Explore the beautiful surroundings of Co. Kerry on daily guided and self-guided ride outs. Discover the breathtaking Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head both of which from sections of the Wild Atlantic Way driving route along Ireland’s west coast. Create your own routes and venture through Kerry’s exciting landscapes.
The Ring of Kerry is world renowned and rightly so. It is a 110 mile route, which begins at the Bike Village, travels around the Iveragh Peninsula and weaves its way back into Killarney again. As you zoom around on your motorcycle spare a thought for the thousands cyclists that pedal this entire route every July for charity. The Ring of Kerry has it all – Atlantic views, cliffs, mountains, rivers, lakes and beautiful sandy beaches. Picturesque villages like Sneem and Waterville and charming towns like Kenmare and Caherciveen are dotted along the route. The highlight is undoubtedly the unsurpassed panoramic views of Killarney’s Lakes from Moll’s Gap and Ladies View.
Dingle and Slea Head
Carved by centuries of pounding Atlantic waves The Dingle Peninsula is a geological masterpiece. Awesome cliffs swoop down onto unspoilt sandy beaches, ancient sites and early Christian dwellings lend an air of mystery to the breathtaking touring route which traverses the Dingle Peninsula. Travel via Milltown and Castlemaine to the beach and sand hills of Inch, then continue along the coast to Dingle town – home to Ireland’s famous bottlenose dolphin Fungie. Leave Dingle behind and travel on to Ventry which lies at the heart of the West Kerry Gaeltacht. Next stop Slea Head – Europe’s most westerly point, with sweeping views of the Blasket Islands and Mount Brandon. Return home via Annascaul and the Vale of Tralee. This incredible route will bring you to areas steeped in culture, tradition and literature.
1. Seven Ages – Art Collection, Killorglin, Co. Kerry
This ‘Seven Ages’ collection of art works by the world renowned artist Pauline Bewick. This is one of Kerry’s most exciting Cultural treasures, is a permanent art exhibition and is Internationally unique – no other artist has the range and depth of works which explore seven decades of an artist’s and a woman’s life. On turning 70 years in 2005, Pauline decided to donate her master collection to the State which former Irish President Mary McAleese described as ‘one of the loveliest acts of generosity ever given to our nation’. Part of her vast collection, representing the first seven decades of her life to date, are permanently exhibited in Killorglin. Pauline Bewick has drawn much inspiration from her Kerry surroundings and from Irish life and mythology.
Pauline Bewick ‘Seven Ages’ Permanent Exhibition, Library building, Library Place, Killorglin Town Centre, Co. Kerry
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm
Open: All Year
Groups: Suitable for small groups only – Street parking
Admission Fee: Free of Charge
2. Kerry Bog Village
Kerry Bog Village gives you a fascinating insight into how people lived and worked in Ireland in the 18th Century. The village is the only one of its kind in Ireland. With coach parking a restaurant and bar
Why not visit the old Blacksmiths forge or the Turf Cutters Hut.
See the thatched houses a memory of olden times….
3. Horse Riding on Rossbeigh Beach, Rossbeigh (Near Glenbeigh on the Ring of Kerry)
This is an experience not to be missed! Galloping on horseback along the 7 miles of Rossbeigh
beach, close to the waters edge with the spray from the Wild Atlantic Ocean in your face.
This is an experience riders of all levels will never forget. Rossbeigh is also a beautiful,
European designated Blue Flag Beach.
Contact: Gerard Burke
Email: Via website
Tel: +353 (0)87 2379110
Groups: Small Groups
4. Kells Gardens, Kells, Co. Kerry
Kells Bay Gardens cover just over 17 hectares of varying terrain, in a short V-shaped valley on the northern slopes of the Iveragh Peninsula, overlooking Dingle Bay. The gardens contain one of the finest collections of southern hemisphere plants in Europe, originally assembled from Australia, but more recently from New Zealand and South America.
There are over 3 kilometres of walking routes, which are graded.
During the visit, guests can stop into the conservatory café or the Sala Thai restaurant.
There is all year round interest for all of the family with our dinosaurs dotted around the Red walk.
Contact: Bill Alexander
Tel: +353 (0)66 9477975 +353 (0) 87 7776666
Open: All Year (Except for January)
Groups: Small coach access only – narrow road but parking provided
There is no subscription charge to those who wish to just avail of the Conservatory Café and Plant Sales.
5. The Old Barracks, Cahersiveen
The Old Barracks Heritage Centre exhibition is situated in a former Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks overlooking the river and Cahersiveen Marina. The exhibition features items of local history, archaeology, flora and fauna, the Fenian Rising and on local hero Daniel O’Connell.
Republic of Ireland
6. White Strand Beach and Historical Sites, Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry
White Strand is an extensive sandy beach located just 3 miles (5KM) outside Cahersiveen town. Cross the bridge near the old RIC Barrracks or ‘over the water’ as they say locally. Located in a designated Natural Heritage Area (NHA) White Strand is also a Blue Flag Beach. Nearby there are many historical sites nearby such as Ballycarbery Castle a magnificent 15th Century the stronghold of McCarthy Mór a local chieftain, the Castle is in a magnificent setting. There are also two impressive dry stone forts nearby, Cahergal and Lecanabuaile Stone Forts.
Groups: Accessible by small coach only
7. Valentia Transatlantic Cable Station, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry
Prior to the laying of the Transatlantic Cable it took approximately two weeks from a message to reach North America from Europe… weather permitting as all communications were sent via boat.
The idea of a transatlantic cable was first proposed in 1845, but the distances and depths presented formidable problems. In 1856 the Atlantic Telegraph Company was registered with a capital of £350,000 (then about $1,400,000).
The First Cable:The manufacture of the cable started in early 1857 and was completed in June.. It took five attempts to make the connection. On the 5th of August 1858 both ships reached their destinations – Valentia Harbour in Ireland and Trinity Bay in Newfoundland. The two continents were joined.
On 16 August 1858 communication was established with the message “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will to men.” It is interesting to note that even though later cables could carry large numbers of signals at the same time, it was not until the 1960s that the first communication satellites offered a serious alternative to the cable when in 1966 the Transatlantic Cable Station closed its doors for the last time.
There is further information available about the Valentia Transatlantic cable from;
Valentia Island Heritage Centre, School Road, Knightstown, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry
Tel: +353 (0)66 947 6411
Open: Open 1st April to 30th September (other times by arrangement)
Groups: Can take small groups. Group rates available
8. Valentia Island Lighthouse tours at Cromwell Point , Valentia Island, Co. Kerry
Valentia lighthouse at Cromwell Point is maintained by the Commissioners of Irish Lights and is a harbour light to guide vessels from the sea and lead them through the northern entrance of Valentia Harbour past Harbour Rock.
The site of the Cromwell Point Lighthouse was originally home to a Cromwell Feetwood Fort believed to have been built in the 16th century which was one of two built on Valentia Island around this time.
The first light for Cromwell Point was originally applied for on 30 March 1828 by the Right Honorary Maurice Fitzgerald, Knight of Kerry. Work commenced on the lighthouse ten years later in 1838, the light was first exhibited on 1 February 1841. Since November 1947 the light has been automated.
Contact: Joanne Cahill
Tel: +353 (0)66 947 6985
Open: Open Easter to end of September and Weekends for October (always consult website below to check opening times)
Admission Fees: Fees apply –Tour available
9. Skelligs Chocolate Factory – Visitor Centre, St. Finian’s Bay, Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry
Love chocolate? you can’t afford to miss it! Café and full shop available, chocolate can be purchased from the retail area where visitors can see the chocolate making process in action!
Contact: Colm Healy
Tel: +353 (0)66 9479119
Open: Seasonal (may not open full weeks off season)
Groups: Yes can cater for small groups (road not suitable for large coaches)
Admission Fees: No admission fees but courses are charged for. Chocolate can be purchased.
10. Cill Rialaig Art Centre, Dun Geagan, Ballinskelligs, County Kerry
As one of the best places in Kerry for contemporary art, fine craft, and great food, the Cill Rialaig Arts Centre features a wide range of exhibitions, programs and workshops all year round.
There are two parts to this project; Part one; The Cill Rialaig Project began the rescue and restoration of a small pre-famine village on Bolus Head at the very end of the Iveragh Peninsula, thus creating an artist’s retreat that has attracted more than 2,600 artists from Ireland and the world. The artists have got their creativity for these pieces from the area .
Part two: The Cill Rialaig Arts centre at Dun Geagan (Dungegan) which is located in a Gaeltacht (Irish language speaking) area welcomes visitors and displays the art of the visiting artists who stayed at the artists retreat, many pieces can be purchased at the Arts Centre. The Centre also occasionally offers art classes and a very high calibre restaurant / café and retail area.
Cill Rialaig Arts Centre, Dun Geagan, Ballinskelligs, County Kerry
Tel: +353 (0)66 9479277
Open: All year but limited days off season (make direct contact for details)
Groups: Can cater for medium sized groups, Free parking
Admission Fees: Free entry
11. Sea Synergy Marine Awareness & Activity Centre
Sea Synergy Marine Awareness and Activity Centre offers an exhibition on the marine life of Ireland. See and touch live animals in tanks and learn about marine biodiversity and conservation through interactive exhibits. Fun for all the family! Weekly talks by marine biologist on whales and dolphins, sharks and much more.
A resident marine biologist offers fun marine awareness workshops for both children and adults to discover what animals live on local beaches. Other activities like guided beach walks, snorkelling, marine eco tours, fishing or trips to Skelligs can be organised.
Marine themed gift shop with local arts and crafts for unique souvenirs, books or children’s toys.
12. Atlantic Irish Seaweed
Located on the pristine coastline of the Wild Atlantic Way at Derrynane on the Ring of Kerry, we have been running Seaweed Discovery Tours and Workshops since 2009.As a lifelong Seaweed “grazer”John Fitzgerald’s scientific background and love of the sea led him to research the many seaweeds that thrive in our temperate waters. Kerryann’s passion for nature,her culinary acumen and her training in photography led her and John to set up a series of hands-on discovery walks and workshops.We lead uniquely designed Intertidal foreshore walks exploring the rich natural heritage of the Kerry coastline and we hold culinary workshops preparing delicious food from a variety of seaweeds to demonstrate the tasty “superfood bounty” available on our shores.As educators and custodians of the marine habitat our environmental policy is to respect, enjoy ,and protect the natural wonders that surround us
13. Marine Education – Derrynane, Co. Kerry
Outdoor Education for everyone – Educational courses for all ages within the Derrynane Special Area of Conservation. Promoting understanding of the natural environment in a fun, engaging and hands on way. Courses are numerous and include biodiversity explorer, recording and analysis, classroom learning and outdoor education including marine and coastal sampling, whale, dolphin and basking shark watching, snorkelling, wildlife and seabird watching and wild flower walks.
Contact: Vincent Hyland
Tel: +353 (0)87 2772525
Groups: Yes can cater for small groups
Admission Fees: Fees apply, vary depending on course
14. Kerry Dark-Sky Reserve…see the Stars!
Kerry Dark-Sky Reserve has been designated Irelands first International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association. One of only three Gold Tier Reserves in the World and the only one located in the Northern Hemisphere. The Kerry Dark-Sky reserve is located in South Kerry on the Iveragh Peninsula. This area achieved this status due to the absence of light pollution which insures much sharper, clearer views of the stars.
On clear nights in the reserve there are very clear views of the astronomical sights, the constellations including the band of the Milky Way, Andromeda Galaxy, Star Clusters and Nebula’s just some of the wonders to see without the aid of astronomical equipment or filters. Go Satellite watching, Moon Gazing, planet hunting or simply glory in the wonder of ‘Falling Stars’…
Open: All Year (Visibility depending on cloud cover etc.)
Groups: Suitable for Groups
Admission Fees: Free of Charge (tours may be available shortly and these are charged for)
15. Sunfish Explorer (Motorised Kayaks), South Kerry
No need to paddle! Sunfish Explorer use motorised kayaks. These are fast, stable, and comfortable, these kayaks are perfect for touring and fishing the waters in the Caherdaniel, Sneem and Parknasilla area.
All kayak trips are led by highly experienced guides and each trip commences with safety information and brief instruction on how simple it is to operate the craft.
The craft is propelled by an environmentally friendly 7 hp four stroke engine coupled onto a propeller-free jet-drive and has an average speed of 17 mph. Compared with a regular kayak your tour will be a lot safer, faster, dryer and more comfortable.
To trips start from different locations depending on tidal and weather conditions so please make direct contact to book a trip.
16. Staigue Fort, Castlecove, Co. Kerry
Well worth a visit, Staigue fort is probably one of the best examples of a stone fort in Ireland and is over 2,500 years old. It is built from local stone and is 27 metres in diameter. The all is almost 4 metres thick at the base and 2 metres thick at the top. The walls are 5.5 metres high . The fort has a square doorway and there are two small chambers inside. The stairways which are a very interesting aspect of the fort, run inside the wall almost to the full height of the wall. The fort was built with dry stone and it is an amazing architectural feat. It was probably built for protection. There is some evidence of copper being mined in the area.
Open: All Year
Groups: Suitable for small groups / small coach access only due to narrow road
Segment: Culturally Curious / Culture on the Edge
Admission Fees: Honesty box – Voluntary contribution
17. Sneem Sculpture Park, Sneem, Co. Kerry
The village of Sneem is a treasure trove of international sculpture, free of charge, throughout the year. The various works including a panda sculpture donated by the Peoples Republic of China can be seen at various locations. ” The Risen Christ ” by Brother Joseph McNally is located on the grounds of St.Michael’s Church and the goddess ISSES donated by the people of Egypt stands at ” The Way The Fairies Went”
A collection of buildings designed by Kerry sculptor James Scanlon, and executed by local stoneworkers are located overlooking the Sneem River near St.Michael’s Church.
Located beside St. Michaels RC Church, Sneem
Open: All Year
Groups: Yes it can cater for groups, free coach parking
Admission Fees: Free of charge
18. Seafari Cruises, Kenmare, Co. Kerry
Seafari cruises invite you to explore the prolific wildlife of Kenmare Bay on Ireland’s premier seal-watching and eco-nature boat trip. In our comfortable and sheltered passenger vessel, we will transport you from the picturesque Kenmare Pier in County Kerry into the magical and tranquil waters of Kenmare Bay.
From there we travel to one of the largest seal colonies in Ireland with over 300 of these beautiful creatures. Look out for secret castles and playful otters as well as a wealth of bird-life along the way. Seafari’s knowledgeable Captain and informative guides will show you the historical sites and explain how the ice age has shaped this beautiful bay. White-tailed sea eagles have recently been re-introduced into Kerry and we are lucky enough to get regular sightings on board Seafari. Seafari’s family-run cruise offers something for all ages with Sally the Seal and her friends taking part in the commentary.
19. Kayak on Kenmare Bay, Kenmare, Co. Kerry (on Beara Peninsula)
One of the best experiences on offer in the South West is the experience of kayaking in a
double kayak (two people) on the Kenmare River. This is a fantastic way to get up close to the
water and wildlife that abounds in this area. See the Seabirds, Herons, and the flora and fauna
of Kenmare Bay. This is a fantastic hour of entertainment, self-guided. Following the trip pop
into Con’s Marina Bar and Restaurant beside the pier and taste some of the locally caught
smoked salmon from Star Seafoods next door! Other activities both water and land based catered for.
Contact: PJ O’Sullivan
Tel: +353 (0)64 6641222
Open: All year but may not open full weeks (contact for full details)
Groups: Yes can cater for large coach groups
Admission Fees: Depending on activity (see website)
20. Smoked Salmon Factory Tours
Located on site at Star Outdoors is our sister company, Star Seafoods, specialists in producing organic smoked salmon since 1974, sourced from Kenmare Bay.
Star Seafoods Smokehouse
Come and visit our Smokehouse where you can see the entire process of producing this famous local product, from filleting and salting, to smoking, cutting and preservation.
We smoke salmon, mackerel and ‘kippers’. All products are filleted by hand, dry cold smoked the traditional method which gives you fish products of the highest quality that can be found on the world market.
All our products are available to order by phone, online or by mail. Because the transport for the first kg can be expensive , we encourage families and friends to buy in bulk so that the costs of transport can be reduced. We can also meet requests from companies, retailers, wholesalers, restaurants and christmas gifts. If you visit the smokehouse as part of a tour group you may place orders immediately after your visit and the salmon will be either ready to leave with you on the bus or it will be delivered to your hotel.
Contact: PJ O’Sullivan
Tel: +353 (0)64 6641222
21. Gleninchaquin Park, Gleninchaquin, Tuosist, Kenmare (Beara Peninsula)
Gleninchaquin Park provides breath-taking landscapes and scenery in which it is a sheer delight to wander around over streams with log bridges, mountain paths with carved steps, through rock passages, along glens and lakes to higher altitude. Marvel at the view overlooking the lakes, delicate green meadows, a spectacular 140 metre high waterfall, woodlands and Kenmare Bay, all framed by the Killarney McGillicuddy Reeks along the horizon.
This idyllic valley is perfectly suited for day outings with the entire family. Ample parking facilities are provided close to the waterfall and picnic areas. The walk routes around the waterfall, cascades, streams, woodlands and lakes are accessible for all ages. Also, feel free to bring your own lunch basket or enjoy our home baking, teas and coffee refreshment
Contact: Donal Corkery
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +353 64 6684235
Groups: Yes small groups (narrow road access – not suitable for large coaches)