Killarney:A Scenic Provincial Life of Tranquil Lakes and Lush Woodlands

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Killarney:A Scenic Provincial Life of Tranquil Lakes and Lush Woodlands

Famous for more than 250 years in the tourism industry, Killarney is the ultimate sightseeing destination in Ireland. From its serene lakes and lush woodlands to delicious cuisine, vibrant pubs, and comfortable accommodation, Killarney has it all. Usually mobbed in summer, Killarney is best during the late spring and early autumn, when the tourist crowd is manageable.

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Killarney:A Scenic Provincial Life of Tranquil Lakes and Lush Woodlands

1. Killarney National Park

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The Killarney National Park is a vast national park located near Killarney, Ireland. It was established when the Muckross Estate was donated to the Irish Free State in 1932. Ever since, the national park gradually expanded, thus, encompassing various towns in County Kerry. The Killarney park offers the ultimate sightseeing destination. As it offers various terrains and various lakes. Also, the ark serves as home to the elusive and unique red deer - thus, earning it the designation of being a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Various woodlands - oak, yew, and wet - scatter across the park, as well as various main tourist sightseeing destinations such as the Inisfallen Island and Muckross House.

2. Ross Castle

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The Ross Castle, a 7-min. ride from Killarney, is a famous 15th-century tower house and keep on Lough Leane's edge in the Killarney National Park. IT served as the ancestral home of the O'Donoghue clan, but was more famous as a property of the Brownes. The castle has the typical strongholds of Irish chieftains in the Middle Ages: its tower house had square bartizans and diagonally opposite corners and a thick end wall. Currently, the castle is open for Killarney sightseeing tours, operated by the Office of Public Works.

3. Muckross Abbey

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A short 15-min. ride away from Killarney, the Muckross Abbey sits in the Killarney National Park. It's one of the most famous sightseeing destinations in the area, being one of the major ecclesiastical sites back in the 1400s. While it was heavily damaged numerous times, the Abbey was maintained by the friars with regular reconstructions. It was founded in 1448 by Donal McCarthy Mor for the Observantine Franciscans. The most striking attraction in the abbey perhaps is its central courtyard, which features a large yew tree surrounded by a vaulted cloister.

4. Muckross House

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Part of the Ring of Kerry tour around Killarney and neighbouring towns, the Muckross House is a famous sightseeing destination in Killarney. The house sits at the small Muckross peninsula, in between Lough Leane and Muckross Lake. The mansion was designed by the British architect, William Burn, built in 1843 for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, Mary Balfour Herbert. Built in Tudor-style, the house has 65 rooms and boasts of a plethora of mounted trophy heads and a rack of antlers from Irish elks that are carefully preserved in a local bog.

5. Lakes of Killarney

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The lakes of Killarney are scenic sightseeing attractions in the Killarney National Park, near Killarney, Country Kerry, Ireland. These lakes are comprised of three great lakes - Lough Leane, Muckross Lake, and Upper Lake. The lakes sit on a low valley and are surrounded by the rugged slopes of the Macgillycuddy's Reeks. Lough Leane is the largest lake and is famous for featuring the Inisfallen Island and Abbey. Muckross Lake, also known as Middle Lake, is famous for its stone arched bridge - the Brickeen Bridge. Whereas, the Upper Lake is the smallest lake among the three in Killarney. All these lakes are brimming with plants and wildlife, perfect for a day of nature and scenic sightseeing.

6. Ring of Kerry (Kerry)

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The Ring of Kerry is one of the most famous scenic sightseeing tours in Killarney. The 179km long and circular tourist route is filled with attractions and sightseeing destinations. Popular points include the Muckross House, Derrynane House, and the Ross Castle. Major attractions that lie along the route are the Gap of Dunloe, Bog Village, Dunlow Ogham Stones Rossbeigh Beach, Ladies' View, Skellig Michael, Muckross Abbey, and Kerry Woollen Mills. The Ring of Kerry is a popular day trip tour, which starts and ends the sightseeing trip from and with Killarney.

7. Inisfallen Island (Kerry)

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20 minutes away from Killarney and part of the Killarney National Park, lies the famous Inisfallen Island. It sits in the Lough Leane, one of the lakes in Killarney. One can go sightseeing to the ruins of the Inisfallen Abbey, one of the most valuable archeological remains that date as far back as the early Christian period. The monastery gave rise to the name Lough Leane, which in English means "Lake of Learning". Since, according to the tradition, the Irish King Brian Boru received his education in the Inisfallen Abbey. The island is easily accessible via boats from the Ross Castle during summer months.

8. Purple Mountain (Kerry)

The Purple Mountain in Kerry stands at 832m or 2,730 ft. The massif has three peaks: Purple, Tomies, and Shehy. The Purple Mountain is the highest peak in all of Ireland. Half of the mountain is part of the Killarney National Park, where the area is riddled with oak forests. What makes Purple Mountain an ultimate sightseeing destination for mountain climbers is that it has twin summits that are joined by a narrow and rocky ridge. When the clouds aren't low, the Purple Mountain offers a stunning overlooking view of the entire town of Killarney.

9. Kenmare (Kerry)

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Kenmare is a sightseeing haven for small-town life. Gourmet food, colourful architecture, comfortable accommodation, vast golf courses, and scenic riding and trekking trails define Kenmare. The town is a perfect complement to a trip to Killarney, which is only about an hour ride away. Kenmare offers a number of stables and galleries such as the Dromquinna Stables and Carl's Gallery. Another famous sightseeing destination in Kenmare is the Bonane Heitage Park - a 40-min. ride away from Killarney. Shops and restaurants line the streets, all of which are easily recognisable having been painted in different colours.

10. Torc Waterfall (Killarney)

The Torc Waterfall 8km away from Killarney is located at the base of the Torc Mountain. It's famous for being the major sightseeing landmark on the 200km Kerry Way walking tour. The area is part of the Killarney National Park and is home to many red deers and other unique wildlife and plants. The park is easily accessible, via tour buses from Killarney - which are often part of the Ring of Kerry tours. Aside from this, a public hiking trail stretches from the waterfall to the top of Torc Mountain.


Truly, Killarney is a tranquil and cozy sightseeing haven. The numerous attractions - from a small island, to lush woodlands, to vast lakes, and to preserved stunning architecture, Killarney is a destination one must not miss when in Ireland. From the attractions listed above, Killarney proves why it is one of the most famous tourist sightseeing spots in Ireland.