands

​​Visiting the Skellig Islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially for wildlife enthusiasts. These rocky islands are not only steeped in history but are also home to one of the cutest birds – puffins. Seeing these colorful creatures is definitely one of the most unique things to do in Kerry.

The best time to visit is during the summer months when the puffins come ashore to breed. They’re surprisingly friendly and don’t mind posing for a photo or two! I recommend bringing binoculars for a closer look at their daily antics.

Board a boat for an awe-inspiring journey to the Skellig Islands, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Board a boat for an awe-inspiring journey to the Skellig Islands, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Besides puffins, the islands are a sanctuary for various seabirds. As such, it’s a paradise for birdwatchers. And let’s not forget the historical significance of Skellig Michael, which you can explore while you’re there.

Hop on a boat and get ready for an unforgettable trip to the Skellig Islands. Believe me, the combination of captivating wildlife and ancient history is something you don’t want to miss!

8. Hike Mount Brandon

For anyone wondering what to do in County Kerry, I highly recommend hiking Mount Brandon. It’s an adventure that’s as rewarding as it is breathtaking. As one of the highest peaks in Ireland, it offers some of the most spectacular views in Kerry. For those who love a good hike, this is a must-do!

The trail to the summit is well-marked and offers varying landscapes, from rolling hills to rocky paths. The ascent is a bit challenging, but trust me, the panoramic views from the top are worth every step. On a clear day, you can see across the entire peninsula!

Ascending Mount Brandon's summit is a unique and top-tier activity for nature lovers in County Kerry.
Ascending Mount Brandon’s summit is a unique and top-tier activity for nature lovers in County Kerry.

I recommend starting your hike early in the morning to enjoy the tranquility and the soft morning light. Don’t forget to pack water, snacks, and a good camera. The photo opportunities are endless!

Reaching the summit of Mount Brandon is a truly unique experience and one of the best County Kerry things to do for nature lovers. The sense of accomplishment coupled with the stunning scenery will leave you in awe.

9. Take a Boat Tour of the Lakes of Killarney

Exploring the Lakes of Killarney by boat is an experience that truly captures the essence of County Kerry’s natural beauty, and the best way to do this is with Killarney Lake Tours. Their tours offer a unique perspective of the lakes’ tranquil landscapes and reflecting waters.

Set sail from the 15th-century Ross Castle aboard the MV Pride of the Lakes. This comfortable, covered, and heated vessel is perfect for enjoying the scenery, which ranges from the peaks of Magillycuddy’s Reeks to the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey. Keep an eye out for eagles or sika deer, and enjoy the live commentary that brings the landscape to life.

Experience a serene nature escape with Killarney Lake Tours—among the coolest experiences in Kerry. | Image Credits: Irish Adventures Tripadvisor
Experience a serene nature escape with Killarney Lake Tours—among the coolest experiences in Kerry. | Image Credits: Irish Adventures Tripadvisor

For a comprehensive experience, I recommend their combination tour, which includes a cruise and a traditional Jaunting Car ride through Killarney National Park. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the park’s beauty and learn about its history and wildlife.

With multiple departures daily, it’s easy to fit one of these tours into your Kerry itinerary. Whether you’re looking for a romantic outing or a peaceful escape into nature, a boat tour with Killarney Lake Tours is one of the coolest experiences in Kerry.

10. Attend a Gaelic Football Match in Killarney

Experiencing a Gaelic football match in Killarney is a must-do for anyone wanting to dive into Irish culture! It’s one of the most fun things to do in Kerry that gives you a real taste of local passion and pride.

Gaelic football, a unique blend of soccer, rugby, and basketball, is a thrilling sport to watch. The energy at a match in Killarney is electric. The locals are incredibly passionate about their teams, and the atmosphere is contagious. Even if you’re new to the sport, you’ll quickly get swept up in the excitement.

Gaelic football in Kerry is an exhilarating piece of authentic Irish culture | Image Credits: Killarney Club7s
Gaelic football in Kerry is an exhilarating piece of authentic Irish culture | Image Credits: Killarney Club7s

I recommend checking the schedule for matches at Fitzgerald Stadium. Grabbing a ticket is easy, and trust me, it’s an experience you won’t forget. You’ll be cheering along with the locals in no time!

Attending a Gaelic football match isn’t just about the sport. It’s about experiencing a piece of Irish culture that’s both exhilarating and authentic. Don’t miss this unique opportunity when you’re in County Kerry!

11. Embark on a Ghost Tour

For a spine-tingling experience, join the Killarney Celtic Mysteries Ghost Tour by Letz Go City Tours. This tour is one of the most unique County Kerry activities and offers an evening filled with frights and delights!

The tour takes you through some of Killarney’s darker attractions, including the town’s medieval streets and the haunted 15th-century Ross Castle. It’s the only tour of its kind in Killarney, led by a local guide who masterfully blends history, folklore, and stories of Ireland’s dark side.

For a unique perspective on Killarney, a ghost tour promises an intriguing experience. | Image Credits: Letz Go City Tours
For a unique perspective on Killarney, a ghost tour promises an intriguing experience. | Image Credits: Letz Go City Tours

You’ll explore the eerie side of Ireland, which famously inspired the feast that led to what we now call Halloween. The mix of bumps, scares, and storytelling makes this a truly unforgettable experience. Tours run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 8:30 PM, lasting for 2 hours of ghostly exploration.

I recommend this tour for anyone looking to experience a different side of Killarney. Believe me, it’s a night you won’t soon forget!

12. Enjoy Traditional Irish Music in a Local Pub

Ending your day in County Kerry with traditional Irish music in a local pub is the perfect way to soak in the true Irish spirit! It’s one of the most unique County Kerry activities that really connects you with the heart and soul of Ireland.

Picture this: a cozy pub filled with the sounds of fiddles, flutes, and friendly chatter. The musicians often sit right among the patrons, making the experience intimate and authentic. I recommend joining in the fun at John M. Reidy in Killarney. One of the best pubs in Kerry, this establishment is known for its lively music scene.

Immerse yourself with an Irish spirit by concluding your day in County Kerry with traditional music at a local pub.
Immerse yourself with an Irish spirit by concluding your day in County Kerry with traditional music at a local pub.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself tapping your feet or even joining in a sing-along. The atmosphere in these pubs is incredibly welcoming, and the music is absolutely infectious. It’s a communal experience where locals and visitors come together to share in the joy of music.

Enjoying a night of traditional Irish music is a fantastic way to experience the vibrant culture and warm hospitality that County Kerry is known for. Trust me, it’s the perfect ending to your Kerry adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in County Kerry

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Kerry? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to County Kerry.

What is the most scenic part of Kerry?

In my opinion, the most scenic part of Kerry has to be the Dingle Peninsula. The drive around Slea Head offers stunning ocean views, ancient landscapes, and charming villages. Every turn reveals a postcard-worthy scene. Don’t miss the view from Conor Pass – it’s breathtaking!

What is County Kerry famous for?

County Kerry is famous for its incredible landscapes, like the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. It’s also known for the Skellig Islands, especially Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The county’s rich history, vibrant music scene, and Gaelic football are also big draws.

Kerry stands out as one of Ireland's most charming locations, particularly for nature and history enthusiasts.
Kerry stands out as one of Ireland’s most charming locations, particularly for nature and history enthusiasts.

How long does it take to drive the Ring of Kerry?

To drive the Ring of Kerry comfortably, set aside a full day. It’s about 179 kilometers long and takes roughly 3.5 to 4 hours without stops. But trust me, you’ll want to stop often for photos, walks, and to enjoy towns like Kenmare and Killarney.

Is Kerry the nicest place in Ireland?

Kerry is definitely one of the nicest places in Ireland, especially if you love nature and history. Its combination of scenic drives, historical sites, and cultural experiences make it a top destination. Ireland boasts some of the best spa hotels that promise an experience like no other. However, ‘nicest’ is subjective – Ireland has many beautiful regions!

What to do on a rainy day in Kerry?

Rainy days are perfect for exploring Kerry’s indoor attractions. Visit the Kerry County Museum or the Muckross House in Killarney. Enjoy a cozy afternoon in a traditional pub with live music, or relax in one of the local cafés with a good book and some Irish coffee.

What are the best things to do in County Kerry for families?

For families, I recommend visiting the Killarney National Park for its beautiful landscapes and wildlife. The Aquarium in Dingle is great for kids, and a boat tour to see Fungie, the Dingle Dolphin, is always a hit. Don’t miss the chance for a fun jaunting car ride in Killarney!

The top things to do in County Kerry for all types of travelers
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