Choosing the best places to stay in County Kerry is all about knowing what's pulling you most strongly towards this beautiful part of the world.
County Kerry's Ring of Kerry is a magical place of fog shrouded mountains hiding old Celtic ruins and glacial lakes, which quickly dips to a coastline of wonderful wind-bashed cliffs. Painters flock here to attempt the ever-changing wonder of the light, folk singers wax lyrical and loud and tourists descend looking for ye olde Ireland.
As well as the Ring of Kerry, County Kerry is also home to some other names you might recognise; the Macgillycuddy Reeks, which is where you can find nine out of ten of Ireland's highest peaks and the Dingle Peninsula, a golden sand promontory which is Europe's most westerly point.
While you'll see plenty of tour buses and day trippers here, the way to see Kerry is at your leisure. Allowing time to stop when something catches your fancy - potentially when you see a shaft of light shining upon it from above, a meaningful gap in the clouds.
There are numerous stone ring ruins, Iron Age forts and small hamlets to catch your eye, as well as too many scenic lookouts to bother marking on a map.
County Kerry is also rich in foodie friendly pubs. The fish here is fresh off the Atlantic, like the winds, and Kerry lamb has an international reputation. Many pubs will also do a good evening's musical entertainment if you arrive on the right night.
You might want to make your way to the end of Europe, where you can look out across at the Skellig's, 200metre spires of rock which sit just off the coast. Unlikely as it may sound, Skellig Michael was once home to a community of monks, who lived here between the 6th and 13th Centuries, presumably eating a lot of seagulls in their creatively constructed cells.
You might also want to visit Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey in the Killarney National Park and Ballycarbery Castle and ring fort by beautiful White Strand Beach.
Friendly guesthouse ten minutes from Roughty River. Interiors are traditional with pine furniture and carpeted floors. Library to enjoy complimentary tea and coffee before setting off to explore the area. Excellent value.
Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, County Kerry
Super stylish restaurant with rooms on the Ring of Kerry. Four spacious bedrooms with king sized beds, wooden floors, roll top baths & Bose docking stations. Restaurant specialises in fresh fish caught from their own boat. Chic spot that won't break the bank on Ireland's West Coast.
Dingle, County Kerry
A charming stonebuilt 200 year old farmhouse turned B&B in the Dingle Peninsula. Four individually decorated bedrooms with plenty of pine & patchwork. Huge breakfasts with home-made breads and preserves. Four course dinners on request. A great spot for walking enthusiasts & nature lovers.
Dingle, County Kerry
Overlooking magical Dingle Bay, Castlewood House is a very comfortable bed and breakfast. The award winning gourmet breakfast is what Castlewood is all about, with a dazzling array of delectable dishes, homemade bread, jams, pancakes, porridge with Cooley Whisky, Dingle kippers and the full Irish.
A beautiful old country house in a stunning location on the edge of the River Kenmare and surrounded by mountains. Traditional interiors have cosy fireplaces, a library, lots of books, art on the walls, and charming bedrooms. The perfect spot for a weekend in the fresh air.
Ballydavid, County Kerry
Purpose built restaurant with rooms with stunning vista over both the Atlantic and Mount Brandon. Spacious, stylish, contemporary bedrooms make the most of the views. Highly recommended restaurant serving regional specialities from locally sourced ingredients. Ideal for walkers and outdoorsy types.
Charming B&B in Georgian house. Rooms are themed on wildflowers and feature artworks, plush fabrics and Victorian antiques. Elegant lounge with open fireplace, neat gardens. Very friendly service. Ideal for a weekend break.
Killarney, Co Kerry, County Kerry
Exceedingly grand and luxurious country house hotel on the edge of a national park with a most special atmosphere and ambience for business, weddings, and fine dining.
Killorglin, Co Kerry, County Kerry
Lakeside Victorian residence turned country house hotel. Traditional period style interiors with rich fabrics, four poster beds and views to die for across Lake Caragh and the Kerry mountains. Highly recommended restaurant serving trout & salmon from the lake & Kerry lamb.
Splendid hotel in the Ring of Kerry. Sumptuous rooms have modern art, dark velvet furnishings and chandeliers. Charming fireplace lounges and excellent restaurant offering locally sourced and organic dishes; unmissable breakfasts. Very friendly staff.
Kenmare, County Kerry
Situated amid stunning Kerry countryside with views over the Sheen Falls from almost every room. Family friendly five star luxury country retreat with activities for everyone. Borrow a bike, go fishing with the ghillie or simply relax in the spa then indulge in gourmet Irish cuisine.
Caragh Lake, County Kerry
Country house hotel in a stunning location on the shores of Lake Caragh. 18 bedrooms are split between the original house and the garden house, some with private terrace. Spectacular 32 acres of gardens with rare species. Ideal for a relaxing rural escape in stunning Co Kerry.