It will be the greatest playground in the world, for there is not another like it and I know them all.(Senator Arthur Vincent on presenting the Muckross Estate to the Irish people in 1932 to become the nucleus of Killarney National Park)
Before you dip into this treasure trove of over 30 tips, we have to tell you that the 25,000-acre Killarney National Park is entirely free to visit with the exception of four major visitor attractions.
An admission charge applies to Muckross House and Muckross Traditional Farms (Muckross Gardens are free), Ross Castle and Killarney House (gardens are free here also). Apart from these charges, you are free to roam the vast outdoor playground where other free highlights include Muckross Abbey, Torc Waterfall and the public playground.
Remember too that cars are banned from the National Park, apart from the main motor entrance to Muckross House and Gardens where the vast car park is again free to the public. People explore the Park by foot, horse and bicycle only.
Also, it cannot be over-emphasised that a one-way system operates through the Muckross/Dinis section of the Park for bikes and horses. Inform yourself about this one-way section of the route if you intend to cycle because the signage leaves a lot to be desired. We’ll set you right!
The 170km Ring of Kerry hugging Ireland’s South-West coast represents some of the most spectacular seascapes you will encounter anywhere on the Wild Atlantic Way. DON’T leave Ireland with doing “The Ring”.
Drive to Kate Kearney’s Cottage and walk or take a pony and trap up into the Gap of Dunloe. Reward yourself with an Irish Coffee in Kate’s afterwards. (It is possible to drive through the Gap of Dunloe but, unless you go very early in the morning or late in the evening, it’s a nightmare to negotiate because of the narrow and winding road that borders steep drops in places).
The Dingle Peninsula is one of Ireland's most famous scenic day trips. It has some of the best natural scenery seen anywhere in Europe. This is rugged, desolate country. The breathtaking panoramas of the coastline with steep cliffs falling into the sea, isolated beaches, and the Blasket Islands.