If you’re debating staying in Caherdaniel in Kerry, you’ve landed in the right place.
Caherdaniel is a small village in County Kerry, steeped in history and surrounded by immense natural beauty.
It’s a great place to make a stop if you’re on the Ring of Kerry, with plenty of things to see and do nearby, and it’s also a fine place to base yourself from.
In the guide below, you’ll find everything from things to do in Caherdaniel to where to eat, sleep and drink.
Caherdaniel: some quick need to knows
Although a visit to Caherdaniel in Kerry is nice and straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Around 66 km from Killarney, Caherdaniel is just shy of the halfway point on the Ring of Kerry driving route. It’s located on the southwest tip of the Iveragh Peninsula in Glenmore Valley, with sandy beaches, rolling mountains, lakes, rivers, and ancient stone forts all close by.
In Irish, the village is known as Cathair Dónall, which means ‘Dónall’s stone ringfort’. Dónall translates to Daniel, and so the anglicised name is Caherdaniel. The Cathair, or ring fort, in question, is an ancient fort just outside of the village. Meanwhile, the Daniel in question relates to Daniel O’Connell — more on him below.
3. Ring of Kerry town
Conveniently situated on the Ring of Kerry, on the old ‘Butter Road’, Caherdaniel is an easy village to drive through — it’s not so big, and most of its best attractions are out of view from the road. However, it makes a fantastic base if you’re looking to explore Kerry.
A very brief history of Caherdaniel
The local area is steeped in history, with evidence of copper mining dating back to 2000 BC. Meanwhile, Caherdaniel Fort dates back to 600 AD and offers an intriguing glimpse into the past.
Caherdaniel is also the location of Derrynane house, home of Daniel O’Connell, who was hailed as ‘Liberator of the Irish People’.
An Irish hero, he was a lawyer, politician, and statesman who encouraged and enabled the people to rally against an old-fashioned system. His former home remains of significant historic importance, and functions as a museum today.
Throughout the ages, the village has remained relatively small, though with an influx of visitors in recent decades, tourism has become a major industry. Nowadays, it’s a popular stop off point for visitors on the Ring of Kerry.
Things to do in Caherdaniel (and nearby)
Though the village of Caherdaniel is small, there’s certainly no shortage of interesting things to see and do in it and a stone’s throw from it.
1. Learn about Daniel O’Connell at Derrynane House
As we’ve seen, Daniel O’Connell was an important figure in Ireland’s history. You can find out why by visiting his former home, Derrynane House.
The house and gardens can be explored, and a number of exhibits and presentations lend an insight into the man’s life, career, and influence.
There’s a cafe on site, so you can spend the morning exploring the house and grounds, grab lunch, and then head to the beach.
2. Followed up with a ramble along Derrynane Beach
Derrynane Beach is one of the best in Ireland, and it’s just down the road from Derrynane House, or around 2 miles from Caherdaniel village. The beach itself is fairly sheltered and safe for swimming, kayaking, and many other water sports. Beautiful white sands stretch for miles, while sand dunes rise and fall along the way.
It’s free to visit, and lifeguards patrol during the bathing season, so you can be sure you’re in good hands. There are also several opportunities to explore the stretches of beach on horseback.
3. And then a saunter around Kells House and Gardens
This 40-acre botanical garden is around 45 km from Caherdaniel, but it’s worth taking a drive over. The beautiful gardens overlook Dingle Bay, and provide a wealth of interesting experiences.
Home to a wide variety of exotic plants, waterfalls, and walking trails, you’ll feel like you’re exploring the jungle rather than the west coast of Ireland!
The Victorian-style manor is also impressive, and currently serves as an upscale bed and breakfast. There’s also a restaurant that serves up a delectable menu each day.
4. Soak up some history at Staigue Stone Fort
Staigue Stone Fort is one of my favourites in Kerry. It’s off the beaten path, so it doesn’t get as much foot traffic as some of the more well-known forts.
The drive up there on narrow, windy roads is also enjoyable! The fort itself is really impressive and very well-preserved for a structure that dates back to 600 AD.
It’s a great place to relax for a bit and reflect on the history of the land and its people — the tranquility here is great.
5. And then soak up some more at Derrynane Abbey
Derrynane Abbey lies in ruins, though the structures are still impressive. Close to Derrynane House, it’s easy to reach this 6th century church and explore the surroundings.
The overgrown graveyard creates a somber mood, and invites further reflection. The moody surroundings really set the scene, with sea views and rolling hills all around.
6. Hit the water with Derrynane Sea Sports
Derrynane Beach is a great place to try your hand at some sea sports. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a veteran of the sea, there’s sure to be something for you.
Activities include; sailing, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking, snorkeling, windsurfing, and water skiing.
Derrynane Sea Sports offer equipment hire, including wetsuits, as well as beginner’s lessons of varying lengths. Great for kids and adults alike, it’s a superb opportunity to try something a little different.
7. Take a spin over to the Skelligs
The Skellig Islands are flung far out into the Atlantic Ocean, but it is possible to visit them on a boat tour.
Tours leave from Derrynane Harbour, an old smuggling port used by the O’Connell clan in days of old.
Skipper John O’Shea offers daily tours, with a 2 and a half hour stop on Skellig Michael, allowing you to explore the old monastic settlement up close and personal. Along the way, you’ll see an array of marine life, including dolphins, gannets, seals, and much more.
8. Drive the Skellig Ring
The Skellig Ring is a scenic drive that takes in much of the Skellig Coast. It covers a part of the Iveragh Peninsula that the Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way both miss out.
This section is extremely scenic and takes in diverse landscapes, from the craggy Kerry Cliffs and beautiful sandy bays, to rolling mountains and ancient villages.
You can start the ring at Kenneigh, around 20 km from Caherdaniel. From there the road takes in a number of coastal towns and villages, as well as Valentia Island, reached by ferry or bridge, before looping back on itself.
9. Visit Valentia Island
It’s worth spending a little time on Valentia Island alone. Linked to the mainland by ferry or bridge (at Portmagee), it’s only around 35 km from Caherdaniel. The 11 km long island boasts some spectacular views, as well as the charming Knight’s Town.
This is worth a visit in its own right, with numerous museums, shops, pubs, and restaurants to enjoy.
There are also ancient sites across the island to delve into, as well as more modern areas of significance, with the island known as the birthplace of global communications among other things.
Caherdaniel hotels and accommodation
Caherdaniel is a great place to settle for a week or so, and there are plenty of options to choose from accommodation wise.
Note: if you book a hotel through one of the links below we’ll make a tiny commission that helps us keep this site going. You won’t pay extra, but we really do appreciate it.
Guesthouses and B&Bs
For those who crave a full Irish breakfast every morning, you can’t beat a decent guesthouse or B&B.
There are a few options in and around Caherdaniel, offering great views, cosy private rooms, and a warm Irish welcome.
Compared to other areas along the Ring of Kerry, there aren’t so many options in the heart of the village, but there are more choices just south as you get closer to the beach.
Caherdaniel Pubs and Restaurants
While Caherdaniel is just a small village, there are some great places to eat and drink. In fact, if I think about it, some of my favourite pubs in Kerry are in Caherdaniel!
1. Keating’s Bar
Keating’s is the kind of intimate pub you’ll wish you never had to leave. The beer is fantastic — one of the best pints of Guinness in Kerry — and they offer stunning stone baked pizzas as well as soup, sandwiches and other pub grub.
But it’s the cosy, welcoming atmosphere that really makes Keating’s stand out. They host regular live music sessions, but even so, impromptu singalongs and jam sessions are an almost nightly occurrence. Good craic, and friendly owners and staff, it’s one of the best.
2. O’Carroll’s Cove Restaurant & Bar
O’Carroll’s is another great stop off, serving up fantastic grub, all locally sourced. Highlights include the seafood, juicy steaks, and Kerry lamb, and you’ll want to come back several times to try them all.
The location is fantastic, with amazing views out to sea, where the stunning turquoise waters meet the white sands that the cove is known for. The outdoor seating areas offer panoramic views over Kenmare Bay, and even if you’re just passing by, it’s worth stopping by for a coffee, slice of cake, or a whipped ice cream cone.
3. Blind Piper
Even the blind piper himself couldn’t miss this pub, with its amazingly vibrant, bright yellow paint-job! It’s a rustic old pub, oozing with charm, and it’s a worthwhile stop on anyone’s route. They serve up a range of drinks, including Irish coffee and local craft beers.
On top of that, they have an amazing food menu that makes my stomach rumble just thinking about it. The hearty dishes are mostly locally sourced, with a great array of seafood options, traditional Irish dishes, and tastes from around the world.
Although for me the roast of the day is always a mouthwatering temptation. Great beer, food, and regular live music, it doesn’t get better than this!
FAQs about visiting Caherdaniel in Kerry
Since mentioning the town in a guide to Kerry that we published several years ago, we’ve had hundreds of emails asking various things about Caherdaniel in Kerry.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best things to do in Caherdaniel?
Visit Derrynane House, ramble along Derrynane Beach, saunter around Kells House and Gardens or hit the water with Derrynane Sea Sports.
Where are the best places to eat in Caherdaniel?
Keating’s Bar, O’Carroll’s Cove Restaurant & Bar and Blind Piper are all great options.
What are the best places to stay in Caherdaniel?
If you fancy making Caherdaniel in Kerry a base for your road trip, there’s plenty of places to stay, several of which are nice and cheap (see above).
Andy was once on a glorious worldwide trip on his equally glorious motorcycle. After 4 years, he’d still only made it as far as Eastern Europe, before falling in love with his surroundings and deciding to settle down a while. Nowadays, he spends his time writing about traveling through the places he once explored, normally while sipping a pint.