Self Guiding Itineraries
BASIC TOUR STOPS
St Finians's Bay just beyond the Skellig Chocolate Factory - take a break at Driftwood Surf Café
Coomanaspic - the viewing point at the top of the hill overlooking Portmagee, the Skellig islands and Valentia Island…and looking back towards Ballinskelligs and Waterville (those driving up the hill have the right of way)
Kerry Cliffs - park, pay and walk to and along the cliff edges. Give yourself at least 45 mins. Toilets are available.
Portmagee for a lunch/tea break. Check out the Curragh (boat) and the story about it being used as a ferry located near the public toilets.
Cross bridge to Valentia Island.
Only if weather is poor visit the Skellig Experience (just across the bridge on Valentia) - video on Skellig Michael is quite interesting.
Head towards Knighstown - turn off to signs for Lighthouse and then turn off to Tetrapod Tracks. Walk down to the ocean if weather is nice. Views of Dingle Peninsula and Cahersiveen.
Take ferry in season to Cahersiveen - pass the church and turn left (Bridge Street) to Cahergal Stone Fort.
Walk to both stone forts - each is quite different and informative.
Visit Ballycarberry Castle - backtrack and turn right to end of road near water's edge
HIKES: more info at Loop Walks
- Bolus Barracks Loop Walk - 3hrs
- Bray Head Loop Walk - 2.5hrs
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
- First Transatlantic Cable Station - Knightstown
Cable laid between Knightstown (Bray Head) and Hearts Content, Newfoundland.
More at: transatlantic-cable-story
- Geokaun - for those who don't want to walk much you can drive to the top and take in the various viewing points. Safe cliff edge viewing with barriers.
- Valentia Slate Quarry and Grotto
- Valentia Lighthouse
- Knightstown - St John the Baptist Church & Sensory Garden
- Ballinskelligs - McCarthy Mor Tower House -on the beach
- Skelligs Chocolate Factory and St Finians's Bay in The Glen
- McGills Brewery, Waterville - tours available: 086 345 3630
- First Transatlantic Cable Station - Knightstown
Bray Head Information:
Bray Head - 1½ to 2 hr walk - just over one mile to the top. If you choose to do the loop walk (6.8 km) it may be boggy. At its summit is Bray Tower, a two-storey abandoned signal tower built by English forces in 1815 during the Napoleonic wars and used as a signal station along with several other Martello towers located all along the Ireland coast. It was designed like a 16th century Irish tower house with a chimney and is surrounded by a stone wall. In 1907 Bray Tower was used by the Navy as signal station and again during WWII it was used for coastal watches. Just below and west of the tower are the remains of the word EIRE written using stones in large letters to allow pilots during war times to identify the Irish coastline, a form of early GPS. The first telegraph was transmitted from here after the laying of the transatlantic cable from Knightstown to Newfoundland (1858-1866, 3rd attempt - closed in 1966)
Killarney Lakes Area
TIP: In the height of season – do the Gap of Dunloe go as early /late as possible – after 5pm to avoid the Jaunting Cars (horse and buggies)From here head for Sneem
In Sneem take LEFT TURN to Killarney - instead of going straight on to Kenmare
***Just past the Barfinney Lake is a very sharp turn to the left - sign says BLACK VALLEY HOSTEL - turn down this road.
If you need a ****toilet break go a little further to Molls Gap Avoca - they have public loos on the ground floor just as you enter to the right - then go back to the turn off to the Black Valley.
This is the Gap of Dunloe road - follow the narrow road down into Black Valley. It is advertised as a walking route … you’ll see why.
Watch out for Jaunting Cars (horse and buggy) – they are not friendly and are often not willing to share the road. If they try to turn you back…ignore them.
The scenic route ends at Kate Kearney's Cottage which is a bit of a tourist trap - there are public restrooms in the parking lot - open in season only.
Continue on and where the road splits - Beaufort or Killarney - take the right fork to Killarney.
The road meets the main road N72 - turn right towards Killarney - then left towards Dingle on R563 (large yellow pub on the corner - the Golden Nugget) - then up the hill turn right to Aghadoe (signed).
Stop at Aghadoe Heights (a plain looking 5 star hotel) where there's a lovely view over the Lakes of Killarney plus excellent tea & scones / lunches and great restrooms.
If Aghadoe is not available visit the Europe Hotel (5 star also with great views) - it is on the right before the turn to Aghadoe
Quinlan's Seafood Bar - excellent restaurant for fish (Main Road, Killarney)
Ross Castle - the guided castle tour is very good - also lovely walks
- red deer are often seen in the fields opposite the entrance – most active in October
- tour the the gardens around the back of the house – the boat house and longer walks around lakes through woodland
- the Shop is good and not a rip-off, but the cafeteria is only okay
Dinis Cottage – there’s a parking area on the side of the road – 1.5 km lovely walk to a simple cottage serving teas and sandwiches – at the Meeting of the Waters
Ladies View…there are a few viewing points besides the main one with the shop and druid.
Molls Gap Avoca shop has a great restaurant upstairs…closes at 5pm
From Molls Gap it is a 20 minute scenic drive into Kenmare - a quaint town with great food and shops.
Follow the Glengarriff signs and enjoy the Caha Pass and tunnels.
Stop at Molly Gallivans - take the self-guided tour - map & "key" from shop counter inside. Start with the video in the cottage and walk to the top of the little hill - great views and information. Return "key" and enjoy a cup of tea and scone and good shopping.
Glengarriff - public toilets plus a nice walk down to the bay from the toilets
Head out to Adrigole R572 and follow signs to Healy Pass, Adrigole Arts gallery.
Healy Pass (R574)– long winding road in remote region. The top marks the County Bounds - border between Cork and Kerry counties. Stop and climb up on rocks on the Kerry side and take in the views of the lake and valley below.
The original track, called the Kerry Pass, was cut during the Great Famine as a poor relief public works project. It was renamed for Timothy Michael Healy, former Governor-General of the Irish Free State, who died in 1931 shortly after the road was improved. The name "Healy Pass" is now also applied to the pass itself, previously called Bealach Scairte, which remains its Irish name.
Continue on the main road down to the village of Lauragh
- Josie's Lakeview House Restaurant, Lauragh, - lunch & dinner
- Derreen Gardens (near Lauragh) – beautiful walks + tearoom
From Lauragh take the road out to Kilmackillogue (various spellings)
Kilmackillogue Quay - Teddy O'Sullivan's bar (traditional Irish bar with excellent mussels & fresh beer).
Head for Kenmare and you will pass the Lake House Bar (Tuosist) at Cloonee Lakes – stop in the parking lot and cross the road CAREFULLY to view the lake with the mountains surrounding it. The restaurant isn't open anymore.
Gleninchaquin Park near Tuosist - if weather has been very wet, the waterfall will be magnificent. Give yourself a few hours for the delightful river walk, restored heritage cottage, and Uragh Stone Circle. The way in/out is rough but it is worth it.