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County Kerry is located in the southwestern part of the country of Ireland. Situated west of counties Limerick and Cork, Kerry is part of the province of Munster. The county has a population of 155,258, according to the 2022 census.[1] Some of the most notable areas of interest in the county include the Kerry Head Peninsula, the Dingle Peninsula, and the Great Blasket Island. Also known as County Ciarraí in Irish, the name was derived from Ciar, the son of Fergus, the king of Ulster, in the 1120s.[4] The warmest months of the year are generally June and July, with temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius. The wettest month of the year tends to be January, with an average of 15 days of the month having rainfall. It is recommended to visit County Kerry in July due to the moderate weather conditions, as about 6.7 hours of sunlight each day is typical in the area.[2] The motto of Country Kerry is "comhar, cabhair, cairoeas," meaning "cooperation, help, and friendship." Valentina Island, located in the geographic region, was the site from which the first transatlantic telegram was sent in 1866 to Newfoundland in America.[7]

What Kerry is known for

The southwest corner of Ireland is home to County Kerry, also known as Ciaraí, in Irish. The county sits on the coast of Ireland, between the Atlantic Ocean and the counties of Cork and Limerick. The population of the county is reported to be approximately 155,258.[1] Many of the attractions that can be found within the area pertain to the history of the land, visiting beaches, and hiking in the mountains. County Kerry is home to the tallest mountain in Ireland, Carrantuohill, which is approximately 3,414 feet tall.[4]

The name Ciaraí means “people of the Ciar,” which was the name of a tribe that inhabited the region during pre-Gaelic times. Ciar was the founder of the tribe and was the son of Fergus mac Roich, who was the king of Ulster.[1] The nickname of the county is “The Kingdom.” Since 1 AD, the area has had this nickname due to the Ciar conquering more territory between the Shannon estuary and the Maine river. The name of the county was later changed to Kerry, although the nickname remained.[5]

Located in the destination are various attractions that tourists can visit. One of the foremost attractions is Killarney National Park. The park spans over 10,236 hectares, with multiple sites of potential interest being present on the land. Ross Castle and Muckross House are two of these sites within the park, as well as Lough Leane. In another part of County Kerry is Kells Bay House and Gardens, which is a hunting lodge established in 1837. The grounds feature a beach, waterfalls, and six different types of gardens. There is a palm garden, a fern forest, and other gardens dedicated to different types of plant life at the establishment. On the Skellig Islands is Skellig Michael, also known as Michael’s Rock and Mont St. Michael. It is the largest of the Skellig Islands and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[3]


County Kerry has a variety of geographical features that can be visited by tourists. These include Craig Cave, which is said to be over 1,000 years old; Coomanispig Pass, nearby Kerry Cliffs; Torc Mountain, which, when hiked, has views of Killarney, national parks, and Muckross House; and the Skellig Ring, islands off the coast which can be viewed from the mainland.[3] The county is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and counties Limerick and Cork to the north and east. Due to the area being located on the coast, there is an array of landscapes and natural features in the county, such as beaches, islands, peninsulas, mountains, and fields.

With the location of County Kerry being oceanside, a range of flora and fauna are present in the area. The Eurasian oystercatcher, Atlantic puffin, and the northern gannet are some of the birds that can be seen in the region. Black giuellmont, great cormorant, and European starlings are also found in different areas across the county. Local flowers include primrose, bog pimpernel, germander speedwell, and rock sea-spurry. Eurasian otters, montagu’s crabs, and bottle-nosed dolphins have also been found within the borders of the region.[6]

One geographic feature of the area is Killarney National Park. The park features three distinct lakes, Lough Leane, Muckross Lake, and Upper Lake. There are also oak trees and yew woodland, which encompass land around the lakes. Purple Mountain and Knockrower can be seen from the park, as well as Ross Castle and Muckross House. In 1982, the land was designated a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, and the park was established originally in 1932 after Arther Born Vincent donated the acreage that Muckross House sits on.[8]

The highest mountain in Ireland is found in County Kerry, Carrauntoohil. Hiking to the top of the mountain can allow hikers to see sights of the Atlantic Ocean and the other mountains in the MacGillycuddy Reeks. Approximately 1,039 meters high, the hike is considered to be challenging across a 12-kilometer trail called “Devil’s Ladder.” The original name of the mountain was Corrán Tuathail, meaning Tuathail’s sickle. For less experienced hikers looking to climb the mountain, there are various groups and guided hiking tours that can be taken.[9]

The climate of the region tends to be cool, with humidity between 78% and 90% on average. Rainfall is present in each season generally, with the summer months seeing the least amount of rain and January seeing the most. The average temperature of the county is 8.6 degrees Celcius, with an average rainfall of 956 mm yearly.[2] Many of the attractions in the area consist of viewing historical sites, visiting beaches, and engaging in outdoor activities. As such, most tourists visit during the summer months, considering the fact that there is the least amount of rain and the highest temperatures, generally speaking.[3]


The first people known to inhabit the lands of County Kerry were the Ciaraí people. This name comes from Ciar, who was the son of Fergus, King of Ulster, and Queen Mebd. In 1127, the land was divided into the kingdoms of O’Brien, also known as North Munster, and MacCarthy, or South Munster. In 1586, after different disputes and uprisings in nearby provinces, the county became a plantation of Munster. Different rulers such as the Cromwells and Willimate rose to power at various points in history, further altering the county.[4]

Today, agriculture accounts for a large portion of the industry and economic activity in County Kerry. The main crops in the area are oats and potatoes, with cattle and sheep being other resources frequently used. A large portion of the non-farming areas of the county depends on tourism and those that visit the area. Coastal areas of the destination also rely on fishing for part of their income. Some engineering and crane manufacturing is also done in the region. [4]