The picturesque fishing village of Fenit in County Kerry is not too far away from neighbouring tourist hotspot Tralee.
If you are looking for a quieter holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of the usual tourist stomping grounds, then perhaps Fenit is the welcome break that you have been looking for. But, what is there to do in Fenit? Well, let me tell you…
Explore Fenit Beach
Stunning Fenit beach has absolutely everything that you could want for the perfect beach day. Lie back and take in the spectacular views of Tralee Bay at this blue flag wheelchair-accessible beach.
Both kayaking and sailing are very popular activities around here, and if you are a keen enthusiast yourself, then this is the perfect place for you to visit.
And do not worry, during the summer months the beautiful water of Fenit beach will have an active lifeguard on duty, so if you are not a confident swimmer or if you have little ones with you, the whole family will be safe and sound (Check the noticeboard for times of lifeguards).
One thing that you must be aware of, though, is that Fenit Beach is a popular swimming spot served only by a small car park that can typically hold between 20 to 22 vehicles.
Thankfully, once you have arrived, you will have everything on-site, with picnic tables, public toilets, and even a nearby cafe!
Visit Fenit Harbour
If you are a lover of boats or are travelling with someone that is, then Fenit Harbour is a must-visit location.
Fenit Harbour holds the title of the most westerly commercial port in all of not only Ireland and the British Isles, but also Europe as well.
The harbour itself is primarily used by small leisure boats, although it did traditionally serve as a merchant’s port in the 1900s because it has such deep waters.
These days, however, the harbour typically sees only 15 shipments a year. While it may not be as operational as it once was, the local residents and owners care deeply for the port and harbour.
This is probably why Fenit Harbour also has a blue flag status. It is a truly stunning location to walk around and take in the scenery.
Adventure Over To Fenit Island
Beautiful Fenit Island is connected to mainland Ireland via a sandbar. Due to the relative seclusion of the island, it is easy to understand why Fenit Island is a little difficult to access.
Although you will be able to gain access during low tide by car, the island is more readily accessible by foot.
Look across the bay to the spectacular mountains of the Dingle Peninsula, aside from the fantastic views of the relentless Atlantic Ocean, there is actually a lot to discover on the island.
With ruins of the 17th century Fenit Castle on the island, an attraction I will delve into further, later on, the island still has plenty to offer.
The island also had two of its own churches as well as a graveyard.
And, of course, there is the stunning Fenit Island coastal walk, which will take you approximately 2 to 3 hours to complete. But it will show you some of the most spectacular views you will see in County Kerry.
Kayak Out To Fenit Lighthouse
The spectacular Fenit Lighthouse is truly one of the most eye-catching landmarks in all of County Kerry.
Its isolation and inaccessible nature also make it one of the must-see destinations when visiting Fenit. (It was bought for €1 in 2010 by Kerry County Council)
If you are also a lover of the sea, then why not combine your passion with a little bit of exploration and kayak out to Fenit Lighthouse?
The good people of Wild Water Adventures offer a kayaking tour to the hotspot, which includes an in-depth safety briefing, a guide to the history of the lighthouse, as well as a two-hour tour. Wild Water Adventures provides use of all the equipment needed and for 50 euros per person, I think that is an excellent deal.
Discover Fenit Castles
In and around Fenit, there are three locations that you need to travel to, these are the grounds of Fenit Castle, Barrow Round Castle, and Tawlaght Castle.
While there are still magnificent, intact ruins of the first two castles, sadly, nothing remains of Tawlaght Castle.
Fenit Castle itself was actually originally built with the intention of protecting neighbouring Barrow Round Castle from attacks by sea.
It was built in the 17th century by Fitzmaurice, Barrons of Kerry. Whereas both Barrow Round Castle and the now destroyed Tawlaght Castle were both owned by the Earls of Desmond.
Enjoy Fishing At Fenit Harbour
I have already told you about the scenic wonders of Fenit Harbour, but did you also know that it is a hotspot for fishing?
Typically, the best time to go fishing at Fenit Bridge is during the summer months, but you will need to keep an eye on the weather forecasts to ensure that it is safe to go.
If you opt to try this popular hobby, you may be rewarded with a very interesting catch.
There is everything from Dogfish, Flounder, and Plaice to Undulate Rays and Pollack swimming in these clear waters.
If you catch the fishing bug, then also be sure to check out Kerry Head, Barrow Harbour, and Carrahane, as they are other popular fishing destinations in the local area.
Keep An Eye Out For St. Brendan’s Statue
If you are a fan of history and enjoy learning about the area you are visiting, then definitely keep an eye out for St. Brendan’s statue.
It is believed that Saint Brendan was born in Fenit around 484AD, and he is one of the twelve apostles of Ireland.
Saint Brendan himself, known for his travelling, is one of the most well-known saints of his time period, as his adventures are documented in monasteries all over the continent of Europe.
It is even believed by some that Saint Brendan actually arrived in America before Christopher Columbus did. Although this is a theory that has yet to be proven correct.
Explore The Newly Developed Tralee/Fenit Greenway
A brand new attraction that is coming to the Fenit and Tralee area is the hugely anticipated greenway!
The greenway itself, made up of pedestrian walking and cycling on this railway path, is set to rejuvenate the area.
Not only is this going to provide a safe way for locals and tourists alike to explore this luscious green and breathtaking area, but it also provides everybody with a safer and more accessible route that will now connect some of the biggest tourist attractions and destinations in this part of County Kerry.
The route was meant to open in 2021, but due to Covid-19 and related setbacks, the greenway is now due to fully open in September 2022.
Not only will this make Tralee more accessible for Fenit, but it widens the catchment area of activities no matter which area you are visiting.
Tralee Bay Experience
A trip to Tralee Bay is not complete without joining the Tralee Bay Experience! Be sure to head down to Fenit Marina and choose one of Tralee Bay Experience’s fantastic tours.
If you are looking to go on a romantic getaway and wish to spoil your loved one, then perhaps their Sunset tour is perfect for you! Take in the wondrous views of the Wild Atlantic coastline as the sunsets over the water.
For those that love nature and wildlife, then their ‘Scenic and Eco Tours’ may be right up your street. Included with this tour you get a 2 and a half hour guided introduction to the landmarks and wonders of Tralee Bay.
From castle ruins, the lighthouse, and Fenit island, you will get to see it all and have a local guide explain and educate you on the fascinating history of this glorious area.
Not only that, but the tour passes through an area of marine conservation that is home to the beautiful Brent Geese.
Do not forget your cameras if you decide to take this tour.
Finally, if you like to keep active whilst you are on guided tours of any area, then why not try a Sea Angling tour?
The Wild Atlantic coast is known for its highly varied inhabitants, including Monkfish, Stingrays, and Thornback Rays.
By opting to join Tralee Bay Experience tour, you get to join a highly experienced skipper who is more than happy to teach any novice fisherman wishing to try for the first time, or partner an experienced angular as you take to the Wild Atlantic Coast for a spot of fishing. You won’t regret it.
Have A Whale Of A Time At Fenit Sea Safari
Fenit Sea Safari is the gift that keeps on giving.
Whether you are a history enthusiast, a budding bird watcher, or an adrenaline junkie thrill-seeker, this may be the perfect activity for you!
The safari will take you to Fenit’s most popular landmarks, including Barrow Harbour, Fenit Island Castle, and Little Samphire Lighthouse.
Fenit Sea Safari offers two key experiences, the first being a Sunset tour, which is perfect for couples looking for some romance.
Alternatively, they also do the daytime Coastline And Inner Bay boat ride. Both boat trips are 2 hours long and are 50 euros each.
Visit Tralee Golf Club
With the sprawling mountain views and rough Atlantic seas, a visit to Tralee Golf Club would be an absolute dream for any golf enthusiast.
With cliff-top greens and tees, and extreme conditions across the course, the Tralee golf course is the perfect challenge.
While the current course only dates back to the 1980s, there has been a course situated on the site of Tralee Golf Club since the 1800s.
And the club has everything you could want, a practice area, putting greens, and a highly rated bar and restaurant.
Explore Tralee Bay Maritime Centre
The lovely people at the Tralee Bay Maritime Centre host a wide variety of activities that will appeal to any lover of the sea.
Whether you are hoping to take part in some sailing, kayaking, or power boating lessons, the people at Tralee Bay provide them with all with varying levels of experience.
So whether you are a complete novice or an experienced hand, they will be able to help or teach you anything that you need to know.
In addition, they also provide scenic boat trips around the Tralee Bay area, so you can explore the beautiful clear ocean.
And they also provide onshore lessons, including first aid courses, engine courses, and motor troubleshooting courses.
Discover Tralee Bay’s Sailing Club
First established in 1956, Tralee Sailing Club was first created with the goal of bringing together like-minded individuals who lived in the local area.
So, if sailing is your passion, then why not meet up with some Irish like-minded individuals?
Not only is Tralee Bay’s Sailing Club a group of friends meeting up, but they also offer schooling services to help those get into the wonderful pastime of sailing.
The Best Places To Stay In Fenit
Now that you know all about the best things to do whilst you are visiting Fenit, you may be wondering about the perfect accommodation options that this beautiful area has to offer.
I have cherry-picked the top three options for you to choose from.
West End Bar & Restaurant
This will not be the only time you hear about this establishment in my guide to Fenit, as it also serves some of the most delicious food you will taste in this area.
But the West End Bar & Restaurant also has superb accommodation.
Handily situated in the heart of Fenit, this charming accommodation option has everything that you will need to have a comfortable stay.
Located not too far away from the heart of Fenit, you will find Lyne’s Cottage.
If you prefer to hire out an entire property rather than renting a room at a hotel or inn, then this may be the perfect option for you.
At Lyne’s Cottage, you will have all of the comforts of home, plus the added privacy of not staying with others.
Further away from Fenit itself, you will find Barrow House on the other side of the bay near the golf course.
This particular accommodation option will be perfect for those that are looking for a little bit of luxury during their stay in County Kerry.
With all of the modern trappings of premium hotels, luxurious rooms and even yoga classes on-site, if you are looking for the perfect romantic getaway, look no further than Barrow House.
The Best Places To Eat In Fenit
Having heard where the best places to stay in Fenit are, you may be wondering about the best places to eat.
Well, below I have included my top three picks of places to eat around this beautiful location.
The Oyster Tavern
There is no better place to eat seafood whilst in Kerry than The Oyster Tavern. With fantastic views of the Atlantic ocean, settling down to a plate of delicious fish or shellfish has never seemed so perfect.
In fact, it is one of Kerry’s leading bar, steak and seafood restaurants in my opinion.
West End Bar & Restaurant
If you prefer to eat in establishments with a cosier vibe, then the West End Bar & Restaurant may be perfect for you! You still get those stunning views and delicious seafood dishes here.
Plus, the West End Bar & Restaurant also has additional historical significance, as it is considered the starting point for St. Brendan the Navigator, which I mentioned before.
The Tankard Bar & Restaurant
And what is a trip to Ireland without a pint or two of Guinness? And where better else to go than The Tankard Bar & Restaurant?
With beautiful outdoor seating overlooking the mountains and ocean, I couldn’t think of a better place to sit back, relax, and enjoy a Guinness after a long day of exploring.
Is Fenit the area that you have been hoping to explore? Well, if you are looking for a true and authentic taste of Ireland, then look no further than Fenit.
With historical landmarks to explore, delicious food to consume and the stunning Fenit beach and harbour to enjoy, there will be nothing better than breathing in the fresh sea area whilst you recharge your batteries in Fenit, County Kerry.
Can You Drive Onto Fenit Island?
Yes. It is possible for you to drive onto Fenit Island itself. In order to do this, you need to time your arrival with the low tide period.
Can You Walk Around Fenit Island?
You can absolutely walk around Fenit Island. In fact, there is a 9km coastal walk that you can take that will help you discover picturesque Fenit village & Island, and you will also get to see stunning views of the Atlantic ocean.
Can You Walk To Fenit Lighthouse?
Sadly, you cannot walk to Fenit Lighthouse itself. The lighthouse is isolated from the land and is completely on its own, and only accessible via boat trips. Thankfully, the boat trip only takes around 10-15 minutes, but its availability is dependent on weather and sea conditions.
How Many Castles Does Fenit Have?
The area of Fenit has three castles to its name. These are Barrow Round Castle, Fenit Island Square Castle, and the no longer standing Tawlaght Castle.
What Is The Distance Of The Tralee And Fenit Greenway?
The Tralee to Fenit Greenway project is set to create a further 11km cycling and walking path (when finished) connecting the two tourist hotspots.
Is Fenit beach wheelchair accessible?
Yes. There is a ramp down to the beach by the lifeguard’s hut.
How long is Fenit beach?
It is 230m approximately
How Do You Get To Fenit From Tralee?
There are two key roads that you can use to get to Fenit from nearby Tralee, and both routes will take you under 20 minutes.
You can either opt to take the coastal road with spectacular views of the sea, which is the R558 (My favourite and more direct).
Alternatively, if you would prefer to drive further inland, you can take the R551 & take the second left after Ballyroe Heights Hotel.
What Fish Can Be Caught In Fenit Harbour?
The answer to this question is truly dependent on when you are deciding to visit County Kerry. I would recommend avoiding visiting Fenit in winter and before April if you wish to get the most out of your fishing expeditions.
During the months of April and May, you will be able to find Dogfish, Thornback, Undulate Rays, Plaice, and Flounder. But when the summer months start to truly roll in, you may also be able to find Conger, Mullet, Pollack, Mackeral, Scad, and Garfish.