South West

South West

Ireland’s Southwest, Steeped in Beauty & History

Stretching its fingers into the wild Atlantic Ocean, Ireland’s southwest corner is a treasure trove of scenic spots, historic gems and lively towns and villages. Here are some of our favourite places in the Southwest:

Killarney

Killarney National Park offers 10,000 hectares of stunning wilderness, home to Ireland’s highest mountains, its most famous lakes, and its only herd of wild native red deer. See the glorious cascade of Torc Waterfall and stroll through the immaculate Victorian lawns of Muckross Gardens and pleasant wooded walks.

The interlinked Lakes of Killarney can be viewed from places like Ladies View and Aghadoe, or you can get out on the water at Ross Castle and explore the Lower Lake on the waterbus, a hired boat or a kayak. Killarney town is a buzzing cosmopolitan spot with lively pubs and restaurants and a good selection of shops

Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a 180km loop of the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula. Travel in the direction of Killorglin from Killarney toward the coast, travelling through Cahersiveen, Waterville, Sneem and Kenmare until you return to Killarney. Take worthwhile detours to scenic spots like the Gap of Dunloe, Rossbeigh Beach, Derrynane House, Staigue Fort, and Valentia Island. Along the Ring of Kerry itself you can immerse yourself in the beauty and history of places like Waterville and Kenmare.

Dingle

The Dingle Peninsula has pretty much everything you could wish for. It enjoys some of the most spectacular mountain and coastal scenery in Ireland, as well as a rich heritage of remarkably well preserved archaeological and ecclesiastical sites. You could call it an open-air museum.
The coastal road at Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula hugs the most westerly point in Europe and reveals awe-inspiring views of the Blasket Islands and the Skelligs. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy this part of the Wild Atlantic Way.

West Cork

If you look at Cork on a map, it has three fingers reaching into the Atlantic Ocean. One of those fingers is the mighty Beara Peninsula, a spectacular stretch of rugged coastal scenery that also takes in part of Kerry. West Cork is scattered with gourmet towns and villages from Kinsale to Clonakilty, as well as a host of gems such as Gougane Barra, with its pine forests, a glacial mountain lake, and a small 6th-century chapel built by Saint Finbarr, the founder of Cork.

Another jewel is Glengarriff, a pretty village on Bantry Bay that acts as a gateway to the Beara Peninsula and links the towns of Kenmare and Bantry. A sheltered site influenced by the Gulf Stream means that Glengarriff enjoys a warm climate that fosters a holiday atmosphere and encourages tropical plants to grow in profusion on Garinish Island and in Bamboo Park.

Killarney

Killarney National Park offers 10,000 hectares of stunning wilderness, home to Ireland’s highest mountains, its most famous lakes, and its only herd of wild native red deer. See the glorious cascade of Torc Waterfall and stroll through the immaculate Victorian lawns of Muckross Gardens and pleasant wooded walks.

The interlinked Lakes of Killarney can be viewed from places like Ladies View and Aghadoe, or you can get out on the water at Ross Castle and explore the Lower Lake on the waterbus, a hired boat or a kayak. Killarney town is a buzzing cosmopolitan spot with lively pubs and restaurants and a good selection of shops

Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a 180km loop of the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula. Travel in the direction of Killorglin from Killarney toward the coast, travelling through Cahersiveen, Waterville, Sneem and Kenmare until you return to Killarney. Take worthwhile detours to scenic spots like the Gap of Dunloe, Rossbeigh Beach, Derrynane House, Staigue Fort, and Valentia Island. Along the Ring of Kerry itself you can immerse yourself in the beauty and history of places like Waterville and Kenmare.

Dingle

The Dingle Peninsula has pretty much everything you could wish for. It enjoys some of the most spectacular mountain and coastal scenery in Ireland, as well as a rich heritage of remarkably well preserved archaeological and ecclesiastical sites. You could call it an open-air museum.
The coastal road at Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula hugs the most westerly point in Europe and reveals awe-inspiring views of the Blasket Islands and the Skelligs. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy this part of the Wild Atlantic Way.

West Cork

If you look at Cork on a map, it has three fingers reaching into the Atlantic Ocean. One of those fingers is the mighty Beara Peninsula, a spectacular stretch of rugged coastal scenery that also takes in part of Kerry. West Cork is scattered with gourmet towns and villages from Kinsale to Clonakilty, as well as a host of gems such as Gougane Barra, with its pine forests, a glacial mountain lake, and a small 6th-century chapel built by Saint Finbarr, the founder of Cork.

Another jewel is Glengarriff, a pretty village on Bantry Bay that acts as a gateway to the Beara Peninsula and links the towns of Kenmare and Bantry. A sheltered site influenced by the Gulf Stream means that Glengarriff enjoys a warm climate that fosters a holiday atmosphere and encourages tropical plants to grow in profusion on Garinish Island and in Bamboo Park.

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