Day trip to Killarney National Park

Hi, I’m Maëlle, a French student and during my internship I’m having a lot of opportunities to explore Ireland. Last weekend with some friends we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather and to go and spend a day in Killarney, and more precisely in the National Park.

Too bad for us, the weather wasn’t that good, and as you can see on the photo the sky was quite cloudy. But don’t worry, it was still an amazing day! At least there was no rain…
 

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We took the bus at the Cork Bus station on Parnell place at 10:30 and we arrived in Killarney Bus station at 12:05, with an Expressway run by Bus Eireann. Our tip is to directly buy the return ticket instead of buying only the one way ticket for each journey, it will be less expensive. With a student discount we paid €25 for a return ticket. You can have a look at the timetable of the buses here.

When you get off the bus in Killarney, you are in front of a big outlet centre. The city centre is 10 minutes from there if you are walking. The National Park is a bit farther though.
 

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To go there and visit the park, you have three choices:

  • You can simply walk to the Park, wander around and enjoy the wild landscapes, but it is really big (actually the size of the park is 41 square miles or 106 square kilometers) and there are a lot of things to see, so maybe it’s not the best solution if you are not staying there for a long time.
  • You can also go on a one-hour tour in a horse-drawn jaunting car: it is usually €10 per person. You will get to see Ross Castle and a few landscapes, but once again you will not have the opportunity to get to see the most of the park.
  • Or you can rent a bike: in my opinion it is the best option, and that’s exactly what we did. Just next to the outlet centre where the bus from Cork will leave you, you cross the road and you will find a place to rent bikes, with very friendly owners. It is also a Bed and Breakfast. We paid €15 per bike for the whole day; as a deposit you will have to leave your ID or driving licence.

They will give you directions to go to the park and a map (but if you are just like us and not really good at orientation, Google Maps & GPS will be your best friends!). They also can provide helmets and locks.

If you go there for only a day, check before leaving the places you really want to visit, because you probably won’t have enough time to visit everything.

We started by taking a look at Ross Castle:
 

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It is a 15th century castle and inside you can find a collection of 16th & 17th century oak furniture, but if you want to visit it, you will have to pay €2 (with your student ID). It is open between the 5th of March and the 28th of October.

Our main goal for this trip was to see the Torc Waterfall, so that’s where we headed. It is about 7km from Killarney, and we had to ride the bike on the road, not inside the Park, that was one of the most difficult thing for us as we are not used to “driving” on the left… In total, we rode the bikes for almost 30km in half a day and we were very proud of ourselves.
 
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The Torc Waterfall is 18m high. Apparently it is even more impressive after a heavy rain, but still very beautiful during a “dry” day. You can’t have it all anyway! We spent a few minutes there, enjoying the wonderful view and the soothing noise of the water…

If you want to rent a bike but you are not really used to cycling, you’ll have to be brave, because there are quite a lot of ups and downs, so the next morning your body may hurt a little bit. But the park is so amazing and so beautiful, you will not regret it!

Do you want to explore Ireland and admire breathtaking landscapes such as Killarney National Park? Then check out Partnership International’s internships, Au Pair and languages courses programmes in Ireland and start your adventure today!

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