This is the fourth of our 5-part blog on the Wild Atlantic Way Road Trip with a Caravan (WAW), the longest defined coastal touring route in the world. We are dividing this into 2 – Kerry and Cork as this area is huge. The WAW stretches for over 2,500km so it is best to divide into areas and take your time to explore and really see the beauty that Ireland has to offer. However, you don’t have to follow these routes and can cross over into other areas. The best thing is to be flexible and take your time to explore this great country. There’s adventure and excitement around every corner of the Wild Atlantic Way.
In this blog, we want to discuss about the things you can do Kerry area on a caravan trip.
Kerry is the perfect location for a holiday or just a few days away. Whether you are travelling as a couple or having a family holiday there are loads of things to see and do that will appeal to everyone. We will start our caravan trip to Kerry in the north of the county and work down taking in the many sites and locations along the Wild Atlantic Way. We will also venture a bit inland as there are some great things to do here.
Ballybunion & Ballyheigue – 2 of the most famous blue flag beaches in Kerry. Here you will find golden beaches safe for swimming and miles of routes to enjoy long walks. Ballybunion is home to the famous golf course. But you don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy yourself in Ballybunion. Why not try some crazy golf. The 18-hole course is a miniature version of Ballybunion’s old course complete with names and history at each hole. Ballybunion Looped Beach Walk is a relatively easy, 2-hour walk starting at the North Beach in Ballybunion. It takes walkers along the stunning beaches and through the world-famous Ballybunion Links Golf Course. Ballyheigueis a scenic resort town with miles of beaches that connect to Banna Strand to the south, and Kerry Head to the north. Ballyheigue beach is ideal for family fun and watersports. In North Kerry,Sir Rogers Caravan Parkis located within 200m of the blue flag beach of Banna Strand. Sir Rogers also have glamping pods that you can hire for a couple of days.
Tralee - a hive of activity with plenty of things to do, places to eat and shop. Woodlands Park is a 4-star caravan & camping park located within the town of Tralee and a few minutes stroll to the town park. A visit to the Town Park is a must when in Tralee. Within the park, you will find The Rose Walk which has 35 varieties of roses over a 3-acre site. The Rose Wall contains the names of every Rose who has contested the Rose of Tralee Festival since 1959. Also, while in Tralee don’t forget to visit:
- Kerry County Museumto learn about the Kingdom county's archaeology and history
-Tralee Bay Wetlands Eco & Discovery Park where you will find an Interactive Wildlife Exhibition, Guided Nature Boat Tours, Bird Hides, and for the more energetic the light Watersports and Activity Lake!
- The Aquadome is one of Ireland’s largest indoor water worlds. You can surf the waves, wrestle with the rapids, enjoy bubble seats, relax in the lazy river, or ride the flume plunge. Please check opening times before arriving.
- SiamsaTíre - From May to September, the venue hosts a Folk Arts Festival with performances by the National Folk Theatre. Outside of these times, it runs programmes of Dance, Drama, Comedy, Film and Music Concerts and Workshops (closed due to Level 5 Covid restrictions July 2021)
- Tralee Bay Sea Safari – a great way to see the Kerry coastline onboard the 9m rib “Explorer” catering for everyone. Tralee Bay Sea Safari can cater for up to 12 passengers taking in Fenit, Castlegregory, Brandon, Ballydavid, Ballyheigue etc. The rip leaves from Safari and must be pre-booked.
- Blennerville Windmill - located on the shores of Tralee Bay it is linked from Tralee town by a canal walk which extends to Tralee Bay. Blennerville Windmill is the largest working windmill in Ireland and the only windmill along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. The visitor centre houses a fascinating display on the Jeanie Johnson and Irish emigration. You can even climb to the top of the windmill. Pre-booking is essential.
Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head – one of the most scenic driving routes along the Wild Atlantic Way. Here you will experience some dramatic and jaw dropping scenery. Driving the Dingle Peninsula is an attraction in itself. Leaving Tralee and travelling on towards Camp you have a few touring options available to you:
- mountain pass route through the Slieve Mish mountains to Inch,
- panoramic route over Gleannnan Gealt to Annascaul
- coastal road towards the Brandon Mountain range.
Try out some water sports in Castlegregory- Waterworld, located at the Maharees caters for watersports enthusiasts above and below the water, with dive courses for beginners to instructor levels and daily dive trips around the Maharees islands. The Bubblemaker is a great way to introduce children to scuba diving in a pool and they have courses running daily. Splashsports offers a surfing school, powerboating, and their waterpark where there is a water trampoline and slides. Several water sports centres are operating on the peninsula and are suitable for every age group. In Castlegregory you have 2 great caravan & camping parks – Anchor Caravan Park and Green Acres Caravan Park both have direct access to the beach and are close to a host of outdoor activities and water sports.
Get up close and personal with the fish in Dingle – a town rich in heritage and tradition Dingle is a lively town. There is a huge selection of fabulous restaurants and pubs in Dingle. Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium is a brilliant place to visit for all the family. See sharks, exotic fish, cute penguins and adorable otters as well as sand tiger sharks 3m long weighing 150kg who swim by in giant shark tanks as well as colourful seahorses, deadly pufferfish, snappy piranhas, jellyfish and everyone's favourite, clownfish. While in Dingle you must get some ice-cream at Murphy’s where they make real ice-cream naturally. Really yummy and not to be missed. Located in the heart of the Gaeltacht is Campail Teach an Aragail (Dingle Camping & Caravan Site) and is the nearest registered site to Dingle town
Take a caravan trip to an Island – Kerry is home to the famous Blasket and Skellig Islands. Both are well worth a boat trip. Both are uninhabited now but are steeped in history dating back years. 6km from the westerly tip of the Dingle Peninsula are the Blasket Islands. Passenger ferries to Great Blasket Island operate on a seasonal basis from Cé Dhún Chaoin (Dunquin Pier), Dingle Marina and Ventry Pier. Explore this historic island on foot along its steep grassy paths and hilly tracks. Discover the pre-historic remains and extraordinary birdlife as well as the large colony of seals who have made The Great Blasket their home. The Blasket Centre at Dún Chaoin tells the story of the Blasket Islands and the small Irish speaking community who lived there until the mid-20th century.
In South Kerry, the Skellig Islands majestically rise out of the Atlantic Ocean. Skellig Michael is known throughout the world of archaeology as the site of a well-preserved monastic outpost of the early Christian period, now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a film location for Star Wars. Boat trips operate from Portmagee to the Skellig Islands. However, if you would prefer to stay on dry land you can visit the Skellig Experience Centre on the waterfront beside the Valentia Island bridge. The Centre brings the magic and mystery of these famous rocks to you through graphics, film presentation, models, exhibition items, reconstruction and the sound of sea birds and lighthouse keepership to shore communication.
Valentia Island – you can take the car ferry to Valentia Island from Cahersiveen or cross the bridge from Ballinskelligs onto the Island. Valentia was the eastern terminus of the first commercially viable transatlantic telegraph cable. Transatlantic telegraph cables operated from Valentia Island for one hundred years. The slate quarry on the northern part of the Island h opened in 1816 and still flourishes today. The famous Valentia Slate has been used in many prominent buildings including the British House of Commons in London. On the Island, you can pitch your tent, caravan or motorhome at Valentia Island Caravan & Camping located in Knightstown Village.
Take a jaunting car around Killarney – Killarney town is part of the National Park which is 10,000 hectares of stunning lakes, mountains, and woods. Within the national park, some fabulous walks are suitable for everyone. One of the best ways to experience Killarney and the national park is a trip on a jaunting car. There are many different routes you can take on the jaunting car. You can pick one up in the town of Killarney or at the National Park. You will also pass-through areas that you cannot access by car. You can also walk and cycle through the park with dedicated routes available suitable for all ages and abilities.
There is a huge amount of things to do and see in Killarney. With great pubs and restaurants, you will be spoilt for choice. While in Killarney take time to visit some of the following:
Muckross House– well worth taking time to visit the 19th Century Victorian Mansion. It is also home to many skilled craftworkers, who can be seen using skills in the crafts of weaving, pottery and bookbinding.
Lakes of Killarney - The lakes are situated within National Park. Take a hike up to Torc Waterfall. You will be blown away by how fabulous it is.
Killarney House & Gardens – the house has been restored to its former glory. You can enjoy a tour of the historic rooms and take in the beauty of the gardens.
Gap of Dunloe tour – a traditional bus will take you to Kate Kearney’s Cottage, a 150-year-old family run restaurant. You will be able to walk through the glacial valley the Gap of Dunloe. After the walk, you will be brought by boat through the 3 Lakes of Killarney on a guided tour.
Ross Castle – built around the 15th Century by the Irish chieftain O’Donoghue Mór. Entry is free of charge in 2021 but booking is essential.
You have a choice of 5 caravan & camping parks in Killarney. All within easy reach of the town and some within walking distance. Within the town, you have Flemings White Bridge Caravan, Camping & Mobile home hire park where you can pitch your tent, caravan or motorhome or you can also hire a mobile home. Killarney Flesk Caravan & Camping Park is adjacent to Ireland’s National Events Centre, 1.5km from the town centre. Donoghue’s White Villa Farm Caravan & Camping Park is a small quiet site located 3km from Killarney on the Cork Road. 5km from Killarney on the Ring of Kerry you will find Fossa Caravan & Camping Park and Beech Grove Caravan & Camping Park. Both sites also offer mobile homes for hire.
Moving on from Killarney a trip around the Ring of Kerry is a must, it is definitely Ireland’s most famous touring route with spectacular scenery. The big question is should you drive it clockwise or anti-clockwise. Probably to avoid getting caught behind buses you would be best driving clockwise, starting in Kenmare and travel to Sneem, Caherdaniel, Waterville, Cahersiveen, Glenbeigh, Killorglin and back into Killarney. Along this route, there are great places to stop and enjoy a picnic. Kells Bay is probably one of the best locations with fabulous views right across to the Dingle Peninsula. You will find a couple of areas to pull in and enjoy your lunch. It is best to give yourself plenty of time and allow you spend time in the area, visit the sights and enjoy the spectacular scenery. You will also be clearly able to see the Skellig Islands jutting out of the Atlantic (details on the Skelligs is further up in this blog). Along the route there are some great places to visit and here are some ideas:
Derrynane House, Gardens and beach– Derrynane House is the ancestral home of Daniel O'Connell, one of Ireland's most famous historical figures. The house now displays many unique relics of O’Connell’s life, including a triumphal chariot presented to him by the citizens of Dublin in 1844. The house is located with 120 hectares of parkland. You can cross over the beach to Abbey Island and check out the ruins of Derrynane Abbey. You can also visit the graveyard which you can only access by crossing the beach. Derrynane Beach is one of Ireland’s top blue flag beaches with golden sand and dunes to hide in, it’s a brilliant spot for everyone to enjoy.
Derrynane is also home to Wave Crest, one of the most scenic caravan & camping parks in the country with direct access to the beach.
Travelling on from Derrynane you will pass through the lovely seaside village of Waterville, visited on many occasions by Charlie Chaplin. Get your photo taken with the statue of the famous entertainer on the seafront.
As you travel along the Ring of Kerry route you will see the signs for Valentia Island accessed by bridge from near Ballinskelligs. Details on Valentia Island are covered above in this blog. You can pitch up at Valentia Island Caravan & Campingor you can travel onto Cahersiveen and stay at the award-winning Mannix Point located at the water’s edge.
Kells Bay House & Gardens - Halfway between Glenbeigh and Cahersiveen is the fishing village of Kells. Here you will find the enchanting Kells Bay House & Gardens. It has one of the finest collections of plants in Europe. There are various walking routes designed to access the major features of the gardens. The Sky Walk Rope Bridge, Ireland’s longest is an unforgettable experience. Kids will love the carved dinosaurs sculpted from fallen trees.
You will then travel back to Killarney taking in the small towns of Glenbeigh and Killorglin enroute. Why not try out horse riding on Rossbeigh beach just outside Glenbeigh. A truly spectacular experience galloping the 7 mile stretch of beach. Located in the town of Glenbeigh you will find Glenross Caravan & Camping Park which overlooks Rossbeigh Beach. Here you can also hire a mobile home. Killorglin is famous for Puck Fair which takes place annually in August and is one of Ireland’s oldest festivals.
This is just a snapshot of things to do in Kerry along the Wild Atlantic Way. There are loads more things to see and do, find your own route, discover your own beach the main thing is to give yourself plenty of time to explore in Kerry.
Part 4b Wild Atlantic Way – Cork
Caravan & Camping in Ireland
There is a large selection of great caravan & camping parks in Kerry. You will find sites at seaside locations or within the towns of Killarney and Tralee. Check out Camping Irelandfor details on sites in Kerry and all over Ireland.
There is no better way to see the country with all your own home comforts. Click Camping Ireland to find information on all the great caravan & camping sites throughout Ireland before you travel. It is always wise to book ahead so you won’t be disappointed or have a wasted journey. Download the Camping Ireland App which you can use to browse and search for approved sites with ease while you are travelling around. For more information on the app click here
There are over 100 quality approved caravan & camping parks throughout Ireland. Sites offer top-class facilities with many onsite amenities. There is a variety of sites around Ireland. Maybe you are looking for a quiet site where you can pitch up and use the site as a base for travelling around. Maybe you want a site where there is a playground for your kids or even sites where there are a host of onsite activities for all the family to enjoy. Whatever you want Camping Ireland has something for everyone.
Don’t forget to order your Camping Key Europe Card which offers great discounts and savings at campsites, visitor attractions and many more outlets. The card is accepted in over 2,800 sites in Ireland and Europe. It also includes free third-party insurance. You can order the card here
For information on these sites, the facilities they offer and other information log onto our website Camping Ireland Enjoy the independence and flexibility that camping in Ireland can offer in quality approved sites. We look forward to welcoming you to outdoor living.