Friday, June 17, 2016

Killarney & Beara Peninsula, Ireland

Our plan for the day was to make our way slowly, but scenically, from Dingle to Kinsale via Killarney National Park and the Beara Peninsula.  Our first stop was Ross Castle, where we wandered for maybe 20 minutes. This is one of the traditionally first stops on the Ring of Kerry, so it was absolutely packed. Proceeding down the road, we made a quick 15 minute hike to the Torc Waterfall. The forest was really beautiful and we wished we had time to do a full day of just hiking around and exploring.

Driving further along, we arrived at "Ladies View", which was probably the best view we got inside the National Park. What we saw of the Ring of Kerry was beautiful, but it was just so crowded with tour buses! We were glad when we headed south towards Kenmare and started our more rustic version - the Ring of Beara.

Our best adventure came from a random sign I spotted announcing a "stone circle" with an arrow. Curious, we took a chance. After a 20 minute meandering drive and rising anticipation, we were rewarded! I love that we were able to just walk right up to the stone circle (called Uragh). It was a truly beautiful and mystic site. We had the place virtually to ourselves (if you exclude the numerous sheep). The waterfalls in the distance just added an air of mystery to the whole place.

We were feeling quite peckish at this point, so we stopped at Teddy O'Sullivan's (better known as Helen's Bar) in Lauragh for some fish and chips and fried prawns. With a background like we had, we took our time and planned out the rest of our drive.

We made a few more stops along the way, in Eyeries to photograph the beautiful buildings as well as a various (and especially precarious) points on the Healy Pass through the center of the peninsula. We were sure there were many more gems to be found, but we still had a bit of driving to do to reach Kinsale.

Along the way, we stopped at Drombeg Stone Circle, which is one of the better-known in the area. Again, we saw a few people, but basically had the place to ourselves. The view was unbelievable..and COWS! 

Our day driving around was wonderful - get a car in Ireland for sure! The country-side is unbelievably gorgeous and (in our opinion) better seen as a self-driving tour than from the windows of a tour bus. 

Next up was Jason's favorite stop - Kinsale!

No comments:

Post a Comment