The best routes to visit the Ring of Kerry by car

Ring of Kerry, route to do by car

Ireland has really beautiful landscapes and if we can rent a car to explore them, even better.

The Ring of Kerry is one of the most charming driving routes in the country: green hills that go up and down, towns and villages, rugged coastline... Let's see today what they are. the best routes to visit the Ring of Kerry by car.

The Ring of Kerry

Ring of Kerry

This route covers a total of 179 kilometers and if you do it completely it takes around three and a half hours, but yes, without stopping.

The route It is circular and circumnavigates the Iveagh Peninsula, from Killarney to Kenmare, along Kenmare Bay passing through the beautiful villages of Sneem and Caherdaniel, then heading north along the Skelling Way to the northern shores of the peninsula and then returning to Killarney.

Ring of Kerry

El starting point Of the route that is the most popular is the city of Killarney, colorful, alive. If you arrive through Dublin you will have to travel almost five hours from the capital, but there are closer airports such as Shannon, two or three hours away, or Kerry, just 20 minutes away, or in Cork.

The advice is that you take your time, stop, enjoy and take as long as it takes. In reality, since it is a circular route, you can start it at any point, although, as we said, Most tourists start in Killarney.

Ring of Kerry

Having said this, another tip is to do it clockwise because the most beautiful views They are on the left side of the road and that makes it easier to stop the car and enjoy them.

Again, you can start and finish wherever you want but Killarney is the most chosen starting and ending point. In theory it is a route that can be done in one day but since it is advisable to take some time, I think that sleeping in a town and completing it the next day is the best.

Ring of Kerry routes

Kerry Cliffs

A route within this route is the Skelling Ring Route It includes 18 kilometers with views of the beautiful Skellig Islands, almost all within the Ring of Kerry. These islands are World Heritage, sometimes inhabited by monks between the 6th and 12th centuries.

It is a section outside the main route and passes through the villages of Ballinskellig and Portmagee, where you can take a boat to cross and see the islands.

another route possible within the Ring of Kerry is the Gap of Dungle, a mountain pass that crosses MacGillycuddy Reeks. Narrow, it enters the Black Valley, passing five beautiful lakes along the way.

Gap of Dunloe, Ireland

The Gap of Dunloe runs 11 kilometers from north to south. Many cycle through it and take a boat from Ross Castle in Killarney National Park, with the bike on board, and then cycle around and return.

The glacial valleys of Moll's Gap are another popular route. The views are fantastic. It is on the route between Killarney and Kenmare and offers you some beautiful views of MacGillycuddy's Reeks, the Iveragh Peninsula mountain range.

Moll's Gap

Moll's Gap It is the highest point on the Ring of Kerry route, with a climb of no more and no less than 235 meters.

Along this tourist route there are many panoramic points and the first one you will come across is the Ladies View. Well, the first or the last, depending on your starting point. It is named after Queen Victoria's ladies who saw it in 1861 and made it popular for its great beauty.

Ladies View It is 16 kilometers from Killarney and views include mountains and lakes, classic Kerry scenery. Another route will take you to Derrynane Beach, which you reach from Sneem, a beautiful village. Here the sea unfolds in its total beauty.

Ladies View

Now you can get an idea that three hours is not enough to do this route. It is best to dedicate between six and seven hours or more, if you decide to make these side trips, and not leave Celtic ruins, monasteries and so on behind.

Basically, If you do the Ring of Kerry route you pass through these places, driving clockwise: Killarney, Gap of Dunloem, Kate Kearney Cottage, Beaufort, Kerry Woolen Mill, Killorglin, Kerry Bog Village Museum, Glenbeigh, Cahirciveen, Ballycarbery Castle, Portmagee, the Islands Skellig, Valentia Island, St. Finian's Bay, Balinskellig, Waterville, Eightercua Stones, Fort Loher, Derrynane, Caherdaniel, Castlecove Beach, Fort Staigue, Sneem, Killarney National Park, Moll's Gap and much, much more .

Ring of Kerry by car

We said that There are two possible directions: clockwise or counterclockwise. Then, which one suits? It depends how good a driver you are because It is a busy route with other cars and buses tourists, so you have to deal with them. And the route is narrow to walk past them.

You don't have that much time and you have decided do the Ring of Kerry in one day alone? It is also possible. You can start the day by arriving at Cork Airport, rent the car and start early.


You will go through Moll's Gap, the Gap of Dunloe valley and you will cross Wishing Bridge. Heading north and along the main route you reach Rossbeigh Strand, seven beautiful kilometers of sand. You arrive later at Ballycarbery Castle and Cahergal Fort and your morning is complete.

In the afternoon you take an excursion to the Skellig ring, For many, one of the most beautiful parts of the tour. You can have lunch at Portmagee, the fishing village, and if you don't take the boat tour you can continue the trip to the Valentia Island and Geokaun Mountain and the observation point on the cliffs. And you can even stop by the observatory on the famous Atlantic Coast.

Valentia Island

You can climb the Kerry Cliffs, really impressive. The following is the Ballinskelligs beach, with the ruins of a castle, and the Derrynane Abbey. Already after five, six in the afternoon you will be finishing the route, arriving almost at Killarney.

But first you can stop at the Lough Barfinnihy Viewpoint, Ladies View and its views of Killarney National Park. And the next day you return to Cork and take the return flight. What do you think of these routes to visit the Ring of Kerry by car?

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