County Kerry (Irish: Contae Chiarraí), in Southwest Ireland, is regarded as perhaps the most scenic county in Ireland and is certainly the most renowned for its scenery. It holds most of Ireland's highest mountains (including the highest, Carrauntuohill) in its most westerly fringes and holds a special place in Irish culture. It became a popular tourist attraction in the 19th century and is still very popular today, despite considerable rainfall. In some places the tourist pressure has arguably had a mixed effect but in general the county is friendly and relaxed as well as beautiful.
- 1 Caherciveen (Cathair Saidhbhín)
- 2 Castleisland (Oileán Ciarraí, "people of Ciar's island")
- 3 Cloghane-Brandon (An Clochán)
- 4 Dingle (An Daingean or Daingean Uí Chúis, "Ó Cúis' fort")
- 5 Kenmare (An Neidín, "the little nest")
- 6 Listowel (Lios Tuathail, "Tuathal's ringfort") has a 13th C castle.
- 7 Killarney (Cill Airne, "church of sloes")
- 8 Killorglin (Cill Orglan, "Orgla's Church")
- 9 Portmagee (An Caladh, "The Harbour")
- 10 Tralee (Trá Lí, "strand of the Lee (river)") – county town
- 1 Annascaul (Abhainn an Scáil or Abha na Scáil)
- 2 The Blasket Islands are six little islands off the Dingle peninsula, inhabited solely by Irish-speakers until 1953 but then evacuated. Boat trips to the largest, Great Blasket, run from Dunquin on the peninsula, where a visitor centre describes their lives.
- 3 Ballybunion (Baile an Bhuinneánaigh)
- 4 Castlegregory (Caisleán Ghriaire, "Griaire's Castle")
- 5 Dingle Peninsula (Corca Dhuibhne)
- 6 Farranfore (An Fearann Fuar, "the cold land")
- 7 Ring of Kerry (Mórchuaird Chiarraí) – A scenic route around the Iveragh peninsula.
- 8 Skellig Michael (Sceilig Mhichíl) – A small island off the coast, granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996.
- 9 Ventry (Fionntrá, "White Strand")
- 10 Killarney National Park (Páirc Náisiúnta Chill Airne)
English is the most spoken language, however, in certain parts of Kerry such as in Dingle, Irish is the living language spoken by up to 70% of the locals.
There is the small Kerry Airport (KIR IATA) at Farranfore, between Tralee and Killarney served by Ryanair and summer charters and this has regularly scheduled flights to Dublin, "London"-Stansted, "London"-Luton, Manchester, Lorient and "Frankfurt"-Hahn. However, Kerry is easily connected to Cork Airport, which serves more destinations, and also Shannon Airport near by. (Flights to USA, Canada and the rest of Europe, including Paris CDG.)
There is a regular rail service to Killarney, Farranfore and Tralee from Dublin and Cork and there are connections from all stations in Ireland. See the Irish Rail website for timetables
If coming from Clare or Galway there is a car ferry across the Shannon estuary between Killimer (Clare) and Tarbert (Kerry) which can save driving and is a scenic route. It departs hourly all year-round and every half hour in Summer from both sides. The ferry crosses the mouth of the river Shannon as it enters the Atlantic and dolphins are commonly seen from the ferry
Bus Eireann runs regular bus services to and within Kerry. See the Bus Eireann website
- Bus Eireann buses
- Private bus tours
- Rental car
- Bicycle rental
- Walking - the Kerry Way is a major network of marked trails.
There are numerous major and local car rental companies that have locations in County Kerry. Most will have rental desks in Kerry airport Killarney town or both.
- Avis - car rental depot located within Shannon Airport
- Budget Car Rental Ireland - desks in both Kerry Airport and Killarney town.
- Dan Dooley - Kerry Airport desk
- Europcar - Killarney and Kerry Airport
- Hertz - Kerry Airport
- Irish Car Rentals - Kerry Airport
- National Car Rental - Kerry Airport
The Ring of Kerry is the best known area of natural beauty in Ireland. It is a 120 mile circuit around the Iveragh Peninsula in south Kerry passing through Killarney, Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Caherciveen, Waterville, Sneem and Kenmare.
Watch a game of Gaelic football. This is Ireland's national game. It is the dominant sport in Kerry and the county team has won more All-Ireland Senior Football Championships than any other.
Puffin stew (local speciality)
As anywhere else in Ireland, there are many bed and breakfasts (B&B) in Kerry and around the Ring of Kerry. They are all priced about the same, which is €35 per person during the summer.