WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET HERE
Killarney National Park
Known as the 'Town in the Park', Killarney is nestled in an expanse of rugged mountainous country including the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland which rise to a height of over 1000 metres. At the foot of these mountains lie the world famous lakes of Killarney. Here where the mountains sweep down to the lake shores, their lower slopes covered in woodlands, lies the 26,000 acres, Killarney National Park . The distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies gives the area a special scenic beauty.
Of all the hotels in Killarney, none are closer to the National Park than in the International Hotel which skirts the gardens of Killarney House along the town wall. The house has been extensively restored by the state in recent years and is a marvellous addition to the this historic corner of Ireland.
The nucleus of the National Park is the 4,300 hectare Bourn Vincent Memorial Park which was presented to the Irish State in 1932 by Senator Arthur Vincent and his parents-in-law, Mr and Mrs William Bowers Bourn in memory of Senator Vincent’s late wife Maud.
The focal point of the National Park for visitors is Muckross House and Gardens. The house which is presented as a late 19 th century mansion featuring all the necessary furnishings and artefacts of the period is a major visitor attraction is jointly managed by the Park Authorities and the Trustees of Muckross House.
The former Kenmare Desmene within the Town and adjacent to the International Hotel features additional Gardens and Knockreer House which is the education centre of the park.
Killarney National Park contains many features of national and international importance such as the native oakwoods and yew woods together with an abundance of evergreen trees and shrubs and a profusion of bryophytes and lichens which thrive in the mild Killarney climate. The native red deer are unique in Ireland with a presence in the country since the last Ice Age - they may be seen here throught the year in breeding herds and are very much part of the identity of Killarney.
Killarney National Park was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), part of a world network of natural areas which have conservation, research, education and training as major objectives.
Things to Do in Killarney
When you book your stay at the International Hotel Killarney, you’ll never run out of things to do. We are renowned as a golf hotel, but even if you think of golf as a good walk spoiled, you have endless alternatives. Angling, walking, gourmet dining, kayaking, hiking, cycling—Killarney has an outdoor pursuit for everyone.
If you like horseback riding, you’re in the right place. You can enjoy guided horse riding in Killarney National Park whether you are a beginner or an expert. Walkers will be in spolied for choice in Killarney and for more serious hikers, Killarney is the nearest town to the McGillycuddy Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range - make sure you get our list of qualified guides to accompany you if you fancy an attempt at Carrauntoohil as it would be inadvisable to climb without an insured guide.
If you are looking for adventure further afield, Killarney and the International Hotel are the perfect base for some of the most scenic day trips in Ireland, many of which take you along the Wild Atlantic Way - our front desk team can assist you with choices and planning, and we can book you with mid sized groups or with a private driver should you prefer to stay private.
Gap of Dunloe
The Ring of Kerry
The Dingle Peninsula & Blasket Island Boat Trip
Skellig Michael & Valentia Island
Cycling the National Park
Jaunting Car Rides in Killarney Park & Ross Castle
Lake Boat Trip to Inisfallen Island
Torc Mountain Walk & Torc Waterfall
Dinis Cottage & Bricin Bridge
Muckross Abbey, House & Gardens