Killarney is a compact town of about 7,000. But it is a very busy tourist hub for The Ring of Kerry. If you arrive by car into Killarney best to park it wherever you can and walk around town. You can see all there is to see by foot. The Park, Mukross House, the Gap, etc are all a ways out and will need either a car or rental bike. You can hire a Jaunting Car in town but it's much cheaper to hire one at Muckross House or at Kate Kearney's Cottage to ride up to the Gap.
Another option is a day tour. You can take a combination bus, horse and boat tour on Castlelough Tours (064/31115) for about E37. Instead of horseback riding you can substitute a jaunting car tour at the gap.
The Jaunting Car is one of the town’s most traditional forms of transport, each car comes with its own driver known as a Jarvey. It's a nice, slow, relaxing, and probably the proper way to see the town. I enjoyed the jaunting car tour of the Killarney National Park.
Killarney is the jumping off point for driving the Iveraugh Peninsula, better known as the Ring of Kerry, the most popular drive in Ireland. Virtually all but one of the guides I read suggested that you travel counterclockwise which is the way buses travel, apparently the only thing worse than getting stuck behind one is meeting one head on, especially on some of the roads that purport to have 2 lanes but in reality have slightly more than one.
We avoided the bus problem by visiting some sights near Killarney in the morning and started driving the Ring of Kerry counterclockwise around noon, long after the buses had departed as most of them leave around 9 or 10am. We didn't see any large buses in our travels, so our theory worked but we didn't have as much time to linger and probably missed a few things along the way.
The entire ring is 175km (110 miles) and while this doesn't sound like a lot, you must account for slow roads, lots of photo stops and the occasional sheep herd blocking your path. We left about noon and didn't get into Kenmare until 6 or 7 pm.
After lunch, we drove to Killarny and had a ride in a jaunting car to Muckross House. Everyone calls them jaunting carTs, but apparently the traditional name is CAR without the T and the original cars only had two wheels. The ones we went on were four wheeled, which I suspect is so that they can take more than two passengers. We had 8 people in ours. And also it is much less 'tilty' So maybe these vehicles are carts and not cars.
They took pictures of us first, and I took a photo of the photographer at the same time. So our picture (photo 2) shows me taking a picture of the guy taking the picture. The drivers are known as Jarveys.
First we went through town on the regular streets (photo 4), and then we were on a narrow road (paved) which went through an area of Killarney National Park including by some lakes to Muckross House.
More pictures of the ride are in the Killarney from a Horse Drawn Cart travelogue
In the days when landlords ruled in great walled estates, the horse and carriage offered an ideal vantage point. Today these same conveyances provide an escape from the noise and pollution of the motor car as you view the National Park. You will find them everywhere in Killarney.
You can eather use horse carriage to go from one Killarney National Parks sights to another or walk.
I chose to lose some calors. I dont regret it because I got some nice close-ups of local flora.
But in the other hand the jaunting car driver is also sort of guide and explains a lot.
Look at the website to find out more.
Unfortunately I dont know the prices.
We had pre-booked a "small 2 door" car on line from Budget and were quoted a price of Euro 58 for the three day's hire.
However, when we called at the BudgetCar Rental office in Killarney, we were told that a "small" car was not available, and they had substituted an "Almer," a much larger vehicle and not really appropriate for a driver unused to the narrow twisting roads in the Ring of Kerry.
After all the "add ons" were calculated, including a full tank of petrol at Euro 84.50, the total price came to Euro212.40, or £204.54 in sterling.
As we didn't drive very far during the trip, we returned the car with approximately half-a-tank of petrol but received no credit for this.
Of course, I have taken up with Budget Car Rental and await their response.
Do you have a another transportation city tour of killarney?
like this cart. very slowry relax you have atime.
and some round trip by cart go to the ross castle.
We spent our 25th wedding anniversary here and were satisfied beyond description. Our room...more
My wife and I stayed for two nights and, having seen the reviews on a rival website, chose it. It's...more
If your are ever in Killarney, you should stay at either the Arbutis Hotel or the Best Western...more