Ireland’s Ring of Kerry is a soothing drive along the Iveragh Peninsula in Southwest Ireland. The road stretches 96 miles and takes only three hours to complete without any stopping, but you’ll be stopping…a lot. There also tends to be tour bus traffic causing delay. To fully enjoy this road trip, you’ll want to know when, where, and how, to see the many sights ahead. This itinerary will help you with just that! There are many travel reviews of completing the Ring of Kerry in one day, but doing this is rushing for sure. If you are interested in seeing the Ring of Kerry in one day, check out this itinerary here!
What to Bring What to Know Where to Stay
Day 1: Arrival
There are lot’s of great Road Trips you could have picked, but you picked the Ring of Kerry! This makes for a great entire vacation/long weekend or even can be rushed and done in one trip. Rent a car from Cork and at the airport, there will be places to rent then drive the 90 miles to Kerry and start your adventure!
- Arrive at the Cork airport and rent your car
Day 2: A Day Outside
When embarking on the Ring of Kerry, you’ll want to rent a car from Cork and drive to Killarney to start the road trip. There is a lot to see on the first leg of the trip; so waking up early is a must.
- SOD – 9:00: Begin the road trip by strolling through downtown Killarney. This small town is a great place for a power breakfast and some morning beer… ya know, since you’re in Ireland
- 9:06 – 10:15: When in Ireland you’ve got to get your castles in! On the Ring of Kerry there are a couple you’ll see, but firstly check out the cool Ross Castle
- 10:28 – 12:00: The beautiful and historic 19th century Muckross House and Gardens are a great place to spend some time to relax. On its grounds are a tour of the interior, shops, and a café
- 12:13 – 13:00: For all the nature lovers, the Torc Waterfall will be right up your alley! Its undisturbed flow is a perfect example of nature at it’s best
- 13:06 – 17:30: Through this is a road trip, you’ll want to get out of the car and stretch those legs, and the Killarney National Park is a perfect place to do that. You may hike through the woods exploring on your own, or follow paths such as the Muckross Lake Loop or Torc Waterfall loop
- 17:04 – 18:00: One of the most famous views on the Ring of Kerry is the Ladies View. Stopping here will unveil a picture perfect area of open fields, mountains, and the special Ireland sky
- 18:06 – 19:15: Not too far away from the Ladies View is another notable sight. The Molls Gap is a popular area for people to pull over and take pictures
- 19:27 – EOD: Spend the night in the cutest little town of Kenmare, this town is friendly and colorful and will have inns to spend the night in
Day 3: Living on the Edge
Driving out of the woods and into the coastal areas of the Peninsula you’ll be astounded by the beauty of sights such as the town of Sneem and the Derrynane beach.
- SOD – 10:00: You may grab a quick bite as you depart Kenmare, but keep in mind the next stop is another town, so you’ll be able to grab a meal there
- 10:30 – 12:30: There’s no need to wake up as early as yesterday for day three, but depending on how much time you’ll want to spend at the pretty little town of Sneem, budgeting your time wisely is important. Sneem will have many great cafes and restaurants for a late breakfast or early lunch
- 12:54 – 14:15: Run up to the monstrous Staigue Stone Fort. This sturdy stone fort is thought to have been built in the late Iron Age somewhere between 300 and 400 AD. Back in those times, the fort would have protected an entire society from outside threats
- 14:35 – 18:00: If the weather is nice you could go for a swim at the glorious Derrynane Beach and while you’re there see the Derrynane house. Both are a crucial part of the Ring of Kerry experience
- If you’re making good time, have an evening snack at Skelligs Chocolate. This store closes at 17:00
- 18:44 – 18:44: Drive over to Portmagee to take the free Portmagee bridge into Valentia Island
- 18:49 – EOD: There are some inns on Valentia Island, which is where you’ll be spending the night
Day 4: Town after Town
On the final day of your Ring of Kerry Road Trip, you’ll be bouncing around from town to town and seeing another mighty castle.
- SOD – 13:00: Rise and Shine! Spend the morning on day four exploring Valentia Island. On the island there are hikes on the Geokaun cliffs, you can visit the Valentia Lighthouse, or go to the Skellig Experience Museum
- 13:00 – 14:30: Enjoy the next town of Cahersiveen, this is a popular town on the Ring of Kerry and is a great area to get out and walk
- 14:38 – 16:00: Another one of Ireland’s scenic castles is the Ballycarbery Castle. This moss-covered castle may seem a bit underwhelming but it’s remains make for great pictures as it stands on top of its little hill overlooking miles of open land. Sometimes there may be cows grazing on its land
- 16:36 – 18:30: This next sight may trick you into thinking you’ve gone somewhere in the Caribbean, but nope it’s just amazing Ireland! hang out on the Rossbeigh beach. This beach is emasculate with clear blue water and a backdrop of the greenest rolling mountains
- 18:52 – EOD: Last stop Killorglin! The final town and sight of the Ring of Kerry is the town of Killorglin, this is a lively area that is a mix of residents and tourists. Here you’ll find bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, and more