Kenmare Attractions Guide

Bwlow are some of the popular attractions in Kenmare . Na Scealga Na Scealga is a group of three rock islands floating like pyramids of sandstone. The most remarkable of these islands, Sceilg Mhichíl - Skellig Michael - is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. More than five hundred steps up a 1000 year-old stone stairway leads you to one of the most awesome monastic sites in Europe. Stone beehive huts mark where monks lived and prayed centuries ago. These small structures cling to cliff edges alongside oratories, a cemetery, stone crosses, holy wells and the Church of St. Michael. These remote archeological ruins show the stark Spartan conditions in which this early Christian community lived. Enduring several Viking raids, the monks eventually fled the island in the thirteenth century and it subsequently became a place of pilgrimage. Na Blascaodaí This site may yield pre-historic remains or exhibit extraordinary bird-life. More than 6 km beyond the most westerly edge of the Dingle Peninsula, huge mounds of sandstone with sheer cliffs rise from the Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by lesser rocks and reefs, these are Na Blascaodaí. The grandest of the nine islands An Blascaod Mór was abandoned in 1953 when the last twenty two locals living on the island were forcibly moved to the mainland. The island's population, which once topped one hundred and seventy five residents, had steadily declined through emigration. Despite its small numbers and size this community has yielded tremendous literary wealth, producing world famous writers who documented island life in their beloved Irish language and whose work have been translated into languages around the globe. An Blascaod Mór is still uninhabited today, but the island is open to visitors. You can explore this ancient island on foot treading its steep grassy paths and hilly tracks. Discover the pre-historic ruins and unique bird-life as well as the massive colony of seals who call Na Blascaodaí their home. Ring of Kerry Drive The Ring of Kerry is one of Ireland's most vivid and eye-popping drives. Because it is a circular route, any of the towns and villages along the drive can be used as a starting point. It is well worth the extra time to explore the spectacular ancient and early Christian heritage of the area, most strikingly the 6th century Skelligs, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Continuing southwest to the picturesque village of Glenbeigh, you will find a popular holiday spot for families. Adjacent to Cahersiveen, the cliff portion of the road offers incredible views of the Blasket Islands and the Dingle Peninsula. Cahersiveen hosts the Old Barracks Heritage Centre, which is conveniently located in the former Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) Barracks. Also worth the time to visit are the unique Cahergal and Leacanabuaile Stone Forts. The next village on the curcuitis the village of Waterville, home to the world famous golf links. From Waterville along a southeast path you find the village of Caherdaniel. The next point of interest is Coomakista Pass, where you can bask in the spectacular views over the Kenmare River, Scariff and Deenish Islands. Next, you might want to visit Derrynane House, the home of Daniel O’Connell. Also there is Derrynane National Park, heavan for botanists and ornithologists, which offers various nature trails and one of Ireland’s most outstanding beaches. Another necessary stop is the Staigue Fort at Castlecove, which is one of the grandest and best preserved examples of a circular stone fort in Ireland. Next stop is the picturesque village of Sneem, home to the Sculpture Park and Garden of the Senses. Head east to the Heritage Town of Kenmare and walk along Henry Street, with its tempting shop fronts and archways. From Kenmare, travel north to Killarney along Moll’s Gap and Ladies View, and take in breathtaking views of the spectacular Lakes of Killarney. Gallarus Oratory This historic Christian church harkens back to c. 8th century. It is a pristine example of the dry stone building style of the time. The oratory is shaped like an inverted boat and it still retains its weatherproofing after more than 1,000 years.