Destination Report: Killarney, Co. Kerry

Autumn is the ideal time of year to enjoy all the breathtaking scenery that Ireland has to offer. This week, we’re exploring Killarney in County Kerry to find the best spots and activities so you can really appreciate the beauty of the season.

What to Do

Muckross House and Gardens

Muckross House. Photo by Muckross House and Gardens.

Visit this picturesque 19th century Victorian Mansion, resting on the shore of Muckross Lake. Complemented by the stunning landscape of Killarney National Park, Muckross House and Gardens is the perfect spot to escape for some fresh air and gorgeous scenery.

With period-style furnishings, you can take a journey back in time to see life through the eyes of the former residents of the house. Enjoy the elegance of the principal rooms, and venture down to the basement, once busy with servants carrying out their daily chores.

There’s plenty of room for exploration in the gardens, with the old Victorian Walled Garden, and the more recently developed Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and Stream Garden – all added in the early 20th century.

Stop off for something to eat while you take in the views across the walled garden, against the backdrop of the Torc and Mangerton mountains. The self-service Garden Restaurant is open year-round, seven days a week. Enjoy a meal and a toasty beverage this autumn between 9am and 5pm.

Killarney Falconry

Killarney Falconry. Photo by Killarney Falconry.

Meet the resident birds of prey at Killarney Falconry, with the choice of joining a group experience or embarking on your own private hawk walk. Get your falconry gloves at the ready and take a trip around Killarney’s scenic Lakelands, accompanied by a falconer and hawk – or a team of hawks.

This experience is appropriate for all ages and ability levels, with reduced rates for families and groups. Pre-booking is essential.

For more information and to book your walk, email Killarney Falconry.

Gap of Dunloe Tours

Gap of Dunloe. Photo by George Munday.

Explore this stunning glacial valley, running through the MacGillycuddy Reeks mountain range. From winding roads to glistening lakes and rocky mountain terrain, the views are incredible no matter you’re standing.

Embark on one of the official Gap of Dunloe Tours and select the mode of transport that best suits you. Whether you prefer travelling by foot, boat, bus, bike or even jaunting car, the tours have everything you need to see the area from all points of view.

Book your tour now to explore this picturesque valley dressed in all the warm and wonderful colours of autumn.

Where to Stay

Killarney Park Hotel

Killarney Park Hotel front. Photo by Killarney Park Hotel.

Plan a break in luxury at the five-star Killarney Park Hotel. Situated in the town centre, the hotel boasts elegance and a commitment to sustainability.

Enjoy the comfort and class of one of the hotel’s bright and modern rooms, kitted out with everything you need for a relaxing night away. With a choice from sophisticated classic rooms to dazzling suites and everything in-between, Killarney Park has accommodation for every occasion.

As a member of the Green Hospitality Programme, the hotel is taking on a number of eco-friendly practices to help reduce its carbon footprint. Some of the implementations include the use of reusable straws and stirrers, biodegradable products, 100% renewable gas and electricity and natural water sources, among many more.

Read more about Killarney Park Hotel’s mission to protect the local landscape and environment here.

The Ross Hotel

The Ross Hotel front. Photo by The Ross Hotel.

The Ross Hotel is the sister hotel of the Killarney Park. The four-star boutique hotel also implements an eco-friendly approach to luxury accommodation.

Choose between a range of quirky and comfortable accommodation options, from the hotel’s double or twin rooms to the junior suites. Each room is unique, colourful and full of charm – the perfect spot to relax during your getaway.

The Brehon Hotel

The Brehon Hotel. Photo by The Brehon Hotel.

Relax with class at The Brehon, where you can select from a range of bright and sophisticated boutique style rooms. Depending on the occasion, you can choose from the hotel’s Deluxe Bedrooms, Superior Bedrooms, Suites or Family Suites. Each room is uniquely decorated, with spectacular window views of the Killarney landscape.

Visit the hotel’s Angsana Spa, where you can book a range of revitalising treatments including body massages and facials. Each treatment incorporates the use of natural ingredients such as flowers, fruits, herbs and spices.

Take a dip in the the Vitality Pool, where you can relax in the tranquil surroundings. The pool must be pre-booked at the same time as booking your treatment.

Where to Eat

Vendricks Restaurant and Wine Bar

The Franciscan Friary is just up the street from this restaurant and it has been a landmark in the town of Killarney since the 1860’s. The Belgian Franciscan Provincial that agreed to send some friars to Ireland was Fr. Archangelus Vendricks and that is where the name for the restaurant came from. The restaurant opened on 7 of December 2017 – The 150th Anniversary of the Opening of the Friary in Killarney.

At Vendricks the ethos is to serve freshly prepared homemade meals with locally sourced ingredients, and dishes that have an Irish influence. Head to Vendricks Restaurant and Wine Bar for a romantic couple’s meal, or visit with a group of friends for an evening of great food and wine. See the menu.

Genting Thai Restaurant

Genting Thai Restaurant. Photo by Genting Thai Restaurant.

Visit Killarney’s only authentic Thai restaurant. Genting Thai Restaurant promises a unique dining experience, using fresh, top-quality ingredients to create dishes bursting with the flavours of Thailand.

From tasty nibbles to curry and stir fry dishes, the Genting Thai menu has plenty to offer. Enjoy a drink or two as you dine in the ambience of the restaurant, complete with mood lighting and contemporary furnishings.

The Lane Bar

The Lane Bar at The Ross. Photo by The Ross Hotel.

The Lane is The Ross Hotel’s trendy cocktail bar and eatery. With an all-day food menu, The Lane transforms from a relaxed restaurant during the day to a funky, upbeat bar by night. Complete with contemporary furnishings, ambient lighting and a carefully curated soundtrack to set the mood, the bar is the perfect spot to share a few drinks and laughs with friends.

One of The Lane’s walls is built entirely from glass, overlooking Killarney Town Centre so you won’t have to miss out on the hustle and bustle while you sip. Check out the extensive food menu for locally sourced tapas, nibbles, sharing boards, delicious burgers and more.

The Porterhouse

The Porterhouse, Killarney. Photo by The Porterhouse.

Stop off for a bite to eat at the family-run Porterhouse Gastropub. With an extensive menu full of variety, you’re bound to find something to satisfy your cravings. The Porterhouse takes classic pub food favourites and adds an element of class, making each dish hearty, delicious and beautifully presented.

Choose from a menu of locally sourced dishes, including the Porterhouse stuffed mushrooms, Kenmare pil pil prawns, gourmet burger, fajitas, fresh beer battered fish and chips, and the chargrilled Angus steak.


With so much to see and do, your next trip to Killarney is sure to be a memorable one. Get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let us know how you get on.

Ava Farrelly
Ava Farrelly is a travel journalist for travel2ireland, ITTN and TravelTimes. With a background in arts, culture and lifestyle, Ava has a keen eye for the most visit-worthy destinations and all their attractions.

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