With a resident population of only 15,000 souls, Killarneymight seem an unlikely destination to rank second in popularity among visitorsto Ireland, but there’s far more to this charming town than its welcoming,bustling centre.
The historic and natural attractions of Killarney’shinterland will feature high on any itinerary, and for over 250 years the town hasbeen used as the perfect base for exploring the natural wonders of the ‘Ring ofKerry’: dramatic Irish scenery at its very best on the nearby IveraghPeninsula.
Killarney CentreThe warmth and attraction of Killarneyare apparent as soon as you arrive: the town boasts a beautifully kept,unspoilt centre, with many of the abundant independent shops, restaurants and traditionalpub frontages painted bright colours and bedecked with flowers bursting intobloom.
The signposted Tourist Trail makes for an extremelyconducive amble by day or in the evening one when the legendary ‘craic’ is infull flow – or alternatively hail a local jarvie and take a sightseeing trip onhis horse-drawn jaunting car.
Killarney NationalParkThe town stands on the boundary of the KillarneyNational Park, which is accessible for hikers on foot. Cycles areeasy to hire and regular buses also run up to the classic viewpoints over thetown, lakes and mountains.
You can take a jaunting car 2km via the Demesne publicpark to the LoughLeane shore and Ross Castle, a 15th-century tower and keepbuilt by the O'Donoghue Mór clan. Fromhere you can take a boat trip to Innisfallen– founded in 640 – on its atmospheric island.
A 6km jaunt away, the palatial19th-century MuckrossHouse is the centrepoint of the National Park, featuring periodinteriors, gardens and traditional farms.
The Ring ofKerryTraditionally, Killarneyis the starting point and final destination on the 180km circular Ring of Kerry,celebrated for its unsurpassable, archetypal Irish scenery. It is possible tocomplete the tour by car in around four hours, but this rich landscape truly benefitsfrom a more leisurely exploration, in the time-honoured Irish tradition.
The spectacular PurpleMountain, MangertonMountain and MacGillycuddy'sReeks are the rugged high points, with famous waterfalls, lakes, valleys,inviting-looking islands and picture-postcard villages all plentiful along the windingway.
Sport inKillarneyWhile Killarney is aclassic hiking and biking destination, the Killarney Lakesensure top-class rowing also thrives locally, and the angling in the area isparticularly renowned, not least because the heavenly freshwater KillarneyLakes require no permits.
The lakeside Killarney Golf Clubis a world-class course where it is possible to book a tee time and play for agreen fee, Dr. Crokes is the biggest of the town’s three gaelic football clubsand it also has a hurling side, and Killarney Racecourseis a great Saturday afternoon destination.
Enjoy yourStay in KillarneyWhether you are visiting Killarneyfor a healthy, activity-based break, to enjoy the breathtaking scenery or aweekend of fun in the town’s bars and nightspots, rest assured you will enjoythe finest imaginable choice of hotels, as Killarneyfamously boasts more accommodation than any other Irish destination outside ofDublin!