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A Road Trip Around The Iveragh Peninsula With The Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-In Hybrid

A Road Trip Around The Iveragh Peninsula With The Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-In Hybrid

This article is sponsored by Ford Ireland


Few places in Ireland are as famed for their beauty as Kerry’s Iveragh Peninsula.

Home to the world-famous Ring of Kerry, this part of ‘the Kingdom’ has been attracting domestic and international tourists in their droves for many-a-year.

This is a corner of Ireland that I’ve spent a lot of time in over the years, but this visit came with a difference – I’d be tipping around via the comfort of the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid – Ford’s most electrified vehicle to-date.

Some quick need-to-knows about this Iveragh Peninsula road trip

iveragh map overview

Click to enlarge map

Here’s a quick overview of this road trip to have a flick through before we get into the various places to visit (times are rough estimates).

1. Distance from the main cities in Ireland

Unless you’re living in parts of West Cork, Limerick and, of course, Kerry, the Iveragh Peninsula can be a bit of a spin. Here’s how long it takes to get to from some of Ireland’s largest cities:

  • Cork City: 1 hr 17 min
  • Limerick City: 1 hr 46 min
  • Waterford City: 2 hr 48 min
  • Dublin City: 3 hr 48 min
  • Belfast City: 5 hr 7 min
  • Galway City: 2 hr 54 min
  • Kilkenny City: 2 hr 44 min
  • Derry City: 5 hr 51 min

2. We did a combo of the RoK and the Skellig Ring

One of the more popular ways to tackle the Iveragh Peninsula is to just tip along the Ring of Kerry and have a ramble around the National Park. However, limiting yourself to just the RoK means that you miss the mighty Skellig Ring. See what it has to offer below!

3. A hybrid road trip

We were hitting the road in the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid, which combines all electric driving with a petrol engine. The Kuga PHEV has a choice of driving modes, so you can decide whether to run on all electric power for up to 45-63km*, the petrol engine or a combination of both. You can seamlessly switch from petrol to electric at the touch of a button which is handy for our road trips.

Places to visit around the Iveragh Peninsula


Now, there’s endless places to visit around the Iveragh Peninsula. Below, you’ll find seven of our favourites. 

Just keep in mind that these aren’t in chronological order, so you can pop them in to your itinerary based on where you’re starting your trip from.

1. Rossbeigh Hill

Rossbeigh Hill

Few places in Kerry treat you to a view that rivals the one from the Rossbeigh Hill walk/drive/cycle.

The Rossbeigh Hill Loop Walk takes between 3 and 4 hours depending on your fitness levels, and it offers a magnificent view out over the surrounding countryside.

You can also drive from top to bottom, but please make sure to take your time, watch out for walkers and keep and eye out for approaching vehicles, as there’s limited pull in space!

The view of Rossbeigh Beach that opens up in front of you is just something else. We arrived here for sunrise and there wasn’t a sinner around. You can head down to the beach after for a saunter, if you like.

Ford Kuga ST-Line X PHEV feature-focus: Best-in-class rear legroom and luggage space can be realised using sliding second row seats, able to easily move forward or rearward up to 150 mm.

2. Muckross Abbey

Muckross Abbey

You’ll find Muckross Abbey in Killarney National Park, around 4km from Killarney Town and a stone’s throw from a clatter of other great attractions within the park.

There’s a large car park nearby and it’s around a 15-20-minute stroll away through what’s often a busy corner of the park.

Regardless of how many times I visit this place, it never fails to impress. There are countless ancient rooms still reasonably intact, places where you’ll have to duck your head and some beautiful arches.

Arguably the pièce de résistance at Muckross Abbey is the magnificent yew tree that has grown in an opening at the centre of the ruin. I’ve seen hundreds of photos of this yew over the years, but there’s something magical about seeing it in person.

3. Valentia Island

spinning around Valentia Island

You’ll find Valentia Island along the Skellig Ring where it’s easily accessible via a bridge from the little village of Portmagee.

Now, while there’s plenty to do on Valentia (the Bray Head trail, Valentia Lighthouse, etc.) it’s Geokaun Mountain and Cliffs that draw the crowds.

After you’ve paid the entry fee, you follow a very steep road up to a little parking area. From here, you’ll be treated to a stop-you-in-your-tracks view of mountains, sea and coastline.

One of the beauties of this place is that, if you’re traveling with someone with limited mobility, you can literally drive right up to the viewpoint.

4. Cúm an Easpaig Pass


One of my favourite sections of the Skellig Ring is known as ‘Cúm an Easpaig Pass’. It’s said to be one of the highest places in Ireland accessible by car and the views on a clear day pack a punch.

The pass itself has a nice big parking area where you can soak up views of the surrounding countryside.

From here, you’ll make your way down the road in the photos above. This will take you towards the Kerry Cliffs and Portmagee.

As you slowly make your descent, it’s hard not to feel like you’re making your way into an oil painting – the long, straight road is bordered on either side by green fields while sea and mountains lay ahead.

Ford Kuga ST-Line X PHEV feature-focus: The FordPass app* and connected modem will keep you connected. Your vehicle will communicate with the world around you, updating you with information about your car and keeping you moving in intelligent ways. With real time traffic updates, finding your nearest charging station, and vehicle health alerts you’ll always be kept up to date.

5. The Kerry Cliffs

Kerry Cliffs

Standing at over 1,000 feet above the icy Atlantic below, the Kerry Cliffs are a staggering 400 million years old.

After you park up and pay the entrance fee, you’ll follow a path that leads up to the different viewing areas.

It’s a pretty steep climb to the two main points, but those with reasonable fitness/mobility shouldn’t have any trouble.

Although just as impressive as the Cliffs of Moher, the Kerry Cliffs receive just a fraction of the visitors. This means you’ll often share them with only a handful of other people.

6. Ballaghbeama Gap

driving Ballaghbeama

One of my favourite drives in Kerry takes a road through the wonderful Ballaghbeama Pass. The road here cuts across the mountains in the centre of the Iveragh Peninsula.

You’ll find the Ballaghbeama Gap/Pass between Blackwater and Glencar, where it boasts breath-taking mountain views and a landscape that feels like it hasn’t changed in hundreds of years (aside from the road, that is).

The road takes you along a wild scenic route where you’ll meet little traffic and plenty of sheep. There’s a pull in area just after the road levels out where you can gaze down along through the gap.

7. Ross Castle

Ross Castle

Killarney National Park’s Ross Castle is a hive of activity, with both Jaunting Cars and boat tours departing and arriving from it’s calm shores.

A typical example of the stronghold of an Irish Chieftain during the Middle Ages, it’s estimated Ross Castle in Killarney was built towards the end of the 15th century.

Arguably one of the best ways to see it is via the water on one of the boat tours that takes you across to the Gap of Dunloe.

However, if you want to add a visit to an already packed day on the Iveragh Peninsula, a walk around its grounds are just as enjoyable.

Learn more about the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid

spinning around Valentia Island

And that is a wrap on our mini-road-trip-guide to the Iveragh Peninsula. You can discover heaps more places to visit in Kerry in our Kerry guide.

Or, if you’d like to discover more about the Ford Kuga ST-Line X PHEV, visit

*Based on full charge of Kuga PHEV ST-Line. Estimated range using Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Figures shown are for comparability purposes and should only be compared with other vehicles tested to the same technical procedures. Actual range varies with conditions such as external elements like temperature, driving behaviours, route profile, vehicle maintenance, and lithium-ion battery age and condition. 63-km WLTP Overall Range reflects a combined driving cycle and 45-km WLTP Extra High range reflects motorway driving – both tests are conducted in controlled conditions with an ambient temperature of 23 degrees Celsius and no climate or electrical load.

*FordPass App, compatible with select smartphone platforms, is  available via a download. Message and data rates may apply.


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