Ireland’s South-West is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. Looking for some inspiration? Read our list of the best waterfalls in Cork and Kerry below.
Love waterfalls? Welcome to the club. Humans have adored them since ancient times. Not only do they make great photo opportunities, they are also perfect places to relax, stretch your legs, and enjoy picnics with a view. And according to popular belief, they are great for our souls too.
Luckily, the Emerald Isle has no shortage of waterfalls so wherever you are in the country, the next fall will never be far. If you are heading south-west, you are in for a treat as some of the most stunning torrents are located here, including the highest waterfall in Ireland!
Have a look at our list of the best waterfalls in Cork and Kerry – and let us know your favourite.
5. Mullinhassig Waterfall (Co. Cork) – a hidden gem in the woods
Mullinhassig comes from the Irish Muileann an Easaigh, meaning “Mill of the Waterfall”, so it is no coincidence that the woods near Aghavrin are home to some of the best waterfalls in Cork and Kerry.
Mullinhassig Waterfall was first depicted on a map in 1842 and has attracted visitors from the area and afar ever since. The waterfall pool is known as Good’s pond, named after the landowner who ran an irrigation stream from the pond to his land.
If you are already in the area and have some extra time, we strongly recommend checking out Poulanassy Waterfall (see number 3) and Aghavrin Clapper Bridge too.
Address: Aghavrin, Co. Cork, Ireland
4. Mare’s Tail Waterfall (Co. Cork) – the highest waterfall in Ireland
With a height of 685 metres, Hungry Hill is the highest peak of the Caha Mountains on the border of counties Cork and Kerry. And right at its top, you will find Mare’s Tail Waterfall, the highest waterfall in Ireland and the UK.
The fall takes the waters of Coomadavallig and Coomarkane Lake over the impermeable sandstone to the valley of Coomgira and Adrigole harbour – and is an impressive landmark not to be missed.
Walking to the top of Hungry Hill (and the waterfall) takes about three hours from the car park.
Unfortunately, the trail is quite steep at times and therefore not very child-friendly. However, you can also get a great view of the waterfall right from the (very accessible) foot of the hill.
Address: Cappanaparka West, Co. Cork, Ireland
3. Poulanassy Waterfall (Co. Cork) – the waterfall where you might spot a mermaid
A thirty-foot cascade of the Glashnagarriff river, it is in the north-west of the wood and makes a popular tourist spot, especially in the warmer months.
Legend has it that a mermaid resides in the pool below Poulanassy Waterfall. If approached quietly in the late evening, she can be seen combing her hair on a stone to the left of the waterfall, so keep your eyes peeled just in case – and definitely do let us know if you meet her!
Address: Aghavrin, Co. Cork, Ireland
2. Gleninchaquin Waterfall (Co. Kerry) – a beautiful waterfall surrounded by lakes and mountains
Gleninchaquin Park near Kenmare is an outdoor paradise for hiking, walking, fishing, and mountain biking – and Gleninchaquin Waterfall right in the heart of the park ranks high amongst the best waterfalls in Cork and Kerry.
Rain or sunshine, the 140-metre high fall never fails to impress. And, if you are really lucky, you might even spot a rainbow just over it. There’s several walks around the waterfall and through the park, taking between two and six hours to complete, all with panoramic views of the mountains, lakes, woods, and lush meadows on the way. And you will also find a little farm you can visit.
Hungry? Enjoy lunch with a view at one of the many picnic spots.
Address: Gleninchaquin, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, V93 YXP4, Ireland
1. Torc Waterfall (Co. Kerry) – for panoramic views over Killarney National Park
Our winner of the best waterfalls in Cork and Kerry is conveniently located near the start of the Ring of Kerry just a few miles outside the charming town of Killarney, making it a great first stop when exploring the area.
The popular waterfall can be found at the foot of Torc Mountain and is 20 metres high. What makes Torc Waterfall stand out are the splendid views over Killarney National Park – bring your camera and make sure to pack some lunch as you might want to stay a little longer than originally planned to take in the surroundings.
Just a five-minute walk from the road, the waterfall is popular with visitors of all ages. Mornings or evenings are best, especially on weekends, if you aim to avoid the crowds.
Address: Rossnahowgarry, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland