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A Guide To The Kerry Cliffs In Portmagee (History, Tickets, Parking + More)

A Guide To The Kerry Cliffs In Portmagee (History, Tickets, Parking + More)

Although I’ve visited them 6 or 7 times now, the Kerry Cliffs in Portmagee never fail to knock me a little.

Arguably one of the best things to do in Kerry, they stand at over 1,000 feet above the icy Atlantic below and are a staggering 400 million years old.

Those that visit will be treated to views of the Skellig Islands along with magnificent coastal scenery that rivals the best County Kerry has to offer.

Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the Kerry Cliffs, from how they were formed to ticket prices, parking and more.

Some quick need-to-knows about the Kerry Cliffs in Portmagee

Although a visit to the Kerry Cliffs in Portmagee is pretty straight-forward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit all the more enjoyable.

1. Location

You’ll find the Kerry Cliffs along the Skellig Ring, not far from the little village of Portmagee, which is arguably best known as being the main departure point for those looking to visit Skellig Michael.

2. Parking

The Kerry Cliffs are accessed via private land. A large car park has been built on-site and there’s plenty of room.

2. Ticket prices

Admission to the Kerry Cliffs costs €5/6 (prices may change) and you can buy tickets at a little booth inside the car park. There’s a credit card machine.

3. Opening hours dependant on the weather

We previously displayed opening hours for the Kerry Cliffs but, after an email from someone from their office, removed them. The cliffs are closed during poor weather conditions, so keep that in mind before visiting.

4. The cafe

There is a cafe at the Kerry Cliffs (note: may only be open during the summer months – we haven’t been able to confirm) where you can grab a coffee, a sandwich and/or some sweet treats.

5. Expect a steep climb

When you leave the car park, there’s a relatively steep incline up to the various viewpoints. This should prove no trouble to those with moderate fitness, but keep in mind if you/someone in your party has limited mobility.

What to expect from a visit to the Kerry Cliffs

Kerry Cliffs

A visit to the Kerry Cliffs in Portmagee is something you’ll remember long after you leave. The cliffs are ancient and the views are outstanding.

The viewing area takes you up to a nice height and you almost feel like your standing at the Bow of a boat.

How they formed

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

When you visit the 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 in itself unique, changing with the light and the seasons.

The viewing areas

There are several different viewing areas at the Kerry Cliffs and, when you walk up from the car park, you need to choose right or left (you can go to both, of course!).

After many visits, I’ve settled on the viewpoints on the left as being the best-bang-for-your-buck (or for the effort you put in walking up the steep hill!).

From the left side, you get the view of the Kerry Cliffs that’s visible in the photos above. 

Less crowds than you’d expect

On the 6/7 occasions that I visited the Kerry Cliffs, I’ve never met more than a handful of people. This has been during both peak and off-peak seasons.

There are many famous cliffs in Ireland, like the Cliffs of Moher, that draw millions of visitors a year, yet the Kerry Cliffs fall under the radar of many.

It’s for this reason that you’ll always see us recommending that those visiting the Dingle Peninsula or the Ring of Kerry that a short detour to admire this natural wonder.

Things to do near the Portmagee Cliffs

Kerry Cliffs

Photos via Shutterstock

One of the beauties of the Kerry Cliffs is that they’re 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 the Portmagee Cliffs (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).

1. Coomanaspig Pass (2-minute drive)


Photos by The Irish Road Trip

Coomanaspig Pass is located to the right when you leave the Kerry Cliffs (yep, up that big hill!). This is one of the highest accessible points in Ireland that’s reachable by car and it’s a key discovery point on the Wild Atlantic Way.

2. Food in Portmagee (5-minute drive)


Photos via Shutterstock

If you fancy a post-walk feed after visiting the Kerry Cliffs, take the short spin to Portmagee Village and head into the Moorings. You’ll find seafood chowders and hearty pub grub served here.

3. Valentia Island (12-minute drive)

Valentia Island

Photos via Shutterstock

The mighty Valentia Island is a short, 12-minute drive from the cliffs. There are heaps of things to do on Valentia Island, from walks and hikes to mighty views and much more.

4. The Skellig Ring


Photos via Shutterstock

The Skellig Ring drive (not to be confused with the Ring of Kerry) is a beautiful drive that takes in Waterville, Ballinskelligs and Portmagee along with plenty of gorgeous scenery en route.

FAQs about visiting the Kerry Cliffs

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from where to park to whether or not they’re worth visiting.

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.

Are the Kerry Cliffs worth it?

The Kerry Cliffs are 100% worth a visit. You’ll pay a small fee of €5/6 and you’ll then be treated to some of the finest cliffs along the Wild Atlantic Way. Just keep in mind that there is a steep walk up to the viewing areas.

Where is the best place to see the cliffs of Kerry?

The best viewpoint is the one on the left after you leave the parking at the Kerry Cliffs. From here, you have the Skellig Islands in front of you and then the cliffs just to your right.

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