Renowned by many as the “Jewel in Kerry’s crown” Killarney National Park is a truly spectacular natural beauty spot. Home to famed locations such as Muckross House and Gardens, the Lakes of Killarney, Inisfallen island, Killarney House and Knockreer House, the Killarney National Park covers approximately 10,200 hectares (26,000 acres). Sitting at the foot of the Macgillycuddy Reeks (Ireland's highest mountain range) and sweeping down to the Lakes of Killarney, the park encompasses mountains, lakes, islands and flatlands and stretches right to the outskirts of the town of Killarney.
The National Park is home to the most extensive area of natural oak woodland still remaining in Europe as well as characteristic plants, such as the Arbutus (or Killarney Strawberry Tree). On the mountain slopes roam the only herd of red deer which have been here since the end of the last Ice Age (or the decendants strictly speaking of the original deer herds). The park is free to all who wish to stroll, roam, cycle or meander around the park. You are guaranteed to fill hours or days in the park depending on your temperament.
Killarney National Park was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The following are some the many sites well worth visiting in the park;
- Muckross House & Gardens
- Muckross Abbey
- Torc Waterfall
- Ross Castle
- Inisfallen Island
- The Meeting of the Waters