South West Ireland - West Cork and Kerry
The Atlantic Ocean has sculpted southwest Ireland’s coast into spectacular peninsulas, jagged headlands, sheltered bays, sandy beaches and even lovely little islands. Further inland, West Cork and Kerry are no less spectacular, sporting Ireland’s highest mountains as well as lush forests, dramatic castles, glittering lakes and quaint towns.
West Cork and Kerry are home to a fascinating array of people attracted by the wild, isolated beauty and welcoming communities of Southwest Ireland. Find some of the world’s best artisan food producers, craftsmen, and Irish trad musicians. Among Ireland’s most famous regions, there is more than meets the eye in Cork and Kerry. Let a local guide take you off the traditional tourist track to explore a whole other side of this beloved region.
Things to see and do in West Cork & Kerry
- The Ring of Kerry on the Iveragh Peninsula is possibly the most famous part of Kerry. It can be crowded with tour buses but there are still ways to visit the hidden corners of this region.
- Star Wars have made the Skellig Islands immensely well-known. Two spectacular jagged outcrops of rock off the coast of the Ring of Kerry have placed host to a remote community of monks, over 40,00o pairs of gannets, a colony of puffins, and even the odd Jedi!
- Killarney National Park was Ireland’s first national park, and is today a lovely combination of natural beauty and cultural landmarks like Ross Castle and Muckross House.
- Cape Clear Island is the southernmost inhabited island in Ireland and the last vista of Europe sailors would have had! Today, Cape Clear is home to a thriving Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) community. It’s from here that you can see famed Fastnet Island Lighthouse on clear days.
- Lovely wee towns and villages like Baltimore – home to a famous pirate raid – and Kinsale, known as a foodie haven dot the coast. Further inland, Killarney town is a bustling town full of pubs and shops.
- Other lesser-known peninsulas such as the Sheep’s Head Peninsula and Mizen Peninsula are great for hiking and biking – not to mention cheese and other dairy!
- Dingle town is a bustling mecca for music, artists and seafood. The Dingle Peninsula, home to the world-renowned Dingle Way, has a plethora of Neolithic and medieval ruins like beehive huts, the Gallarus Oratory and Minard Castle.
- Eat well in Kenmare & Kinsale, Gourmet and Foodie Capitals of Ireland