Ring of Kerry – the most visited tourist trail in Ireland

Outside of Dublin, the Ring of Kerry is the most visited attraction in Ireland. County Kerry is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and the Ring of Kerry is the most common way of seeing it.

There are dozens of tour buses you can hop on to get a good view of the 179km horseshoe shaped route, although you can also see it via car or bike.

Ring of Kerry photo
Photo by Marcus Rahm

Knightstown, Ring of Kerry, Ireland – Rainbow After The Storm

Although there aren’t many historic sites along the route, the ones they are spectacular enough to make the trip worthwhile — that and the fact that each site is surrounded by gorgeous Irish countryside.

Not far out of Killarney there is Muckross Estate, a Dúchas property that is composed of Muckross House (a 19th century manor), the Muckross Traditional Farms (reproductions of Kerry farmhouses from the 1930s) and Muckross Abbey (a 15th century abbey that was torched in 1652 by Cromwell). The abbey in particular is a gem.

A few kilometres from the Muckross Estate is the Torc Waterfall; a beautiful natural waterfall tumbling down a mountain with countless colours sparkling around you. Then in Portmagee you can visit a little museum about the monastic settlement Skellig Michael on a little Island, which you should be able to see from the mainland.

The Ring of Kerry is geared towards tourists; there are plenty of restaurants, pubs, fast food joints and places to stay. If you wanted to spend more time exploring the ring there are plenty of places to sleep anywhere along it.

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