Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland we will look at “Kerry” in the South West.
Did you know “Kerry” in the South West has Ireland’s largest Coastline for any county in Ireland?
Wild Atlantic Way Kerry Skellig Ring – Valentia
Our best experience of the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry was defiantly on the Skellig Ring and Valentia, this was mainly due to the fact we brought our bikes on there back of the car and got great advice on what to see. We didn’t think Slea Head and Dingle could be beaten but we found much more in this region. Here is why we loved it so much, firstly I much compliment the maps given to us in our hotel and the advice given to us knowing we had our own bikes. We drove the traditional Ring of Kerry, Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen and then on to Portmagee, here is where we parked our car and got our bikes ready. We cycled over the bridge to Valentia Island and took a right turn to Chapletown and onto Knightstown named after the “Knights of Kerry” here we found a great surprise, it’s an old Village which operates a ferry to Renard point which is near Cahersiveen.
Portmagee 51°53’9.30″N / 10°21’57.48″W
I would recommend the Coffee Dock in Knightstown it has great views and a walk on the Mooring on the Marina. The Heritage Museum has all the history of the Trans-Atlantic Cable and radio station on Valentia Island. We found the Tetrapod footprints, Slate Quarry and cycled down the steep road to the Lighthouse which is quite bumpy and steep so take care. We walked our bikes back up to the road to save the legs. Passing Geokaun Mountain trail we will leave for a trip in the car we arrived next at Saint Brendan’s well and an old Pub “O’Shea’s Bar” / “next stop New York”. The Cliffs here are dangerous so we didn’t go much further and returned to the west end of the island passing the walk to Bray Head with great views of the “Skellig’s” two Islands Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Back over the bridge and we stopped in the “Bridge bar” for the famous Seafood Chowder and a glass of Guinness.
Bikes back on the back of our car and its up and over Coom and Easpaig the highest pass in Ireland and down into the steep road so drive carefully. We turned right to Glen Pier where you will find a nice view of the Skellig Islands and then on to Saint Finian’s Bay which also has views of the Skellig Islands. It’s a popular spot for Surfers but not suitable for swimming due to strong currents. To our surprise next, we came across the Skellig Chocolate factory where you get to taste all the types of chocolate they make. An ideal place to buy gifts for Family and Friends along with a very nice Coffee Shop.
Saint Finian’s Bay 51°50’46.80″N / 10°20’8.74″W
The Road climbs gently with beautiful views of the bay and the Islands and another Island called “Puffin Island” to the right. We stopped on a few times to take lots of photographs, its such a scenic area. Ballinskelligs was our next village there is a beautiful beach and a small Castle on the Beach called McCarthy’s Castle a sister castle to the one at our Hotel.
Ballinskelligs Beach 51°49’15.25″N / 10°16’24.02″W
At the Church coming into Waterville, we took a left to Glencar a back road recommended to us it is narrow and windy but interesting at the same time so we took a chance and enjoyed it and it eventually took us back to Killarney. You can also continue on the Ring of Kerry to Caherdaniel, Sneem and back to Killarney via Moll’s gap.
Wild Atlantic Way Kerry, Tralee – Brandon area
We started in Killarney and headed for Tralee and then on to the Blenerville Windmill, from here we took the N86 to Castlegregory. We wanted to see Rough Point on the right-hand side of Brandon Bay, a good spot to see nice Surf. We also wanted to see Brandon Point on the other side of the bay with its magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and Brandon Bay. On calm days you can see Dolphins and the odd Whale from here if you are lucky and spend some time watching. The village of Brandon is small but quite interesting, as we got back to Kilcumin Beach there is a Keel of an Old Boat called the Port Yarroak which was loaded with Copper, it sunk in 1894 with no survivors. On a calm day, it looks a nice place to set Anchor bout it is well known for its big Atlantic swells.
We walked the beach at Brandon to see what was left of the Port Yarrock there is a monument to those who perished here and you can only see it in low tide. There were people surfing not far from the Keel of the Boat which sticks up like someone standing on the water. Brandon Bay is worth a visit and especially we liked Brandon point, its a bit of a trek but if you like remote scenery its worth it.
Waterville, Sneem, Kenmare and Lauragh
Heading into Waterville you should take the Coast Road by the Golf Links there are great views of Ballinskellig’s Bay, Legend has it it was here Oisín rode his white horse to Tír na nÓg (land of the youth)
Tarbert, Beal, Ballyheigue, Tralee coming soon!