The 5 best RING of KERRY TOWNS (to stay and explore)

The 5 best RING of KERRY TOWNS (to stay and explore)

County Kerry is located southwest of Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way. Known for its beautiful scenery, rugged peninsulas, and breathtaking cliffs, the county is undoubtedly one of the most incredible in Ireland.

From the Dingle Peninsula to the Skellig Islands, you’ll be blown away by the scenery that awaits you as you venture around the iconic Ring of Kerry Drive.

If you’re looking for somewhere great to stay or grab a delicious bite to eat on your journey, you’ll be spoilt for choice with stunning towns to visit. 

Need some help deciding? Here are our top five best Ring of Kerry towns to stay and explore!

5. Kenmare – a colourful town you can’t miss

Vibrant and picturesque buildings lining the streets of Kenmare, perfectly encapsulating the charm of Ring of Kerry towns with their colorful facades and inviting atmosphere.
Credit: Flickr / Val H

Kicking off our list of the best Ring of Kerry towns to stay and explore is the quaint and colourful town of Kenmare. 

Located just north of Kenmare Bay, it is the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful waterway. Plenty of boat tours take place not far from the town.

Located between the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and the Caha Mountain Ranges, you can enjoy epic scenery all around.

Plus, this spot is home to some fantastic bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious bite to eat and a creamy pint of Guinness.

4. Caherdaniel and Derrynane – for history and natural beauty

Located just a four-minute drive apart, Caherdaniel and Derrynane are two beautiful small towns that should be on your Ring of Kerry bucket list

Home to the stunning Derrynane Beach and the historic Derrynane House, which was the ancestral home of ‘the Liberator’ Daniel O’Connell, Derrynane is a must-visit for fans of nature and history.

There are also plenty of beautiful nature trails to explore nearby. So, if you’re after a relaxing break in one of the most picturesque parts of County Kerry, Caherdaniel and Derrynane are the perfect spots.

3. Cahersiveen – the capital of the Iveragh Peninsula

When you’re travelling the stunning Iveragh Peninsula, one of the best Ring of Kerry towns to stay and explore is the fantastic Cahersiveen. 

Known as the gateway to the Skellig Ring, Cahersiveen is home to abundant history and beautiful natural scenery. 

If you’re a fan of the outdoors, we highly recommend embarking on the Ring of Skellig cycle route that connects Portmagee, Valentia Island, and Waterville. 

You’ll get a great workout, enjoy the sights, and take in the epic Skellig Michael scenery along the way.

2. Killorglin – one of the best Ring of Kerry towns to stay and explore

Considered the gateway to the Ring of Kerry, Killorglin is located on the Iveragh Peninsula and overlooked by the beautiful Macgillycuddy’s Reeks Mountain Range. 

Close to the beautiful Cromane, Dooks, and Rossbeigh beaches, there’s plenty to see and discover around here.

Killorglin is perhaps most well known as the home of the unusual – and controversial – Puck Fair and Festival. 

One of Ireland’s oldest fairs, the Puck Fair, takes place each August, and a wild goat is brought back from the mountains to the town to be crowned King Puck.

1. Killarney – one spot you can’t miss

Home to the iconic Killarney National Park with its array of waterfalls, castles, and lakes, Killarney is undoubtedly one of our top choices for Ring of Kerry towns to stay and explore.

Some must-visits in the area include the beautiful Torc Waterfall, the historic Ross Castle, and the stunning Muckross House

If you want to soak up the best of the natural scenery, we highly recommend driving along the scenic Moll’s Gap mountain pass. This pass offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and forests.

Notable mentions

Portmagee: Connected by a bridge to Valentia Island, Portmagee is a beautiful small town that provides the perfect place to relax. Also connected by boat to the Skellig Islands, Portmagee is the perfect base to explore the Kerry scenery.

Sneem: A quaint seaside town with plenty of great bars and eateries. The Staigue Stone Fort, believed to date back to the Iron Age, is also nearby. This is an excellent attraction for those interested in history.

Waterville: Renowned for its charm with the stunning Lough Currane on the east and Ballinskelligs Bay on the west. Waterville is a quaint and beautiful town worth checking out while exploring the Ring of Kerry.

Dingle: Whether you want to explore the town, take a boat trip out on Dingle Harbour, or drive around the stunning peninsula, we can’t recommend a trip to the Dingle Peninsula highly enough.

Just a short drive from Dingle is the famous Dunmore Head, which needs to be on the bucket list of any Star Wars fan. It was here that some of the most epic scenes from Star Wars: The Last Jedi were filmed.

Glenbeigh: Often referred to as the jewel in the Ring of Kerry, Glenbeigh is another of the best Ring of Kerry towns to stay and explore. Home to the golden sands of the Blue Flag Rossbeigh Beach, this spot is perfect for a relaxing break with the family.

Your questions answered about the five best Ring of Kerry towns

Where should I stay to do the Ring of Kerry?

Any of the towns listed above provide the perfect base to explore the Ring of Kerry.

What towns are along the Ring of Kerry?

Killarney, Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Rossbeigh, Kells, Cahersiveen, Caherdaniel, Kenmare, Sneem, Waterville, Portmagee, and Ballinskelligs.

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