Set against the combined dramatic backdrop of both the Atlantic coastline and enchanting green fields of the Irish countryside, this one-of-a-kind destination will leave you gob-smacked by the sheer variety of natural wonders that Ireland has to offer. Yet natural beauty isn’t all that it has to offer, as one of Ireland’s most popular destinations, Kerry plays host to an impressive variety of modern attractions, including boutique artisan stores, craft breweries and restaurants with traditional and international dishes so delicious that they’ll put most big-city cuisine to shame.
With its lush-green rolling countryside, dramatic Atlantic coastline and ancient historical sites, Kerry is one of Ireland's most popular destinations. Jaw-dropping Lough Leane views are the icing on the cake for luxury lovers looking for sumptuous relaxation at Europe Hotel and Resort (Fossa, Killarney). For homely comforts and old-fashioned Irish hospitality, look no further than Kerry's bounty of traditional guest houses and B&Bs. The Tides Guesthouse (Ballybunion Road) in Ballybunion and Blackstones House (Blackstones Bridge) in Glencar are two of the best. Budget-seekers shouldn't miss Dunloe View Hostel (Fossa, Killarney), highly praised for its welcoming atmosphere and comfortable digs.
Kerry has a long history of craftwork with lots of original work available by modern artisans who focus on contemporary as well as more traditional Celtic themes in their work. The village of Kenmare has a wonderful range of boutiques. You can pick up beautiful Irish linen at The White Room (Henry Street), and browse a range of delicate lacework at Kenmare Lace (Main Square). Dingle is another great centre of original handicrafts. An Gailearai Beag (18 Main Street) hosts a wealth of ceramics, art, woodwork and jewellery by local artists, while Louis Mulcahy Pottery (Clogher, Ballyferriter), near Dingle, shouldn't be missed by ceramic fans.
From the best of European fine dining and local seafood delights, to cheap and cheerful pub grub, Kerry has it all. To sample the fresh tastes of the county's coastline, treat yourself to a meal at Gaby's Seafood Restaurant (27 High Street) in Killarney, or Out of The Blue (The Wood) in Dingle. For swish, classic dishes, try Killarney's Chapter 40 (40 New Street). Hearty Irish meals, as well as free-flowing Guinness – Kerry's numerous pubs can't be beaten. Don't miss Harty's Lounge Bar (Lower Castle Street) in Tralee and Woulfe's Horseshoe Bar (14 Lower William Street) in Listowel.
World Irish Dancing Championships
The best of the world's Irish dancers descend on Killarney to compete in this eight-day competition.
Rally of the Lakes
Going since 1979, this motor rally is a speed enthusiast's calendar highlight. Competitors spin around one of the motor world's most picturesque courses, winding around Killarney's lakes.
Féile Na Bealtaine
Five days of music and art events take over the Dingle Peninsula for this festival aimed at promoting Dingle's culture and artistic traditions. Culture vultures will lap up the program of street theatre, music concerts, art exhibitions, film screenings and literary events.
The village of Puck's four-day fair is the oldest in Ireland. Parades, live music, traditional Irish dancing displays, and plenty of fireworks make this a great family-friendly event.
Rose of Tralee International Festival
By far County Kerry's, if not Ireland's, most famous festival, the Rose of Tralee's main event brings young women of Irish descent from across the world back to Tralee to take part in the Rose Parade where one will be crowned as that year's ‘Rose of Tralee’. A whole caboodle of Irish cultural entertainment, music concerts and parties runs concurrently across the festival programme as well.