I was in Killarney when I decided, in spite of the weather, to circle the Ring of Kerry. I have read here and there it must be done. Plenty of tourist buses and brochures finally convinced me for the journey. And as the young lady at the counter of the information center told me earlier: « It’s a must see, even if cloudy or rainy. It’s Ireland ! Prepare to experience the four seasons in one day. The only thing we can predict for sure is rain, so take a K-Way and your sunglasses. »
I enjoyed Killarney, strolling down the Main street, eating at Hannigan, wandering its National Park, visiting the Muckross House and trekking by the Torc waterfall. It is a vacation spot with lakes and forests that exudes a bucolic peacefulness.
On Internet, they advise you to circle the ring counterclockwise, to avoid being stuck behind a bus. When I did it, the normal way, I just got slowed by one and not for long (they let you pass). What you need is to leave early morning, before 10 AM.
The nicest part is between Glenbeigh and Castelcove. I found it ok and not breathtaking. In fact, you can skip the Ring if you are on hurry or not driving yourself. I would have hated to endure it from a bus. On the way, Kenmare is a nice and pretty town where you can stop and eat. Several tasty restaurants there (try the McCarthy’s).
Finish the ring with the Ladies View, my favorite. Sunset is magic. Do not stay on the parking lot and try to get to the rocky esplanade from where the view is even more splendid.
I did the Ring of Kerry in the morning, not rushing in any way and stopping whenever I liked. I ate at Kenmare and continued my journey to Dublin (3 hours drive on a motorway). The Rock of Cashel disappointed me (under repair). I should have done a detour by Kilkenny but the weather was really too awful. If you intend to do both, leave the M8 after Cashel to Kilkenny then rejoin the M9 to Dublin.
Enjoy and drive carefully. The speed limitation on secondary roads is 100 km/h whatever the layout. On some mountain roads, even at 60 km/h, you feel yourself like a daredevil. As the view is often obstructed by vegetation, be always prepared to cross or face a bus.