The Ring of Kerry – Ireland

If you are looking to get out of the hustle and bustle of the cities, Kerry is a great place to go. Her green hills, beautiful coastline and promise for a peaceful holiday filled with some great attractions is a good reason to visit. Kerry has cliffs to rival that of the famous Cliffs of Moher, prehistoric Tetrapod tracks, the Skellig Islands where Star Wars was filmed. There are also some great chocolates to sample along the way.

1. Scarriff Inn

The Inn claims to have some of the best views that Ireland has to offer and I must agree that it is a great spot! If you don’t have an opportunity to stay at their bed & breakfast, just stopping by for a cuppa is a great reason to be there. The views from the restaurant are outstanding and the decor inside the venue is creative and worth a mention.

 

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2. Dungeagan beach, Ballinskelligs

It wasn’t quite beach weather when I saw Dungeagan beach, it was cold, windy and rainy and I took refuge into the Scarriff Inn right after this but this beach is lovely. It would make a great place for swimming or walks on a nice clear day.

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3. The Skellig Islands

If you like Star Wars, you might recognise the Skellig Islands in Episode VII – The Force Awakens where filming took place.

The islands are two small, very steep and rocky islands just off the coast. The two islands are Skellig Micheal and Little Skellig. Little Skellig is home to Ireland’s largest Gannet colony and is closed to the public. Visitors can take a tour to visit Skellig Michael to see a 6th Century Christian monastery or just take their eco tour boat trip around the two islands. If you love puffins, a visit to Skellig Michael is great during the warmer summer months when the puffins are there.

(Pictured below in the left side)

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4. Skellig Chocolate

If you love chocolate (who doesn’t?!) you must visit the Skellig Chocolate factory. You can see the workings of the factory when you visit, sample a handful of their delicious chocolates and purchase some at their store. They also have a nice cafe where you can grab a cuppa and one their chocolatey desserts.

 

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5. Skellig Ring

Skellig Ring is a beautiful scenic drive from Ballinskelligs to Portmagee. Especially beautiful just after rains where the fields become an emerald green. There are view points along the way.

 

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6. Kerry Cliffs

The Kerry Cliffs is not something I knew about before embarking on the Skellig Ring. The 300m high cliffs are a true rival to the Cliffs of Moher which gets most of the tourist attention. The Kerry Cliffs walk allows visitors the opportunity to walk along the cliffs edge (there are fences up, don’t worry!) and watch the bird life and enjoy the view.

At the entrance there are some examples of the beehive huts as seen on Skellig Michael.

 

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7. Valentia Island

You can reach Valentia Island by driving up the bridge on the one side, or taking a ferry with your car on the other side.

On the island you can take a look at their visitors center to learn more about Skellig Michael:

  1. The sea birds
  2. The lighthouse
  3. The history and archaeology of the monastery
  4. Underwater Skellig

Boat tours to the Skellig islands also depart from Valentia Island or there is the mini cruise which visitors can take.

My personal favourite on the island: the Tetrapod trackway! The prints are 385 million years old. A Tetrapod was a lizard looking creature which was 1 meter long. It lived in the shallow waters of rivers on the muddy banks, very similar to the crocodile. These tracks are currently the oldest known record of vertebrates walking on land (the rest of the known vertebrates at that time were fish).

It is said that from these Tetrapods that mammals and eventually humans evolved. Say hello to your predecessor.

 

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