Happy Friday! To end the week on a high (is there any other way to end the work week?), I’m sharing more photos from Ireland! If you missed Wednesday’s post and castles are your thing, check it out here. Today is all about the Ring of Kerry. Cliff side views, cute little beaches, and traditional Irish pubs are ahead!
Before Ireland, we asked for recommendations from everyone we knew that had been. It was one of the few sights that every single person mentioned. As you can imagine, the level of hype was high! It was one of the things we were looking forward to most. Before I say this, let me add a disclaimer. Weather has a significant ability to affect your experience in Ireland. Rainy, cloudy days make visibility really low and make it difficult to explore sights on foot. Sunny days fill you with this indescribable joy when you see how beautiful and green everything is!
Everything I read said leave about a day for the Ring of Kerry. We did and that day was a rainy one. That said, it wasn’t our favorite spot (that one is coming next) but it was still pretty darn cool! We opted to drive counterclockwise because I’d heard if you drive clockwise, you’ll get stuck behind all the tour buses. We didn’t experience too much traffic but let me say, you will find yourself behind a tour bus at some point during the day. You will also probably be on a very small road that doesn’t allow for passing. Just mentally prepare!
One of the first stops on the drive was the cliffs above. I have no idea what it was called but it was about 20 minutes into the drive from Killarney. The spot was marked with a sign indicating it was a photo opportunity so be on the lookout! You can barely see where the sky meets the ocean but I loved it.
After roughly an hour of driving, we stopped at Ballycarbery Castle. This was when it started to rain! All hope for my hair was lost! I did get a LOT of mileage out of this double breasted trench coat though with the wind. We snapped a few photos and quickly jumped back into the car to head to the Kerry Cliffs at Portmagee. All the signs before the cliffs rave about the outstanding views! Seriously. It’s mentioned on every sign. They really build up the suspense!
The cliffs are about a 10 minute walk from the car park and there is a small fee to get in. We were standing at the toll booth when a torrential downpour started. Literally POURING rain. Matt and I looked at each other and said no thanks! This was probably the only stop I was bummed I didn’t get to see. However, we had other cliffs in our future so that made me feel better!
After our run in with Mother Nature, we stopped in a small town right by the cliffs for lunch. Notice my hair getting straighter and straighter throughout the day thanks to all the moisture! I don’t remember the name of the cafe but it was right on the docks! Everyone seemed to be ordering the soup special (very common in Ireland). Matt and I both ordered a grilled cheese (safest bet) and got two pieces of toast with egg on it… Lost in translation? We ate it anyway although both of our stomachs gurgled a little for the next hour haha! We aren’t egg people.
In the afternoon, we stopped at Derrynane beach as it started to drizzle again. Thank goodness for these Hunter Boots. The scenery was still gorgeous though! The road down to the beach was very narrow and Matt kept wondering where I was taking him. We also walked through the cemetery which you can see behind me in the last photo. It wasn’t creepy but just very serene with beautiful views in every direction.
We got back to Killarney and walked around town for a little bit. The rain had stopped (of course!) so we had dinner at The Porterhouse Gastropub. Note to self, Irish egg rolls aren’t quite like what you get stateside! Matt loved his meal though – I think it was the salmon? When we travel, I don’t usually go for the food being a vegetarian. Most menus had at least a few options for me and every mushroom dish I tried was phenomenal! After dinner, we went back to the Killarney Plaza Hotel for the night. A day of driving really tuckered us out!