With so much to see and do in Killarney it can be hard deciding where to start. We have suggested a 2-day itinerary to make the most out of your break away.
To make the most of your day, arise early for breakfast and prepare for the day. Dress comfortably, especially comfortable footwear if you want to explore all Killarney has to offer. Whether you have your own transportation or not, Killarney National Park is accessible to all. There are plenty of taxis available if you do not have transport to take you to your destination and also there is a hop on/hop off bus that can take you to many of the highlights in Killarney (subject to availability)
Leaving Killarney Town Centre, taking the N71 the first stop is Torc Waterfall, approximately 8.5km from the hotel. Park in the carpark and take the trail which is approximately 200m until you reach the waterfall. The cascading waterfall is iconic in Killarney and is best seen for all it’s might after the rain. For the more adventurous, from the waterfall, you can continue up the steps and further to Torc mountain. This hiking trail takes approximately 2-2.5 hours but the reward at the summit is a spectacular view of Killarney town, lakes and National Park. After Torc waterfall, it’s back to the car to head to Muckross House. If you have taken public transport/bus or cycled to Torc Waterfall, you can walk or cycle the trail across the road from the Torc Carpark to take you to the house. At Muckross house, there is so much to see and areas to explore, so it depends on how much time you have available. A tour of the magnificent 19th century Victorian house can also be done but we highly recommend you walk the gardens surrounding the house. There is a café, craft shop and Traditional Farm tour also here or hop on one of the famous Killarney Jaunting Car tours, let your Jarvey be your guide and learn about the history of the area. Once you are done exploring the area, it may be time to grab a quick snack or lunch at the café in Muckross.
From Muckross House carpark, head back on the N71 toward Killarney Town. The next stop is Ross Castle. Located on the shores of Lough Leane, this 15th century castle is a typical example of the stronghold of an Irish Chieftain. Take a stroll around Ross Island and enjoy the Copper mines trail, taking in the flora and fauna of Killarney National Park or why not enjoy a cruise on the Lake with Killarney Lake Tours. Tours of the castle are also available. For those cycling or walking, there is a path that takes you through the Killarney National Park all the way back to the town.
To see all of the above we would recommend starting off early in the morning, before 10am and allowing approximately 5-6 hours to make the most of each place. Parking is available at all of the National Park sites and is free of charge, but be aware parking spaces fill up quickly! There are public toilets also available at Torc Waterfall, Muckross House and Ross Castle. If planning on cycling, make sure to pack a bag with plenty of drinks and snacks to keep you going. If taking public transport, be sure to check the bus schedule or take a number for local taxi service.
Once back in Killarney Town in the evening, you can explore the town itself with its bustling streets and many excellent restaurants and bars. We are happy to give recommendations on request at the reception desk.
Rise and shine early again! This time you are heading on the N72, following the signs for the Ring of Kerry. Approximately 10 minutes along this route, you will be taking the road on the left following the signs for Gap of Dunloe. For those who enjoy walking, we recommend stopping off to do the Tomies wood Trail. This is a looped trail, taking you through the spectacular woods on the slopes of Tomies Mountain. The trail is said to be the hunting grounds of Fionn McChoumhaill and the Fianna, who according to Irish Mythology were legendary warriors. The trail includes O’Sullivan’s Cascade, a spectacular waterfall when in full flow. The trail takes approximately 3-4 hours, but it is family friendly. Please be aware parking is limited and there are no public toilet facilities here.
If you’re not too exhausted from the above trail, the next stop is the famous Gap of Dunloe. The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass forged between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain by glacial flows Drive on from Tomies Wood carpark, following the signs for Gap of Dunloe, for approximately another 8 minutes. Parking is available near Kate Kearney’s cottage, but again, please be aware that spaces fill up quickly. It is not recommended to drive the road through the Gap of Dunloe as it is extremely narrow and winding. You can walk as far as you like up the Gap of Dunloe road, to take in the views. Lord Brandon’s cottage is approximately 11km from Kate Kearney’s cottage, but if the walk is a bit much, it is possible to hire a jaunting car to take you on the trip. Enjoy a nice cold drink or refreshments after your walk at Kate Kearney’s cottage or from the Café.
Depending on what time you return to Killarney Town, you will probably still have time to take a short stroll from the town centre to visit St Mary’s Cathedral. One of Irelands most notable Gothic Revival Churches of the 19th Century. Designed by Augustus Welby Pugin, and towering over Killarney town with the backdrop of Killarney National Park, this cathedral is well worth a visit. Construction of the Cathedral was stopped during the Great famine and the building was used as a refuge for the sick and hungry.
Should the above Itinerary be too hectic for some, we are happy to give other recommendations at our reception desk. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff have great experience of all that Killarney has to offer.