Ring of Kerry – Clockwise or anti -clockwise?
People have different ideas of how best to drive the Ring of Kerry. As a private chauffeur tour guide, I drive ‘the Ring’ most days and have been doing so since I began guiding in the 80’s. In those days, there was only one way to drive it and that was anti-clockwise. Start in Killarney & go towards Killorglin, Coaches go this way but many guide books in recent years have thought it a good idea to suggest driving in the direction opposite the coaches!
Driving clockwise against coaches……good or bad idea?
I don’t agree with this. Yes, it would mean you don’t end up behind a coach but you miss the best views. This is especially true for the last portion of the route from Moll’s Gap to Killarney. This road descends the mountain with fabulous views onto the lakes of Killarney. Unfortunately, if you decide to follow the advice of many guide books you will be driving up the mountain on the opposite side to the lakes. As the roads are very narrow and winding you will miss all the amazing views. You need to be descending from above to get the best views.
Anti-clockwise for best views and less stress!
I would suggest driving it the same way as the coaches, anti-clockwise. You will get plenty opportunities to get past them because they have routine stops along the way. You will be heading off the beaten path regularly in order to visit places of interest ie, fairy forts or and castles in places unreachable by coach.
The most breathtaking of all the scenery is at the western tip of the peninsula. Here you can visit Valentia Island and the Skellig Ring of Star Wars fame. You won’t meet any coaches as the roads are too narrow.. The coaches go from Cahirciveen directly to Waterville thus missing all the best of the scenery. In high season it can be frustrating to meet lots of oncoming traffic in the narrow bends doing the ring ‘the wrong way round’ as we say. The road between Knightstown and Valentia Slate Quarry comes to mind but at least it’s only for a few kilometres.
If you decide you want to relax you could always come on my ‘ring of kerry private tour’ and let me show you the way! Whatever way you go, stay safe and enjoy!