- Location: South and west of Killarney town in County Kerry in Southwest Ireland
- Attraction Type: National Park and Nature Reserve
- Significance: UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Best Time to Visit: May to September
- Visiting hours: Daytime
- How to Reach: By train from Dublin, Tralee and Cork to Killarney and then by road; Alternatively by road from Dublin or Cork
- Nearest International Airport: Cork International Airport
Killarney National Park is an alluring combination of forests, mountains, waterfalls, and lakes. This area of distinctive fauna and flora and exceptional scenic beauty was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1981. Killarney National Park in Ireland is an important location for nature study, conservation, and education in addition to being a premier tourist attraction. With its abundance of lichens, bryophytes, shrubs and evergreen trees, this National Park of Killarney has a biosphere dating back to the last Ice Age. The mild climate has been conducive to the growth of thick vegetation in these regions of Ireland. The endemic red deer is one of the earliest inhabitants of this forest. The Bourne Vincent Memorial Park presented by Senator Arthur Vincent and his parents-in-law the Bournes in memory of Mrs. Maud Vincent to Ireland State is the main attraction of Killarney National Park.
Muckross House and Gardens, a late 19th-century mansion with period furniture and artifacts is a spectacular attraction of this national park. The Knocker House, and Killarney House and Gardens constitute the education center of the park. Kenmare Desmene is also an integral part of this Irish national park.
Killarney National Park Activities
Visit the 15th century Ross Castle built by O’Donoghue on the shores of Killarney Lake. According to local legend, O’Donoghue lies in a deep slumber in the waters of Lough Leane and emerges on the first morning of May every seven years. Then on a white horse, he rides along the shores of the lake. Anybody catching a glimpse of horse-mounted O’Donoghue is assured of fortune and favorable luck for the rest of his life.
Explore the national park on bicycles or motor cars. In addition to the incomparable red deer, you would also discover Japanese Sika deer, bank vole, and birds of several species. Peregrine falcons, meadow pipit, stonechat, red grouse and merlins are birds to be found in the higher slopes. In the lower woodlands, robin and chaffinch are commonly found. The lake is inhabited by water rail, heron, little grebe, and mallard. Kingfisher and dipper are normally found near the rivers and mountain streams.
On foot discover Killarney National Park along Cloghereen Nature Trail, Pike Wood Trail, Rossacrue Trail, or Mangerton Trail. Lake cruises from morning till early evening is a refreshing pastime to indulge in. Fishing is allowed in the waters of Killarney Lake after obtaining permission from O’Neill’s. A ‘jaunting car’ ride is a specialty in this national park.
Staying and Eating in Killarney
At Killarney, you might choose your accommodation according to your preferences and needs. Hotels, guest houses, B & B, and farmhouses are all there to be selected from for putting up. Among the guesthouses you could select among Woodlawn House in Muckross, Slieve Bloom Manor also in Muckross, Kingfisher Lodge in Lewis Road, or Ashville in Rock Road. Among hotels select from amongst Castleross in Killarney, Eviston Hotel also in Killarney, Killarney International, Lough Lein Country House in Fossa, or Failte Family Inn in College Street.
The restaurants in Killarney would not fail to satisfy your gastronomic demands. ‘Gaby’s’ is recommended for its authentic seafood preparations made from mussels, crabs, and shellfish. ‘Cronin’ and ‘Cafíé’ specialize in local delicacies.