A Guide To Visiting The Kerry Cliffs: History, Ticket Prices, Parking + More

the kerry cliffs portmagee
Photo left: VTaggio. Right: Johannes Rigg (Shutterstock)

The Kerry Cliffs near Portmagee are arguably the most overlooked of the many mighty places to visit in Kerry.

A uniquely beautiful slice of southwestern Ireland, County Kerry is one of the most picturesque corners of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Dramatic oceanside views and soaring mountains are the order of the day in this traditional area, with the Kerry Cliffs one of the finest examples of the county’s dramatic terrain.

In the guide below, we’ll take a closer look at visiting the Kerry Cliffs, providing a comprehensive guide including some history, how to get there and more.

The Kerry Cliffs: Some quick need-to-knows

the kerry cliffs
Photo by Mark Heighes/shutterstock.com

Located near the village of Portagee, the Kerry Cliffs are a remote and rugged group of rock formations rising high out of the waters of the Atlantic. Many visitors come here for the stunning views, which stretch for over thirty miles out to sea.

What height are they?

The Kerry Cliffs near Portmagee soar at over 300 metres (1,000 feet) above the Atlantic and are a true sight to behold. 

Parking, ticket prices and opening hours

Admission to the Kerry Cliffs costs €4. They are open between 09:00 and 19:00 Monday to Sunday during the winter and until 21:00 during the summer months. There’s also a decent bit of parking at the cliffs, so you shouldn’t have any issue.

What can you see from them?

On clear days, the soaring form of Skellig Michael is visible from the cliffs, making for a special photo opportunity. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Skellig Islands are accessible via boat trip from Portmagee.

Another draw of visiting the Kerry Cliffs is the opportunity to enjoy views of Puffin Island and its myriad birdlife, ideal for wildlife lovers! In fact, the area around Kerry Cliffs is also a haven for sea birds of all types, bringing ornithologists from across the globe to these feted shores.

How the Kerry Cliffs Formed

the kerry cliffs
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

As their size and complex beauty suggest, the Kerry Cliffs are many millions of years old. In fact, they were formed in a desert environment 400 million years ago.

Yes, Ireland was once a desert! When you visit this stunning area, the layers in the rock that have built up over such an incomprehensibly long period are clear to see. 

The colour of the rock at the Kerry Cliffs is itself unique, changing with the light and the seasons. The Atlantic Ocean has bashed away on the rock for many millions of years and this has lent the Kerry Cliffs a special character that is tied intrinsically to the adjacent sea.

Cafe and camping at the Kerry Cliffs

When visiting the Kerry Cliffs, it is possible to grab a tasty snack or warm beverage, the importance of which should not be underestimated on a freezing day (it gets wild here!).

There is a cafe serving locally made sandwiches, sweet treats and more in addition to coffee, tea and comforting hot chocolate. On top of this, the views from the cliffs are truly something, stretching out all the way to Skellig Michael.

Camping

For those who love the outdoors, it is possible to camp at the Kerry Cliffs. Whether caravan, mobile home or a humble tent, guests can pay kick-back here for a night or three.

There is a washroom on site for camping guests to enjoy as and when they need, whilst the town of Portmagee is nearby for every imaginable supply.

Have you visited the Kerry Cliffs? If so, what did you think?

the kerry cliffs tour
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

Overall, the Wild Atlantic Way’s Kerry Cliffs are a truly unmissable place to visit in this region of southwestern Ireland.

Dramatic in their beauty and unparalleled in the scope of their vistas, the cliffs are the perfect spot from which to take in the majesty of the Atlantic Ocean.

In a nation famous across the globe for its rugged beauty, the Kerry Cliffs might just be the most stunningly beautiful spot of them all!

James Connolly is a professional writer based in London. Having lived in cities across the world including Mumbai, Medellin and Barcelona, he uses his expertise to write articles showcasing the best of global travel.

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