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Attractions ~ Tourist Information

For many people around the world, the Ring of Kerry encapsulates their image of Ireland. The spectacular scenery, dramatic coastline, colourful towns and villages and ancient archaelogical treasures have been featured in postcards, film, poetry and song. Each twist and turn on the road will reveal new sights - windswept cliffs, breathtaking scenery, spectacular lakes, rich flora and fauna, green and yellow chequered hills and unspoilt beaches. It is said that the landscape varies a hundred times in 100 kilometres.

The South Kerry Region has a wonderful selection of designated Blue Flag beaches. The Blue Flag is an international environmental award made to beaches and marinas throughout the world that demonstrate good environmental standards and sanitary and safety facilities. Spend fun-filled days building castles with the family, laze about breathing the purest, fresh Atlantic air and swim in the warm turquoise waters around our shores. Cahersiveen can boast of four such beaches within a 10 or 15 minute drive, the local beaches being Ballinskelligs Beach and White Strand Beach.

During the summer, many of the local beaches are venues for swimming lessons as part of the National Water Safety Campaign.

Incidentally, a unique event is the annual Christmas Swim( a charity fundraiser) which takes place at Cuas Crom Beach

Additionally, the waters around Cahersiveen are teeming with wildlife. Atlantic grey seals are inquisitive and will often visit to investigate. You will see dolphins, porpoises and - if you're lucky - whales.

Wild Life
The region is a magnet to huge numbers of native and migratory birds, including seagulls, guillemots, puffins, gannets, razor bills, manx shearwaters, swans, geese, ducks and thrushes. The protected Red deer and Sika deer can be found in the National Parks, but animal life is not confined to these areas. The open countryside abounds with wildlife in the air, on the ground and in the water.

The Cahersiveen countryside is a natural wonderland, displaying purple heather, yellow furze, white daisies and the protected Kerry lily. The country lanes are covered in red and purple fuchsia, known locally as 'God's tears' from its Gaelic translation.

Day Trips
Skellig Ring - This route is great if you like to get off the main roads. Start in Cahersiveenand take the ferry from Renard to Valentia Island. Visit the Tetrapod Trackway, made more than 285 million years ago. Take the coastal road to Portmagee and return to the mainland via the Maurice O'Neill Bridge and continue over the Coomanaspig Pass, Ireland's steepest pass to Baile an Sceilg (Ballinskelligs). Make sure to stop at the top of Coomanaspig to enjoy the spectacular views of the Skellig Rocks, Puffin Island, Dingle Bay, the Blasket Islands and Ireland's most beautiful mountain ranges. Continue onwards along the coast road to the village of Dun Gegan where you'll find the Cill Rialig Art Gallery - a remarkable venue which showcases work from many renowned artists from around the world. (Although not on the Skellig Ring Drive, the partly restored famine village Cill Rialig is now an artist's retreat and is a scenic 3 minute drive from Dun Gegan).

From Ballinskelligs, travel east on the R567 (Skellig Ring) to the village of Waterville, where Charlie Chaplin kept a summer home and spent long summer evenings mingling with locals, then on to the breathtaking views of Caherdaniel and Derrynane from theCumachiste Pass. While in Derrynane, take in a guided tour of the home of Ireland's most famous son, Daniel O'Connell or take a walk on the many magnificent beaches just walking distance away.

Skellig Rock
Eight miles from the South Kerry coast is a true expression of the heroic monastic spirit of medieval Ireland. In the 6th century, monks built their monastery 600 feet up on this wave-lashed rock. They traded birds' eggs, feathers and seal steaks with passing ships for essentials such as tools and vellum. It was not until the 12th century that they moved to Ballinskelligs.

For a really fascinating day trip, take a boat to the Skellig's Unesco World Heritage Site - guided tours are given by heritage experts. In addition to the wonderfully preserved monastic settlement, huge colonies of sea birds can be found here throughout the year.

Boat trips are available from Ballinskelligs, Portmagee and Cahersiveen.

Valentia Island
Just off the Cahersiveen Coast across the picturesque Valentia Sound lies this beautiful and unusual island. Here you will find the stunning Glanleam House with its sub-tropical Gardens, the Valentia Slate Quarry and the Tetrapod Trackway.

Muckross House and Gardens
Muckross House is situated close to the shores of Muckross Lake, amidst the beautiul scenery of Killarney National Park. The house is a focal point within the Park and is the ideal base from which to explore its terrain.

Today the principal rooms are furnished in period style and portray the elegant lifestyle of the 19th century landowning class. While in the basement, one can imagine the busy bustle of the servants as they went about their daily chores.

Muckross Traditional Farms are situated adjacent to Muckross House. These working farms recreate and portray the traditional farming methods, and way of life, of a typical local, rural community of the 1930s.
Open Daily, Muckross, Killarney - just a 1 hour drive.

Killarney National Park
Dramatic scenery and abundant in wildlife and flora- a 1 hour drive.

Kerry Bog Village Museum
Experience a recreation of the famine cottages and other buildings found in 19th century rural Ireland. 20 minute drive.

Sneem Sculpture Park and Garden
An evocative and lovely garden and Sneem is well worth a visit too as it is popularly considered to be on the prettiest villages in Ireland.

Ancient Treasures
Post centuries have left deep impressions on the Kerry Region. The oldest of these are the ancient Tetrapod Footprints on Valentia Island, which date from the Upper Jurassic period and were made over 285 million years ago. These are the oldest footprints ever found in the Northern Hemisphere. There are also numerous Staigue Forts in the area and the oldest and finest example is located at Castlecove on the Ring of Kerry. It is estimated that the fort is about 2500 years old. Cahirsiveen is of great importance to antiquarians as it boasts many ancient sites. Take a trip over the bridge north of town (past the Cahersiveen Barracks Heritage Centre) to visit the ivy covered ruins of the 15th century Ballycarbery Castle and the two dry stone forts, Leacanabuaile and Cahergal which date from 800 AD.

The following may be useful to your search for ancestors in Ireland : the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland. Contact them on 00 353 (0)1 6354000 or


Ring Of Kerry Hotel, B&B, Family Accommodation, Cahersiveen