High 5! Surprising things to do in Killarney this Autumn
Looking for a weekend trip with a difference this Autumn? Take a step off the regular tourist trail and enjoy some unique experiences favoured by locals in Killarney. The vibrant town is known for its bustling atmosphere and its location right beside the 26,000-acre UNESCO Killarney National Park, and Autumn is the perfect time to experience some of its hidden gems.
1. Sunrise Dip at Dundag
Start your day with a sunrise dip at Dundag at Muckross Lake with a panoramic window of the surrounding mountains. The lakeshore, which is a little local secret spot, is nestled in the woods near Muckross House & Gardens, and is often missed by visitors. As you emerge from the tree-lined path to the lakeshore you’ll see that the stunning views and serene surroundings make it the perfect spot for a calming early morning dip.
2. Experience Wild Deer Rutting
Killarney is one of the best places in Europe to see the deer rutting – the annual breeding season for wild deer which takes place in October. It is one of the highlights of the wildlife calendar as stags roar out to their competitors and battle like gladiators for the right to breed with females. UNESCO Killarney National Park, is home to Ireland’s only remaining wild herd of native deer, and it’s the perfect place to experience this amazing natural spectacle. Local Park Rangers offer tours to get you right up close to the action.
3. Explore the ruins of a 7th century monastery
Jump on a boat and explore the ruins of the 7th century monastery on Innisfallen Island where it’s said that King Brian Boru studied. You’ll find the ruins of a 12th century Augustinian Priory and get to explore the woods and secluded beaches of the island, which is inhabited only by deer! Innisfallen Abbey was occupied for more than 900 years and it’s where the Annals of Innisfallen which are now housed in Oxford were written. This history of Innisfallen island dates to the same time as the monastery on Skellig Michael!
4. Take a photography tour of the National Park
Autumn is the best time to see the National Park as the changing colours of the trees and the beautiful autumnal sunsets bring out the striking colours and textures in nature. Learn to capture these stunning moments with a half or full day photography tour of the National Park with international award winning photographer Micheál O’Sullivan from Killarney Photo Tours. Let Ireland’s oldest national park become your classroom as you hone your nature photography skills.
5. Get brewing at Ireland’s largest independently owned brewery
Discover the true essence of brewing firsthand at Killarney Brewing & Distilling Co. – Ireland’s largest independently owned brewery which opened in 2022. During the immersive brewery tour you’ll be guided by an expert through each step, from selecting hops and barley to crafting the final masterpiece in a glass. You’ll get to witness their passionate brewers in action, and finish off with a tasting of the freshest, most flavourful beer straight from the brewery. All while being mesmerised by the breathtaking views of awe-inspiring MacGillycuddy Reeks mountains!
And there is more! You can learn to fly at falcon at Kerry Falconry, enjoy OctoberFest at Killarney Races, pick up a pumpkin at Killarney Pumpkin Farm, catch a world-class music or comedy gig at the INEC, or check out a new prohibition inspired underground bar Pigs Lane.
One of the best things about Killarney is the great range of accommodation options for all budgets and tastes from eco-hostels and glamping to four- and five-star hotels and resorts. And Autumn is also a great time of year to pick up a special offer.