The Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest coastal drive, stretching 2,750 km from Donegal to Cork incorporating all of the counties on Ireland’s Atlantic coast. Having travelled most of this route over the course of my life I can guarantee first-time visitors that stunning scenery and a multitude of activities/sites await.
This post outlines the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry, my home county. My Kerry Travel Guide outlines general travel information for the county.
WILD ATLANTIC WAY IN KERRY: ROUTE
The route is approximately 450km in length and runs along three major peninsulas: Dingle, Iveragh and Beara.
The major towns along the Kerry route are Ballybunion, Tralee, Dingle, Killorglin, Cahersiveen and Kenmare.
Killarney is not on the direct route. As Killarney has so many attractions it is well worth veering off the main Wild Atlantic Way for a visit. A large section of the Ring of Kerry route (Killorglin to Kenmare) is on the Wild Atlantic Way route.
I’ve written a number of detailed guides to specific sections of the Kerry route:
I also have a post on Famous Kerry People connected to the Wild Atlantic Way route.
THINGS TO DO
Given the plentiful supply of activities, one will never be bored in Kerry. If your trip on Kerry’s Wild Atlantic Way is brief, here is a summary of the top things to do.
SPECTACULAR SCENERY: Okay, all of Kerry is gorgeous but my favourites along the Wild Atlantic Way route are Slea Head Drive (all of it), Cloghane and Brandon villages, Connor Pass, stretch of road between Inch beach and Annascaul, Mountain Stage and Kells, Valentia Island, Coomakista Pass, Kilmackillogue Harbour. The latter is the final stop before heading into County Cork.
BEACHES: Ventry/Ceann Trá, Béal Bán, Muiríoch, Castlegregory, Inch, Rossbeigh, Derrynane, Castlecove.
WALKING: Mount Brandon, Sauce Creek, Caherconree, Glanteenassig Woods, Knocknadobar/Cnoc na dTobar. From Killorglin, the McGillycuddy Reeks and Carrauntoohil are very accessible.
GOLF: Ballybunion (hosted the Irish Open), Tralee, Ceann Sibéal, Killorglin/Mid-Kerry, Dooks, Waterville, Kenmare.
SEE THE STARS: The Ballinskelligs area is an International Dark Sky Reserve.
SEE THE SUNSET: One of the most uplifting and life-affirming moments is watching the sun go down on what is Europe’s west coast.
CAFÉ CULTURE: You can eat, drink and be merry in pretty much any town or village along the route. But Dingle and Kenmare have a special, cosmopolitan café culture.
HISTORICAL SITES: Gallarus Oratory, Beehive Huts, Blasket Islands, Banna Strand, Blennerville Windmill, Derrynane National Historic Park, Skellig Islands including UNESCO World Heritage Site Skellig Michael.
My biased opinion will obviously veer towards telling you that the Kerry stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way is the best. But Kerry has a huge concentration of visitor-friendly sites and scenes. Whether it’s remote beaches, breath-taking scenery or great nightlife, Kerry has all.
So come and encounter the magic that us Kerry folk experience on a daily basis.
Have you travelled the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry? If so, what are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below.