The Kerry Kingdom will leave you awestruck with its stunning cliff drives, misty mountains, glacial valleys, nature reserves, bogland terrain, sandy beaches, waterfalls and heritage sites galore. You could easily spend several weeks venturing around Kerry, so motorhomes at the ready as there is no better way to explore this vastly changing landscape with its diverse range of scenery.
The famous Ring of Kerry
Renowned the World over, this famous 111 mile driving route takes in some of Ireland's most stunning landscapes, including the charming towns of Killarney and Kenmare, the rugged Skellig Islands including the dramatic coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula. There are plenty of campsites and parking areas along the route, making it easy to explore this amazing part of the country at your own pace.
The best advice if tackling the Ring of Kerry via motorhome is to go anticlockwise in the same direction as the coaches and yes, you might have to bite the lower lip as this could be the ultimate test for any relationship. This is also part of the fun, so be just take your time and stride along at your leisure. If you have a van conversion or campervan, better still as this allows you to negotiate trickier parts of the ring road with greater ease. Outside of peak season is the best way to avoid heavy traffic and larger crowds, so April, May, September, and October are considered optimal months to plan for. This map from the Irish Road Trip is an excellent resource when travelling the ring of Kerry as it highlights all the main attractions and points of interest along the route.
A great starting point is a visit to Killarney National Park pictured above where you will find plenty of parking and stunning scenery, it's also within close proximity of Muckross house and gardens (2km), Ross castle (1km) and Torc Waterfall (4km).
Of course, you have Killarney town itself with a large car park in the centre of town, so be ready to venture the streets and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the town which has excellent shopping, fantastic boutiques, craft shops, restaurants, bars and music.
When the travel bug hits and you are mad to get behind the wheel again, enjoy stunning coastal views as you navigate the Iveragh Peninsula and on the way, you can visit Cahersiveen, where some motorhome owners overnight on the pier.
Then there is Cahergall Stone fort, Glenbeigh, Drumore castle at Templenoe and the quaint village of Sneem where you will find the most charming campsite called Goosey Island which has earned itself a favourable reputation among motorhome owners. The Parknasilla Resort is nearby and a truly magical place with ten amazing walking trails to choose from. If you venture to the glacial valley at the Gap of Dunloe it’s slightly off the official Ring of Kerry route, but be aware that it’s particularly tight, so best done very early morning and not for the faint hearted possiblly not the best option for larger motorhomes.
A slight little detour off the ring of Kerry, but certainly worth the extra time and effort. Here you can hike the magnificent Geokaun Mountain and Cliffs, treat yourself at Valentia Islands farmhouse Icecream parlour, visit the lighthouse or trek the Tetrapod Trackway which features fossils dating back 350 million years.
Dingle Peninsula - Slea Head
One of the most iconic drives in Kerry on the Dingle peninsula and at its most western point you'll find Slea Head. No one says it better than Martin Dorey, so here is his take in his own words. “For cliff-hugging driving and beehive huts, head west out of Dingle town on the Slea Head Drive and you’ll pass a collection of beehive huts hunkering down on the hillsides above the road. Some are still in use by local farmers but the best preserved are open to the public, for a small fee. No one knows their true age but suffice it to say they aren’t of this world. Continue on and you’ll come to Coumeenoole, a beach with incredibly clean water, bright yellow sand and churning rollers.” A little further on, Blasket Island Centre has stunning views of Great Blasket and reveals a fascinating story of its people and language. For an overnight checkout Campail Teach an Aragail near Dingle. This is an amazing spot.
No tour of Kerry would be complete without taking in the magnificant Skellig Micheal, where you can walk among the remains of St Fionan's monastery and the famous Bee Hive huts where the Monks used to live. The best views from land are from the Kerry Cliffs in Portmagee which is on the Skellig ring (18km) just off the ring of Kerry. To visit Skellig you will need to make a booking in advance with a tour operator. Eco tours circle the island for approximately €45 per person and landing tours cost somewhere around €120 and €140 per person. All tours are weather dependant. It's always worth checking at Portmagee pier for last minute availability, as some people have reported being lucky in the past with cancellations.
Isolation and beauty at Ireland's most westerly point, the Blaskets can be explored by day trip or you can pre-book overnight stays on the island and experience island life in simpler times as famously narrated by Peg Sayers. The Blasket Island Ferry departs daily from Dunquin Pier and costs approx €35 per adult and this is the quickest way to get to the Island. There is also a Dingle Bay Speed boat Tour and Blasket Island experience for approx €65 per person and this leaves from Dingle Pier on a daily basis. Perhaps a better option for motorhome parking access.
Campsites are in abundance in Castlegregory where you can try a hand at crab fishing, partake in every type of water activity at Splash Sports, or Jamie Knox's. Simply take in the beautiful beaches and explore the sand dunes, all part of the magic that motorhoming brings.
Kerrys Hidden Gem - Glanteenassig Wood
A place that local Kerry people would possibly like to keep to themselves but is too good to be kept secret. Glanteenassig is idyllically situated by a lake in a dreamlike valley with uninterrupted views of the Slieve Mish mountains and surrounding bogland. It's close to Castlegregory and certainly worth the extra effort to go and visit, the access road is very narrow, so a good time to give the bikes a go or set off a hike. If you have a van conversion you should be able to access by vehicle but do note that there is no overnight parking. For more information Glanteenassig and how to get there, yet again the Irish Road Trip blog does a thorough job on this.
It's the perfect stopover with daytime parking on the pier and nearby overnight parking next to the harbour. It has incredible pubs and restaurants (great seafood) with no shortage of trad music sessions either. This place is full of character with a relaxed but buzzing atmosphere. Be sure to check out Dingle Aquarium while you are there.
Wherever you end up in Kerry, or whatever route you decide upon, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Enjoy living the dream and making every moment count!
If you are interested in becoming a campervan owner or purchasing a motorhome, come and visit us to see the range at our showrooms in Shannonside Business Park, Birdhill, Co. Tipperary V94VY98. Anchor Point Motorhomes is your Burstner, Weinsberg and Westfalia Motorhome Ireland dealer and we pride ourselves on delivering a 5 star service to all our customers.
Help is always at hand, so feel free to call us on 353 (0)61 379903 or pop in to see us. A warm welcome awaits!