Oh Killarney, nestled at the foothills of the soaring Kerry Mountains and surrounded by endless green forests and vast glistening lakes, it would be easy to think you had stepped right into an Irish fairytale when arriving into this valley town. With magnificent castles, ancient abbeys and horse drawn carriages clip-clopping through the small town streets, its no wonder its magic was immortalised in many an old Irish song. Even the legendary Bing Crosby asked with his smooth as butter tones
“How can you buy Killarney?”
Well you can’t. But you can visit it. And you definitely should!
We spend about 7 months of the year in this wondrous part of the world and hand-to-heart, we never tire of its incredible beauty and charm. There’s something about this place that one just feels completely grounded and connected. Connected to both nature’s remote and exquisite beauty and to the vivacious energy of the people from all over the world who pass through day after day, year after year. There’s a spirit here that’s hard to find elsewhere in Ireland, and dare we say the world!
We are always finding something new to discover here whether it be an activity, some ancient ruins, a cute café or a breathtaking view and we wanted to share with you some of our favuorite things to do in our favourite Irish town, so that you can maybe try it next time you visit !
Here they are in no particular order;
Bike Ride from Killarney Town to Muckross Estate
For only €15 you can have a bike for the day to go exploring the magical woodlands and parks of Killarney. From the bike shop Lyne’s on the Muckross rd. you can set off on a safe trail into Killarney national Park. You can explore the 19th century mansion that is Muckross house and its grounds at your leisure, cycle on through the forest to by the lakes to Dinis cottage where you can take a break for tea and sandwiches and on to the cascading beauty of Torc waterfall, before following the path back to the town. All in all it can take as little as 2 hours to as long as a full day depending on how you spend your time! You can even bring a picnic and pick a secret little wooded area to have your lunch. It’s one of the best ways to see the Muckross estate but if you’re not feeling up for a bike ride you can also just drive to the grounds and walk around from there !! But don’t be a lazy bones…. Take the bike ride!
Killarney is famous for its incredible views perhaps more than anything else and this is one of the ultimate ones. As you drive out of Killarney and up the old Kenmare road about 11km out you come upon one of the best views Ireland has to offer. Looking back down on Killarney’s three lakes and framed by fierce craggy mountains it’s like nature designed it for the perfect instagram shot haha! You’ll pretty much see people posing out on the rock any time you visit, rain or shine. It was the backsdrop to our latest music video as well. We told you its one of our favourite places ;) You can see it here in drone captured glory!!
Pancakes at The Strawberry Field
Now if you’ve made it this far to Ladies View, just continue on out the Kenmare road for another 10- 15 minutes and you’ll come upon the most charming little cottage you e’er set your wee eyes on begora! :)
The Strawberry Field Cottage is a pancake house, (yes pancakes!!) that is open seasonally (so check before going out here if it’s the winter months as it may not be open). They serve sweet ones (of course) but also amazing savoury pancakes topped with things like Goats cheese, walnuts, honey and thyme (our favourite!) It has a really tranquil garden where you can feast outdoors or if the weather isn’t so kind, the inside has that old traditional Irish vibe which is just as appealing. The coffee is also delicious here, oh and they cater for gluten-free and vegan peeps as well!! Win!! Above is a little video we took of one our trips there last year.
Okay so after you have eaten all those pancakes you may want to work it all off with a bit of a walk, and while there are a plethora of walks to do around Killarney National Park, our favourite is admittedly one of the toughest… but we love a challenge and the name kind of says it all. Its definitely strenuous so if you feel you’re not sufficiently fit you might opt for an easier walk at nearby Torc waterfall but if you’re feeling brave, go ahead and climb the steep steps of Cardiac Hill! There’s a splendiferous view at the top that makes it worth it (and also lets you catch your breath) and take no notice if you meet people running up the steps past you at top speed.. they are just showing off! There are a few walking loops you can do which can include or exclude cardiac hill depending on your desired level of exertion but we highly recommend it if you like hiking and want to work up a sweat to go for this one!
Coffee at The Europe Hotel
The title pretty much sums it up. The Europe hotel is a five star hotel sitting on the lakes of Killarney and because there is no end to this town’s enchanting views here is undoubtedly one of the most incredible ones you’ll ever have gazed upon while sipping on a delicious evening cappuccino (or an espresso Martini if you are so inclined). It is one of our number one things to do in Killarney because the luxury of the hotel combined with the splendor of the landscape and if share that time with friends, well, its just what life is all about isn’t it?
Khao Thai Restaurant
Now you could eat at the Europe if you desire, or any one of the other top class restaurants in Killarney but if you’re not dead set on having Irish food we dare you to try Khao’s Thai dishes and not love them. Only €12 for hefty portions of some of the best Asian food you could ever eat is a super deal and with everything being so fresh and tasty it’s the perfect end to a day exploring the Killarney countryside. We highly recommend the Pad Thai and friend we have brought there loved the Red Duck Curry! they also do lunch deals which we believe are €10 and include a scoop of delicious gelato! Winning!
So there you have it some suggestions for your next or first trip to Killarney to get the most out of it! There’s so much more we could include and we promise we will in another future post!!
Have you been to Killarney? What was your favourite experience/ views/ restaurants?
Lots of Love,