Lakes of Killarney

A gateway to one of the most scenic parts of Ireland

Top 10 Things to do in Killarney

Killarney is the gateway to one of the most scenic parts of Ireland and the world and has an abundance of attractions for visitors to ensoy during their stay at Great Southern.

  1. Golf in Kerry is the stuff of legends with historic links courses like Ballybunion and Waterville rated among the top in the world. For the avid golfer half a dozen championship courses on our doorstep means you’ll never be short of a challenge whatever you are looking for in golf. There are 43 golf courses within a 2 hour drive - Killarney & South West Ireland are truly a golfer’s haven. Killarney Golf & Fishing Club is located a mere 5 minutes’ drive from Great Southern Killarney. Kerry’s rugged coastline provides an exciting and challenging setting for some of Ireland’s best known links courses, all within easy access from the Great Southern Killarney.
  2. No trip to Killarney would be complete without visiting the world famous Killarney National Park. Some of the most recognisable attractions located within Killarney National Park include Ross Castle and Torc Waterfall and Mountain. National Park has over 25,000 acres of lake and mountain scenery. It is famous for its native natural habitats and species including Oak holly woods, Yew Woods and Red Deer and is one of the most extensive areas of natural woodland remaining in Ireland. The Park can be accessed by walking, cycling or Jaunting Car. Great Southern Killarney has bicycles that are available to our guests complimentary. To avail of these bikes please contact our Concierge team. Choose to view the National Park with a relaxing Jaunting Car trip a type of horse drawn carriage famous in the Killarney Valley for over two hundred years. Trips can be organised to and from the majestic Torc Waterfall or to Ross Castle about three miles from the Great Southern Killarney. Sit back and soak in the stunning scenery and enjoy the tales from your local Jarvey, (which is the name of your driver). Torc Waterfall is located 7km from Killarney town. You can access the Waterfall from the carpark and take a short walk up to the Waterfall. There are 100 steps in total at the waterfall. Torc Waterfall is approximately 20 metres high and the best time to view it is after heavy rainfall. Ross Castle is located on the edge of Killarney's Lower Lake. It is a typical example of the stronghold of an Irish Chieftain during the middle ages. It was built by O’Donoghue Mor in the 15th century. 
  3. County Kerry is an adventure sport enthusiast’s haven. With its rugged peaks and numerous lakes it’s no wonder many of Irelands leading adventure competitions are held here, such as the Helly Hansen Killarney Adventure race and The Ring of Kerry Charity cycle. If kayaking on the Lakes of Killarney or Mountain biking through the Killarney National Park forest trails interests you then you are in the right place. Horse riding & Pony trekking is also available through the Killarney National Park. Walkers & Hikers are in for a real treat with a great variety of wonderful paths and trails through the Killarney National Park which offers 25,000 acres of lakeside, mountain & ambling walks to suit all tastes including the Gap of Dunloe, MacGuillicuddy Reeks and climbing to the highest peak in Ireland, Carrauntoohil. 
  4. Killarney offers an abundance of beautiful boutiques, jewellery shops, art & photography galleries where you can purchase memorable gems. Downtown Killarney offers late night shopping May to October with many stores open 7 days a week. There is also a number of traditional Irish stores stocking everything from Aran Sweaters to Irish Crystal and everything in between. There are also numerous stores and plenty of home-made ice cream parlours that deserve a visit. The Killarney Outlet Centre is located directly across from the Great Southern Killarney. It features a wide selection of stores including Irelands first Nike Factory Store. On your way back to Great Southern call by the museum at Killarney House which has a wonderful display on the history of Killarney House and Killarney National Park.
  5. The Gap of Dunloe is a very unique and iconic day trip. Your departure point is from Kate Kearney's Cottage a charming country pub where you can begin your adventure with an Irish coffee while choosing your mount to start your trek through this rugged glacial mountain pass. The more leisurely choice would be jaunting car, where the local guide will regale you with the legends and tall tales of the area. Or, choose to ride you own pony over the gap! As you venture into this beautiful valley, you'll be surrounded by geological evidence of the battle between the great forces of glaciers from the north as they clashed with these immovable mountains. At Lord Brandon's Cottage, a light lunch is served before you continue your adventure by boat over the three famous Lakes of Killarney. Your boat will travel under the Old Weir Bridge links the middle and lower lakes. 
  6. Pay a visit to the world famous Lakes of Killarney, one of the most scenic attractions in Killarney. The Lakes of Killarney consist of three lakes: Lough Leane, also known as The Lower Lake, Muckross Lake, also known as The Middle Lake and the Upper Lake. You can take a leisurely waterbus tour of the Lough Leane, an energetic kayak on the lakes or go to one of many vantage points such as Aghadoe and take stunning pictures where many iconic pictures have been taken and shared around the world. 
  7. Located in the heart of Killarney National Park, Muckross House is one of the main attractions within Killarney. Muckross House dates back to 1843, it is now run by The Muckross House Trust. It is located close to the shores of Muckross Lake and is set against some of the most beautiful scenery in Killarney. Visitors to Muckross House can experience a tour that takes in all of the history and traditions of such a majestic house. Queen Victoria stayed in Muckross House during her visit to Killarney in 1861 and the room where she stayed can be viewed while taking the tour. Also located at Muckross House is the Muckross Traditional Farms. Here you can step back in time and visit Ireland during the 1930’s and 1940’s. This includes a visit to the three types of working farms that were common during this time – Small, Medium and Large.  Visitors can avail of the Muckross Vintage Coach which circulates the farms.
  8. The famous Ring of Kerry renowned for its amazing scenic beauty is one of Irelands most recognised and travelled tourist attractions. Escape for a whole day through Mountains, Lakes and majestic Sea views stopping along the way in picturesque villages. It’s no wonder this journey is adored and remembered by all who complete this dramatic circle along Irelands coastline.
  9. Killarney is the perfect base for you to discover Kerry’s Wild Atlantic Way, which covers 350km in length of this magnificent driving route. The Wild Atlantic Way, is the world’s longest driving route, 2500km which stretches from Donegal in the north to Cork in the south. With spectacular scenery and rugged coastline there is no denying the Kerry section of the Wild Atlantic Way is one of the most scenic and beautiful in Ireland. World famous tourism attractions such as Skellig Michael, (a UNESCO world heritage site), the Blasket Islands and off the beaten track fishing villages, beaches, walking trails all part of Kerry’s Wild Atlantic Way are within a short distance from Great Southern Killarney and lots more waiting to be discovered. 
  10. Spend an afternoon enjoying all that Great Southern Killarney has to offer. Including the Health Club at Great Southern with our 15m Swimming Pool, Steam Room, Sauna & Jacuzzi or a Yon-Ka beauty treatment with our one our trained therapists. Afterwards enjoy the time honoured tradition of Afternoon Tea in one of our Victorian Drawning Rooms or enjoy some bar food by the fireside in Brownes Bar.