If you’re debating staying in Killorglin in Kerry, you’ve landed in the right place.
Despite its charming riverside location, proximity to some of the best places to visit in Kerry and an absurd number of pubs for its size, Killorglin is primarily known for one thing – the Puck Fair.
Now, Killorglin’s well worth visiting for the fair, but there’s so much more to this lively little town than what’s arguably the most unique festival in Ireland.
In the guide below, you’ll discover everything from things to do in Killorglin to where to stay and where to grab a bite to eat.
Some quick need to knows about Killorglin in Kerry
Although a visit to Killorglin in Kerry is nice and straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Located in County Kerry in southwest Ireland, Killorglin sits on the River Laune and is only a few kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean. Forming part of the Ring of Kerry route, Killorglin is about 25km from Tralee and just over 100km from Cork (a 1 hour 40-minute drive).
Killorglin’s name in Irish is Cill Orglan, translating to “Orgla’s Church”. The name ‘Killorglin’ is pronounced: Kil-or-glinn.
3. Ring of Kerry town
Use the town as a base to explore these awesome spots and get out to the mighty Wild Atlantic Way coastal locations.
A very brief history of Killorglin
Though the earliest reference in the Annals records the defeat of a Viking force on the banks of the River Laune in 915AD, it isn’t until the 17th century and the beginnings of the famous Puck Fair (more on that later!) that the history of Killorglin begins to take shape.
With its traditional economy built on the fishing of the Salmon-rich River Laune, Killorglin continued to grow, and the impressive limestone Laune Viaduct was completed in 1885.
Originally built for the old Great Southern and Western Railway between Farranfore to Valentia Harbour, it’s now a popular foot and road bridge.
Things To Do In Killorglin (and nearby)
One of the beauties of Killorglin is that it’s a short spin away from a clatter of other attractions, both man-made and natural.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Killorglin (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Head off on the Ring of Kerry drive/cycle
One of Europe’s most alluring scenic drives, the Ring of Kerry is one of things you just have to do when you’re down in this gorgeous county and Killorglin is perfectly located to do just that!
A 179-kilometre-long circular tourist route, the Ring of Kerry takes in stunning scenes including Skellig Michael, Torc Waterfall and the Ladies View. If your fitness is really up to it, then you can try cycling it too!
2. Plan your visit around the Puck Fair
If you truly want to see Killorglin in its pomp, then plan your visit around the 10th to the 12th of August. One of Ireland’s oldest and most unique festivals, the Puck Fair is when Killorglin comes alive in celebration….of a goat!
Enjoy parades, live music and, to top it all off, the crowning of the King Puck – the wild goat reigns over all from a high stand at the centre of the fair for three days and then returned to the wild.
3. Head for a stroll along Dook’s Beach
Around a 15-minute drive from Killorglin, its gently curving sands are part of a picturesque landscape of calm waters, distant mountain silhouettes and stunning sunsets.
Start your day right by grabbing a coffee to-go in Killorglin and then heading down to Dook’s Beach for a beautiful morning saunter over some of Kerry’s most scenic shores.
4. Brave the chilly water at Rossbeigh Beach
While the water might not be as warm as the Mediterranean or the Caribbean, the scenery at Rossbeigh Beach much more dramatic!
And as a Blue Flag beach, not only is the water clean when you go for a dip, it’s safe with a lifeguard on duty during the summer months.
Toilets and a café can also be found at Rossbeigh Beach towards the southern end of the beach, as well as plenty of space for parking.
5. Soak up the views at Lough Caragh
From any angle, Lough Caragh is a mighty slice of Kerry scenery to take in! A deadly spot for fishing and recreational boat trips, it’s the views that are immediate and striking when you first come for a visit.
On clear sunny days the shimmering lake reflections are perfect for photographers to get those classic Instagram-friendly landscape images.
In fact, Carrauntoohil – Ireland’s highest mountain – is easily photographed from the western side of Caragh Lake.
6. Take a spin to Killarney National Park
Speaking of Instagram-friendly landscapes! Of course, you don’t need to live your life through social media to appreciate the rugged mountainous beauty of Killarney National Park.
However, it’s a splendor that certainly lends itself to sharing with the wider world. Less than a 30-minute drive from Killorglin, there’s a world of trails to be walked and castles to be explored amid arguably Ireland’s most glorious scenery.
7. Or dodge the crowds and visit the Black Valley
Of course, the only downside to Killarney National Park is that it does get pretty popular with tourists – especially in the summer months. This isn’t the case with the Black Valley.
Famous for being the last place on mainland Ireland to be connected to electricity and telephone because of its remoteness, it’s a wild area along the Ring of Kerry with some spectacular scenes.
8. Hit Inch Beach for sunset
Time your journey over to this stunning beach right and you’ll be blessed with golden hues falling softly all over a majestic panorama, with the comforting sound of waves gently breaking on the shore.
Grab a cup of coffee from the restaurant just off the strand and take it all in.
Killorglin hotels and accommodation
There’s plenty of places to stay in Killorglin, for those of you that fancy making the town your base for a few nights.
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 in Killorglin
But, of course, there’s always the classic way to stay and Killorglin is the perfect size and location for a guesthouse or B&B experience.
From the lush foliage and warm welcome of the Grove Lodge Guesthouse to the gorgeous mountain and river views of the luxurious River’s Edge B&B, there’s a fine choice of homely places to stay during your time in Killorglin.
Hotels in Killorglin
Killorglin isn’t short of quality hotels either and there are some class places here to rest your head before you set out exploring the next day.
If you fancy a post-adventure pint or if you just want a quick meal before hitting the nest after a long day exploring, you’re in luck.
While Killorglin is small, it packs a punch pub wise. Below, you’ll find our favourite places to eat and drink.
1. Falvey’s Pub
A traditional pub in the heart of town on Lower Bridge Street, Falvey’s is a great spot for a conversation and pint – what more could you ask for?
Friendly and welcoming, the pub’s been run by Declan and Breda for many years and if you’re lucky, you’ll be treated to a cracking trad session. Make sure to sample a pint of craft beer by local Killorglin brewers Crafty Divils too!
2. Kingstons Boutique Townhouse & Pub
They’ve been pouring pints across the beautiful wooden bar at Kingston’s on Market Street since 1889, so it’s fair to say they know what they’re doing!
Now into the fourth generation of the Kingston family’s ownership, Aoife and Erwin will make sure you’re looked after and can plan all your exciting Kerry travels in peace. If you’re here in the cooler months, then grab a pint and park yourself near the cosy woodburning stove.
3. Francie Sheahan’s Bar
Located right in the middle of Killorglin town square, you can’t miss the distinct black and red exterior of Francie Sheahan’s Bar.
Known locally as “Francie’s” after Francie Sheahan who took over running the pub with his wife Sheila in 1962, it’s now in the welcoming hands of their children. If you’re here during the Puck Fair, then Francie Sheahan’s is a perfect spot to see the crowning of the King Puck!
There’s plenty of different restaurants in Killorglin that’ll make your belly happy after a long day of exploring.
Below, you’ll find our favourite places to eat in Killorglin. If you have a place to recommend, let us know in the comments below.
1. Bunkers Bar and Restaurant
If you’re in need of a solid feed, then Bunkers Bar and Restaurant on Iveragh Road is a spot that won’t let you down.
Priding themselves on their home baking, they serve good hearty breakfasts, wholesome lunches and evening meals 7 days a week, serving everything from pizzas, Irish stews to T-bone steaks.
2. Kingdom 1795
A new addition to the growing restaurant scene in Killorglin, Kingdom 1795 opened its doors in May 2019 in a lovely building on the corner of Main Street and Market Street.
The owners have crafted a beautifully designed restaurant and quality local / Irish ingredients are the foundation of Damien’s cooking.
Their lunch dish of buttermilk fried chicken on a blaa, with smoked tomato, Coolea cheese and harissa mayo is amazing value for money!
3. Sol y Sombra Tapas Bar & Restaurant
A restaurant in a church? Why Not! And just to make things even more interesting, the award-winning Sol y Sombra Tapas Bar & Restaurant brings a flavour of Spain to sunny southwest Ireland.
Located inside the historic Old St James’ Church of Ireland (dating from 1816) on Bridge Street, you can mix and match tasty tapas classics such as fried calamari and empanadillas alongside fine wines from around the world.
FAQs about visiting Killorglin 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 Killorglin 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 Killorglin (and closeby)?
Head off on the Ring of Kerry drive/cycle, plan your visit around the Puck Fair, visit Dook’s Beach or head for a swim on Rossbeigh Beach.
Where are the best places to eat in Killorglin?
Sol y Sombra Tapas Bar & Restaurant, Kingdom 1795 and Bunkers Bar and Restaurant are three great options for food.
What are the best places to stay in Killorglin?
Ard Na Sidhe Country House, Bianconi Inn, River’s Edge B&B and Grove Lodge Guesthouse are good bases if you’re visiting Killorglin.