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With no car should I stay in Kenmare or Killarney?

I'm planning a month long trip to Ireland next May. I don't know how to drive so a car is not an option. One of my stops (coming from Kinsale) was going to be in Kenmare (2 nights). I was figuring on taking a Ring of Kerry tour. But Rick's book says they run in the summer...maybe not in May out of Kenmare. Would it make more sense for me to stay in Killarney even tho it might not be as nice as Kenmare? Does anyone know of Ring of Kerry tours out of Kenmare in May? My next stop would be Dingle. Many thanks for your advice.

Posted by
13 posts

Hello ,we did a private tour from Kenmare over the Beara Peninsula with Kerry Experience Tours from Sneem.
They picked us up from our Hotel in Kenmare We had a great time for day out on the Beara Peninsula.
They also doing the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula.

But I must say not having a car you might have more and cheaper options in Killarney for this.

Posted by
89 posts

Thanks but I'm going solo so I doubt I can afford a private tour. I wrote the the tour company mentioned in Rick's book and they don't offer tours until June. So it sounds like I might be better off staying in Killarney.

Posted by
75 posts

Stay in Killarney...Ring of Kerry bus tours every day Deros or O Connors
Trips to Dingle

Local bus around town and to Muckross house Ross Castle Killarney house

Lake and Jaunting car tour

Cycling or walking

Lots to do Great places to eat, Pubs Music

Posted by
89 posts

thanks, that's very helpful.

Posted by
359 posts

Killarney would be your best option for transport and does have some good restaurants and pubs.....but it is on Rick Steves top ten tourist traps in all of Europe for good reason. There are exceptions and there are okay to nice places there but it is tourist overrun, tacky stereotyped Ireland in the main and obviously designed to seperate tourists from their money. We do not like it at all and avoid it as much as possible. A real Irish experience especially then will be tough to have. But as a base, spending as much time away that you can its workable. It is not by any means a terrible place but there are hundreds of better options.

Posted by
89 posts

Thank you. I booked one night in Killarney thanks to your advice My plan was to see some of the National Park on the first day and take a Ring of Kerry bus tour the next day, and then, upon return, catch an evening bus to Dingle (via Tralee). But this is not working out as the last bus to Dingle leaves 5 minutes after the tour bus returns...too tight. I could take the above mentioned bus tour to Dingle and just stay there but that leaves out the Ring of Kerry altogether. Can't see spending a month in Ireland and not seeing the RoK, no matter how popular 'tis! I know Killarney's a trap but it seems to have some interesting things just outside it, besides being a gateway to the Ring of Kerry for non drivers. Maybe I need 2 nights there?

Posted by
3383 posts

I’d spend the two nights. So what if it is a “tourist trap.” You are looking for a reasonable place to rest up and spend the night before continuing your journey. It sounds like it fits the job description.