Places to visit
Blennerville Windmill Located just outside Tralee is the largest windmill of its kind in Europe standing 21.3 metres high and is the only commercial windmill in Ireland. It was built in 1800 and was derelict in 1880. It has now been fully restored and visitors can go and observe the workings. Also visitors can learn about the 19th century famine and the subsequent emigration of people escaping hardship for a better life in the new world.
The Dingle Peninsula is the northern most of Kerry's two peninsulas and is the western most place in Europe, and can be seen from anywhere in Fenit across Tralee Bay. It was one of the last areas to solely speak Irish (Gaeltacht). It boasts sandy beaches like those at Inch and Ventry, and has the highest mountain pass in Ireland called Conor Pass which you can drive over and stop to take in the breath taking views.
Take a drive to Slea Head which is the most westerly point in Europe with its scenic views over the Blasket Islands which look like a sleeping giant and the Atlantic Ocean. Not far from there is the film location for Ryans Daughter, the 1970s film starring John Mills, Robert Mitchum and Sara Miles.
For history, visit the prehistoric Bee Hive Huts or the Gallarus Oratory (an 8th Century Christian Church) and many other monastic sites. Or just take in the view of Brandon Mountain named after St Brendan the Fenit born 6th century saint. Born 484 A.D. St Brendan was well travelled visiting Scotland during his early years before he was ordained in 512 A.D. He also founded numerous monasteries in Ireland. His travels also took him to Wales where he worked with St David before travelling to Brittany. When he was 80 he went to Westport Co Mayo where he built a wooden ship and on 22nd March sailed it to Canada. He later returned to Ireland, where he died on May 16th 577 A.D.
Around the Dingle Peninsula is a paradise for those looking for wonderful walks and friendly bicycle rides.
Dingle Town is a must place to visit if you like quaint pubs (52 and counting), shops, mouth watering friendly restaurants and foot tapping music. It is also the place to go to see the local legendary wild bottle nosed dolphin called Fungi that has lived around Dingle Bay for over 20 years. He is the towns mascot and to see Fungi for yourself you will need to go to the harbour and book a trip out on one of the numerous boat trips into the bay. These run very frequently and you will not have to pre book. Fungi never fails to appear, which is supported by the boat captains refusing to take your money if you do not see him. Fungi is very friendly and likes to follow the boats and jump and entertain the boat trippers so a camera is a must. If you are brave you can arrange a swim with Fungi.
Sea Fishing trips can be booked at Dingle Pier with either a half or full day trip a must. Dont worry about rods and tackle as these can be hired as well but it is advisable to take a waterproof coat. Any fish caught are gutted and you can take them to cook and enjoy the fresh taste of the sea.
Boat Trips can be taken during the summer and autumn months out to and around the Blasket Islands. These can be taken from Dingle Harbour.
The Blasket Islands can be seen from Slea Head. These islands are the home to puffins, gannets, guillemots and kittiwakes that breed here during the summer.
Dingle has its own Ocean World where you can come face to face with the Sharks and other sea creatures. Another highlight is a walk along the 9 metre ocean tunnel tank where you can gaze at the marvels of the deep.
Killarney Town & National Park
Situated 20 miles from Tralee is Killarney town. Many an hour can be spent in Killarney looking around the numerous gift shops or instead you can find a nice pub to enjoy a lovely meal and of course a pint of the black stuff. It also boasts a retail-outlet shopping complex where you can find some bargains and discounted prices on many types of items.
From Killarney you can take a Horse Drawn Jaunting Car trip around the town and up to Muckross House.
Also Killarney is the home to the Museum of Irish Transport. This is a unique collection of Irish Veteran Vintage and Classic Cars, Motorcycles, Carriages and Fire Engines. It is also the home to the rarest car in the world (1907 Silver Stream).
For little and big kids visit Killarney Model Railway. Reputedly the worlds largest model railway with 50 locomotives and more than a mile of track with layouts that include European landmarks to name a few. You can also try your hand at the 4 lane scalextric and pretend to take part in a formula one race. It also has a shop packed with model trains, cars and model kits.
The Killarney National Park covers 25,000 acres and encloses Killarneys 3 lake, waterfall and surrounding woods and mountains.
If wildlife and country walks are more your style then visit Coolwood, a 50 acre wildlife park. It has 3 km walks, coffee shop and playground so there is something for everybody.
Killarneys lakes is a set of three lakes made up of Lough Leane, Muckross Lake and Upper Lake that stretches from Cromaglan Mountain to the edge of Killarney. You can drive along the lakes which takes you past Torc Waterfall all the way to Molls Gap through and onto the ring of Kerry. On the way stop and admire the scenic spot of Ladies View named by one of Queen Victorias Lady in Waiting who exclaimed This is the finest view in all the realm!. The lakes offer fine fishing and also scenic lake cruises on board the Pride of the Lakes.
Torc Waterfall is located on the N71 from Killarney to Kenmare. This 60 foot high waterfall has a spectacular cascade of water. Climb to the top where you come to a wonderful viewpoint overlooking the valley and lakes.
Muckross House and Gardens - Designed in the Neo Tudor style by William Burns an Edinburgh architect it was completed in 1843 for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife Mary. The high social profile of the Herberts was enhanced in 1855 when it was confirmed that Queen Victoria and her family would visit in 1861. It would take an expensive six years to update and get the house ready for the Queens first visit to Kerry, unfortunately for the Herberts she only stayed at the house for two days.
Muckross house is also home to the Killarney National Park Visitor Centre. Here you can visit the extensive gift shop, take a horse drawn jaunting car ride to Torc Waterfall, take refreshments in the restaurants and also watch pottery and woollen items being made in front of your eyes.
Muckross Abbey was founded in 1448 for the Observantine Franciscans and destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in 1652. There are many wild stories that add to the atmosphere surrounding the many rooms of this well preserved ruin.
Gap of Dunloe is Irelands most scenic glacial valley. It is renowned for its tours and pony trekking.
Ross Castle. Built in the 1420s this was the last castle under Irish control to fall to Cromwells forces in 1652 (guided tours are available).
Aghadoe has a wonderful view across the lower lake. It also has a round tower built in 1026 A.D. and a Monastery from 566 A.D. with its own Ogham stone (a standing stone with a memorial inscription in Gaelic). Below the church there is a 13th century castle.