The daily Ring of Kerry Tour and Dingle Tour depart from our office at 22 Main Street in the centre of Killarney town at 10:30 am. The coach will return to Killarney at approximately 4:30 pm.
The Ring of Kerry is the small highway that skirts the Iveragh Peninsula and, for the most part, follows the route of the Wild Atlantic Way. It is undoubtedly Ireland's most popular scenic drive. Iveragh, the more southerly of Kerry's two great peninsulas, is a natural wonderland of forest, blanket bog, river, lake, sandy beach and hills, including Ireland's highest peak Corrán Tuathail. Lapped by the warm Gulf Stream, it enjoys exceptionally mild winters and is home to sub-tropical vegetation.
The first town on the route is Killorglin, home to the famous Puck Fair festival held on the 10th, 11th and 12th of August every year. Residents capture a wild goat in the mountains and enthrone him in the town centre. For three days of the festival, the goat acts as the King, and the locals "act the goat".
The first stop will be at The Bog Village - also a comfort stop. This little cluster of thatched-roof cottages demonstrates what rural life was like in Kerry in the 1800s. The museum village (an optional feature with an additional small charge) has a replica blacksmith's forge + house, turf cutter's house, labourer's cottage, thatcher's dwelling, and tradesman's house. See the stacks of turf piled high by the road. There is also an old Irish pub named The Red Fox Inn, where you can enjoy an early drink or tea/coffee and scones. NOTE: Primarily a comfort stop, time is very limited at this stop as we make our way around the ring.
After departing the Bog Village, we will continue through the village of Glenbeigh with a view of the beautiful Rossbeigh Beach and a fantastic view of the hills at the back of the Iveragh Peninsula.
Depending on the day, there will be a lunch stop in either Cahersiveen town, The Scarriff Inn or Waterville. If lunch is in Waterville, we will pass through Cahersiveen.
On the eastern side of Cahersiveen is the birthplace of Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), also known as "The Liberator" and widely recognised as Ireland's greatest-ever politician.
Then, continuing into Waterville, an idyllic beach resort between Lough Currane and Ballinskelligs Bay. The Waterville area and its hinterland are steeped in history and dotted with archaeological monuments. For years Waterville was a favourite retreat of Charlie Chaplin, and there is a life-size statue of him on the promenade.
The tour continues through the area of Derrynane, a rocky cove notorious as a port of call for smugglers in the 18th century. It is the former seat of the O'Connell clan and home to "The Liberator", Daniel O'Connell.
The next stop is the small village of Sneem – perhaps Ireland's most colourful village. The stop in Sneem is to avail of a comfort stop. Its two squares straddle the estuary of the River Sneem, with a quaint Italianate church(1865) and chequered houses. An untypical village laid out in an English style around a village green beneath a semi-circle of low mountains. Sneem was gifted a panda sculpture by the People's Republic of China and a goddess Isis sculpture by Egypt. Sneem marks the start of the most sheltered part of the Ring of Kerry's coast. You will see lush, subtropical growth – wild rhododendrons and azaleas, evidence of the unique effect of the Gulf Stream.
Leaving Sneem, we travel through the very rugged landscape and arrive at Moll’s Gap, where the viewing point at the Gap offers sweeping views of MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and Ireland’s highest mountain, Corrán Tuathail – 3,414 feet high.
Continuing from Moll’s Gap to Killarney, we experience far-reaching views over the broad valley of the Killarney Lakes. On her visit in the 19th century, so enthralled by this view, Queen Victoria and her ladies-in-waiting promptly named in their honour: "Ladies View".
Between Ladies View and Killarney, the coach will pass through the Muckross Estate and return to Killarney at approximately 4.30pm.
From time to time, the Itinerary may vary slightly and will be at the Driver's discretion