Welcome to Mid Kerry

Where the Mountains meet the Sea
Black Valley. ©Valerie O'Sullivan © MacMonagle, Photography
www.macmonagle.com. ©Don McMonagle Carrantuohill - The highest Peak in Ireland, Mid Kerry. ©Dorothy Moynihan Killorglin Photography

This is the heart of Kerry, where two stunning peninsulas, the Iveragh (Ring of Kerry) and Dingle peninsulas meet. This is home to 2 magnificent mountain ranges, the McGillycuddy Reeks and Slieve Mish Mountains. This is the home of Kerry’s highlands, hidden valleys, secret lakes, vibrant rivers that lead to the bay and blue flag beaches with superb sand dunes. It's home to designated Special Areas of Conservation with fascinating wildlife, flora, and rural farmlands with the hills leading to the glorious waters of Castlemaine Harbour and Dingle Bay where fishing boats ply their trade.

This is the heart of Kerry where the sheer glory of the coastal scenery offers the uniqueness of two peninsulas, the Iveragh and the Beara. It's where the Wild Atlantic Way coastal drive weaves through villages and towns waiting to be explored and where mountains and water are central themes. The land is full of iconic landscape such as Carrantuohill (Ireland’s highest mountain), the Pig’s Back (Slieve Mish Mountains), 8 of the 11 Munros are here, and Glenbeigh’s Drung Hill are all accessible to walkers.

This is Kerry’s home of adventure, from relaxing walks to climbing Ireland’s highest mountain. With 2 major loop trails, The Kerry Way and Dingle Way, mountain ascents and extensive beaches, there is something for everyone here. The sense of adventure is everywhere and it's all at your doorstep from kite surfing to mountain climbing and football games. Cycle the beautiful country lanes, choose from our golf courses, Killorglin, Beaufort or Dooks, and fish in our rivers and lakes. 

This is the heart of Kerry where rivers, lakes, estuaries, shore lines, harbours and the sea welcome fishermen. Where our blue flag beaches, Inch, Rossbeigh, Dooks, and Kells welcome swimmers, walkers, surfers and bird watchers. Plan a full day of adventure at Cappanalea with mountaineering, rock climbing, abseiling, orienteering, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and loads more. Come horseback riding on Rossbeigh beach, windsurf on the Atlantic Ocean’s waves and learn to surf at Inch beach. Build sandcastles with your children during a spectacular sunset. This is the heart of Kerry where the natural resources of the environment are provided by the diversity of the scenery, weather, landscape, farming, fishing, mountains, rivers, lakes and ocean.

This heart of Kerry is home to famous Irish names, icons and festivals. Revered names include Blennerhassett, Tom Crean, Jack Duggan, Jerome O'Connor and Daniel O'Connell.

For full details of all our villages and towns, please see panel with listings on the right side of the page.

Annascaul is located at the southern foothills of the Slieve Mish Mountain Range. With dramatic landscapes ranging from mountains, to glaciated valleys, Annascaul is the birth and resting place of Tom Crean, the famous Antarctic explorer.  You will find the O'Connor/Crean Heritage centre here that celebrates the lives and exploits of Tom Crean and the sculptor, Jerome O'Connor. The Tom Crean Festival is held annually on 21 June.

Inch is a Blue Flag beach that has served as the back drop for Hollywood's Ryan’s Daughter and Playboy of the Western World. The beach is a 3 mile spit where you can swim, surf, hang glide and relax. Inch beach has one of Kerrys Premier Surf Schools.

The Keel, Boolteens and Castlemaine areas have stunning scenery over mountain passes like the Short Mountain Road and Bothar Na gCloch. Castlemaine is famed in song as the birth place of the ‘"Wild Colonial Boy", Jack Duggan, the famous Australian outlaw.  This is a popular walking venue with quiet mountain lanes, hills and wooded walks.  Visit the mass rock in Killoclohane wood, view the Ogham Stones at Ardcanaught and relax and chat with the locals.   

Milltown is an exciting location for birdwatchers with habitats ranging from bog land, marshland, to river and wooded areas. There are interesting early Christian sites close by with White church Abbey and the Abbey at Kilcolman.  Milltown has a weekly cattle and sheep mart, take a look and see an aspect of local farming life. A thriving farmers market takes place every Saturday from 10-2pm.   

Cromane is a small fishing village nestled between Killorglin and Glenbeigh. You can easily see the Brandon Mountain Range, Slieve Mish Mountains and the McGillycuddy Reeks all at once. Cromane Pebble Beach is family friendly is a nice place to relax along the beach and take in the scenery around Castlemaine Harbour. Jack's Coastguard Restaurant is well known for its fine dining.

Glenbeigh is a picturesque and lively destination known as "The jewel in the Ring of Kerry". Enjoy the golden sand at Rossbeigh Blue Flag beach as it stretches for nearly 2.5 miles. This stunning beach is perfect for swimming, windsurfing, sea kayaking and its mud flats have some fantastic bird watching.  Glenbeigh Festival and Races is held every year at the end of August. Glenbeigh is the "Village of Champions". Home of handball World Champion Dominic Lynch, and the 2017 Munster Junior Handball Champion Sean Quirke. It is the home of the GAA 2017 All-Ireland Junior Football Champions Glenbeigh Glencar GAA Club.

Caragh Lake is an attractive spot for canoeing, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing, there is great fishing on the Caragh River. Caragh Lake Forest is set on the lakeshore and adds to this wonderful location with the mountains as a glorious backdrop. 

Glencar is dominated by the Macgillycuddy Reeks. The setting of Glencar Valley is dramatic and all three main routes into the valley are the most spectacular in Ireland. Glencar is a nature lover’s paradise, with Lickeen Forest, Caragh River and Caragh Lake adding to the uniqueness of the area. The preservation of habitats has ensured the survival of indigenous species. Glencar has world class fishing, cycling, walking and climbing routes. "The Kerry Way", Ireland’s premiere long distance walking route winds it way through Glencar from the Black Valley to Glenbeigh.  

From 1911 to 1914 Beaufort and its townlands were the location of over 70 Hollywood movies.  Beaufort has 6 miles of walks, 5 lakes where you can walk, climb, ride a horse, and take a jaunting car.  Visit some of the oldest natural woods in Ireland at Tomies Wood. Stroll through the ruins of Dunloe Castle Tower House and Gardens.  Carrantouhill the highest peak in the McGillicuddy Reeks dominates Beaufort.   Hikers can enjoy the Lisleibane and Cronin's yard walks through the Hag's Glen.this is a magnet for climbers and walkers alike with walks such as the Lisleibane and Cronin's Yard looped walks in the famous Hag's Glen.  

Killorglin is famous for hosting  Puck Fair, Ireland's oldest fair, held in  August. There is great street entertainment, amusement rides and fireworks. The town started at a bridge point on the salmon rich Laune river and serves as a gateway to the Ring of Kerry.  Famous local painter, Pauline Bewick's Seven Ages is on exhibition at the Kerry County Council building.  

Milltown Farmer’s Markets

Milltown Cattle Mart

Corrán Tuathail & the McGillycuddy Reeks

Cappanalea Outdoor Training and Education Centre

Caragh Lake

Ballagh Beama Pass

Ballagh Oisín Pass

The Kerry Bog Village

Rossbeigh Beach

The Behy Valley

 

Did You Know?

The Black Valley was connected to the National Grid in 1976, making it one of the last outposts in Ireland.

That Dunloe Castle was built in 1207.

There are two theories about the origin of Puck Fair. The first theory is the fair started in pre-Christian times as a harvest celebration. The goat may represent the pagan god Pan. The second theory is that a goat ran down from the mountains and warned the town about the approach of Cromwell’s army. 

Another local legend talks about Car, a seer that lives on Cnoc Griff at Caragh Lake. Known as the Oracle of the Lake she is called the greatest source of local knowledge. 

 

 

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