Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in South West Ireland

Things to do in  South West Ireland

Welcome to South West Ireland

The Blarney Stone, Ring of Kerry, and Jameson Distillery are the main draws for travelers visiting this oft-overlooked part of Ireland. But those who stay longer than a day in the rugged southwest discover national parks replete with peaks, lakes, and woodland; towns with famously friendly locals; and clifftops featuring meandering walkways where you’re more likely to cross paths with sheep than people.

Top 10 attractions in South West Ireland

#1
Killarney National Park

Killarney National Park

star-51,648
Killarney National Park, with idyllic lakes and ancient woodlands backed by the serrated MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountains, is an area of stunning natural beauty. The park is also historically significant, with two heritage buildings on-site: Ross Castle, a 15th-century fortress-turned-hotel, and Muckross House, a stately Victorian estate.More
#2
Cobh Heritage Centre (The Queenstown Story)

Cobh Heritage Centre (The Queenstown Story)

star-4.5686
The port town of Cobh, formerly known as Queenstown, was the departure point for millions of Irish emigrants who left the country between 1848 and 1960. Housed in the town’s Victorian train station, the Cobh Heritage Centre chronicles the often-heartbreaking journeys of Irish emigrants during the Great Famine and beyond.More
#3
Gallarus Oratory

Gallarus Oratory

star-564
Gallarus Oratory is Ireland's best preserved early Christian church. The exact year of its construction is not known, but it is believed to be more than a thousand years old. The church is located five miles from Dingle Town on the Dingle Peninsula in southwestern Ireland. It was constructed entirely from dry stone masonry and resembles an overturned boat. This church is one of the highlights of the scenic Slea Head Drive. Along the scenic drive, visitors will also see views of Smerwick Harbor, the Three Sisters and Mount Brandon.Visitors will be able to see a church that has not been restored because it hasn't needed to be. The stones were carefully fitted together without the use of mortar, and aside from a small sag in the roof, the construction has held up for centuries. You can enter the oratory through a 6.5 foot doorway, and there are two stones with holes that once held a door. The nearby visitor center shows a 15 minute audio-visual presentation about the Gallarus Oratory, and there is a gift shop.More
#4
Cromwell's Bridge

Cromwell's Bridge

star-5112
No one knows quite how Cromwell’s Bridge in Kenmare got its name, but it likely wasn’t named after Oliver Cromwell. One popular theory about the stone bridge is that it was named ‘croimeal,’ the Gaelic word for ‘mustache,’ but when English-speakers overheard locals talking about the bridge, they assumed they were saying ‘Cromwell.”However it got its name, Cromwell’s Bridge is one of several beautiful and ancient sites along the scenic Ring of Kerry. It’s located just outside the village of Kenmare near the Stone Circle, making it a convenient stop for visitors passing through the area.More
#5
Ross Castle

Ross Castle

star-5426
A vision on the shores of Lough Leane, the 15th-century Ross Castle was built as a medieval fortress for an Irish chieftain named O’Donoghue, and was said to be one of the last strongholds to fall to the brutal English Cromwellian forces in the mid-16th century. The ruin has been restored, and features lovely 16th- and 17th-century furniture.More
#6
Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel

star-51,700
The fifth-century home of the kings of Munster, the Rock of Cashel—or St. Patrick’s Rock, as it’s also known—is now home to a collection of religious monuments, including a roofless medieval cathedral and a 12th-century chapel. Set atop an elevated knoll, the site commands excellent views over the green, grassy Irish countryside.More
#7
Stone Circle

Stone Circle

star-5114
On a grassy paddock just outside of the village of Kenmare sit 15 stone boulders — 13 standing upright and another two prostrate. These large stones arranged in an egg shape comprise one of the largest stone circles in Southwest Ireland, dating back to the Bronze Age. In the middle of the stone circle sits a dolmen with a capstone, often used to mark the burial place of a significant figure in the Munster region. Experts believe the capstone to weigh nearly seven tons, which would have required 30-odd men to drag into position.The stone circle in Kenmare is one of over 180 in Ireland and of 20 in County Kerry. It’s the only one in the region to exhibit an egg shape.More
#8
Treaty Stone

Treaty Stone

star-510
On October 3, 1691, William III of Hanover of England and King James II (William’s father-in-law) signed a peace treaty to end the Siege of Limerick and the Williamite-Jacobite War, securing religious freedom for Catholics. According to local legend, the treaty was signed on a block of limestone on the bank of the River Shannon near the Thomond Bridge. While the treaty was ultimately rejected by both English and Irish Parliaments (giving Limerick the nickname City of the Broken Treaty), the stone remains.In 1865, the Mayor John Rickard Tinslay of Limerick commissioned a pedestal for the Treaty Stone just across the river from King John’s Castle, and it has sat there ever since. Carved into the pedestal is an image of the castle, topped with a dome and cross, to indicate that Limerick was a cathedral city.More
#9
Slea Head

Slea Head

star-4.5146
Slea Head is a headland on the western end of the Dingle Peninsula in southwestern Ireland. It is also considered to be the most western point in Europe. Slea Head is a scenic view point offering visitors a look at the Blasket Islands and South Kerry. It is a rocky region that was part of a volcanic area. The Slea Head Drive is a scenic drive that forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Aside from the scenery, visitors will also see some of the region's rare and unique plants and wildlife.The drive passes through the village of Ventry which is on the coast and has a good beach for swimming and water sports. Then the drive winds through cliffs and offers views of the Atlantic Ocean as it nears Slea Head. Scenes from Ryan's Daughter and Far and Away were filmed near here. The Slea Head Drive continues through wild landscapes and several villages. One of the highlights is the Gallarus Oratory, the best preserved early Christian church in Ireland. The drive also passes through fishing villages and mountainous regions, including Mount Brandon, the second highest mountain in Ireland.More
#10
Bishop's Palace

Bishop's Palace

star-524
The Bishop’s Palace is one of the three museums known as the Waterford Treasures located in the Viking Triangle in Waterford, Ireland. It was designed in 1741 by architect Richard Castles, one of Ireland’s greatest architects. The front of the palace overlooks the town wall, which forms part of the palace’s terraced garden. The ground floor and first floors of the palace are furnished as an elegant 18th century townhouse and feature period furniture, beautiful fireplaces and rare paintings.The museum tells the history of Waterford from 1700 to the mid-20th century, with an entire floor dedicated to stories about Waterford’s Home Rule story, World War I in Waterford and the War of Independence in Waterford. It also displays unique pieces such as the Penrose Decanter, the oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal, dating to 1789, and the only surviving Bonaparte “mourning cross,” one of just 12 crosses produced upon Napoleon’s death in 1821.More

Top activities in South West Ireland

Ring of Kerry Private Tour from Killarney

Ring of Kerry Private Tour from Killarney

star-5
27
From
$448.50
per group
Cliffs of Moher Private Tour from Cork

Cliffs of Moher Private Tour from Cork

star-5
7
From
$598.63
per group
 Private Tour of Ring of Kerry

Private Tour of Ring of Kerry

star-5
3
From
$393.84
per group
Dingle Peninsula Four Hour Private Tour

Dingle Peninsula Four Hour Private Tour

star-5
66
From
$348.16
per group
Ring of Kerry Private Tour from Cork

Ring of Kerry Private Tour from Cork

star-5
16
From
$590.75
per group
Private Dingle Peninsula Full-Day Tour

Private Dingle Peninsula Full-Day Tour

star-5
20
From
$669.53
per group
Killarney Valley & National Park Tour

Killarney Valley & National Park Tour

star-5
3
From
$278.93
per group

Questions & Answers

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in South West Ireland?
Q:
What are the top activities in South West Ireland?
Q:
What are the top things to do near South West Ireland?