Top 5 best hidden gems in County Kerry

From historical landmarks to sequestered treasures, here are the top five best hidden gems in County Kerry.

Nicknamed ‘The Kingdom’, County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland is a popular tourist destination famed for its beautiful landscape, folk customs, and extensive history.

From the iconic Ring of Kerry to the Skellig Islands, which is one of the most romantic places in Ireland for Valentine’s Day, the county is home to many notable sites. However, it also offers other lesser-known features that have proven a hit amongst those who have stumbled across them.

Read on for our list of the top five best hidden gems in County Kerry.

5. Telegraph Field, Valentia Island a highly historical site

Telegraph Field is one of the best hidden gems in County Kerry.
Credit: / N Chadwick

In 1866, officials installed the first transatlantic telegraph cable to enable the successful exchange of messages between Europe and North America.

This progressive invention, which paved the way for faster communication, continued to occur until its eventual closure a century later.

Nowadays, the site is marked with a plaque (erected in 2002) outlining and commemorating its historical importance. There have also been plans to have the area officially classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Arguably one of the best hidden gems in County Kerry, visitors will be able to read all about its significance whilst taking in the stunning surrounding views of the bay.

Address: Unnamed Road, Co., Co. Kerry, Ireland

4. Charlie Chaplin Statue – pose for a picture with a performing icon

You need to visit the Charlie Chaplin Statue.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

In the quiet coastal village of Waterville stands a life-sized bronze cast statue and accompanying stone plaque dedicated to the silent movie star who frequently holidayed there with his family for more than a decade. 

Located beside the Ring of Kerry, the site of the sculpture looks out over the gorgeous Ballinskelligs Bay and boasts stunning views of nearby hills in the background. 

Additionally, the town holds an annual Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival each summer in memory of his life and work. The popular event, which debuted in 2011, is said to be endorsed by the Chaplin estate.

Address: Waterville, Co. Kerry, Ireland

3. Grotto & Slate Quarry, Valentia Island – a well-kept secret

Grotto and Slate Quarry is one of the best hidden gems in County Kerry.

Situated just off the Iveragh Peninsula on Valentia Island is a lesser-known slate quarry. Produce from here has been used by the likes of London’s Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Opera House in Paris, amongst many others.

People have used the high-quality rock to create countertops, roof slates, and countless billiard tables, including one for the Duke of Wellington and Queen Victoria. 

Nowadays, tourists can book a guided tour here at the location of one of the best hidden gems in County Kerry. You can peruse the site of Ireland’s oldest quarry in production and learn all about the behind-the-scenes process of how the slate is actually made.

Address: Unnamed Road, Gortgower, Co. Kerry, Ireland

2. Fahan Beehive Huts – stunning stonework structures

Fahan Beehive Huts are a must-visit.

You can see many of these cone-shaped stone huts dotted across County Kerry. However, many regard the group on Slea Head in the Dingle Peninsula to be the best of them all.

The houses have been around for more than 1,000 years. They are thought to have been built anywhere between the eighth and twelfth centuries.

They also likely acted as homes to hermit monks and Saint Peter’s followers, and perhaps even pagans prior to that.

Visitors can marvel at the ancient buildings and their intriguing shape. They came about as a result of their creation using the drystone corbelling method.

Address: Fahan, Co. Kerry, Ireland

1. Skelligs Chocolate Factory – a hidden haven in the hills

Skelligs Chocolate is one of the best hidden gems in County Kerry.
Credit: Facebook / @skelligschocolate

Ireland’s sole fully open-plan chocolate production site based at the remote St. Finians Bay in Ballinskelligs overlooking the Skelligs Rocks is the perfect find.

Visitors who book a tour of the site of this Irish family business (running from February to December only) will witness first-hand the making of their famous cocoa products.

You will enjoy to some free tasty samples as you revel in the incredible surrounding mountainous scenery. 

Said to be the most westerly chocolate factory in Europe, this award-winning facility also boasts an onsite café and shop. And, with worldwide shipping, you can savour a little piece of Ireland no matter where you are!

Undoubtedly one of the best hidden gems in County Kerry, a trip to the secluded Skelligs Chocolate Factory is a must.

Address: St. Finians Bay, The Glen, Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Have you visited any of them? Be sure to let us know down below!

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