Where does one start? For those who have never been to Co. Kerry. The Iveragh Peninsular Co. Kerry is probably the most spectacular part of Ireland. Not only is it beautiful everywhere you go but the people of Kerry are some of the friendliest and most accommodating people you will find anywhere in the world. Stop and talk to anyone and you’ll have trouble breaking away. It takes just fifteen minutes to drive to Kenmare from the house but going into town is like a double edged sword. I love it; but it just can’t be done in under a morning, whatever the rush. Kerrys most endearing attraction is the timeless pace and no matter what background you are from you simply have to accept this from the start. To try and force any issue is backing a looser. The first thing to do on arrival is to get into Kerry mode with a couple of pints of the black stuff and adjust your pace back one hundred years. OK. so I elaborate a little, things are slowly changing but still be prepared for a totally relaxing visit that you will wish never to end.
It’s everywhere. No matter where you travel in Kerry there is a view or scene of beauty. Be it a panoramic coastal scene, mountain roads and passes, the many rivers and lakes or even the bogs you just cannot get away from it. The skies are huge and the quality of light is an artists paradise. Whilst Ireland is generally thought to be wetter that England Kerry has it’s own micro climate. Being right on the Atlantic coast the weather between spring and autumn is generally a mixture of bright sun and cloud. The Gulf stream runs up past the west coast ensuring this part of Ireland is normally two or three degrees warmer than elsewhere. In fact you will notice almost immediately upon your arrival the diverse range of less hardy plants like fuchsias in the hedgerows and the range of palms and exotic plants that survive quite happily here.
Kerry has numerous small towns the most famous of which is Killarney on the edge of the Killarney Lakes. This is the major town in the Iveragh Peninsular and it is a very vibrant little town indeed. It has a good range of shops. Dozens of hotels a swimming pool and a cinema. There is also a large Nike Outlet Shop, so watch out if you have the kids with you. Kenmare is the next most important town. It is most certainly the prettiest town in Ireland and must the most photographed and video filmed place in Europe. It has a vast range of restaurants, pubs and bars and it caters for all tastes and pocket depths. Sea food is especially well represented and you’ll certainly have to travel far to find anywhere like it. There is also a good Library and Post Office.
There are several places where boat trips can be arranged around the Kenmare River. The Seafari from Kenmare pier is a lovely trip around the Kenmare bay and to seal rock, where it gets very close to the seal colony. Deep sea angling can also be arrange here and at the Anchorage on the road just out of Kenmare to Castletownbear. A visit to the Skellig rocks is a must if you have the time and the weather is good. These are two pyramidal shaped rocks, Skellig Michael and Little Skellig, that just erupt from the sea about seven miles of the coast at Ballinskellig Bay. There is a Monastery at the top of Skellig Michael and its only about seven hundred steps up the shear rock face to reach it. There is also one of the largest gannet colonies in Europe on Little Skellig. There are numerous places along the south coast, where locals will take you out into Kenmare Bay fishing.
There is plenty of good walking everywhere in Kerry from coastal paths to mountain tracks but be warned most are not sign posted and you do need to be able to map read especially in the mountains. If going alone (not advised unless you know the area and always tell someone where your going and when you expect to be back). In these mountains the weather can change rapidly from bright sunshine to thick cloud in minutes where you cannot see more than twenty yards, so ensure you have adequate foot ware and clothing.