A jaunting car ride and boat tour through Killarney National Park - a gorgeous, calm but entertaining day perfect for touring with all age groups on Ireland's west coast!
Our second day in Ireland, we headed out to Killarney National Park for a nice jaunting car ride and boat trip around Loch Lein as a nice way to fight the jetlag (which is not super fun with kids), and get out and see the gorgeous park were staying near.
Killarney National Park is gorgeous- winding through Ireland's highest mountains, along the picturesque loch, and through beautiful marshlands. It's a perfect afternoon, rain or shine (we had a bit of both!)
As we walked into the park (we parked at the Ross Castle parking lot), we were greeted with a beautifully bucolic scene of colorful rowboats lined up in front of a pretty, ivy covered bridge.
As we rode through the park, we saw tons of tiny deer (which we were told are the small Japanese import, not majestic red deer you see in Ireland's mountains which are much more skittish around visitors).
We walked on to find our jaunting car driver, and his beautiful (and quite comedic) horse, Tommy.
We laughed so hard with our driver - who regaled us with the history of the park and Killarney, as well as lots of funny stories and jokes.
After our jaunting ride, we explored Ross Castle and went on a quick boat ride around Loch Lein. The tour guide showed us past the monastery ruins of Innisfallin, around the gorgeous shoreline, and past some notable islands.
It was a beautiful, relaxing ride!
We particularly loved the tiny "honeymoon island" - which our boat tour driver regaled with stories of local lore that the isle was only big enough for honeymooners - no room for a mother in law!
If you find yourself in Killarney, a nice, long jaunting ride through the park is a must-try- especially with kids. If you're looking for something more active, there are bike rentals, tons of walking paths, or even rowboats for hire.
And of course, if you're looking for somewhere great to stay with all the comforts of home (including a fully stocked kitchen!!!), I suggest Killarney's Holiday Village.