Tour Of Killarney
The Highlights of Killarney; For those who prefer a little more walking as part of the days touring!!!
Sightseeing tour of the Killarney Area taking in Aghadoe and Muckross Abbey; Muckross House and Gardens; Beautiful views of the Lakes of Killarney; Ross Castle; Torc Waterfall, Ladies View and return to Killarney.
From the comfort of our air conditioned mercedes, you’ll see points of interest including the ruins of Aghadoe Abbey, Ross Castle, Muckross House and Gardens, Torc Waterfall and spectacular views of the famed lakes of Killarney combined with Guided Walks in Killarney National Park
If you’re pressed for time but want to see all the major sights, then this is an ideal tour for you. Advanced booking is highly recommended during the summer months (June – August).
Duration: 4 hours – Tour priced from 250 euro for up to six persons
“Two roads diverged in a wood and sorry I could not travel both
– I took the one less travelled and that’s what made all the difference”
Killarney Highlights We begin with collection from your Hotel / Accommodation. Onwards to Aghadoe with the remains of a Round Tower and ancient Abbey. Spectacular views over the Lower Lakes of Killarney.
Aghadoe Round Tower
Located at the top of a hill overlooking Killarney, Aghadoe round tower must have been visible for many kilometres. Sadly, only the lower portion remains. The ground level on the south, east and west sides has been raised up, giving the tower its stumpy appearance. The 12th century sandstone tower is dressed to the curve but is believed to have been rebuilt in the 19th Century using some smaller stones along with the original larger pinkish sandstone blocks. The tallest portion stands at 5.5m but the majority of the remains reach only 3.4m above ground level. There are no surviving windows or a doorway, suggesting that either the door sill was above the surviving stonework or it was omitted in reconstruction. The base dimensions of 4.6m suggest that the tower was once approximately 30m tall.
From there to Muckross Abbey for a pleasurable stroll within the ruins and ancient cemetary.
Founded in 1448 by Dónal MacCarthy, Muckross Abbey was built as a Franciscan Friary to cater for the Observantine Franciscans. The Abbey was subject to a harsh past as the friars saw it vandalised and reconstructed many times. The final battle was at the hands of Oliver Cromwell in 1654 that persecuted the remaining friars under Lord Ludlow. It was subsequently burned down and today the ruins remain largely roofless but very well preserved. These well-preserved ruins were the burial place of local Chieftains and, in the 17th and 18th centuries, of the Kerry Poets, Aodhgan O Raithaile, Eoghan Rua O Sullivan, Piaras Feiriteir and Seafraidh O’ Donoghue.
Now onto Ross Castle for an (optional) Guided Tour of the Castle or short walk along Ross Island.
Human presence in the Killarney area dates back at least to the early Bronze Age, over 4,000 years ago, when copper was first mined at Ross Island. In early Christian times, monastic settlements provide the main evidence of the occupation of the area. The most important of these was the monastery on Innisfallen founded by St. Finian the Leper. The “Annals of Inisfallen”, written there in the 11th-13th centuries, are a major source of information on the early history of Ireland .
Following the Norman invasion of Ireland the lands around the Lakes were held by McCarthy Mór and O’Donoghues of Ross. Later the lands came into the hands of the Herberts of Muckross and the Earls of Kenmare respectively. In 1911 the Muckross Estate was purchased by Mr. W. B. Bourn as a wedding gift for his daughter, Maud, on her marriage to Arthur Vincent. Muckross Abbey, a Franciscan Friary, was founded in 1448 by Donal McCarthy Mór.
Now onto Muckross House and Gardens for a walk in the grounds and optional guided tour of the House.
This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney’s three lakes, famed world wide for their splendour and beauty. As a focal point within Killarney National Park, Muckross House is the ideal base from which to explore this landscape.
Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colourist Mary Balfour Herbert. This was actually the fourth house that successive generations of the Herbert family had occupied at Muckross over a period of almost two hundred years. William Burn, the well-known Scottish architect, was responsible for its design. Building commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1843.
Originally it was intended that Muckross House should be a larger, more ornate, structure. The plans for a bigger servants’ wing, stable block, orangery and summer-house, are believed to have been altered at Mary’s request. Today the principal rooms are furnished in period style and portray the elegant lifestyle of the nineteenth century landowning class. In the basement, one can imagine the busy bustle of the servants as they went about their daily chores.
During the 1850s, the Herberts undertook extensive garden works in preparation for Queen Victoria’s visit in 1861. Later, the Bourn Vincent family continued this gardening tradition. They purchased the estate from Lord and Lady Ardilaun early in the twentieth century. It was at this time that the Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and the Stream Garden were developed.
The Garden Restaurant at Muckross is an ideal venue for those who wish to enjoy a relaxing meal in the scenic surroundings of Killarney National Park. Set against the spectacular backdrop of Torc and Mangerton Mountains, the Garden Restaurant enjoys magnificent views across the old Victorian Walled Garden area. This modern, 170-seat, self-service, restaurant is the ideal location for those who wish to enjoy a relaxing meal in picturesque surroundings. Visitors can enjoy this magnificent scenery all year round, from our conservatory area, which complements the adjoining, newly restored, Victorian glasshouses.
Onwards to Torc Waterfall and Ladies View through ancient natural woodlands with spectacular views of the upper Lakes of Killarney with optional return to Killarney via Gap of Dunloe or Kenmare or Ballagh Beama (extra).