With more vaccines arriving and covid cases going down (by the numbers they’re plateauing, but an increased number of tests and tracking of asymptomatic spread means that the positivity rate continues to drop encouragingly), we are once more starting to feel more optimistic about summer here in Ireland.
Next week, the 5km travel limit will finally be lifted and we will be allowed to travel around our own county. Luckily for me, I live Kerry, in one of the best counties in Ireland when it comes to beautiful nature and outdoor activities. Although there are many favourite spots in Kerry I’m looking forward to visiting again once the restrictions (and the weather) allow—Carrauntoohil, the Dingle peninsula, and the Old Kenmare road, to name a few—there are so many amazing places in Kerry I have yet to see that I’m really excited to explore. Here are a few of them:
Mount Brandon from the east
I hiked Mount Brandon a few months ago from the Dingle side, but there’s another, more difficult route if you come at it from the west. Now that the days are getting longer again, it seems like the perfect opportunity to tackle this more strenuous hike.
The Dark Sky Reserve
Part of south Kerry is officially designated a dark sky reserve, which means on a clear night (yes, we do have those in Ireland!) it’s meant to be an amazing place for stargazing. The Kerry Dark Sky Reserve is supposed to be one of the best in the northern hemisphere, and I’d really like a nighttime jaunt to look up at the constellations.
The Kerry Way
The Kerry Way is a a 214 km trail that loosely follows the Ring of Kerry to loop around the Iveragh peninsula. I’ve done parts of the trail before as day hikes, such as the Old Kenmare Road, but I’m definitely keen to spend a week or so walking the whole circle.
Both a historic monastery site and a filming location for the latest Star Wars trilogy, it’s no wonder Skellig Michael is a popular tourist spot. While the ferries didn’t run much last year due to Covid, hopefully they will have a chance to get out this summer?
Dun Chaoin Pier and the Blasket Islands
Dun Chaoin or Dunquin pier is one of the most photographed spots in Ireland—you’ve likely seen an image of the steep and winding steps that lead down to the water. I’ve only seen it from afar, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit and also take a ferry out to the Blasket Islands, just offshore.
Obviously many of these attractions will still rely on further restrictions being lifted so that ferries are allowed to operate and such, and it’ll be more fun in some instances when pubs and b&bs reopen so I can spend the day exploring and the night relaxing, but I’m looking forward to daydreaming about the places I’ll go around my county when we can travel once more.