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Hidden Gems on the Ring of Kerry

Ring of Kerry

If you’ve ever done the tourist thing in Ireland, the chances are you’ve toured the Ring of Kerry.

You know the drill: Killarney, Killorglin, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Caherdaniel, Sneem, Kenmare, and back to Killarney. This time around, rent a car in Kerry, take a step off the well-worn route and pay a visit to some of these jewels:

Kerry Bog Village

Located between Killorglin and Glenbeigh, the Kerry Bog Village is unique in Europe, offering a meticulous reproduction of dwellings as they would have existed in Ireland in the 1800s.

The attention to detail is incredible, with one of the houses actually moved in its entirety from North Kerry and rebuilt in the bog outside Glenbeigh. Learn about the old rural way of life, the flora and fauna of the bog, and the equipment used to harvest turf.

Stone Forts in Cahersiveen

Don’t just drive through Cahersiveen.

Make time to visit the stone forts of Cahergal, Leacanabuaile, and Ballycarberry Castle. About 5 km outside Cahersiveen – “over the water,” as the locals would say – drive over the bridge, with the old barracks on your right.

Roughly 1km later, you will arrive at a crossroads. Turn left and you will see a signpost for Ballycarbery Castle, Cahergal and Leacanabuaile, three of the most fascinating sites in the area. You pay no entry fee, and the views are stunning.

Valentia Island

One of life’s mysteries is why Valentia Island is not completely overrun with visitors.

Be thankful for this oversight, however, because it means you can enjoy Valentia’s incredible beauty and historical significance in virtual solitude.

From fossilised tetrapod footprints to stunning cliff views and lively festivals, Valentia Island is well worth the ten-minute ferry detour from Renard (just outside Cahersiveen).


Just off the N70 near Caherdaniel, on the shores of Derrynane Bay, you will discover the village of Derrynane.

Derrynane House, family home of Daniel “The Liberator” O’Connell, is a national monument and part of a beautiful 320-acre national park.

Take a tour of the house, with its family portraits, writings and memorabilia, including the duelling pistols O’Connell used when he killed rival John D’Esterre in 1815, the black glove he wore as a tribute afterward, and the magnificent gold chariot he rode through Dublin on his release from prison.

Gap of Dunloe

About 7 km outside Killarney, as you drive toward Killorglin, turn left for the Gap of Dunloe, a stunning mountain pass carved by massive blocks of ice about 2 million years ago.

Separating Purple Mountain from Bull Mountain, the gap is the finest glaciated valley in western Europe. It stretches for about 11 km, passing five loughs, and is best traversed on foot, by bike, or by traditional pony and trap from Kate Kearney’s Cottage.

Now that you’ve got some alternative ideas on where to visit around the Ring of Kerry, why not book your car rental in Kerry with Nova Car Hire? We have a range of cars and collection points to suit your itinerary.