Irrespective of how you plan to enjoy your getaway and which places you plan to explore, you’re sure to find an ideal town to serve as a base for your time in Kerry. Be it Dingle, the lush Parknasilla, or the capital Tralee, Kerry offers something just right for everyone.
Discover the hidden gems of Kerry towns with my guide. From local pubs to breathtaking sights, explore the best of Kerry’s towns with me.
If your idea of a holiday is experiencing local culture in a bustling town, there’s no better place to start than Dingle.
Overlooking Dingle Bay, the colorful and bustling fishing town is peppered with eclectic shops, art, and crafts that create a unique vibe, which is further enriched with pubs that serve locally sourced food and traditional music. Most people living in Kerry avail of if they want a small breakaway
A trip to Dingle is a fantastic idea not just because of the town’s culture, but because of its strategic location. The adjoining coastline not only makes everything picturesque but allows for water sports and fishing.
The town serves as the ideal base to explore the many historical and cultural attractions along Slea Head Drive.
Often regarded as the most beautiful town in Ireland, Killarney is a wonderful destination in terms of picturesque beauty and things to do. Visitors enjoy the perfect balance between natural beauty and adventurous and entertaining excursions.
From Killarney National Park and the Gap of Dunloe to St. Mary’s Cathedral and Jaunting Cars, the town offers a diverse range of experiences for everyone. You can go horse riding, cycling, hiking, golfing, or kayaking – the options are simply endless here.
Tralee is the capital of Kerry and has two nearby blue flag beaches, a long list of restaurants and pubs that offer an excellent dining experience.
Visit Siamsa Tire to enjoy traditional Irish music, song, and dance, or stop by Blennerville Windmill to enjoy a historic site and admire the scenic beauty. You can also visit the Kerry Museum to learn more about local culture and history.
Tralee is a great option even if local heritage doesn’t excite you. Visit Tralee Town Park, hike up the Slieve Mish mountains, take a walk in Ballyseedy Woods, or go horse riding – you’re bound to have a great time here.
Cahersiveen is the perfect town to set base if you’re planning to explore the Iveragh Peninsula. If not, you can hire a guide who will collect you from Killarney or Tralee to enjoy this beautiful, friendly town for a day.
The 7th century Cahersiveen Ringforts, Skellig Michael of Star Wars’ fame, the cavernous ruins of Ballycarbery Castle, and Old Cahersiveen Barracks are a few attractions here, but each one of them is so spell-binding, you can’t afford to skip any.
Valentia Island’s Knightstown is a great place if you want to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery or participate in fantastic water sports.
Vacationers often choose to stay here for a weekend visiting the Skellig Michael Experience, taking a tour of Valentia Slate Mine, or hiking the Geokaun Mountain. In case you do decide to do more, you can take a boat to Beginish Island to spend half a day.
Despite being a small port village it connects the impressive Valentia Island to the mainland, Portmagee has managed to emerge as a destination in its own right, predominantly due to its strategic location.
Explore the many attractions there, or enjoy a meal at one of the incredible restaurants. Why not take a boat to the formidable Skellig Michael.
Most of all, Portmagee has emerged as a destination to set base and explore the best of both worlds – Valentia Island and the many other attractions on the Skellig Ring.
Kenmare is the perfect destination to relax and unwind amid natural beauty. You’ve got great restaurants that serve delicious seafood and pubs with great entertainment. There is so much to do in Kenmare in terms of walks, hiking, water sports, golf, and horse riding to name but a few.
Most choose to spend time in Kenmare to relax and also explore nearby attractions. Kenmare is the ideal base to explore the Ring of Beara and the Ring of Kerry.
When you are here, check out Molly Gallivan’s Cottage and Traditional Farm and Bonane Heritage Park, if you’re looking for interesting attractions close by.
Parknasilla (near Sneem town)
Parknasilla is a unique destination, as the whole resort is spread over 500 acres of dense forests. Overlooking Kenmare Bay, Parknasilla Resort and Spa is the perfect getaway for families or couples looking for a romantic getaway.
When you are here, you’ve got everything you could want, picturesque outdoors, excellent service, a great spa, and a host of activities to occupy yourself, from sea kayaking and boat trips to coastal and forest walking trails, a golf course, tennis courts, and thermal suites.
The resort’s biggest advantage is the forest surrounding it. If you’re a nature lover, you could spend endless time walking along the many trails. What makes it better is that you can bring your four-legged friends along for the trip.
Another advantage is the property’s proximity to other attractions. Some of them are Derrynane Beach, which is counted as one of the top 25 beaches in Europe, and visit the magnificent Staigue Stone Fort, an engineering marvel from thousands of years ago.
Ireland’s literary capital, Listowel, is the perfect getaway. The market town is one of 26 heritage towns in Kerry and has an old-world charm bound to excite history lovers.
If you’re a literature enthusiast, plan your trip such that you’re here for Listowel Writer’s Week, a festival to celebrate established writers and encourage local talent.
If you’re not keen on literature, the Listowel Castle and Listowel Town Park, which is almost as big as Listowel, will make your trip here well worthwhile.
Ballybunion is a great destination to spend a weekend. While beaches are the main attraction here, the town itself also offers quite a few options to unwind.
Golfers are spoiled for choice between two courses, one of which is considered among the best links courses in the world. Moreover, both the courses are located by the beach, so you get to enjoy stunning coastal scenery along with a game.
You can also avail of several amenities at the Ballybunion Health and Leisure Centre, including Jacuzzi, sauna, pools, and a gym. They even conduct various exercise classes, such as aqua aerobics and spinning.
So head on over if you’re a fitness enthusiast looking to spend some time by yourself, or even as a family. Overall, picturesque scenery, diverse flora and fauna, and a variety of to-do options make this small town a must-visit.
Less than 40 km from County Kerry’s capital town, Tralee, lies the magical holiday destination of Glenbeigh, one of Ireland’s southwest hidden gems.
A romantic getaway, a beach vacation, a weekend to unwind, or a picturesque nature escape – Glenbeigh can be whatever you want it to be. It is the perfect place to spend 2 or 3 days.
With the idyllic blue flag, Rossbeigh beach is less than 4km away and within proximity to the majestic McGillycuddy Reeks Mountains and the Caragh and Behy rivers, which allow plenty of opportunities to go fishing and boating.
Other attractions, are the Kerry Bog Museum, golfing at Dooks Golf Course, and Burkes Beach Riding.
Killorglin is a scenic town along the river Laune, with rich culture, friendly locals, abundant dining, and nightlife options.
Located along the Ring of Kerry, the town is a must-visit when in the Southwest of Ireland.
If possible, plan your visit around the 10th to the 12th of August, when Puck Fair (Ireland’s oldest fair) takes place — it’s a time to enjoy. Three days of festivities in a unique celebration.
The village of Waterville is the perfect destination for any outdoor activity lovers. Whether it’s fishing at the stunning Lough Currane or taking one of the various hiking or cycling paths around the village centre, the beautiful lush green background just makes you want to go outside and discover more.
Waterville itself is probably famous for one of two things, either its Charlie Chaplin Comedy Festival or, it’s two world-renowned golfing facilities. The first is Waterville Golf Links, which is considered one of the world’s few ‘true’ golf links, the second being the very popular and luxurious Hogs Head Golf Club.
Castlegregory village is perfect for those coastal view lovers amongst you. With its very own coastline, which has been awarded the Green Coast Award, Castlegregory is the perfect place to head to if you wish to relax.
Alternatively, you may wish to get your adrenaline fix. You can go to one of the many family-run watersports companies that can help you with anything from scuba diving to surfing. Another hidden gem of Castlegregory is Sandy Feet Farm, which is the perfect place to visit if you are traveling with children.
Castleisland is steep in history which dates back to the Irish Civil War, and with its large variety of attractions, it is easy to understand why. For those traveling with children, you can head towards the Crazy Cave, which is a large soft play area, where children can have hours of fun.
And, you absolutely cannot forget to attend the Castleislands Horse fair, where you get to meet and interact with a variety of beautiful horses, donkeys, and ponies.
The quaint Irish village of Sneem has many truly unique attractions that will entice any type of visitor.
Kerry Geopark is also one of the oldest and most amazingly preserved geoparks of its kind. And you must not forget to visit Staigue Stone Fort which was built around 300 to 400AD. Built from raw stone as a defence fort, it is truly a masterpiece from its time.
A treasure trove of historical buildings and attractions, Tarbert will unlock the explorer in all of us. From the Tarbert Bridewell Courthouse and jail that date back to the 1800s, where you can discover what life was truly like for inmates during the 19th century.
To the historical Tarbert House, which was built during the 1600s and is a breathtaking display of Queen-Anne architecture.
And, whilst you visit this incredible house, do not forget to journey down the Leslie Woodland Walk that surrounds the house, which offers some of the most spectacular views of Tarbert.
If you are travelling from outside of Ireland have a look at my useful information page.
Check out my web pages on the Ring of Kerry Drive, The Skellig Ring and Slea Head Drive.