Welcome to Killarney
Killarney is a town in southwest Ireland. It is one of Ireland's leading tourist destinations because of the abundant lake and mountain scenery in Killarney National Park. It is also situated on the Ring of Kerry scenic drive.
Killarney has been entertaining visitors and tourists for over two hundred and fifty years. Its beautiful peaks such as Crohane, Tomies, Torc, and Mangerton date way back to prehistoric times when the ice melted after the ice age. There are many tales and legends concerning the town which draw in tourists.
Image: Killarney, The Meeting of the Waters
Tourism is by far the largest industry in Killarney. With the exception of Dublin, there are more hotel beds in Killarney than in any other Irish town or city. The tourist population is increasingly diverse, but most of the tourists come from the US, Ireland, the UK, Germany and other European countries.
Killarney has charming architecture and style reminisent of the late ninteenth century. Since the council banned gaudy plastic shop signs in the 1980s, there has been a strong competitive streak among shop keepers to put on an attractive face, with old style signs, window boxes, and stained-glass doors.
The town has many narrow lanes which are sometimes hard to navigate but bring about opportunities to stumble upon new adventures. Many restaurants and craft shops are hidden down these lanes and it is well worth the effort to explore.
What to see
Killarney National Park - was the first national park in Ireland, created when Muckross Estate was donated to the Irish Free State in 1932. The park has since been substantially expanded and encompasses over 102.89 km2 (25,425 acres) of diverse ecology, including the Lakes of Killarney, oak and yew woodlands of international importance, and mountain peaks. It has Ireland's only native herd of red deer and the most extensive covering of native forest remaining in Ireland. The park is of high ecological value because of the quality, diversity, and extensiveness of many of its habitats and the wide variety of species that they accommodate, some of which are rare. The park was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981. The park forms part of a Special Area of Conservation.
Lakes of Killarney - consist of three lakes - Lough Leane, Muckross Lake (also called Middle Lake) and Upper Lake.
Muckross Abbey - beautiful ruin of a Franciscan friary that was founded in 1448. The ruin is completely open (except when certain sections undergo restoration work) and you can wander through the rooms independently.
Muckross House and Gardens - this area of the park also boasts the "Muckross Traditional Farms", a perfect outing for the kids. A ring walk (not very long, approx 2 hours from start to finish, including stops), leads you past several 'traditional farmhouses'. These farmhouses demonstrate 'the way we were'. During the summer, there are often litters of kittens and puppies, which the children will be delighted with as you watch the demonstrations of soda bread and butter making - Further information
Ross Castle - a medieval tower in Killarney National Park. Situated in a beautiful location on the lake shore. Tours are available - Further information
Torc Waterfall - a beautiful waterfall in the Killarney National Park.