Restrictions are lifted, life is beginning again and the craic is slowly returning to our most loved Irish destinations! With overseas travel not advised, many have put Killarney on their bucket list of Irish holidays this summer.

Killarney Town has embraced the new way of life and is rolling out new measures, such as expanding footpaths to ensure safer social distancing, limiting numbers into shops and restaurants and encouraging outdoor exploration.

Here are my top recommendations for the best activities to do to ensure you make the most of your time in Killarney during COVID-19!


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A full cascade no matter the weather, Torc Waterfall is a real treat for those looking for their nature fix while still in close proximity to Killarney.

Located roughly 7km from the heart of the town, Torc Waterfall is is approx. 20m high and is a great base to start an adventure. Continue up the steep steps past the waterfall and follow the winding trail as it meanders up through the forest. 

Across the road from the car park jaunting cars can be hired for a trip to Muckross House within the National Park.


While you’re in the area of Torc Waterfall you might as well tourture yourself with Cardiac Hill! Jokes aside, this is a steep climb that will get the heart pumping and reward climbers at the top with OUTSTANDING views stretching right out over the Lakes of Killarney.

Though only taking about 90 minutes to complete, this near-vertical ascent is actually strenuous enough. Be mindful of this should you consider doing it after a night on the pints!


While Torc Waterfall is a popular site in the park for day-trippers, those who wish to venture a little further into the unknown should try the Old Kenmare Road on for size.

Beginning at Torc Waterfall, this long distance trail brings you past the base of Torc Mountain and out into the wilderness of the Killarney National Park uplands. Forming part of the Kerry Way, this route truly is a magical experience that will take walkers back in time and nature.

The wonderful isolation is in stark contrast to the bustling town of Killarney, making the walk all the more special. Even during the busiest summer months, this is a place of peace and solitude – the PERFECT social distancing activity!


There’s no better way to social distance than to take to the open water! The vast lakes of KIllarney National Park can be explored by boat from a number of different locations in the park.

My personal favourite are the boats from Ross Castle. Take one of the water buses or take a private tour on an old school row boats run by the local gentleman of Killarney. 

Boat trips are also available from the park to the Gap of Dunloe, a fun and alternative way of travelling to this iconic destination, rather than tackling the hairpin narrow roads of the Gap!


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Dotted all over the National Park signs for pony trails; beautiful grassy paths that wander off the main trail and zig-zag to corners not reachable by foot. Enjoy stunning views from horseback of mountains, lakes flora and fauna. 

Killarney Riding Stables offer a variety of tours catering to all experiences. 


Where to even begin with the stunning Killarney National Park?

Sprawling over 10,000 hectares, the pristine landscape is the idyllic setting for an adventure. The park’s trademark is its stunning scenery and resident red deer, one of the oldest indigenous herds in Europe. While tourist hotspots like Muckross House and Ross Castle draw the crowds, there is still plenty of unspoilt terrain to roam.


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Of course you’re not going to be able to explore the entire park, but if you are basing yourself in KIllarney town there are some hotspots you can definitely hit.

Here are some of my favourite walks in the park, all 10,000 steps or more. 

1 – ROSS CASTLE – Enter through the main entrance near the Killarney Cathedral and follow the lake’s edge until you get to Ross Castle.

2. MINING TRAIL – Begin at Ross Castle and follow the path, keeping the water on your right. Follow the Copper Mines loop as it skirts the shoreline. 

3. KILLARNEY GOLF COURSE – Enter through the Killarney Golf Course and fishing Club and follow the trail towards Killarney Town.

4. MUCKROSS ABBEY LOOP – Begin at Muckross House and follow the trails towards Muckross Abbey

5. ROSIE’S BEACH – Blink and you’ll miss this secluded beach tucked away in the park, near Muckross Abbey. A local secret, this beach is pure bliss on a sunny day!


I am blessed to live near this outstanding golf course, so of course I have to give it a mention! While I can’t swing a club to save my life, I often take to the grounds for a stroll at sunset. You will never find many tourists walking through here, just locals with their dogs enjoying the scenery.

These fairways, in my humble opinion, offer some of the best views of the Killarney National Park. The course resides beside the lakes with the verdant mountains sitting as a stunning backdrop for golfers.

 Visitors are welcome to walk around, but you must stay on the paths and not wander onto the greens. In the evenings you will often be treated to sights of deer, who take to the fairways in the evening.


These are just a few of my weekend go-to’s around beautiful Killarney! Times have certainly changed during COVID-19 but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy what’s right on our doorstep!

So grab your sanitiser, don your mask and get yourself to Killarney! 

For more great Kerry staycation inspo, follow my social media and keep an eye on Sun Scribes for regular blog updates!

Keelin Riley
Keelin Riley

Keelin is an Irish travel writer with a degree in journalism and a background in the Irish media. Keelin’s travel writing has been published in various media publications, and when she’s not off gallivanting around the globe, she enjoys keeping Sun Scribes up-to-date for all those fellow budget travellers out there!

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