What to see in Ireland

Killarney National Park

Tourist attractions Killarney National Park

Located in County Kerry, Killarney National Park is 26,000 acres of pure nature, filled with lush woodlands of oak and yew trees, stunning views and glistening lakes. It was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981. A popular walking and hiking destination with wonderful wildlife, Killarney National Park is a natural haven and the perfect place to enjoy the landscapes that Ireland is famed for. The park is a fantastic example of unspoilt woodland and a diverse ecosystem. It is home to the last remaining indigenous herd of red deer in Ireland, who have roamed the land here since Neolithic times. Today the herd is approximately 800 strong and is an important attraction within the park.

You are also likely to see Japanese sika deer, who were introduced to the park as part of a conservation effort in the 19th century. Bats, mink, otters and the iconic Irish hare also participate in the rich ecosystem of Killarney. Kingfishers, robins and geese are just some of the flourishing birdlife present in the park and the lakes are home to Atlantic salmon and Arctic char, two of the most notable freshwater fish found here.Perhaps the most pleasant sight in Killarney National Park can be obtained from ‘Ladies View’, a viewpoint that looks over the park’s three major lakes and the best place to enjoy an unspoilt view. Lough Leane is the largest and visitors can enjoy boat rides on its waters in the warmer months. Muckross Lake and Upper Lake are equally scenic attractions, each with its own unique wildlife and ecosystem. The lakes are surrounded by the Macgillycuddy's Reeks mountain range, which includes the unusual Purple Mountain, whose colour is a result of a rare limestone composition.Other than the Visitor & Education centre, a fascinating introduction to the park, visitors can explore Muckross House and Gardens, a well-preserved Victorian mansion with immaculately landscaped grounds.

Other attractions include a number of archeological sites, some dating from the early Christian period such as the Inisfallen Abbey, and the Franciscan Monastery, Muckross Abbey, which has stood on the same spot since 1448.

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