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How long does it take to do the Ring of Kerry?

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The Ring of Kerry is a scenic drive that loops around the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. The total distance of the route is approximately 179 kilometers (111 miles). The time it takes to complete the Ring of Kerry can vary depending on several factors such as traffic, road conditions, weather and the number of stops you make along the way.

On average, it takes about 3 to 4 hours to drive the Ring of Kerry without stopping. However, this would only allow you to admire the scenery from your vehicle without exploring any of the attractions or taking breaks for meals or photography. To truly experience the beauty of the area and visit points of interest, it’s recommended to allocate a full day for the journey.

If you plan to make stops at viewpoints, visit attractions, take short hikes and enjoy meals along the way, it’s reasonable to allocate a minimum of 6 to 8 hours for the Ring of Kerry. This timeframe allows for a more leisurely pace and provides ample time to appreciate the stunning landscapes, coastal views, mountains, lakes and charming villages that the route offers.

It’s worth noting that during peak tourist season, particularly in the summer months, the roads can be congested which may add some additional time to your journey. Knowing some of the Irish Slang words will further help to understand the Irish Charm.

Highlights along The Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, picturesque coastal landscapes, charming villages, and historic sites. Here are some of the highlights along the route:

  • Ladies View: A stunning panoramic viewpoint along the route, offering breathtaking vistas of the Killarney Lakes and surrounding mountains.
  • Gap of Dunloe: A narrow mountain pass that provides awe-inspiring views of rugged landscapes, lakes, and valleys. You can hike, cycle, or take a traditional jaunting car ride through the gap.
  • Valentia Island: Accessible via a bridge from the mainland, Valentia Island offers stunning coastal scenery, historic sites like the Valentia Island Slate Quarry and beautiful walking trails.
  • Staigue Fort: An ancient stone fort believed to date back to the late Iron Age. It’s an impressive archaeological site with well-preserved stone walls.
  • Derrynane House: The ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell, a famous Irish statesman. The house is now a museum showcasing the history of the area and the surrounding Derrynane National Historic Park offers lovely beaches and coastal walks.
  • Kenmare: A charming town located at the southeastern corner of the Ring of Kerry. Kenmare is known for its colorful buildings, lively atmosphere, shops, galleries and eateries.

These are just a few highlights along the Ring of Kerry, and there are many more beautiful spots, viewpoints and attractions to discover as you drive the route.

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Last updated May 29, 2023


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