Information and Tourism
Situated at the most westerly point of southern Ireland and with its face to the Atlantic Ocean, you would expect County Kerry to plough its own furrow. It certainly appears that its culture hasn't been greatly influenced by the outside world. Traditional Irish music, dancing and storytelling are very much in evidence here, as is the Irish language. County Kerry is even known for having its own tournament-winning senior Gaelic football team.
Out of the way it may be, but County Kerry is still very much a popular destination for tourists. Many come to admire the stunning scenery of the county's mountains and lakes, as well as its coastline. Hikers come to tackle the walking trails that run through here, including the Kerry Way and Dingle Way. Of interest, the Dingle Peninsula was the setting for the 1970s film 'Ryan's Daughter', which portrayed the events after the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland.
The Ring of Kerry, abbreviated by locals to simply 'The Ring', is a popular day out for drivers and a must-do feature on most coach tour itineraries. In fact, it is so popular that there is a good chance you might encounter a traffic jam in the narrow lanes. Crowds aside, the views of County Kerry's rugged coastline are awe inspiring and well worth getting out of the car to admire in their full glory.
In the midst of all that scenery are the county's towns. Killarney is well used to entertaining tourists and has a reputation for having some decent restaurants and hotels. Tralee, the county town, is a more down-to-earth place - somewhere you can come up for air after all that scenic perfection and catch up on the day-to-day business of life.
Incidentally, County Kerry manages to be both one of the wettest places in Ireland, largely due to all those mountains, and one of the warmest. Subtropical plants such as tree ferns have even been known to flourish in these parts.
County Kerry Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Republic of Ireland
- Province: Munster
- Population: approximately 150,000
- County administrative town or city: Tralee
- Language: English
- Number of Irish language speakers: 6,100
- Area: 1,830 square miles / 4,740 square kilometres
- Distance around the Ring of Kerry: 110 miles / 180 km
Map of Ireland