Wild Atlantic Way
Killorglin’s County Bridge was built in 1885. It replaced an older wooden bridge that apparently got covered during high Spring tides. The current bridge is built from local limestone, moved by horse and cart from Steelroe Quarries approximately 1 km away on the Tralee Road. Stonecutters shaped each stone by hand to make up the piers, the eight stone arches and the side walls of the bridge. Each arch is 15.24 m long making a total length of 123 m. In 2001 the Killorglin Millennium Committee built “ Faiche Ri Na Phoic” (The lawn of King of Puck) and erected the Puck Statue at the northern end of the bridge. The goat symbolises the tradition of Puck Fair held in the town on 10th, 11th and 12th August every year since the early 17th century.
North, your view is of the ‘metal bridge’, almost all that remains of the railway line between Farranfore and Killorglin, also opened in 1885. The improvement in the infrastructure did much to boost the commercial life of Killorglin. Weekly markets and monthly fairs remained important into the 1960s. Behind the bridge can be seen the Slieve Mish mountains, a line of hills that runs west along the Dingle Peninsula. The Laune Bridge acts as gateway to the Ring of Kerry, the world-renowned scenic motoring route that encircles the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula.
Other festivals of note which take place in the town include K-Fest Music and Arts which runs over the June Bank Holiday Weekend. The festival aims to promote culture in all its forms and to nurture the growth of music and the arts to include galleries, live music, film, spoken word, children’s workshops and to foster participation in the arts and artistic thought for all ages. It presents emerging and ground-breaking artists in a unique setting in disused houses, shops and buildings in Killorglin town.
In early to Mid September The Flavour of Killorglin celebrates the culinary delights of Killorglin and the surrounding area, combining great food with events and entertainment for food lovers, the local community and all the visitors – big and small. Local restaurants and food merchants display their produce in outdoor street stalls and a food trail is followed allowing the public to sample all the delicious local produce including fresh fish and shellfish, sausages, puddings, vegetables, honey, desserts and craft beers.
A light salmon rod, single or double handed; 10-12 foot long, fit to handle a class 8 or 9 line is just perfect for any of the County Kerry salmon and sea trout rivers. Floating lines with a short sinking tip are a favourite with the local angler.
The Bianconi is ideally located next to the River Laune, famed for its salmon and trout fishing (permits available here).
Caragh Lake is located between the lively town of Killorglin and the village of Glenbeigh, north of the McGillicuddy Reeks. It is one of the many freshwater lakes in Kerry that is included within a large Special Area of Conservation. The lake developed in a deep valley through which the Caragh River was dammed. It is a great spot for fishing and recreational boat trips, surrounded by the stunning landscape of the McGillicuddy Reeks. The highest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohil, is easily photographed from the western side of Caragh Lake.
The MacGillycuddy Reeks of Kerry are Ireland’s highest mountains and include the only three peaks in Ireland over 1000 metres. Carrauntoohil at 1039 metres, Binn Chaorach at 1010 metres and Caher at 1001 metres. The Bianconi Inn is ideal base for walkers and climbers of all ages and levels. We can provide you with information on the various tour companies that provide guided tours up the peaks and the surrounding area.
The Skellig Islands
Just 12 km off the coast of Portmagee lie the stunningly beautiful Skellig Islands. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 the Island referred to locally as Skellig Michael and Great Skellig house the remains of a 6th century monastery which was occupied until the 12th century. Boat tours leave regularly from Portmagee harbour but only 180 visitors are permitted on the Island each day. So booking well in advance is advisable. If however you cannot get into the Ireland all of the boats tour around the two Islands giving glorious views of them and the wildlife. There are no toilets or shelter on the rock so go prepared suncream, a packed picnic from The Bianconi Inn and of course your camera. The view from the top is awe inspiring.
The beautiful island of Valentia, off the South West coast of Kerry, is an island of great beauty and contrast. It is joined to the mainland by bridge via the Portmagee Channel. It is also accessible from the Island of Ireland by ferry from Renard Point. This is a car ferry and takes approximately 5 minutes. It is a continuous shuttle ferry that operates every ten minutes, 7 days a week from April to October.
In 1858 Valentia became the first terminal for the Atlantic Telegraph connecting it to Newfoundland in eastern Canada. There are several points of interest on the Island including; Knightstown; Tetra Pod footprints; Cromwell Point lighthouse and observatory; Valentia Slate quarries; Skellig Experience Visitor Centre; Valentia Heritage Centre; Glanleam Estate & Sub-tropical gardens.
Situated in the tiny village of Caherdaniel is Derrynane National Park, covering 300 acres of forest and includes Derrynane House, the residence of Irish patriot Daniel "The Liberator" O'Connell (1775 - 1847), who won Catholic representation in Parliament in 1829. This well-preserved house is now a heritage site; filled with the personal belongings of the famous owner, the museum is open from late April to late November. The nature lover also has plenty to explore from natural rock pools, sandy coves, and migratory birds, to the diverse landscape offering both gentle strolls and hiking trails.
Within easy reach of Killorglin is the picturesque village of Glenbeigh and the nearby Rossbeigh Strand widely regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland. An extensive sandy beach in a rural environment with incredible views. The area is a designated Natural Heritage Area and a Special Area of Conservation. Also on the way to West Kerry other beaches of beauty are Kells Bay, O’Carrolls Cove and Fishermans’s beach.