Car rental Kerry
Rent a car in Kerry

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With mountainous terrain, rugged coastline, winding country roads and sweeping vales, Kerry is home to some of Europe’s most stunning scenic drives. For international travellers craving an authentic Irish experience, small villages are dotted throughout this expansive landscape. However, holiday-makers should not rely on public transport or dry weather in the rural expanse of Co. Kerry. With its far-reaching yet attainable size, a rental car is by far the best way to take in this jewel of the Emerald Isle.

It's your choice: Where to go in Kerry

Kerry International Airport, with flights to Kerry from London and five other cities, lies at the heart of the county and sits equidistant between northern Tralee and southern Killarney. These quintessentially Irish towns, only 20 minutes by car from the airport, have some of the best hotels in Kerry and make ideal starting points for travellers. If you rent a car from Kerry airport, you will be able to go almost anywhere in this vast scenic paradise. Golfing enthusiasts will love Ballybunion Golf Club, one of the world’s finest, in the coastal resort to the far north. To the far south, Valentia Island is famous for its lighthouse atop the rugged rocks. Be it forests or mountains, cliffs or lakes, bustling towns or rural villages – all are present in Kerry. As the most scenic driving routes pass by them all, you can choose which order to see them in.

Things to do in Kerry

As one of the county’s main towns, there are lots of things to do in Killarney. The town is packed with bars, restaurants and venues offering traditional Irish music, good food and plentiful drink. It is brimming with Irish history and heritage. In Killarney National Park alone, guests can visit 19th-century Muckross House or 15th-century Ross Castle, only a 13-minute drive apart. Killarney is also a good starting and finishing point for a driving tour of the Ring of Kerry. This route passes through quaint ancient Irish villages like Cahersiveen, one of the most western in Europe, and along the rugged cliffs and sandy beaches of the Dingle Peninsula with its Atlantic panoramas. From here you can travel through the forests or venture up the meandering roads of Carrauntoohil and MacGillycuddy Reeks, two of Ireland’s highest mountains.

Important info about Kerry

Kerry is arguably one of Ireland’s most beautiful holiday destinations. Whilst the air will often be damp, this makes for a rich green countryside of great natural beauty. Kerry contributes 450km of awe-inspiring ocean views to the Wild Atlantic Way, a driving route along the west coast of Ireland. A drive along Kerry’s coast takes about three days but in reality, it could take you up to two weeks with frequent stops to absorb the scenery. As you travel, keep your eyes open for the near-endless signposts denoting ancient castles, heritage sites and historic buildings. Should you wish to stop for a meal or an overnight stay, the region is packed with guest houses, bed and breakfasts, hotels and restaurants. From large gastropubs to rustic local taverns, travellers can expect a warm welcome and world-class cuisine in even the most remote parts of Kerry.

Weather in Kerry
Facts
Country Republic of Ireland
Language English
Currency Euro
Time-Zones GMT
Country Code +353

Good to know

Rain and wind are regular visitors to Kerry as well. Beacause Kerry lies on the Atlantic coast, certain excursions and tours, particularly Skellig Michael tours, can be cancelled due to bad weather. So, for holiday-makers that rent a car, Kerry still has plenty to discover. When it rains, a hike up the MacGillicuddy Reeks can be replaced by a drive through the mountainous region. Of course, caution should be taken on the roads in Ireland. With wild Atlantic weather conditions and narrow mountain and cliff-side roads, driving around County Kerry, especially a Ring of Kerry drive, can be tricky and demands the driver's full attention. Unlike the majority of Europe, Ireland drives on the left-hand side. With strict drink driving regulations, the designated driver should be at least 17 years old. However, it is worth noting that you must be 25 or older to rent a car in Ireland.

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Our tour suggestion for Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a network of roads forming a scenic tour around an unspoilt part of Ireland. With a camera and a Ring of Kerry map open on your GPS, scenery lovers could spend a whole day on this 3.5-hour driving route. Following the Ring of Kerry will take you past the highlights of this region. However, one hidden gem and UNESCO World Heritage Site requires more than car rental services to visit it. Skellig Michael Island is Ireland’s earliest monastic settlement famous for its 6th-century beehive huts and, more recently, for appearing alongside Luke Skywalker in the latest Star Wars films. It is only possible to visit Skellig Michael between May and September if sea conditions are good. By driving to the closest mainland villages of Valentia, Portmagee, Ballinskelligs or Catherdaniel, boat operators will take you the rest of the way.

What to taste in Kerry

Kerry is a wonderful destination for food-lovers, with the small port town of Dingle previously winning Foodie Town of the Year. Due to its Atlantic access, a high-end seafood market has emerged in Co. Kerry. You can take a gourmet fishing trip from Derrynane harbour and catch and eat your own sashimi. Caherdaniel’s Seaweed Discovery Workshop is one of many foraging tours offered along the coast. An agricultural county, locally sourced produce is not restricted to fruits of the ocean. Throughout the year, travellers can discover a host of farmers’ markets, culinary schools, food festivals and cooking workshops, all offering visitor-ready experiences. Many vegetarian restaurants have sprung up to take advantage of locally grown vegetables. You can tour craft beer breweries and whiskey distilleries that use Kerry’s natural spring water as an ingredient. Any visitor will leave Kerry with a happy heart and a full stomach.