This is one of Irelands main tourist centres and scenic area, no where in Ireland is the scenery more breath taking, consisting of its famous lakes, mountains, monastic settlements and the beautiful National Park. For the sportsperson it has angling, shooting, horse riding, pony trekking, golf, tennis, boating, mountaineering, walking, bicycling, whilst here the tourist can visit Muckross House and Gardens, Dinis Island, Torc Waterfall, Aghadoe, Rosscastle, Kate Kearneys Cottage and the Gap of Dunloe.
Entertainment, Events & Festivals in Killarney
Things to do in Killarney
Trails and Walks
These are numerous in the National Park
Salmon and Trout Angling: Wild trout and the good run of spring salmon and grilse in Lough Leane, the River Flesk and the River Laune. Other waters around Killarney hold stocks of brown trout, including the Upper Lake, Muckross Lake, Lough Guitane. The Little River Maine and the Brown Flesk River. Fishing is free on all Killarney lakes except Killbrean. Permits are necessary for fishing on the rivers. For salmon fishing a state licence is required. Information is available from the local Tourist Office. There are also innumerable mountain streams and lakes near Killarney where good trout fishing is available.
Sea Angling: Available in Dingle, Valentia, Caherciveen, Fenit and numerous other places within an hours drive of Killarney.
Further information on angling can be had from: South-Western Regional Fisheries Board, 1 Neville Terrace, Masseytown, Macroom, Co. Cork. Ireland. Tel: 003532641221
Bus and Coach Tours: Full and half day tours are available.
Cycling: this is an excellent way to explore the splendour and beauty of Killarney. They can be hired locally. Enquire at the Tourist Office.
Bathing: No developed facilities are provided in the Park for swimming except at Goleen shore on Muckross Lake, where life buoys are provided. Although there are no known strong currents, Killarney Lakes are deep with steeply shelving shores and, therefore, extreme care should be taken when swimming. There are also many glorious beaches within easy reach.
Golf: Three Eighteen Hole courses at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club. One Eighteen Hole at Beaufort. One Nine Hole at Ross Road and a Nine Hole at Dunloe. Dunloe Golf course also has a driving range. Clubs and caddy cars and caddies are available for hire.
Horse Racing: At the Racecourse Ross Road. Meetings during May and July. July being the main event.
Gaelic Football and Hurling: Matches most Sunday afternoons held locally.
Painting: The Killarney area is an artist’s paradise, which is renowned for its scenic beauty.
Mountaineering: There are numerous mountains within easy reach of Killarney Town which are suitable for climbing and hill walking e.g. Ireland’s highest mountain Carrauntuohill 1040 metres high, Mangerton Mountain 725 metres high, Torc Mountain 537 metres high, The Reeks Walk, etc. However before you go climbing on the mountains for safety reasons please inform someone of your intended route and an estimated time of return, not forgetting to check in when you return. Make sure you have proper clothing and footwear and an adequate supply of food for the climb.
Pitch and Putt: Available at a number of centres. Clubs available for hire.
Riding: Horse riding is available at a number of centres. Further information available at the Tourist Office.
Squash: Four Courts available to non-residents
Tennis: Outdoor hard courts and grass courts available, racquets etc. available for hire.
Orienteering: Killarney District has many beautiful walking routes to attract the visitor with its many well laid out and signposted nature trails.
Ornithology: There are 145 species of birds, which have so far been identified in the Park. While many of these species are resident and live here throughout the year, others are migrants spending only part of the year in the southwest of Ireland, and yet others are vagrants, occurring only occasionally often as a result of inclement weather conditions.
There are species such as, swallows,swift,cuckoo,fieldfares, and redwing, also blackbird, mistlethrush and chaffinch. Wild fowl such as pochard, widgeon, teal and whopper swans, and Greenland white fronted geese.
Killarney was once home to the Golden Eagle, however Osprey sightings still occur. Other rarities include reed warblers and spotted crake in the reed beds, and garganey and ring-necked duck on the Lakes and wood warblers and icterine warblers in wooded areas. There are breeding birds of interest viz. blackcap, garden warbler, nightjars, and in some high mountain glens are ring ouzels, plus a lot more species to many to mention.
Invertebrates: There is a great variety of insect life in the Killarney National Park, which has been studied for over 25 years identifying a number of species of International importance.
Living in the upper canopies of the oak woods is the Purple Hairstreak Butterfly. The Caterpillar is brown and camouflaged to look like an oak bud, while the adult male is a gleaming purple colour. The Northern Emerald and the Downey Emerald Dragonflies are found nowhere else in the Country.
The rarest insect in Killarney goes by the name of Buchonomyia thienamanni; it is a minute non-biting midge.
The Kerry slug is also to be found, when disturbed it rolls up into a ball.
Archaeology: There is a great concentration and a wealth of archaeological remains to be found in the Killarney area.
Lake Cruises: These depart from Ross Castle on a covered all-weather boat on Killarney’s Lower Lake. Information and bookings available from Tourist Office.
Cycling: This is an excellent way to explore and enjoy the splendour of the many beauty spots within the Killarney Valley. Bicycles may be hired in Killarney. Contact Killarney Tourist Office.
Boating (Row Boats): Boats are available for hire, with, or without a boatman, at Ross Castle and Muckross House-boathouse. Numerous trips are available. Tours can be booked with local tour operators.
Entertainment in Killarney
Kerry Woollen Mills: On the main Killorglin Road about 14km from Killarney. The Mills were driven by the River Giveestin and were established in the 17th century. Visitors can enjoy tours of the mill and buy from the superb range of quality woollen and other crafts in the Mill Shop. Homemade snacks are available in the tearoom.
National Transport Museum: Step back in time and enjoy Irish veteran and vintage cars, bicycles, motorcycles, fire engines, and carriages, at the Irish National Transport Museum. This fine museum is located in Scott’s Gardens in the centre of town. Open daily. The marvellous collection includes the 1st and last cars assembled in Ireland, The Countess of Markiewics Car, The Blue Max; one of the unique cars is the 1907 Silver Stream. It is in fact the rarest car in the world, only one was ever built. The original asking price of £2,000 at a time when a pint of Guinness was 2p possibly proved too costly.
Killarney Manor: The Old Torc Hotel later became the Lorretto convent in Killarney and since the nuns vacated it, the house is the venue for Killarney Manor Banquets, which presents an evening of good food and lively entertainment in a historic setting. The ambience is that of a stately manor home of the 1860s. Open April to October, booking advisable. Telephone 003536431551.
Killarney Model Railway: The world’s largest indoor model railway is situated right in the heart of the town. Fifty trains run on over a mile of track, taking you through the landmarks of Europe, including the Alps. Even our own Muckross House is included. There’s a real fairyland effect when the lights dim and the village and trains light up. Elsewhere, there are houses, fire, and sea rescues in this wonderful miniature world. Take time to absorb it all- you’re welcome to linger.
You can try your skill on a scalextric track and browse through the shop with its big range of model rail items and die-cast models. Specialising in rally and F1 radio control cars and kits. A great all-weather attraction.
Cinema: Killarney Cineplex showing four films each evening, also late night shows on Friday and Saturday.
Discotheques: All year round.
Dancing: Available during the season with many top class groups and Showbands.
Cabaret: Many top class artists perform throughout the season as advertised in local newspapers.
Singing Pubs: There are many bars and hotel lounges, which provide entertainment nightly. These range from smaller, more intimate type pubs to larger entertainment lounges. The type of music ranges from traditional Irish entertainment to Country and Western and popular music. The atmosphere is friendly and the singing sometimes is spontaneous.
Drama: Occasionally throughout the year – see local newspapers for details.
Bingo: Available in a number of centres throughout the year.
Events and Festivals in Killarney
Saint Patrick’s Week Killarney: A march with traditional music, song, and dance, and of course the Great Parade on March 17th. Special awards and mementoes for visiting groups and bands, civic reception, golf and angling competitions, special cultural events sponsored by local cultural bodies. Overseas visitors are particularly welcome to join in the festivities.
Old Machinery Rally: At Easter, a fascinating display of traditional farm and industrial vintage machinery, many of which are still in excellent working order.
Killarney Races: In mid May and July. July being the main meeting.
South of Ireland Bridge Congress: Held at the Lake Hotel, Muckross Road Killarney. One of Ireland’s longest and leading bridge tournaments. The country’s best players with players from other countries, congregate to test their knowledge and skills in the many competitions held.
Rally of the Lakes: Held in May this international Rally held on some of the finest rallying roads in the world attract top-class competitors from both home and abroad, and providing tremendous spectator attraction.
Killarney Summerfest: June 26th to July 6th, 2003. The Fitzgerald Stadium will once again host top international artists. Included in this years line up are David Gray, The Counting Crows and The Cranberries. Ireland’s National Events Centre will also host a range of high profile artists including the World’s number one Elvis Tribute Show. The ten days of the Festival will be jam packed with street entertainment, workshops, an arts programme, teddy bears picnic and outdoor activities in the National Park. Whatever your interest or age I’m sure you will find it in the Summerfest to suit you.
Killarney Dog Show: Held in August. This is a pedigree dog show, which is well worth a visit for fans and visitors alike.
Historic Stages Rally: A rally held in December with cars, which date pre 1979. The rally encompasses Killarney, Kenmare and Glengarriff.
Geneaology Tracing in Killarney
There is an office in Killarney. Postal enquiries only to- Killarney Genealogical Centre, Cathedral Walk, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland. Or contact: Consultancy Service, Genealogical Office, 2 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Ireland Telephone 0035316618811.
Killarney Tourist Office is open all year, and can be reached at Beech Road, Killarney Co. Kerry. Ireland. Tel: 003536431633 Fax: 003536434506