The Iveragh Peninsula, also known as the Ring of Kerry, is Ireland's best-known scenic drive and is a day long trip, however the drive as far as Cahersiveen will take 45 minutes and there are lots of exciting thing to do and see. Just turn left into the village of Sneem and follow the N70 taking in the following attractions and places along the way.
Located three miles from Sneem near Castlecove and Caherdaniel, this is one of the largest and finest Ring of Kerry forts you are likely to see in Ireland.
It stands on a low hill in an amphitheatre of rugged hills open to the sea on the South. The wall is up to 5m high, 4m thick and 27.4m in diameter.
The interior of the fort is reached through a 1.8m passage roofed with double lintels.
The fort is surrounded by a large bank and ditch, to be seen on the northside. Staigue Fort shows skill in building. No mortar was used and the stones are not dressed. The dating is difficult but it may have been built during the Celtic period, probably around the first century BC. There is evidence that copper was excavated in the surrounding area and appears to be a place of worship, an observatory and a place of defense.
The Staigue Fort Exhibition Centre is open from Easter Weekend to the end of September from 10am to 9pm daily.
Overlooking Derrynane Bay on the Ring of Kerry is the charming and secluded Caherdaniel.
The view from the main road, the N70, is one of golden beaches and small islands nestling in a turquoise sea.
To the rear, the village is sheltered by undulating mountains, once mined for copper, reaching towards the sky.
1 mile on is Derrynane beach, house and gardens.
The house was the home of Daniel O'Connell, famed in Ireland as "The Liberator" (1775 -1847), who won Catholic representation in Parliament in 1829.
The house is now a museum and contains many of his personal belongings, as well as his famed Triumphant Carriage.
Open 1st April to 24 November as follows:
April: Wed-Sun and B/Holidays 10.30- 17.00
May to September: Daily 10.30 - 18.00
Oct to 24 Nov: Wed-Sun and B/Holidays 10.30 - 17.00
Last Admission 45 minutes before closing
Average Length of Visit: 1 hour
Adult €3.00 Child / Student €1.00 Senior €2.00 Family €8.00
Waterville "The Little Whirlpool", is the premier coastal tourist centre, with blue flag beaches, on the Ring of Kerry.
It has attracted many celebrities through the years including Charlie Chaplin & family. Waterville nestles between Balinskelligs Bay & Lough Currane, you will find mountains & lake land with the added advantage of the sea on your doorstep.
Traditional fair days or market days are still held on the streets where young and old, visitors and locals meet and chat. A visit to Waterville ensures intimate bars, superb food and a wide range of shops.
In the Skellig Experience Centre you can experience many aspects of those offshore Skellig Islands while remaining on the dry land, in a custom built, stone clad, grass roofed, prize winning building located right on the waterfront beside the Valentia Island bridge at Valentia, County Kerry.
July & August: Open 10.00a.m.-7.00 p.m. 7 days a week
March, April, October & November: Open 10am - 5pm, 5 days a week
Valentia is South Kerry's best kept secret.
As well as lush sub tropical gardens, Valentia Island has many monolithic monuments, standing stones, cairns and wedge tombs along with remains of beehive huts from the early Christian period.
A recent discovery is the ‘Tetrapod Trackway’, 150 footprints which show the pathway taken by a prehistoric dinosaur which came ashore more than 350 million years ago.
Ring Fort Two miles north-west of Cahirciveen at the southern end of the Iveragh Peninsula; North of the Valentia river, on a hillside, reached by a minor road to Cooncrome Harbour.
Leacanabuaile ('Hillside of the Summer Pastorage') is a fine, partly-reconstructed stone fort on a massive rock foundation, its stone walls enclosing an almost circular area 70 feet in diameter. Protected on three sides by steep grassy slopes, the entrance is on the eastern side. The walls, mostly 10 feet thick an with irregular steps leading up on the inside, contain the remnants of a square dwelling house built on top of earlier circular ones; another clochan on the western side has a cavity leading to a long souterrain.
Excavation produced Iron and Bronze Age objects, suggesting the existence of an early Christian farming community. From the top of the ramparts there are fine views down to the coast, where the gaunt ruins of Ballycarbery Castle a fortress of the MacCarthys, stand black against the skyline.
At least two other similar, but lesser forts, and some standing stones, are in the district.
Once an old RIC Barracks, burnt down in 1922 now restored to its former glory, as part of a Community project.
The Barracks is an interpretive centre for the area. Continue along the N70 coming to Glenbeigh and Rossbehy Strand to Caragh Lake and onto Killorglin.
Into Killarney and through the National Park to Molls Gap where you turn right onto the R568 to Sneem.
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