Lately I’ve been enjoying short getaways, exploring and appreciating the areas close enough to reach by car.
I find we tend to think a holiday has to involve jumping on a plane and jetting of to a hot destination, but hopping into a car and driving 2-3 hours can be just as satisfying.
Being half Irish and having lived in Co.Waterford for 8 years has me coming back to Ireland several times a year. Now that I’m out in the working world it’s a little more like a couple of times a year – so best make most of it. I never did that much traveling around when I lived here, but recently I’ve made a pact to try and go somewhere every time I return – this time round Co.Kerry 🙂 land of green hills, peninsulas and lakes. One of my best school friends and I decided to get going mid week and here’s what we saw…
Day 1: Dingle aka Fungie the Dolphin’s hood & Killarney night life
The best thing about driving is getting to enjoy the views while you drive along, coming up to Dingle and driving along the Kerry way and the coastline had us aw-ing and ooh-ing all the time, it’s truly spectacular scenery.
We arrived in the quaint little town of Dingle, parked up the car and decided to have a little stroll around town. St. Mary’s Church was the first thing we came across, a classic impressive church you can enter free of charge. The gallery included an el fresco painting of the last supper including local alterations to the background and characters which was quite cute (3 euro entry).
Laura was adement to see Fungie the famous Dolphin of Dingle bay, so we headed down towards the quay without any pit stops – colourful cute shops, ice cream parlours and bars on either side. Arriving at the quay we headed into the office to book our boat, 16 euros for an hour but you can get day trips out to Basket Island as well which is what we would have done if we had more time.
Waiting for the boat, we strolled along the peer licking a 99 cone (amazing Irish ice cream). Checking out the boats, sea gulls, gorgeous green hilled backdrop and the colourful housing of Dingle. Every single house seems to have a different colour, and you’d never find the same colour next to each other. They brought back our childhood memories of Balamory, singing the tune we headed onto the boat. All things going well, it hadn’t rained (praise the lord) but being on a boat you’d definitely want a wind breaker or coat to keep you snug.
Heading out into the Bay Area we had cliffs jutting out to our left and right, and a stunning frontal view back into the town. Fungie the dolphin joined us after about 15mins, dipping in and out of the waves right beside the boat.
Once we hit mainland again, we were ready for a mug of coffee and strolled up town again. Passing a few places the Hannie Agnes Pub instantly caught our attention with the cozy vintage couch and old school decor.
The bar man was a pure dote, and literally made my day by giving us ginger nuts (my favourite Irish biscuits). Not only that, the mug I sipped from was so cute we chatted to the bar man to find out where it was from. Turned out, a girl about 15mins down the road made her own pottery – so off we went to Bally Ferriter.
Arriving at the little village signs greeted us letting us know that this was once the set of a Star Wars film. Heading into the pottery shop we found the owner of Sinead Lough, literally pottering in the open shop – just a few mugs, bowls and milk jugs ready for sale. Her gorgeous dog jumped up from behind the counter to greet us, looking for a rub. I decided to get 2 mugs, although not the cheapest – there’s nothing like seeing an artist in action, making her living off doing something she loves and creating beautiful things. And every time I sip on my coffee mug back in Vienna, I’ll have a lovely day to remember.
We hit the road again after that, heading back to Killarney where we booked a beautiful guest house – the Fuchsia. A family run guesthouse, the daughter greeted us at the door showing us around the lavishly decorated house. I’m talking chandeliers, luxe carpets, stairs cases and draped windows. We instantly fell in love.
Having freshened up, we decided to head into town having a gorgeous dinner at Cronins restaurant (traditional Irish home cooked dishes). With full bellies we headed to the Scott’s bar for some live music. An older couple well into their 70s I’d guess, pretty much took the limelight from the band and almost melted our hearts while they were at it. Waltzing and jiving across the courtyard to every Irish trad song. #relationshipgoals right there 😉 we then headed to the Grand night club for another round of live music, somehow it felt like we had landed in an American bar, being some of the few Irish in there. Although the dance floor wasn’t exactly full we had a grand jig anyways. Back at the B&B the munchies kicked in fairly swiftly, and failing to find a chipper on our way home we pretty much thought we hit the jackpot when we found cream crackers and tea in the kitchen free to take .
Day 2 Killarney scenery selfies, gardens & shopping
We rose quite early to nab breakfast at 9 and get the most out of the day. Breakfast was absolutely devine with a buffet of fresh fruit, müsli, joghurt, toast and cheese as well as an array of stuff to order from the kitchen. Somewhere between the full Irish breakfast, the maple waffles and Brie cheese they had us rolling. I totally recommend coming stay at this place – the room is super cute, the breakfast amazing and price wise very good.
Upon the guest house owners recommendation, we headed to ladies‘ view, which was just breath taking. A look out over the lakes and valley from high above reaching far and beyond. Just down the road are the torc waterfalls, where you can do a little walk to the top (20-30mins).
A lovely lunch and coffee at the country kitchen cafe in town kept us cozy whilst the rain started getting heavier. We decided to pop into the Killarney outlets on our way home. Those were a disappointment to say the least, all I can say is – don’t bother 😉 Unless you haven’t prepped for the Irish weather, you’d nab a good raincoat here.
Although we were only on the road for 2 days it felt like a lot longer, we made the most of it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I know there’s a lot more to see and do in and around Kerry, be sure to check it out if you come to Ireland.