Welcome to Killarney, where memorable experiences await you at every turn.
Let the beauty of nature and the echoes of history ignite your spirit of exploration. Our breathtaking landscape beckons hikers, cyclists, golfers, and countryside explorers. Prepare for incredible adventures, stunning views, and warm hospitality. Immerse yourself in captivating stories of rich heritage and history as you discover diverse experiences and enchanting landscapes, creating unforgettable moments.
Explore diverse walks, hikes, and cycle routes with magical views in Killarney National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and encounter Ireland’s only wild herd of native red deer in the ancient woodlands. Enjoy shopping in Killarney town, where old-world charm meets contemporary cool or indulge in luxurious body treatments and holistic rejuvenation!
Come and be captivated by Killarney’s natural wonders, rich history, wellness offerings, and vibrant shopping scene. Explore the endless possibilities in this extraordinary destination.
Céad míle fáilte. A hundred thousand welcomes! We’ll see you soon.
Things to do and see in Killarney
Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Find your Adventure in Killarney!
Explore the ultimate destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts! With a breathtaking natural landscape that caters to hikers, cyclists, horse riders, golfers, water enthusiasts, and traditional countryside explorers, you won’t be disappointed. Get ready for incredible adventure options, stunning views, and friendly locals that will make your stay truly unforgettable.
Experience the excitement of water adventures and boating tours that take you through hidden waterways and stunning lakes while admiring the magnificent mountainous views.
Or embrace the leisurely pace of picturesque hiking and walking trails that offer miles of unforgettable scenery. We’ll see you soon in Ireland’s adventure playground
A breathtaking boat ride through the Lakes of Killarney. Our Gap of Dunloe Tour is more of an adventure than a tour! This is a full day experience and encompasses a boat journey through the three Lakes of Killarney and a hike through the Gap of Dunloe. Leave Killarney at 9.30am, experience the breath-taking beauty of the Gap of Dunloe and return to Killarney via Ross Castle by bus transfer.
Oar Power….World Champion Oarsman Gearoid Towey,Fermoy,left and Killarney Man Brendan O’Brien kayaking the upper lake in The OSI Irish Adventure Challenge a gruelling 65Km of Running on Irelands Highest Mountains,mountain biking, Kayaking,abseiling on the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Killarney National Park on Saturday.Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Discover the hidden beauty of the Lakes of Killarney with a gentle kayak adventure exploring the incredible history of Ross Castle and experiencing the lakes unique wild nature. This mesmerizing kayak tour is the best way to experience the Lakes of Killarney and offers you a real unique insight into the historical importance of Ross Castle. We will also delve into how its surrounding landscape was formed and observe its beautiful nature close at hand.
With incredibly spectacular scenery and some of the finest golf courses in Ireland, explore the magic of Killarney. It is a golfers paradise with an array of courses to choose from ranging from championship style courses to links courses. You will be spoilt for choice!
Located about a mile west of Killarney Town and known locally as “O’Sullivan’s”, Killarney Riding Stables were established in 1968 by Donie O’Sullivan. Approved by the Irish Tourist Board, the Stables are home to some 70 horses. Being adjacent to the Killarney National Park, the casual customer can enjoy daily rides of one, two, or three hours.
Situated in South-West Ireland, County Kerry boasts some of the finest scenery in the world. It is an inspiration of the poet and artist with its high mountain ranges, its inlet studded coast, its woods, lakes, waterfalls, the ever-changing drama of its skies, and the eloquence of its people.
It is sometimes possible to book at short notice: just phone us, send us an email or fill up the enquiry form located on the homepage.
The O’ Sullivan family look forward to welcoming you to Killarney Riding Stables!”
Walking & Cycling
Find Your Perfect Trail: Walks, Hikes, and Cycle Routes in Killarney
In Killarney, you can feast your eyes on some of the country’s most breathtaking views – craggy mountain walls overlooking silent lakes and the country’s only wild herd of native red deer roaming through ancient woodlands.
A coveted UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1981, Killarney National Park is a refuge flush with fauna and flora. No matter your skill level, you’ll find walks, hikes, and cycle routes perfectly suited to your tastes – from easy town strolls and lake loops to forest trails and more strenuous mountain hikes.
Make sure to give yourself plenty of time – with so many captivating views along these trails, it’s easy to spend the entire day exploring!
Killarney Town Trail
Learn the history of the streets of Killarney and how it came to be the vibrant town it is today.
Grade: Multi Access
Distance: 5 km
Time: 2 hours
Starting from Killarney House and Gardens, walk along the long avenue away from the house, pass through the large gateway. After a short distance, turn left at the bridge and walk along the bank of the River Deenagh. Take the right at the second bridge over the River. Follow the path and turn left at the next intersection, over the cattle grid and head across the open parkland.
Warning; Avoid the Red Deer stags during the rutting season (Late Sept-Oct).
After about 1 km the path begins to circle back with a gentle ascent. At the top of the rise, cross another cattle grid where the path begins to level off. Take time to enjoy the wonderful vista of Lough Leane and the MacGillycuddy Reeks. Follow the road for another 200m as it gently descends to the right towards Knockreer House and Gardens. Follow the path to the right of the distinctive thatched-roof Deenagh Lodge. Continue through the intersection and cross the bridge over the River Deenagh for the last time, following the original path back to Killarney House.
Distance: 3 km
Time: 1.5 hours
Ross Castle is situated on the eastern shores of Lough Leane, with views of the McGillycuddy Reeks in the background. The Ross Castle carpark is about 2.5km from Killarney town centre at the end of the Ross Road. A booklet on Ross Island Mining Trail is available at the Castle. There are 17 stopping points along the route.
Start from the carpark and continue along the tarred road past Ross Castle on your right. After 50 m turn right off the road and follow the narrow walking trail, which will bring you out a little further along the same tarred road. Turn right and after 800m take the left fork and follow the Copper Mines loop as it skirts the shoreline. After a couple of minutes you will come to another junction, turn left. The trail now begins to loop back towards the start and passes trails branching off to Governor’s Rock and Library Point (See below). You will eventually come to the final fork, which you faced from the other direction earlier, take the left fork and follow the tarred road back to Ross Castle.
Distance: 5 km
Time: 2 hours
Library Point is a limestone rock formation on the shores of Lough Leane, Ross Island.
The trail to Library Point is just over 2 km from Ross Castle via the most direct route. It can be extended to a 5km return trip by including the Copper Mines loop on either the outward or return leg. At Library Point itself, there is a short loop around the headland of the peninsula, as it skirts along some woodland paths high above the lakeshore below.
Library Point is so named because the limestone rock at the water edge has been eroded to form a pattern that resembles books stacked on a shelf.
From here, you can look out across to Innisfallen Island, where there are remains of a 12th century monastery and earlier oratory.
Distance: 4 km return
Time: 1.5 hours
The Governor’s Rock circuit is a loop of approximately 3km on Ross Island starting and finishing at Ross Castle and passing by the Copper Mines. The circuit can be combined with the Library Point trail to extend the length to over 5km.
Distance: 10km Loop
Time: 2 Hours
Take the Killarney to Kenmare road to the main entrance to the National Park. This particular tour is best done tour is best done on foot or bike and visitors are encouraged to travel one way or you can choose to travel in part by jaunting car. The trip will take you right through the Muckross Demesne to Dinis. Things to see along the way include Muckross Abbey, Muckross House and Gardens, Colleen Bawn Rock, Brickeen Bridge, Dinis Cottage and Torc Waterfall. This area has some of the finest and most beautiful scenery in Ireland and affords magnificent views of the Lake district. Approx 2km from Dinis Cottage you join the main public road (Ring of Kerry) for a short distance by bike. If on foot you can cross the road, go up a few steps and join a lovely forest walking trail which follows the road below (this section is not really suitable for buggies but it can be done). Arrive at the world famous Torc Waterfall. After a visit to Torc, you can return to the Killarney National Park via underpass near car park. This is one of the best cycle routes in Ireland.
The round trip from Killarney town centre and back again is approximately 21km.
Arthur Young’s Walk
Distance: 5.6 km (From Muckross House)
Time: 2 hours
This walk skirts Muckross Peninsula, which is between Lough Leane and Muckross Lake. The Walk traverses a fault line between limestone (Carboniferous period 280-345 million years ago) and old red sandstone substrates (Devonian 345-395 million years ago). As a consequence, the vegetation transitions from Yew woodland on limestone outcrop to Oak woods on old red sandstone.
Start at the Muckross House front door opposite the jaunting cars; follow the road towards Torc from the front of the House for about 500m. On a bend in the road is the beginning of the walk, indicated by the stone marker. Walk through the turnstile, cross the open field and through the Woodland. When you meet the tarred Dinis Road, turn left and stay on it for about 2.5km where you turn right down a signposted trail. Continue along this meandering trail through oak woodland, an open meadow and then the famous Reenadinna Yew Wood (One of only three in Europe). After about 1.5km you eventually meet the tarred road again.
In 1776, the travel writer Arthur Young returned to Muckross House along the shores of Muckross Lake. To follow in his footsteps, turn right and after 100m on the tarred road, turn left, marked by a stone number ‘5’ plaque. Alternatively, turn left when you first meet the tarred road and follow the signs back to Muckross House.
Distance: 2 km
Time: 45 minutes
Start at the Muckross House front door opposite the jaunting cars; follow the road towards Torc from the front of the House, continue around the bend in the road (Marking the beginning of Arthur Young’s Walk) and after 100m you will come to a path on the right by Muckross Lake; this is the beginning of the Mossy Woods Walk. It takes in the southern part of the Muckross Peninsula and can be quite rough under foot. It is composed of Carboniferous limestone and supports an area of natural Yew wood, Scots Pine, Strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo), mosses and ferns, among many others.
Continue along this path as it skirts Muckross Lake. Take the left fork after 200m and continue to follow the lakeshore. After a little over a km you meet the tarred Dinis Road. Turn right and follow for the tarred road; the terrain will open up, with Bog Myrtle on your right and swampy Alder trees on the left. After 500m, turn right down a narrow trail and right again after 20m up some rough steps. Turn left when you reach a ‘T’ junction and this will return you to Muckross House.
Torc Mountain is an extremely popular and scenic climb. The walking route to the summit of Torc Mountain (535m) offers spectacular views of Killarney town and lakes, Muckross House, the Killarney National Park and the McGillicuddy’s Reeks. Even though the summit is 525m, this walk is very popular as it is accessible to almost anyone due to the clear paths and wooden sleepers on the mountain. If you try this take care as the sleepers can be over a foot off ground level at some points and can be a little slippery when wet.
Grade: Very Difficult
Distance: 7.5 km
Time: 2 hours
From Killarney on the N71 to Kenmare, take first left 400m after main entrance to Muckross House, follow for approximately 1.7 km to Upper Torc Carpark. Alternatively, if you continue on the N71 you’ll come to the Torc Waterfall carpark.
This is a very popular and scenic walking route to the summit of Torc Mountain (535m) with spectacular views of the Killarney National Park and the McGillicuddy’s Reeks. It is for walkers of reasonable fitness only and consists of woodland trails, boardwalk, stone steps, with occasional muddy, rocky and uneven ground in parts.
Turn left on leaving the carpark and follow the Old Kenmare Road, through the barrier, over the bridge, turn left at the junction. A short distance after the path leaves the woodland, you will see a sign for the Torc Mountain path on your right that takes you to the summit.
Torc – known locally as Cardiac Steps Huntsman’s Hill (Red Trail)
Distance: 3.5 km
Time: 2 hour
Locals start from the small car park on the N71, 400m past the main Torc Waterfall car park on the right. Cross the road (Beware of traffic) and follow the trail to the right. Continue along this rolling pathway for about 5 minutes and watch out for the sign on the left, which marks the start of the steep rock steps.
Alternatively, a little drive further along the N71 is the Dinis carpark. Walk across the N71 and follow the walking trail for 1 minute and take the trail on the right up the steep rock stairway.
Warning: the Torc steps are not for the faint hearted and will have your heart racing in no time. Also, the surface is very rough, uneven and sometimes muddy.
It is a loop walk, which goes up the steep steps, contours Torc Mountain east, then descends and parallels the N71 back to both carparks.
Torc Loop (Yellow Trail)
Distance: 1.5 km
Time: 40 minutes
From Killarney on the N71 to Kenmare, take first turn left 400m after main entrance to Muckross House, follow for approximately 1.7 km to the Upper Torc Carpark. Alternatively, if you continue on the N71 you’ll come to the Torc Waterfall carpark.
From Torc Waterfall carpark, follow the yellow arrows and signs up to Torc Waterfall. After enjoying the ambiance, continue up the steps past the falls until you come to a T-junction. Turn right and cross the bridge over the Owengarriff River, just above the falls. Follow the trail up and turn right. This descends for some distance, before you have to cross the N71 to a small carpark. Continue beyond the carpark and follow the trail right back to the Torc Waterfall carpark, all the while following the yellow arrows marking this trail.
Torc Loop (Blue Trail)
Distance: 2.5 km
Time: 1 hour
From Torc Waterfall carpark, follow the blue arrows and signs up to the waterfall. After enjoying the ambience, continue up the steps past the falls until you come to a T-junction. Turn left and continue up and then right passing the Upper Torc carpark. Pass through the barrier, cross the bridge and turn right. This descends for some distance, before you have to cross the N71 to a small carpark. Continue through the carpark and follow the trail right back to the Torc Waterfall carpark, all the while following the blue arrows marking this trail.
The Blue Pool is one of the best kept secrets in Killarney! You have two choices of walk on these enchanting sheltered woodland tracks, shared with flowing rivers and an ever peaceful energy. The smaller shorter loop has visually impaired trail with an audio tape available at Muckross House as is a trail leaflet.
Both trails lead to The Blue Pool which is sign posted along the route. The Pool is most unusual in its vibrant green/ blue colour and is sure to captivate its audience. Don’t forget to bring the camera as you will most definitely want to look back at your moments at the pool!
Distance: 7 km
Time: 2 hours
The Old Kenmare Road is a scenic trail that meanders through the uplands of Killarney National Park and forms part of the Kerry Way long distance trail. The official first leg of The Kerry Way is from Killarney town to Torc Waterfall. The section covered here starts from the Upper Torc car park.
From Killarney on the N71 to Kenmare, take first left 400m after main entrance to Muckross House (Old Kenmare Road), follow for approximately 1.7 km to Upper Torc Carpark.
Turn left on leaving the carpark and follow the Old Kenmare Road, through the barrier. Cross the wooden bridge over the Owengarrif River and take an immediate left. After this, there are very few decisions to take regarding which direction to take as the trail is pretty clear and easy to follow throughout. It is for walkers only and consists of woodland trails, boardwalk, river stepping stones, with occasional muddy, rocky and uneven ground in parts.
A sharp descent along a gravel path will bring you to the point where you meet the public road once more. From here, you can either turn left and follow the Old Kenmare Road all the way to Kenmare (10 km), or turn right and return to Derrycunnihy Church on the N71 (600 m). The carpark here is a good place to leave a second car.
Another option to extend the walk is to follow the path (Signposted) across the road from Derrycunnihy Church, known as the Mass Path, to Lord Brandon’s Cottage (Where refreshments are available during the summer months) and travel back to Ross Castle by boat
Distance: 3 km
Time: 1 hour
On the main N71 Killarney to Kenmare Road, take the left turn immediately after the entrance to the Muckross Park Hotel. After about 200m, is the entrance to the Blue Pool Nature Trails; there is some room for parking. Be careful not to block the entrance. You may also be able to park on the other side of the road opposite the entrance. As you park, have a look across the road, as there’s a good chance you’ll spot native Red Deer.
From the parking area, continue along the Mangerton Road for another couple of hundred metres until the road takes a sharp left. At this bend in the road, you will see a minor road heading into the trees on the right-hand side. There is a sign saying, ‘pedestrian access only’. This is the entry point of the Queens Drive. Continue through the barrier and take the left fork up the track. At the next junction, take the right fork and descend the hill. At the bottom take the right turn which will return you to the start. This is a woodland trail, which is occasionally muddy in parts.
Mass Path; Derrycunnihy Church to Lord Brandon’s Cottage.
Distance: 4 km one way
Time: 1.5 hours
Situated approximately 12km south of Killarney town on the main N71 Kenmare Road, Derrycunnihy Church is located near a bridge that crosses the Galway River. The trail forms part of the Kerry Way long distance walking route. The start is across the road from the carpark, where the wooden steps and boardwalk descend into the woodland below. The path meanders its way down through oak woodlands, crossing some streams along the way. As you continue to descend, watch out for some abandoned ruins on your right amidst the woodland. At this point turn left onto the broader track which is the main trail to Lord Brandon’s Cottage (or the Mass Path as it is also known). Alternatively, turn right if you want to see Derrycunnihy Cascade. After a few hundred metres, you will arrive at the viewing point for the Cascade. If you decide to turn left towards Lord Brandon’s, you can look forward to mountain views, while following the shores of the Upper Lake. Look out for glimpses of the elusive White Tailed Sea Eagle. During summer, there is a cafe at Lord Brandon’s serving refreshments. It is possible to return to Killarney (Ross Castle) via boat from here.
Warning; this route is for walkers only as it is rough underfoot and prone to flooding in the winter.
Trekkers enjoying a day on ‘The Call of The Wild’ Killarney Walking Festival Autumn Series,heading for the summit of Mangerton Mountain, withtthe MacGillycuddy’s Reeks in the backround.Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan/NO REPRO FEE
Time: 5 hours
Mangerton Mountain is a moderate 4 to 5 hour hour (10 km) walking route to the summit of Mangerton (839m) taking in the wonderful Devils Punchbowl lake near the summit and passing the Tooreencormick Battle Field Site near Killarney. It is a relatively gentle climb to the summit and should be no problem to most of reasonable fitness and is one of the most accessible mountains over 800m in Ireland. The walk has spectacular views of the Devil’s Punchbowl, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Horses Glen, Killarney National Park and on a good day south west to Kenmare Bay. Mangerton Mountain may only be in the top 30 highest mountain in Ireland but the area of the mountains southern slopes form a huge plateau, one of the most extensive areas of mountain wilderness in Ireland stretching 13km from Killarney to Kenmare
Duration: 2-3 hours
Route type: Return/Loop
Buggy/wheelchair friendly: No
Surface types: Pathway, Rough Track
Points of interest: O’ Sullivan’s Cascade, Killarney Lakes, Ross Castle, Crinnagh Townland, Glena Cottage
Without question one of the finest walks in Kerry, Tomies Wood is a very enjoyable loop walk through beautiful oak woodlands along the slopes of Tomies Mountain. Set on the shores of Lough Leane, the Wood is home to the enchanting O’Sullivan’s Cascade – a hidden gem! The route is mainly all forest track.
The ruins of Glena Cottage can be accessed via the halfway point on the Southern Point of the loop. The rhododendron forest opens out to the Shehy Mountains where you can descend to see the ruins on the shore of Lough Leane. The cottage is steeped in history dating back as early as 1822; Queen Victoria was the most notable visitor when she attended the cottage for lunch in 1831.
This walk is currently accessible via boat from Ross Castle; the private lands in the Gap of Dunloe are not open to the public until further notice.
History & Heritage
Step Back in Time and Uncover Killarney’s Rich History and Heritage
Killarney is steeped in history and rich heritage waiting to be explored. From ancient abbeys and monasteries to mediaeval castles and stately homes, visitors can explore an array of fascinating sites that tell the story of Ireland’s past.
Discover the region’s legacy as the birthplace of Ireland’s mining industry or marvel at the grandeur of magnificent 19th-century estates set amidst stunning national parkland. Trace the footsteps of kings and scholars who once graced the halls of Killarney’s abbeys and monasteries or imagine the battles that took place in its ancient castles.
You’re sure to be captivated and delighted with its rich cultural heritage and fascinating history.
Aerial Shot of Inisfallen Island, Loch Léin, Killarney, County Kerry.Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan©
Inisfallen Abbey, founded by St. Finian the Leper in 640 AD, was a prestigious centre of education for over 850 years. High King, Brian Boru, was educated there, and the monks documented Irish history in the Annals of Inisfallen. Though seized by Queen Elizabeth I in 1594, the ruins of the abbey remain a popular tourist attraction on Lough Leane, aptly named the “Lake of Knowledge“. Legend holds that dipping one’s foot in the lake offers a fountain of knowledge, as if the wisdom of the monks who once lived there still lingers. Inisfallen Abbey provides a glimpse into Ireland’s rich history.
Aghadoe has a rich history, beginning as a pagan site and evolving into a Christian monastery founded by St. Finian the Leper. The discovery of 7th century Ogham stones confirms its importance. According to the Annals of Innisfallen, St. Finian the Leper founded another monastery at Aghadoe around the 6th or 7th century. Parkavonear Castle, built by the Normans in 1169, still stands as a formidable watchtower over the town and lakes. Visitors can feel the layers of history, from its pagan roots to its mediaeval legacy as a place of sanctity and surveillance.
Muckross House, an elegant 19th-century estate, is situated in 26,000 acres of stunning National Parkland on the shores of Muckross Lake, one of the three beautiful lakes that make up the Killarney Lakes. Designed by Scottish architect William Burn for Henry Arthur Herbert and Mary Balfour Herbert, construction began in 1839. The Herberts conducted extensive renovations before Queen Victoria’s visit in 1861, leading to financial strain. The Muckross Estate was eventually sold to Arthur Guinness in 1899 for preservation. Afterward, it was gifted to Maud and Arthur Rose Vincent. Following Maud’s death, the Irish State gratefully welcomed this treasure, and today it forms the cornerstone of Killarney National Park, Ireland’s oldest and largest National Park.
Muckorss Abbey, Killarney National Park.Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Founded in 1448 by Dónal MacCarthy, Muckross Abbey was built as a Franciscan Friary to cater for the Observantine Franciscans. The Abbey was vandalised and reconstructed many times. The final battle was at the hands of Oliver Cromwell in 1654 that persecuted the remaining friars under Lord Ludlow. It was subsequently burned down and today the ruins remain largely roofless. The grounds of Muckross Abbey became a burial ground during the 17th and 18th century for the infamous Kerry poets; O’Donoghue, Ó Rathaille and Ó Súilleabháin. Today the cemetery also consists of many priests and local families.
The majestic Ross Castle stands guard over the shores of Lough Leane, its weathered limestone walls silently witnessing centuries of history. Built in the 15th century by the powerful O’Donoghue clan, the imposing tower house was both a stronghold and a home. However, its ownership changed hands during the Desmond Rebellions of the 1580s when it was seized by the rival MacCarthy clan. According to legend, the O’Donoghues proclaimed that Ross Castle would only fall when a ship sailed across the lake to its gates. This improbable prophecy came to pass during Oliver Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland, when the castle was forced to surrender after Cromwell’s forces transported ships overland to launch an attack from the lake. Today Ross Castle is one of Ireland’s most iconic national monuments, its storied history and dramatic setting on the shores of Lough Leane captivating visitors’ imaginations.
Explore the oldest Coppermine in Britain and Ireland located in Killarney. It was first used in 2,400 BC and mined for 4,000 years. The copper, iron, silver, and lead deposits on Ross Island boosted the local economy, with 5,000 tonnes of copper ore shipped to Wales from 1804 to 1828. Walk along the shores of Lough Leane, past the excavated mines and the trail leading to the entrance. Killarney was the first location in Ireland to produce metal. Opened to the public in 2004, the walking trail offers breathtaking views of Lough Leane, Tommies, and Shehy Mountains. The copper mines of Ross Island shaped Ireland and Britain’s history and continue to be a significant heritage site.
Built in 1840, this magnificent structure was designed by the talented Agustus Welby Pugin. Despite only having £800 in funding, Pugin drew inspiration from the ancient Ardfert Cathedral, resulting in the slender triple lancets that can be seen today. Though funds were low, the foundation was laid in 1842. However, construction ceased for five years during the Great Famine. Unfortunately, the interior was significantly damaged during renovations in 1973. Despite this setback, St. Mary’s Cathedral remains a stunning testament to the creativity and determination of those who built it.
The Browne family arrived in Ireland in the 1500s and made their fortune through land grants and political acumen. Over time, they developed their estate and the town of Killarney, with the 3rd Viscount Kenmare, Thomas Browne, playing a significant role in its growth. He granted long leases to tenants, removed tolls, and transformed the town into an affordable market. His son and daughter-in-law were generous patrons, subscribing funds to build a cathedral and hosting Queen Victoria at their magnificent Killarney House. Tragically, the manor was destroyed by fire in 1916. Despite the estate being sold, the Brownes left a lasting impact on Killarney’s transformation from a small village to a thriving town that drew visitors from all over the world.
The Herberts of Muckross Estate shaped Kerry’s history for over two centuries. Lord Edward Herbert inherited the estate after marrying the only daughter of Sir William Herbert. The family’s wealth grew during Thomas Herbert’s lifetime from copper mining on the Muckross Peninsula. Henry Arthur Herbert became the chief secretary of Ireland in 1857 and built the present-day Muckross House. However, his dream of growing a business with the estate failed, leading to his eviction. Ownership transferred to Standard Life Assurance and was sold to Lord Ardilaun in 1899. Today, the Herberts’ legacy and Muckross Estate continue to attract visitors from around the world.
St Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Killarney, is a beautiful church in the heart of Killarney which serves a small congregation as well as tourists.
There is evidence as far back as the 1200s of a Church here. The name of the Town itself—Killarney (in Irish: Cill Airne)—means “Church of the Sloes”. The Irish word for wood (coill) could easily have been adopted in an altered form to describe the wooden huts the early hermits would have built for themselves. Thus the word “cill” becomes associated with a spiritual place of prayer: ie a church. This suggests that there was an ancient church built in this area and the presence of the Blackthorn tree was significant to the local’s and their pre-Christian religion. Blackthorns sometimes grow near wells; and there is a Holy Well just across the road from this Church. It was the habit of the early Christians to claim the spiritual heritage of the local people and morph it into a Christian format. It is the beauty of St Patrick that he understood the inherent spirituality of the Druidic culture into which he was enslaved; so when he turned he could readily use the forms and modes of the former religion and point to their equivalent, their explanation in the Christian religion of union with God.
[The alternative spelling of the Town’s name is thought by some to derive from an obscure local saint whose name comes from the pagan goddess aine in which case folklore gave the saint the attributes of the goddess (as happened with St Brigit).]
The area is redolent with the scent of early Christian history, particularly: Inisfallen (the island in Loch Leane—Killarney’s largest and the lower of the three lakes—named after St Faithlinn and on which a monastery grew and which not only produced the Annals of Inisfallen but also educated the great Irish King Brian Boru); Aghadoe (which is one of the earliest of the local dioceses of the Christian Church); and Muckross Abbey (where the Franscicans established themselves in 1448).
The area is one of great beauty and of inspiration to both non-Christian and Christian sensitivities. Indeed all human beings are inspired by the beauty of creation and the creativity of humanity, irrespective of one’s spiritual allegiances. This is that same capacity, which we all share, of connecting with God in creation through the beauty of what we see; we experience it in the heart. We are all, at heart, Celtic.
Explore Killarney’s Rich Heritage, History and Natural Landscape
Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply curious, there’s an experience to suit your taste. Listen to Killarney’s best storytellers as you journey through our rich heritage, stunning scenery, and breathtaking vistas. Our beautifully restored historical houses, serene lakes and rugged landscapes offer unique and memorable experiences while you enjoy your stay with us.
A breathtaking boat ride through the Lakes of Killarney. Our Gap of Dunloe Tour is more of an adventure than a tour! This is a full day experience and encompasses a boat journey through the three Lakes of Killarney and a hike through the Gap of Dunloe. Leave Killarney at 9.30am, experience the breath-taking beauty of the Gap of Dunloe and return to Killarney via Ross Castle by bus transfer. To book visit https://gapofdunloetraditionalboattours.com/ www.gapofdunloetours.com or www.killarneydaytour.com
A Leisurely stroll with a falconer and hawk/or reran of hawks to show the ability of trained birds and their relationship with their human partners. The participants will have hands on experience with hawks under instruction from Killarney falconry’s falconers. To book killarneyfalconry.com
Killarney House & Gardens has been carefully restored to its former glory and you can enjoy a tour of the historic rooms and learn its rich history. The interpretive exhibition is a gateway to Killarney National Park and allow you to discover more about this beautiful landscape and the ongoing work to protect it. The gardens are a peaceful haven in the middle of a busy town and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. www.killarneynationalpark.ie
Based in his native Killarney, Micheál O’Sullivan has won numerous International photographic awards, and has many years experience in professional creative photography.
From the beautiful lakes and mountains to the rugged cliffs and seas of the Wild Atlantic Way. Micheál’s work is always captivating, inspirational and unique.
To book www.killarneyphototours.ie
A stroll around Muckross House & Gardens is the ideal choice to spend a lazy afternoon with the family. Acres of green space around the gardens and house make for all the fun in the world. When the sun is shining, why not bring a blanket and a picnic to setup camp in the gardens. You can make this experience in Muckross as long or as short as you wish. There are many routes to choose from if you wish to lengthen your walk, including Muckross Abbey, Lakeshore to Torc Waterfall and Dinis Cottage. From more information on what you can do visit www.muckross-house.ie
Shopping & Retail
Fine Fashion to Handmade Crafts: Shopping in Killarney
Experience the warmth and charm of shopping in the heart of Killarney town. Explore charming boutiques, modern shopping malls, and enticing bookstores. From trendy fashion to bespoke crafts, each shop offers its unique style and flair.
Don’t miss the chance to take home a piece of Irish heritage with handcrafted Irish jewellery and traditional Aran knitwear. For a taste of Irish tradition, visit the local markets and sample the freshest produce.
Come and explore the vibrant shopping scene in Killarney, where contemporary cool meets old-world charm in our diverse range of independent shops and high-street brands.
Exceptional Quality Entertainment
If you’re looking for exceptional quality entertainment in some of the finest and most unique venues in Ireland, look no further than in the ‘Town in the Park’, Killarney. Boasting Ireland’s National Events Centre, https://www.inec.ie/, along with various other quirky and one-of-a-kind locations, that can be found as you meander into Killarney’s pubs, bars and hotels, you will not be lacking on events to attend while you visit our beautiful town.
Spa & Wellness
Feel Radiant, Relaxed and Recharged
Let go of the stresses of daily life and immerse yourself in an environment of peace and tranquillity. Take time for yourself with a spa and wellness session, where you can indulge in luxurious and healing body treatments. Restore your body and soul with a variety of holistic approaches and feel renewed, refreshed, and revitalised. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, experience the perfect balance of restorative relaxation and pampering indulgence.
|Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa||https://www.aghadoeheights.com/|
|Great Southern Killarney||https://www.greatsouthernkillarney.com/|
|Killarney Park Hotel||https://www.killarneyparkhotel.ie/|
|Muckross Park Hotel & Spa||https://www.muckrosspark.com/|
|Killarney Plaza Hotel||https://www.odrcollection.com/|
|The Brehon Hotel & Spa||https://www.thebrehon.com/|
|The Europe Hotel & Resort||https://www.theeurope.com/|