What to do in Beautiful Killarney

Itinerary for a 2 or 3 day stay

Day 1

From Ross Castle Lodge, walk or drive the short distance to Ross Castle.

Ross Castle


Visit the Castle itself and if you have not yet taken a castle tour, this is your chance.


From Ross Castle pier take a waterbus or watercoach on Lough Leane.

You cruise the most scenic sections of the lake for one hour and the captain gives an interesting commentary on the history of the surrounding area.

Afterwards return to Ross Castle Lodge and drive to the top of the Ross Road, turn right and drive the 2 miles or so to MUCKROSS ABBEY.  The entrance is opposite the Muckross Park Hotel.

Muckross Abbey was built by McCarthy Mor for the Franciscans around 1448.  The Gaelic Chieftains and three of the Gaelic poets of Kerry are buried here.

(No entrance fee)

Take the lake shore path or return to your car and drive further on to MUCKROSS HOUSE AND GARDENS.  This is one of the most visited places in Ireland. Parking is free.

Take a tour of the house itself which can be combined with a tour of the traditional farms. The farms are quite authentic and represent farm life as it was lived in Ireland up to the 1950's.  A minibus circles the farms so you can, if you wish, use it to travel from farmhouse to farmhouse where you can see the hay being saved, corn being reaped or threshed and the cows and fowl being tended. These tours are very good value.

Visit the Gardens (no fee) which can be very beautiful in late spring and early Summer when the azaleas and rhododendrons are in bloom

Take one of the many short walks by the lake or visit Reenadeena wood which is one of the last natural yew woods in Europe.

Visit the craft shop.
Have lunch or a snack in the restaurant.


Drive a further mile or so to TORC WATERFALL.  A better option is to walk the lakeshore path to the waterfall or better still, take a jaunting car ride there.  This can be quite spectacular after heavy rainfall.  Climb the steps beside the waterfall and continue along the path up Torc Mountain where you will be rewarded with the beautiful views over the Lakes.

Well Satisfied with your first day in Killarney, return home to Ross Castle Lodge.

Day 2


The Ring of Kerry

On a 'right' day The Ring of Kerry which starts and ends in Killarney, has been described as the most beautiful circular drive in Western Europe.  The best way to drive it is anti-clockwise through Killorglin.  We will only be too glad to go over the route with you and give you some hints and recommendations.

A better way to do it is to leave your car behind and take a coach tour.
Book at Ross Castle Lodge and be collected and returned here in the evening.
The tour lasts for most of the day.

Day 3

The Famous Gap Trip

This trip has been done by visitors to Killarney since the late Eighteenth Century.  It involves a boat ride through the Killarney Lakes and a walk or ride through The Gap of Dunloe, a mountain pass gorged out during the last ice age and very beautiful.  Now read on..

The traditional way of doing it and still the one favoured by most is to take a coach to Kate Kearneys Cottage, a famous pub at the entrance to the Gap.

Then take a jaunting car ride or walk the 7 mile journey through the Gap of Dunloe and the Black Valley to Lord Brandons Cottage at the top of the Lakes.

Lunch or a snack can be had here.

The Black Valley

Boats Depart at 2pm from Lord Brandons Cottage for the trip through the Killarney Lakes back to Ross Castle.


You are taken along the Long Range River under the Eagles Nest Mountain.  Here the majestic golden eagles of Killarney once swooped and soared.  Conservationists will be horrified to learn that during the 19th Century, the boatmen fired shots from a blunderbuss as the boats passed under the mountain so that the tourists could view the Eagles as they left their nests.  To make matters worse, chicks were robbed from the nests to grace the aviaries of the rich.  It goes without saying that the golden eagles of Killarney soon became extinct.


Fortunately with the reintroduction of the white-tailed sea eagle to Kerry, eagles can be seen once more soaring over the lakes and gliding through these majestic mountains.  Watch out for them.

Next you'll travel across the Upper Lake and under the Old Weir Bridge to the serene setting of the Meeting of the Waters and Dinnis Cottage.

The boats will linger here for a short time before the last leg of your journey through beautiful lough Leane.

Disembark at Ross Castle at around 4.30pm.  You will be picked up by coach for the journey home although you may prefer to walk back to Ross Castle Lodge.

 Pony and trap and saddle ponies can be hired separately

Book at Ross Castle Lodge and you will be collected at the door

Alternative Route

This time you will be doing the trip in reverse.

The alternative way of doing the trip is to hire a bicycle in the town.  Cycle to Reen Pier near Ross Castle (Reen Pier is about 100 meters to the right of Ross Castle....Go over the wooden bridge).  The boats depart at 10.45 am and your bike will be taken on board.

The road surface through The Gap is not good however, so you will need to be cautious.

Stop at Kate Kearneys Cottage before the last leg of your cycle tour back to Killarney.

A word of advice: Wear warm clothing and take rainwear with you as you may get sudden showers in The Gap during unsettled weather.

It is necessary to book the boat tour.  You can book at Ross Castle Lodge as weather is a factor.


Note: Times are subject to change


Back to Ross Castle Lodge

View the interior of Ross Castle Lodge

Take a look at things to do within walking and driving distance of Ross Castle Lodge

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