Nestling peacefully at the mouth of the Kenmare Bay is Kenmare one of Ireland's loveliest Heritage Towns. From its origins in 1678 the town of Kenmare, Co Kerry, was special. Kenmare is a haven of tranquillity, gourmet food, superb accommodation and breathtaking scenery, in one of the most natural, unspoilt environments in Europe.
It's located at the head of beautiful Kenmare Bay which stretches 50 kilometres from Kenmare out to the Atlantic Ocean. The name is an anglicised version of Ceann Mara which translates into 'head of the sea' in English. The original Irish name for the town is 'Neidín' meaning ' little nest ' because the town 'nestles' amongst the surrounding mountains which are such a striking feature of the landscape.
Kenmare town has a unique identity of vibrant coloured, characterful buildings and its inhabitants' pride and concern for the immediate environment has twice resulted in Kenmare winning the 'Tidy Towns' competition - in 2000 and 2008. This is an annual, national event and Kenmare was also a runner-up in 2003. The 'Tidy Towns' awards are accolades of which the locals are justifiably proud.
The town of Kenmare is ideally situated on two famous tourist trails – The Ring of Kerry and The Ring of Beara. The Ring of Kerry is known all over the world and follows the spectacular coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula. It's one of the most dramatic scenic drives in Ireland and makes a most enjoyable day tour. Along the 175 kilometre route are picturesque towns and villages, like Sneem, Caherdaniel, Waterville and Cahersiveen, an abundance of historical landmarks, sandy coves and beautiful beaches along "The Wild Atlantic Way".
To the north of Kenmare is the Killarney National Park, 25,000 acres of woodland and magical mountains, with spectacular views of the Lakes of Killarney.
The unspoiled Ring of Beara lies to the south of Kenmare. Its rugged beauty is beyond compare, traffic is minimal and it abounds with archaeological sites and spectacular views.
Not only is Kenmare a unique and a desirable tourist destination in its own right with its rural beauty, style and service, but it's a perfectly-positioned base from which to experience everything that the south west of Ireland has to offer. Whether it is walking on the mountains, cruising on the bay, horse riding, golfing, fishing, touring or soaking up the best of music you will not be disappointed in Kenmare.