For the Ring of Kerry Tour - I did it with Bus Eireann. My friend booked it the day before at the Cork Bus Station, it cost €16 for the 12hr trip.
As you can see from the intro to this page we hit all the main spots in Kerry (on the Ring) - we also stopped briefly at Blarney to pick up and later drop off some more passengers.
Bus Eireann was a comfortable way to go!
Begin your road tour of the Ring of Kerry or the Dingle peninsula early in the morning. Once the mass of tourists and buses get on the road things can get a bit slow, especially climbing the hills on the south side of the Ring of Kerry and along the Dingle. Traffic in Sneem, Kenmare, Killorgin, and Tralee can also be frustrating so avoid them if you can or get through or around them by any means possible. Bring a good map.
We found the roads in this part of Ireland to be no different from the rest - they were quite good and provided many chances for great views! However, we had a very good road map that required constant consulting - a map is a must if you are going to be travelling on the back roads!! This photo shows the two of us taking in the scene from a parking area at the top of Connor Pass as we had the town of Dingle in sight from there. After taking a drive around the Slea Head loop, we left the town of Dingle along the southern edge of the peninsula, stopping to dip our feet in the water at the 4-mile spit of sand that juts out into Dingle Bay near Inch. It was good to get out of the car and enjoy the sea breezes on this great beach! After lunch in Castlemaine at the head of the Bay, we took an inland back-road trip back to Limerick by way of Ballydesmond, Broadford and Ballingarry. This drive was not particularly inspiring but it was interesting to observe the countryside and it beat travelling on the main highway! The next day we were off to our greatest adventure at the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare!
I did not rent a car in Ireland (or England) because I did not trust myself to drive on the wrong side of the street in a strange place with only my grandson to read the map and direct me. I wanted to take photos, and I would have had to find a place to stop to do that. Normally when I am with my husband, he drives and I take pictures. Stopping to take pictures (photo 5) adds quite a bit to the time of the journey.
Instead, I took a tour. We were in a bus, which gave us a view over the hedgerows and cars. The problems for us were that the scenery was going by so fast that it was sometimes blurred, and we had to deal with the reflections in the windows.
Most of the time I sat in the back seat so I could take photos out the back window of some of the roads and the vehicles on them.
Of course in the summer, the cars also have the buses (coaches) to deal with (photo 4)
I did not see any public transportation in the area. So probably the best bet for viewing Dingle Bay is either a coach (aka tour bus) or a rental car. People say that there are so many coaches lined up on the Ring of Kerry in the summer that you can't see the view. We were there early in June, so it wasn't so bad, but even so, we played tag with another bus through this area.
The roads are quite narrow and have little shoulder, so the driver and guide on our coach were careful about how we crossed the road. For cars there are turn-offs (photo 3)
Whilst driving in County Kerry we had a bit of car trouble - a small wheel from a passing car trailer flew off and hit our tyre.
A little while later, when we stopped for lunch in Listowel, we discovered a bubble had formed on the tyre, and it was not safe to drive with and would have to be replaced.
We called the AA, due to issues with removing the tyre, and the incredibly friendly local representative helped us out .
After changing the tyre, we followed him back to his garage and he replaced the damaged tyre for a small price!
Gotta love the Irish!!
The mouth of the river Shannon is quite wide and long at the westcoast of Ireland and there is an interesting ferry-connection between the villages of Tarbert in County Kerry and Killimer in County Clare.
Instead of driving 137 extra km ( 85 miles )you simply have to wait a few minutes for the ferry, pay around 13 Euros one way for cars and small motorhomes and take a ferry-ride of ca. 20 minutes. This makes sense, when you want to get from Co.Kerry to the Burren and places like Kilkee, Milltown Malbay or Ennistimon and the Burren.
For updated prices and timetables - please check the webpage below !!
You may take such a Jaunting Car in order to explore Muckross Park. At the large car-parks outside of the Park you will see plenty of them, chasing for their customers.
Such a ride takes mostly about 45 minutes and these carriages may take between 4 and 8 persons. I do not remember the price, but it was not so very much and you may fix a price in advance.
Driving around County Kerry in a car or motorhome is certainly the very best option, even though most of the roads are quite narrow and you have to share them with all sorts of cattle.
Drivers will have to calculate a lot of extra-time,especially when they are driving side-roads like on my picture.
Beware of the dogs - they really take good care of the sheep and will defend them against everyone. It is almost impossible to "overtake" such a herd of sheep and you rather have to wait for the moment, when they leave the road again.
In many locations in County Kerry, especially in the tourist areas and at the country houses and castles, it is possible to take a pony and trap ride and see the country at a leisurely pace.
Up to 4 people or so can be accomodated
It is probably possible to get around Kerry by public transport, but if time is limited and you want to get to the out of the way places, then it is beat to hire a car.
We used Europcar and pre-booked in the UK to pick up at Cork Airport.
It was about £140.00 for a week.
Beware costs for extra drivers and additional insurance though. (we didn't bother)
The easiest way to get around County Kerry is by car.
Don't expect to get anywhere fast however - plenty of the roads are narrow and there are lots of tourist buses to get stuck behind!
Just drive safe and enjoy the scenery - you are on Irish time now!!
An alternate way to travel from County Kerry into County Clare is to take the car ferry from Tarbert in County Kerry to Killimer in County Clare (or vice versa).
It is a 20 minute trip, that takes you across the River Shannon and is a very civilised way to travel.
It cost about 13 euros oneway/20 euros return per car.
In Kerry you should definitely have your own car. I know that I would go mad if I was stuck on a bus in Kerry and could not stop every couple of minutes to take another picture of the scenery which changes at every turn of the road. With your own car you can also go off the main tourist routes and find your own favourite spot in Kerry, and you will be spoilt for choice. Just be careful on the roads, as many of them are single lane and have quite impressive potholes sometimes.
For years and years I travelled to Tralee the long way. Car and ferry from England but now there are regular flights to Kerry airport in Farranfore just outside Tralee. However, you still need a car in this part of the world.
Tralee Rail Station: +353 667123522
Another station in Tralee worth a look is Blennerville station.-------------------------
'Next Stop Nova Scotia!' This is a view of Blennerville station in the Kingdom of Kerry. The narrow gauge terminus is the most western railway station in Europe
Tralee is highly-accessible by road, rail, air and sea. A good road system connects Tralee with all the major town of County Kerry and further afield to Ireland's primary cities and towns. Limerick on the N21 is 65 miles to the north-east; Listowel and the Tarbert/Killimer Car Ferry on the N69 are 17 miles and 29 miles respectively to the north, and Killarney and Cork on the N22 are 20 miles and 73 miles respectively to the south-east. By rail, Tralee is linked with the country's principal ports, towns and cities and the rail system provides special services for container transportation and bulk traffic.
Tralee is well-serviced with airports. Kerry International Airport is just 12 miles east of Tralee on the N22, while Shannon International Airport is 75 miles from Tralee. Daily scheduled flights are available from Kerry International Airport to Dublin with onward connections to all major European destinations. Scheduled flights are available from Shannon Airport to several major destinations in the U.S.A.
Check out these web sites for train/bus/car hire info.
For a steam train ride from Tralee to Blennerrville check out this web site
In my opinion you can't beat having your own transport in Kerry. There's a lot to see but public transport is not the best.
We spent our 25th wedding anniversary here and were satisfied beyond description. Our room...more
The Skellig is a lovely hotel. the staff are all nice and most of them are locals. Their is usually...more
Stayed here as part of a vacation package. Very Recommended. Friendly staff, clean facilities. Very...more