So, I know my Irish posts have been consisting of places within County Kerry a lot lately. There is method to my madness and I am thinking why not give you all the information and personal experiences that I have on this location in Ireland? Then if you do make the trip down to Kerry you can pick and choose the different locations and activities that will suit you best. It may seem that I have done my fair share of exploring here, which I agree with, but there is actually so much more to see and do in Kerry. Which of course, I intend to do.. at some stage! For now, this week is my last post on County Kerry so lets explore some of Kerry’s beautifully rugged and adventurous coastline.
Caherdaniel is a town located in the South West of Kerry in the Iveragh Peninsula. This little town is situated near the shores of Derrynane Bay so there are plenty of sandy beaches and different viewpoints looking towards; the Skelligs, Kenmare Bay and small islands off the coast. There is a stone fort located here along with Derrynane House which are top things listed to do around Caherdaniel. The well known ‘Daniel O’ Connell’ called Caherdaniel home and it is easy to see why. While we passed through this village we followed signs a beach to stretch our legs and we were led down a small road to a breathtaking location. O’ Carroll’s Cove!! WOW this was like being led to your own private beach. Given that it was July, which is high season holiday time, there were no more then 5 people on this beach when we arrived. There is a well set up camp site here called Glenbeg. Pitch a tent, rent a house or bring along your caravan and stay here for a few days. Who needs an exotic secluded destination abroad?? There is also an amazing bar/restaurant here which is in a prime location. Maisie Ryan’s/O Carrolls Cove Beach Bar has a lovely interior and a rooftop lounge to enjoy a drink/food in the sun overlooking the beach! Such a great little town!
From Caherdaniel we made our way to Portmagee (40 minute drive). Calling all Star Wars Lovers!! The Skelligs is where some Star Wars episodes were filmed!
As you arrive to Portmagee, you will see the various boats that are set up for trips to the Skelligs. There are ticket offices in the car park by the docks and you can get information here about sailing times, prices of tickets and different operators. We got our tickets here. While waiting to board, we had some lunch in The Bridge Bar which is connected to the The Moorings Guesthouse. This is just across the road from where the boat sets sail. Have some lunch here and visit Cois Cuain for your sugar fix after where they make their own fudge, chocolates and along with other crafts whilst waiting to board your trip to the Skelligs.
As we boarded onto the boat we were greeted by a funny, full of chat skipper. He was going to guide us around the different Skelligs off the coast of Kerry. The group was very small which was great we had lots of space on the boat, 10 people max. A short trip out to sea and you will arrive at the smaller Skelligs. The Skelligs house various wildlife. The bird life around the Skelligs is is huge, puffins, gannets, razorbills, and many more species all appear here.
Skellig Michael showcases two fascinating lighthouses and the roadway servicing them, built between 1821 and 1826. Although we did not dock and climb onto the Island our guide had an array of information for us explaining how monks that inhabited the Island build the staircases to climb to the summit and around. He also explained about the effects of the harsh weather that batters this Skelligs, with sweels reaching and shattering windows of a lighthouse on the Island before.
It is awe inspiring to learn how and to see how the monks made a living on this island in the dept of the Sea. You can opt for a different tour that will bring you onto Skellig Michael which is pricey so we were happy circling the Skelligs by boat! Tour Guides actually stay on Skellig Michael for a couple of weeks all on their own!!!! This was probably the most surprising thing I learnt. I can’t imagine being on this Skellig on my own throughout the nights with no coverage and no consistent way back to land, it sure wouldn’t be my cup of tea! But fair play to those who do, I can imagine the sheer peace and quiet during their time there!
A short 6 minute drive from Portmagee will bring you accross to Valentia Island, one of Ireland’s most westerly points. Here you will find a huge amount of water activities available! From Kayaking, sailing, diving to birdwatching, golfing and nature walks you will not be short of activities to keep the big and small kids happy!
So that is it from me! I hope you enjoyed this post and you are itching to get out exploring! If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to send me a message!