Killorglin (Cill Orglan, "Orgla's Church") is a village in County Kerry in southwest Ireland. It's by Dingle Bay, at the head of the Iveragh Peninsula, traversed by the scenic "Ring of Kerry" route. So in summer it's very touristy: most just pass through, but its population (as of 2016) of 2199 is greatly swollen by visitors.
The TIC is Reeks District Visitor Centre north end of the village on Sunhill Rd, and open M-F 10:00-16:00.
See Tralee and Killarney for long-distance transport: Kerry Airport is midway between them. Trains run from Dublin Heuston via Mallow to Killarney and Tralee, and buses run from Dublin, Limerick and Cork.
Bus Éireann 279 runs four or five times a day from Tralee via Castlemaine and Milltown, taking 35 min to Killorglin.
- Killorglin village is small, but you need wheels for the Bog Village and other outlying attractions.
- Ring of Kerry is the coast circuit: tour buses start from Killarney and even from Dublin and they always go anti-clockwise, so the Bog Village is an early stop. Independent travellers going the same way should make an early start, then you'll always stay ahead of them. Start later and you'll be stuck behind a caravan of buses, with hordes queuing for the same attraction, you've seen that group from Madrid four times today already. But go clockwise and all those buses will be coming at you along narrow roads somewhere around Kenmare.
- KGC do bicycle hire, sales and repairs.
- Feertha Greenway hasn't happened. In 1885 a branch railway line was built from Farranfore to Killorglin, and extended in 1893 to Valentia Harbour. It closed in 1960 but the main viaducts are still standing, and from 2013 it was to be converted into a cycling route and footpath. No progress to date, wonder where the funding was squirreled away.
- 1 Killorglin village has a typical 19th century layout, with colourful low-rise along the narrow main street; the main road now makes a zigzag to bypass this. The statue of King Puck, a wild billy-goat and Lord of Misrule, stands by the bridge over River Laune. St James Church (RC) was built in neo-Gothic style 1888-1891 but the money ran out so they never added the spire. The monument nearby at the top of Market St is to the Blennerhassett family, English gentry who acquired lands here during the Tudor Plantations of Munster. They married into the Conway family and came to own the castle, which is now just a single crumbling wall. Their main family line has died out but the name lives on, for example Frank Blennerhassett (1916-1993) was the judge who chaired the UK government committee on alcohol and driving, and John Blennerhassett (1930-2013) was a Kerry politician.
- 2 Ballykissane is the pier at the outlet of River Leane, which drains the Killarney lakes. A monument commemorates the first fatal cock-up of the omnishambles of the Easter Rising of 1916. A group of republicans were driving to Caherciveen to seize the radio station and set up a link with Roger Casement, arriving by German sub, and with the gun-running vessel disguised as the Norwegian fishing boat Aud. The driver took a wrong turn and drove off the edge of the quay, drowning three of them.
- 3 Kerry Bog Village Museum, Ballincleave, Glenbeigh V93 D92V (8 km southwest of Killorglin on N70), ☏ . Daily 09:00-18:00. Open-air museum of Kerry country life in the 18th / 19th century, with a series of thatched cottages reconstructed by original techniques. It's often the first stop (rather than Killorglin itself) for tour buses round the Ring of Kerry, so it's a bit Bunrattified - the bogs of Kerry were never this picturesque and spick-and-span. It's also the home of the Kerry Bog Pony, a distinct breed with a unique gait for crossing gloopy terrain. These almost became extinct, but were re-established from 1994. Adult €6.50, conc €5.45, child €4.50.
- 4 Cromane is a village straggling along a peninsula. The bay here is sheltered and the land is flat and pastoral. It commands great views and has a fine restaurant, see below.
- 5 Rossbeigh Strand is a 2 km spit of sand and dunes projecting into the bay, with Atlantic waves breaking on its west and lagoon-like calm to the east. The Atlantic is definitely winning: since 2008 large chunks have been lost to erosion.
- Golf: Killorglin Golf Club, one km northeast of the village on N70, is 6467 yards, par 72. Dooks Golf Club is a links course west on the coast. It's 6511 yards, par 71, and a visitor round is €100-150.
- Cappanlea is an activities centre on Lough Caragh. It's mostly about groups and instructor training, but those wannabe instructors need real tyros to demonstrate their skills with, so individuals are welcome by booking. Wide range of water-based and outdoor activities.
- Wild Atlantic Way is a scenic driving route all the way down the west coast from Donegal to Kinsale in County Cork. The local section is self-evident: from the north round Dingle Peninsula and Valentia Island and back to Castlemaine, then round Iveragh Peninsula through Killorglin, Caherciveen, Waterville, Caherdaniel and Kenmare, thence south to Beara Peninsula and County Cork. The Iveragh loop on N70 is also the Ring of Kerry, which from Kenmare circles back to Killarney.
- Biddy's Day is celebrated on Imbolc, a Celtic festival at start of spring that's become christianised as St Brigid's Day, 1 Feb. Costumed groups carry a Brídeóg effigy from house to house and pub to pub - a blessing for the year, and more ominously a community curse upon you if they shun your door. It ends in a torchlit procession through the streets of Killorglin. The next is probably on 6 Feb 2022.
- K-Fest is an arts event normally in June, but in 2021 postponed to 22-25 October.
- Cromane Regatta is a series of rowing races in the bay in late July; dates for 2022 are TBA.
- Puck Fair (Aonach an Phoic) is held each year on 10-12 August. A group goes into the hills, catches a wild billy-goat and brings it to the village, where it's crowned "King Puck" by a young girl dubbed "Queen of Puck" and the fair begins. Traditionally Day One was a horse fair and Day Two was a cattle mart, with serious pub-going at the close of Day Three. The modern version however spares the horse- or cattle-dealers from any trouble and instead involves merrymaking and hoop-de-hoop on Days 1, 2 and 3. The goat remains an anxious spectator in its cage until on Day Three it's released back on the hillside to tell its mates the tale. There's a hokey tradition that a goat saved the village when its clatter warned of the approach of Cromwell, as if that could have saved any place in Ireland, and it might equally likely have warned of the approach of man-hungry Queen Maebh or the Martians. There's a stratum of innuendo and symbolism in the ceremony, even before you recall that Irish Ph is pronounced "fw", so the police who are irked by rowdiness from the pubs are doubtless also thinking of their safeguarding duties.
- Aldi west side of Killorglin is open M-F 09:00-22:00, Sa Su 09:00-21:00.
- There are ATMs on the main strip outside Bank of Ireland and AIB.
- Bianconi Inn, Annadale Rd, Killorglin, ☏ . Smart restaurant and bar, named for the fellow from Clonmel who set up a stagecoach network across Ireland, "one penny-farthing a mile". Food is served M-Sa from noon. They also have rooms. B&B double €120.
- Sol y Sombra, Bridge St, Killorglin V93 WR28, ☏ . Tapas restaurant in a renovated 19th century church.
- Others along the main strip in Killorglin include Kingdom1795, Sethu Curry House, and several takeaways.
- Jack's Coastguard Restaurant, Cromane Lower V93 Y42F, ☏ . Restaurant W-Su 17:00-21:30, bar food daily 13:00-15:00. Looks like a folksy pub from outside, but this is fine smart dining on great seafood.
- Pubs along the main strip in Killorglin include JD Falvey's, O'Shea's, Sheahan's, Paud O'Neill's and Bunker's Bar.
- Red Fox Inn is next to Kerry Bog Village and is open daily 09:00-22:00.
- Castlemaine on N70 to Tralee does not of course produce Castlemaine XXXX beer, that's from Milton in Brisbane, Queensland, but it's referenced in the folk song The Wild Colonial Boy. He was Jack Donohue (1806-1830), transported from Ireland to Australia for theft, escaping to become a bush bandit, arrested but again escaping to lead a gang of armed robbers, and killed in a shoot-out with police.
- Coffey's River's Edge B&B, The Bridge, Killorglin V93 E095, ☏ . Smart friendly B&B in village centre. B&B double €110.
- Killorglin B&Bs also include Laune Bridge House, Grove Lodge, Aloha House, Torine House, Lakemount House and Westfield House.
- Glenbeigh B&Bs along N70 include Glencurrah House, Towers Hotel, Emirview House and Forest View House.
- 1 Glenross Caravan & Camping Park, Glenbeigh V93 HF64, ☏ . Clean spacious site along the main road open Jun-Sept. Pitch €36.
- 2 Ard na Sidhe, Caragh Lake V93 HV57, ☏ . Simply gorgeous hotel in a Victorian mansion. Great dining. Open Apr-Sept, no dogs. No availability in 2020. B&B double €250.
Killorglin has 4G from all Irish carriers. As of Aug 2021, 5G has not reached this area.
- Killarney is set by a lake with great views of Ireland's highest mountains.
- Tralee the county town is a pleasant place and transport hub.
- Caherciveen west is your next stop on the Ring of Kerry round Iveragh Peninsula.