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Fall In Love With Fall: 5 Reasons Why Killarney National Park Is Best Visited In Autumn

The Emerald Isle looks wonderful in gold, amber, and red too! 

Are you travelling to Ireland between September to November? Consider yourself lucky: you’ll witness the country’s breathtaking autumnal hues. Autumn is a stunning period that lies between the tourist-packed summer and the sleepy winter. As you prepare for the long, dark evenings and bitterly cold mornings of winter, you have three months to just marvel at the spectacular fall season. 

And if your idea of a perfect autumn break includes amber, gold, and red landscapes, scenic trails surrounded by woodlands, tranquil lakes and waterfalls at the foot of rugged mountains and lakes, charming heritage sites, and the presence of wildlife, there’s one Irish destination you put on top of your list: Killarney National Park, Ireland’s oldest national park. 

In this article, we’ll give you 5 reasons why autumn is the best time to visit Killarney National Park. 

1. Killarney National Park is more peaceful during autumn

autumn in killarney

Killarney National Park is breathtaking all year long, but locals believe that timing your visit during the autumn months is the best way to make the most out of your trip. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve isn’t a hidden gem; it’s a top-rated tourist destination that gets extremely crowded in the peak season. 

That said, you can view Killarney National Park in its most peaceful yet picturesque state during the autumn months when the flock of tourists from summer has already fled. Aside from fewer tourists, you may also get more affordable rates when you book Killarney hotels and tours. 

2. Autumn hues? Killarney National Park is beautiful from all angles

Killarney National Park, and all of County Kerry, is a spectacular destination during autumn. The park has over 26,000 acres to explore, and that includes native woodlands, dramatic mountains, waterfalls, secluded trails, exotic lakes, and other must-see sceneries. The question is: what kind of autumn scenery are you looking for? 

Are you looking for fiery solemn forests, explored on a horse-drawn cart? Stunning historic houses and castles on well-manicured estates? Quiet lakes and crashing waterfalls? The good news is Killarney National Park can provide what you’re searching for. 

Here’s a list of the best ways to see Killarney National Park’s beauty in autumn

  • View the golden landscape from Ladies View, a scenic lookout point
  • Explore the park from different walking trails
  • Hike to the Torc Waterfall 
  • Have a boat trip to Innisfallen Island and around the Lakes of Killarney.
  • Hire a jaunting car 
  • Explore the park on a bicycle
  • Have a picnic
  • Spot the birds and other wildlife

To make the most out of your trip, book a hotel in Killarney that’s situated in the middle of the action. 

3. Heritage sites look romantic against warm autumnal tones

The expansive park is more than just a place to admire nature and autumnal hues — you can also visit heritage sites. 

  • Muckross House and Gardens – A historic 19th-century Victorian mansion, located on the small Muckross Peninsula between Muckross Lake and Lough Leane, two of the lakes of Killarney. The well-preserved interiors give a glimpse of how life was in Victorian times.
  • Muckross Abbey Ruins – An abbey founded in 1448 as a Franciscan friary. Though it’s considered a “ruin”, there are interesting intact structures including stairs up to the second floor, dramatic courtyards, and a graveyard. 
  • Ross Castle – A 15th-century tower house and keep, standing on the edge of Lough Leane in Killarney National Park. It used to be the ancestral home of the Chiefs of the Clan O’Donoghue. 

Of course, these heritage sites look extra dreamy when surrounded by amber fields and golden trees of fall. For the ultimate autumn experience, we suggest hiring a horse-drawn car (jaunting car), 

4. Witness the red deers’ rutting season

If you visit Killarney during the autumn, you’ll also witness the wildlife’s rutting season, which is one of nature’s finest spectacles. You’ll see and hear a couple of testosterone-charged male deers (stags) trying to impress the female deers (does). These include stags rubbing their antlers on trees and shrubs, fighting with each other, rolling in mud or dust, self anointing, and doing their mating calls with deep, throaty roars. 

There are several areas where you can spot the red deer population including the Knockreer and Muckross in Killarney National Park. 

5. There’s plenty of outdoor activities available

Once the winter season takes over, the outdoor activities you usually enjoy become limited. The great outdoors will be uncomfortably icy-cold and dark, that you’d rather sip hot cocoa at home than walk around. Before the tree branches become bare and the surroundings are covered in snow, we recommend visiting Killarney National Park. 

There’s plenty of activities to enjoy this autumn. You can walk around the trails and feast your eyes on the spectacular views at your own time and pace:

  • Lower Lake, Knockreer to Ross Island
  • Muckross and Dinis
  • Old Kenmare Road
  • Ross Island
  • Torc
  • Upper Lake and Killegy Woods

If you don’t feel like walking, you can explore the park by bike. You can also hire jaunting cars and get around with the help of your four-legged equine friend. Want to get out on the water? Killarney National Park is home to gorgeous lakes and there are several boat tours available. 

Last few words…

Check the weather and walking route prior to your trip. Avoid high peaks and be honest with your skill level. Don’t do strenuous or very difficult routes alone.

For a joyful trip in the wilderness, we recommend dressing to suit the changing weather conditions. Wear layers of clothing that can be peeled off, as well as a hat, a pair of gloves, and a pair of comfortable shoes for hiking. Wear and carry waterproofs too.  

Last but not least, take your time and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Don’t rush! 

Ready to visit Killarney National Park this autumn? Let us know in the comments below. 

Author Bio:  Carmina Natividad is a travel and lifestyle writer. Aside from taking vibrant street photos, you can find her writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit Cahernane House Hotel Killarney

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