I and My partner visited the UNESCO site of the coast of Kerry known as “Skellig Michael” we were staying in the Lake Hotel in Killarney and it was recommended to us by a staff member. So we got up around 7.30am got our cameras and gear ready had a stroll to the Castle on the grounds before a big breakfast and collected our packed lunch for later. We travelled by Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen and on the Portmagee where we met our Captain Mr Joe Roddy seemingly a local legend. Joe took us safely to Skellig on a journey that took roughly 40 minutes, as it happens Joe was a famous Surfer, Ireland’s first Surfer and also represented Ireland in the Spearfishing Olympics in Cuba.
After landing at Blind man’s Cove on Skellig Michael, we followed the path to a turn near the Light House, here we got a safety briefing on the dangers on the Rock. It’s a strenuous climb up the rock with over 800 steps. Basically, you are out in the Atlantic Ocean and the views are magnificent, you can see little Skellig and the Mainland. There were Dolphins passing and Puffins everywhere along with many other Sea Birds. This is a magnificent place but the best was to come, we reached the top wow, Ancient Monastic beehive Huts, Old burial grounds, Crosses and old pathways. This is, without doubt, the most spiritual place I have ever been, it’s just amazing, I have taken so many photos.
Visiting Skellig Michael
The seas can be rough and the weather unpredictable. Visitors should wear warm clothing and carry waterproofs. Visitors should also wear appropriate footwear for the climb as the steps can be slippery, particularly in wet weather. There are no toilets on the island and travellers should be aware that the trip in its entirety can last up to 4 and a half hours. Visitors are advised to bring food and drink with them. Visitors are asked not to leave any trace of their visit on the island and to bring back any litter to the mainland where it should be disposed of responsibly.
Visiting the Hermitage on the South Peak is discourages as those without climbing experience could get into difficulties.
Skellig Michael Ireland
Health and Safety
Skellig Michael is a precipitous rock and there are over 600 steps on the ascent to the monastery. Any person with health issues should consider carefully before visiting the site. Visitors are requested to give serious consideration before deciding to bring small children to the island. If young children are brought they should be under strict supervision at all times. For safety reasons, and to minimise disturbance and damage to seabirds breeding habitats, visitors must remain on recognised visitor routes while on the island. In order to protect the wildlife, dogs are prohibited from the island. Visitors should comply with all Safety notices on the Island.
Skellig Michael Kerry
As you can see you have to have a reasonable head for heights for Skellig Michael, it is a magnificent experience for those who get to see it.
Puffin on Skelligs Ireland
Puffins can be seen on Skelligs from April to the very start of August each year.
One of the most spectacular Stone Circles in Kerry is in Uragh close to Lough Inchiquin just off the road to Gleninchaquin with its amazing walks and Waterfalls.
Uragh Inchiquin Stone Circle Kerry
This Stone circle is situated between two lakes Inchiquin and Cloonee, the main stone is over 3 meters high, this is a very spiritual place and a photographers dream. I was on a flying visit but would lile to see a Sunrise or Sunset here, the road in is fairly narrow and there is a charge of €2 per adult by the landowner which is fair enough. There is plenty of parking just remember to close the gate after you, there is also an old Famine cottage here.
What as Great Place to spend your Honeymoon in Ireland, stay by the Killarney Lakes, great romantic walks, a romantic setting friendly locals and the best scenery in Ireland and having your Honeymoon in Kerry.
On your Honeymoon in Ireland here are 10 great things to do in Kerry on your Honeymoon
Nothing. Just relax enjoy your Honeymoon in Ireland you could try the Outdoor Hot Tub at the Lake Hotel in Killarney.
Romantic walk to Muckross Abbey, Muckross House and Gardens.
Drive to Slea Head picnic at Coumenole beach and walk to Dunmore head Ogham Stone and possible views of Dolphins and Whales.
Drive to Glengarriff and visit Garnish Island by boat to see the Italian Gardens.
Take an Adventurous Boat trip To Skellig Michael.
Take the Gap of Dunloe all-in Tour.
Relax around the Grounds of the Lake Hotel, maybe a Massage in the Treatments room.
Today is the day, its Horse Riding, or a Surfing Lesson in Inch.
When you thought it couldn’t get any tougher it’s Ireland’s Highest Mountain (Guided).
Tonight is Candlelit dinner overlooking the Lakes of Killarney and remembering all the magnificent experiences you had in The Kingdom of Kerry and the Lake Hotel.
Honeymoon in Ireland
Dining in the most magnificent settings, Castles, Lakes, Mountains and welcoming locals will make your Honeymoon in Ireland something special.
Honeymoon in Ireland
Spending time in the most beautiful places in Ireland making your Honeymoon in Ireland something special with memories that will last forever.
One is called the Wrong Way Around (160km) in reverse leaving out Kenmare (Moll’s Gap to Sneem) the other is the Hard way Around, for the challenge I tried the Hard one.
Ring of Kerry Cycle “The Hard Way Around”
Ring of Kerry Cycle
This is what we met when we turned off the “wrong way around” Ring of Kerry Cycle, there was only 3 of us out of a couple of hundred so we were wondering if there something we don’t know. Two of us were from Kerry so we knew the roads and what lay ahead it was going to be Tough.
Cycling up Moll’s Gap was easy, Ballaghbeama was a bit harder for a short time but Ballaghasheen was very tough it took every effort to stay going to the top. The next part was going to be a long slog, 20km straight into the prevailing Atlantic winds, it was like cycling into a wind tunnel, it seemed to go on forever. Eventually, we met the cyclists from the 160km wrong way around at a food stop. We were very well catered for, Tea, Sandwiches, pasta salad, water and bananas.
I was looking forward to the next part but knew it was going to be so tough, the highest pass in Ireland in a short distance, this means only one thing “STEEP” Very steep, it is tough to drive in places. Before that, we would pass Reenroe, Dungeagan and Ballinskelligs and continue on the “Skellig Ring” to Saint Finian’s Bay, no time for the Skellig Chocolate factory today. Wow, it has to be some of the Best scenery in Kerry if not in Ireland, watch the video.
Coomanaspic Pass next and every effort I have as a very part-time cyclist will be needed to get to the summit, it is narrow and very steep especially on some of the hairpin bends which are hard to navigate especially if you have to stay left and tight to the ditch. Oncoming cars and passing cars can push you tight to even steeper turns and makes the climb much more difficult. That said we got a reasonable run with only a handful of cars and did make it to the top without having to dismount, that said it took huge mental discipline of a personal nature for me to get to the top as my arms, legs, breathing and probably my heart were all is stress mode for a good 15 minutes, felt like hours !!
It was a great sense of achievement to get to the top, it was climb number four and the toughest by far and the views were amazing nearly worth the pain to get to the top. After that, it was to Cahersiveen, the Mountain Stage, Killorglin and back to Killarney. The winds we fought for much of the Cycle were now behind us so it was a handy return to Killarney. Wow the Ring of Kerry the “Hard Way Around” is a great challenge and I would recommend it to anyone who interested in achieving something other than the usual yet beautiful Ring of Kerry, it will give you memories grater then anything before on a bike.
Overlooking the 12th Century MacCarthy mór floodlit Castle on the grounds, the Devil’s Punchbowl bar is situated in the Historic Lake Hotel in Killarney. Renowned the World over for its true Irish Hospitality. There are music 4 days a week in the Summer season, call us for more information on 003536631035
Travelling the Ring of Kerry from Kenmare / Sneen ( N71) to Killarney there is a mysterious building near Ladies View Image above. It is an Old Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks, built to protect the interests of the local Landlords and stop poaching on the Kenmare Estate.
Nearby Derrycunnihy has one large and one smaller (left) beautiful Waterfalls
Day tour to Dingle by Mark and Joyce both in our late 30’s. We went on a Self Drive tour of Dingle with an excellent Map and information on our tour given to us be the lady at out hotel. Firstly I would like to comment on the fantastically presented Map and the information, which is so relevant to the tour. We left our hotel after breakfast well prepared, usual clothes a raincoat in case, camera, swimsuit, towels and a packed lunch for our picnic at beach recommended to us. Leaving Killarney we passed a Monument of a priest with a slogan “God has no Country” that will be one for the girls at the reception when we get back. We did stop and visited a beautiful Cathedral leaving before heading off to Milltown, Castlemaine and on to Inch beach which was recommended for Surfing Lessons, were a little on the older side late 30’s for Surfing but we said we would give it a go. We were also told the waves would be perfect for beginners and so they were and thank God the wet suits did the business. Joyce had surfed in Australia so she was first to get up on the board, I kept falling off and eventually got up and it was the most amazing experience and would recommend to more people. We promised to come back to Inch beach again not before we had a good walk on this most beautiful beach.
We were hungry now so we decided to find this great beach used in the Hollywood Movie “Ryan’s Daughter” and tuck into our Packed Lunch. It was about a 35 minute drive passing Dingle Town, Ventry and on the spot described to us. Wow Wow Wow this was some spot we took a load of photographs, the sun was out and we had a great Picnic looking out at the Atlantic Ocean, beautiful Islands and turquoise Water and big Waves. The beach is called coumeenole and Ireland’s most westerly beach. Coumeenole Beach Dingle 52° 6’32.20″N / 10°27’48.74″W
It was hard to leave this beautiful beach and next we stopped at Dunquin where there is a magnificent pier descending down into the Atlantic Ocean like a mini Great wall of China, Traditional boats can be seen here called “Currach’s” made of Canvas and oils. You can get a boat trip to the Great Blasket Island here but because of our surfing lessons and very long lunch stop we will leave it to our next visit. Now we have to find the Old School House featured in “Ryan’s Daughter” said to be in a very scenic place overlooking the Ocean from high over the cliffs.
Old School House from Ryan’s Daughter 52° 8’11.49″N / 10°28’4.83″W
We walked about 500 meters to get to it; it is falling down but non-the less worth a visit. When we go home we will watch the movie a classic in its time.
On recommendation we went on to visit the following attractions, Clogher Strand 52° 9’24.49″N / 10°27’34.51″W another very scenic beach and takes huge waves, we saw photo’s of it in our hotel in the Winter and they were massive. Riasc Ring Forts 52°10’3.36″N / 10°23’14.10″W was our next stop and then we stopped at the Gallarus Oratory 52°10’25.36″N / 10°21’13.26″W and Kilmalkedar Church and Graveyard 52°11’4.38″N / 10°20’15.28″W
We made our way back to Dingle and wanted to visit Ocean World and it was a fantastic experience, Sharks, Turtles and a huge array of fish to be seen in many different display tanks we were in there for a good while, Kids would love it even more there were kids in a Hurricane experience and a games room having a great time.
We gave a walk around Dingle and looked at the Shops and got some gifts to bring home, we left a trip to see Fungie the wild Dolphin for another time as we wanted to head back to the Hotel to enjoy the facilities, we were going to let our surfing muscles relax in the outdoor Hot tub it looked fantastic. We passed Inch beach on the way back and came back the way we went.
Overall it was the most magnificent day and experience we ever had, we discussed it over dinner at our hotel and the next day we asked the concierge what can we could add while including our highlights on a future trip on the dingle drive.
Here are some more spots worth seeing and you will come across much more on your travels :
Annascaul and Tom Crean’s Pub once home to the famous Polar Explorer.
Dunbeg Fort / Beehive Huts
Dingle Peninsula Museum
The Blasket center
Louis Mulcahy Pottery
We didn’t stay on the Dingle Peninsula but in Killarney at the Lake Hotel, friendly staff, unbeatable location not to pricy with easy access to the best Kerry has to offer. We asked if we could write a review we were so happy with our hotel and the advice we were given.
The Lake Hotel is a great place for Birdwatching in Killarney one of the oldest and one of the most attractively located hotels in the Killarney region, if not in Kerry. Situated in 35 acres of it’s own wooded grounds, the hotel property abuts on to the 10,000 hectare Killarney National Park. The hotel is an ideal location for visiting birdwatchers wishing to explore the region. In front of the hotel, the glistening waters of Lough Leane reflect the images of Torc, Eagle’s Nest and Purple mountains which rise to nearly 1,000 metres. The largest of Killarney’s three lakes, Lough Leane overlies limestone on it’s northern and eastern shores and sandstone on it’s southern and western shores. This geological divide has created a wide variety of habitats in and around the lakes, from wooded mountain slopes and islands to shallow reed-filled bays. These bays in particular attract a wide range of wildfowl (23 species) and wader (17 species). Red breasted Merganser, Tufted duck and Teal all breed, while rarities such as Garganey, Goosander, Green-winged Teal and Ring.necked Duck have occurred. Woodcock, Common Sandpipers and Snipe are also common breeding birds, while Jack Snipe are frequent winter visitors. Castlelough Bay is located at the eastern end of Lough Leane, and has a number of small reedbeds located around it’s shores. The largest of these lies in front of the Lake Hotel, and is best viewed from the raised pier nearby. From here one can get excellent views of Great – crested Grebes, Sedge Warblers, Tufted Duck and Coot, with a good possibility of seeing the elusive Water Rail. The reedbeds attract a good Swallow roost in the autumn. Red deer are often seen in the woods at the edge of the reedbeds, and there is a good chance of seeing otters here in the morning. Within a few kilometres can be found the most diverse range of woodlands in Ireland. The nearby Muckross peninsula contains Ireland’s only Yew wood, covering 28 hectares. The mountain slopes nearby hold woods of Sessile Oak and Beech, as well as mature stands of Scots Pine, Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock and other conifers. There is also an interesting avian fauna, including Long-eared Owl, Jay, Sparrowhawk, Siskin and Crossbills. Wood Warblers and Common Redstarts are occasional. The shores around Ross Castle are fringed by extensive Alder woods where Blackcap and other warblers breed, and which in winter attract large flocks of Siskins, Redpolls and other finches, as well as good numbers of wintering Chiffchaffs. Dipper and Kingfishers occur on nearby rivers, and a small flock of Greenland White-fronted Geese winter on bogs in the National Park.
Eagle from the Lake Hotel Killarney
Twenty kilometres west of Killarney the estuary of the rivers Laune and Maine forms a rich feeding ground for many birds. The mouth of the estuary is protected by three spits, Cromane and Rossbeigh on the south shore and Inch spit on the north shore. This whole area, Castlemaine Harbour, provides a wonderful day’s birding against a spectacular backdrop of high mountains. When the tide drops off, large areas of mudflats are exposed behind Inch and Rossbeigh. In autumn, this area is best visited on the incoming tide, when the wildfowl and waders are pushed upshore and thus easier to view. Large numbers of Wigeon, Pale-bellied Brent, Shelduck, Oystercatchers, Dunlin and Knot congregate behind Inch with lesser numbers of Pintail, Teal and Bar-tailed Godwits. American Wigeon have been seen on a few occasions, but because of a low population density the area is very under-watched and a lot of rarities are probably missed. On the south shore, Cromane Point, a shingle spit holds up to 200 Turnstones and has been visited by little Egrets, Short-eared Owls and Black Redstarts. Further Southwest, check Rossbeigh for Brent geese and Chough, over 30 of which frequent the sand dunes outside the breeding season. Offshore, one of Ireland’s largest flocks of Common Scoter winter, numbering up to 7,000 birds, often being accompanied by Velvet and Surf Scoters. Up to 250 Red-throated divers also winter here. Thirty kilometres north-west of Killarney lies Tralee Bay. This is one of the best birding areas in Ireland and is readily accessible along both it’s northern and southern shores. Just outside Tralee, on the N68 road to Blennerville, the estuary of the river Lee starts. The nearby saltmarsh is an important roosting site for waders, including many thousands of Lapwings which often provide spectacular aerial displays. Curlew Sandpipers, Ruff and Spotted Redshank are regular in this area, and every year rarities such as Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Sociable Plover and Avocet occur. Travelling further west towards Castlegregory brings you to Brandon Bay, one of the best Throughout the winter months the bay holds good numbers of scarcer species such as Slavonian, Black-necked and Red-necked grebes, as well as Great-northern and Red-throated Divers. On your way, stop in at Lough Gill, an important site for wintering swans and duck such as Scaup (1200+), Shoveller and Gadwall. Greater Flamingo was one of the many rarities which turned up here recently. Turnstones and Purple Sandpipers over winter at nearby Rough Point. On the western-most tip of the Dingle Peninsula, the wooded gardens and glens at Dunquin have been attracting interesting sites for grebes, divers and migrant seabirds, Strong north-west winds in autumn will funnel birds into this bay and Brandon point is a popular seawatching point. Great, Arctic and Pomarine skuas are frequent and Long-tailed skuas turn up annually. Large numbers of Cory’s and Sooty Shearwater, Grey Phalaropes and Sabines Gulls have also American vagrants such as Red-eyed Vireos and the locality is well worth a visit during the autumn. North of Tralee one should stop in at Barrow Harbour and Carrahane Strand, which attract up to 1,000 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and 10,000 Golden Plover. Further north, just outside the sleepy village of Ballyheigue lies Akeragh Lough, a Mecca for European and American rarities. Lying behind the sand dune system of Banna Strand, this lagoon type lake has a good fringe of reedbeds and mudflats, through which a river flows to the sea at the nearby Black Rock, another site well worth checking. The list of rarities which gave been attracted to this relatively small site is staggering Pectoral and Buff-breasted Sandpipers, Red-necked Grey and Wilson’s Phalarope, Black and White-winged Black Tern, Forster’s Tern and Laughing Gull, Spotted Crake, White-rumped and Semi-palmated Sandpipers the list is endless. It is a site worth visiting at almost any time of year. I hope you find this information useful, Terry Carruthers ( I.W.E TOURS )
Johnny McIlroy – Reenroe 1967 Photo by Des Thompson Billy Huggard, the hotel proprietor, let our party of surfers and hotel guests round to the north shore where we checked out the bays and beaches. At last, we found some really spectacular surf at Reenroe, a fantastic sight, a good break holding its shape. The offshore winds were blasting the tops off eight-foot walls. Even in the very windy conditions, you could see the possibilities of near perfection. The tide was well out but we had to surf to eat, so out went Tigger Newling and Johnny McIlroy. The short session was soon over, no question about blasting this surf wide open; it was a little too hairy. After this brief demonstration, the hotel guests were stoked so we promised to return after lunch and surf at high tide. On the full tide, the rock outcrop would offer good shelter and perhaps a point break would form. This wasn’t so inspiring for ‘Animal’ Chris Canning or myself, both ‘goofy-footers’. In all probability, we would get nailed on the rocks. Johnny McIlroy – Reenroe 1967 Photo by Des Thompson After lunch, the change in the wind was nothing short of a miracle. The wind had dropped, the sun was shining, and the surf was classic! Clothes flew everywhere. This was the best surf we had seen since arriving in Ireland. Someone, sometime, has got to make the supreme decision and our sacrifice came at Reenroe. This beautiful surf just had to be recorded on film. So, lassoed with gadget box, 35mm camera, teleconverter, telephoto lenses etc, and John with his 8mm movie camera, we clambered over the rocks to record the action. Rod Sumpter joined in with his 16mm camera and was soon shooting away. The session was packed with every trick in the surf book; we were now a certainty for high tea, and bed & breakfast again. In the evening, everyone was cock-a-hoop at salvaging a terrific day from a ghastly beginning, and after a whacking great feed, there was a session in the pool room before propping up the bay and talking surf for the rest of the evening. Most of the visitors had by now become well versed in our surf jargon and no longer though