Killarney is one of the most colourful and cosmopolitan towns in Ireland but whilst many are attracted by its bustling shops and heaving bars and restaurants, its location in the county of Kerry is an oasis for a whole host of extraordinary activities, making it the perfect playground for those that love keeping active in the great outdoors.
To get your motivation muscles moving, we’ve compiled a little list of just some of the ways to experience all the beauty Killarney and Kerry have to offer whilst getting your heart-rate pumping.
There is no end to the numerous and beautiful walks Killarney presents. With the famous Gap of Dunloe, Ross Castle and the Copper Mines or the Fossa Way, (right on the doorstep of the Castlerosse) just to mention a few, it would be easy to spend every day on a new trail of exploration and beauty. However, if you wish to leave civilisation behind and have a walking experience somewhat off the beaten track, then the wild and rugged beauty of the Old Kenmare Road is exactly what you are looking for.
A 16km walk starting from the picturesque Torc Waterfall in Killarney and taking you through the uplands of the Killarney National Park and beyond, requires some modest fitness but don’t be put off by the challenge that lies ahead as rewards await in abundance. Experience a wide variety of flora and fauna and get up close and personal with Kerry Mountain Goats and Red Deer as you journey across the hidden and deserted valleys of the park.
This route also makes up part of the great Kerry Way, a popular route which loops around the Iveragh Peninsula, the largest peninsula in South West Ireland. On your ascent take in the breath-taking views of Kenmare Bay before preparing yourself to come face to face with civilisation again in the charming town of Kenmare.
A refreshing step back in time and nature - make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes!
Famous for its beautiful lakes and hidden rivers, Killarney provides an angling heaven for those keen fishing enthusiasts who wish to partake of their favourite pastime while on vacation or even those first timers who fancy their luck at the whole fishing foray.
Whether you wish to hire your own boat and equipment or prefer a local guide, there are lots of options available – just ask our friendly and helpful reception crew.
Troll for Salmon or try fly-fishing for Trout whilst enjoying a relaxing afternoon amidst the stunning scenery of the Lakes of Killarney, your very own pond paradise!
If you fancy yourself as the next Tiger Woods around the fairways, then Killarney is the spot for you. The Killarney Golf & Fishing Club located just a stone’s throw from the Castlerosse boasts not one, but two championship Golf Courses including the Killeen Course, which was the four times European Tour Irish Open Venue as well as the celebrated, Mahony’s Point.
Set upon the lakeshores of Killarney, the course provides a unique opportunity to see some spectacular scenery whilst enjoying one of the best courses in the country.
Similarly, but on a much smaller scale, the Castlerosse Golf Club offers a picturesque and scenic experience with a 9-Hole Parkland Golf Course right in the centre of the Killarney National Park and offering views of Killarney’s Lower Lake and majestic McGuillicuddy Reeks.
Get ready to swing into action!
If the old-fashioned bicycle is your favourite mode of transport then Killarney is sure to be your pièce de résistance, as it offers a wide variety of cycling routes for beginners and advanced cyclists alike. Each Summer in July, the kingdom of Kerry becomes a cycle utopia with the famous Ring of Kerry Charity Race, which sees over 10,000 participants take part in Ireland’s biggest ever one day charity event.
Of course, whilst the cycle itself at 175km, is certainly not for the faint hearted, it is perhaps one of the best routes to take to encounter some of the most jaw-dropping views Kerry has to offer as well as experiencing the picturesque townlands of Killorglin and Caherciveen and the charming villages of Glenbeigh, Portmagee, Waterville and Sneem before returning on the round trip to Killarney.
Rent bikes directly from the Castlerosse and make sure you ask for a map before setting off on an adventure of a lifetime.
A long sandy shoreline and north to north westerly winds make Inch Beach one of the best beaches along the Wild Atlantic Way to partake in a whole range of water sports and activities including kite surfing, wind surfing and just good old-fashioned surfing.
The Blue Flag Beach with panoramic views spans 5km and is situated on the Dingle Peninsula and a 40 minutes’ drive from Killarney Town. The beach’s gentle gradient makes it easy to master the majority of water sports in shallow waters too, making it ideal for beginners as well as more advanced surfers.
Get ready to get wet and wild and have some serious fun!
Killarney in the Summer also offers an ideal location for those who love a good run outdoors and one of our favourite running spots is Muckross Park, a 15-minutes’ drive from the Castlerosse Hotel.
Take advantage of the organised and free 5km run every Saturday morning at 9.30am, which invites you to get that heart-rate pulsing whilst experiencing the unique sights and sounds of the stunning National Park as well as Muckross House, a 19th century landmark overlooking the grounds.
The run is popular with locals and visitors alike and is also suitable for beginners, families and kids as well as those more experienced runners as participants are welcome to run at their own pace. The only requirement is to register in advance at www.parkrun.ie or ask at our reception for help in registering.
The famous Carrauntoohil Mountain standing at 1,038km is Ireland’s tallest peak and offers a challenging but rewarding ascent for mountain climbing and hiking enthusiasts. Offering spectacular views of the Iveragh and Kerry Peninsula, the valleys of Killarney and even the Galtee Mountains at the top, it is well worth the effort you put in at the bottom.
Taking selfies with the larger than life iconic steel cross, erected on the mountain since 1976, as well as taking a dip in Ireland’s highest lake on the way up, are just some of the novelties that the journey offers to its brave expeditioners.
Choose from 3 different routes – the Caher Route, Br. O’Shea’s Gully Route and the more popular tourist route of the Devil’s Ladder. No special equipment is required to climb the mountain, but caution is advised due to the possibility of loose stones on some routes.
As accessibility to routes changes year on year due to effects from weather, please ask in reception for more information regarding the best route to take and if you are in any doubt about your ability or experience to climb, then make sure to enquire about hiring an experienced walking guide to help you on your journey.
Dizzying heights and new horizons await so what are you waiting for?!