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Kerry Bucket List: 15 Things You Really Need To Do In The Kingdom This Year

How many have you ticked off your list?

I recently paid a little visit to Kerry and, I have to say, it's now officially my favourite county in the country.

The southwestern corner of our island is the very apotheosis of Ireland — it's more green, more spectacular, more alive than the other 31 counties.

As we're about to show you, Kerry is an actual dream destination for foodies, thrill seekers, sightseers, animal lovers and history buffs.

If everything you know about the Kingdom came from that Kerrymaid ad from the '90s, we're about to positively blow your mind...

Cycle through Killarney National Park

This park might have the most stunning collection of sights in Ireland, but at 10,236 hectares in size there's a whole lot of ground to cover.

That's why a bicycle tour is the best way to experience this area, with your guide filling you on local legends, allowing you to explore the ancient woodlands and bringing you to sights like Muckross Abbey and Torc Waterfall.

Click HERE for more info.

Wine and dine at The Ross

This boutique hotel in Killarney is just the place to go when you're in the mood for some fine winin' and dinin'.

First descend into the Cellar One restaurant where you can enjoy dishes made from the best ingredients, such as the Escalope of Chicken (topped with confit of red pepper, prosciutto & goats cheese, bulgur wheat & chickpea salad & basil pesto) and Curried Cauliflower (with raisins, apple & pumpkin seeds in a curried coconut sauce and firecracker rice).

Wash down your meal with delectable (and wonderfully named) cocktails at the bar upstairs, like Espress Yourself (Absolut Vanilla Vodka, Kahlua, sugar, single shot espresso) and Orange Is The New Craic (Bombay Sapphire Gin, Cointreau, fresh lemon, orange juice, sugar, egg white).

Click HERE for more info.

Visit the Skellig Islands

These islands are unquestionably one of the most spectacular and otherworldly spots in Ireland — just ask the location scouts for Star Wars.

Centuries ago these rocky outcrops were refuges for monks seeking to escape the outside world by living in stone beehive cells, atop cliffs accessible only by dangerous steps and separated from the mainland by choppy waters.

Now it's a massive tourist attraction and the only thing seeking refuge here are birds like puffins and gannets.

Click HERE for more info.

Go on a jaunt through the Gap of Dunloe

Take in the breathtaking sights and sounds of this narrow mountain pass from the comfort of a horse drawn carriage.

Formed by glacier flows, the Gap of Dunloe contains a narrow road about 11km in length upon which hikers, cyclists, drivers and jaunting cars travel. Along the way, travellers see five lakes, the legendary 'Wishing Bridge' and sheep galore.

Click HERE for more info.

Have coffee and a sambo at My Boy Blue

When the name of café is an Old School reference, you know you're in for a treat.

Dingle's My Boy Blue opened up late last year and it immediately caused a stir with its decadent grilled cheese sandwiches and funky coffee cups.

Bursting with colour, potted plants and funky art, a trip to this spot isn't just a meal — it's an experience.

Click HERE for more info.

Journey through the rock tunnel at Caha Pass

Found between Glengarrif and Kenmare on the N71, this rock tunnel is striking to behold.

Created in early 1900s, this structure was hewn by hand and so retains a rough appearance that makes it almost look as if it's a natural formation.

Click HERE for more info.

Get a boat tour of the Lakes of Killarney

What better way to see the Lakes of Killarney than upon them?

As you take in the majesty around you, your guide will tell you about the history of the surrounding area and share some legendary tales... as well as the best spots to fish for salmon.

Click HERE for more info.

Stop by Kennedy's Pet Farm

Petting farms aren't just for kids, y'know.

Here you'll get to see, cuddle and feed a wide variety of animals roaming this farm just outside Killarney, including deer, pigs, piglets, horses, calves, sheep, lambs, goats, kids, donkeys, pot bellied pigs, rabbits, duck and ducklings, a peacock, geese and goslings.

Click HERE for more info.

Treat yourself at Petit Delice

This family-run patisserie has been bringing a taste of France to Kerry for 10 years.

While they offer a mouthwatering variety of fresh pastries, chocolate and breads, our personal favourite has to be their sumptuous yet simple strawberry tart.

Click HERE for more info.

Climb Carrauntoohil

Ireland's highest mountain is 1,038 metres (3,406 feet) in height and, although that doesn't sound all that big when compared to other mountains from around the world, we can assure you that climbing this thing is no picnic.

It'll take you 4-6 hours to complete the journey, but you'll be rewarded for your efforts with truly breathtaking views.

Click HERE for more info.

Do a bus tour of the Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head

Sit back, relax and allow yourself to be taken to some of the most picturesque destinations in Kerry.

On this bus tour you'll explore the rugged coastline on narrow roads, visit Inch Beach, pass Minard Castle, look upon the Skellig and Blasket Islands, get a chance to wander the streets of Dingle and more.

Click HERE for more info.

Road trip around the Ring of Kerry

Get a gang together and see as many of the sights as possible along this Wild Atlantic Way driving route.

Popular sights along the way include the stately home Muckross House, the panoramic viewing point Ladies View, the ancient Dunloe Ogham Stones and many, many more.

Click HERE for more info.

Tackle Cardiac Hill

If you love a good challenge, you need to try this climb.

Located on the slopes of the Torc Mountain, you'll find hundreds of incredibly steep steps that will make your heart pound wildly and sweat pump profusely.

Keep yourself motivated by thinking of what awaits you at the top...

Click HERE for more info.

Search for dolphins

Perhaps the most famous citizen of Kerry has to be Fungie the dolphin.

The wild bottlenose first appeared in the waters of Dingle 34 years ago and since then a whole industry has sprung up around him, with visitors flocking to see him do flips for his fans.

Click HERE for more info.

Enjoy craic agus ceol at J.M. Reidy's

We just love everything about this buzzing Killarney spot.

It's a pub and a sweet shop, they do live music in the front bar as well as the beer garden (which is massive) and there's so many nooks 'n' crannies to the place there's always someplace new to discover inside.

Click HERE for more info.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.

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Written By

Seán Kenehan

Seán is known for eating, drinking and writing, making him uniquely qualified to work for the Lovin Group. Seán enjoys skipping stones wistfully, puns that'd make a dad blush, and referring to himself in the third person.

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