Experience Killarney, Ireland, Like Kaitlyn Bristowe on 'The Bachelorette'
Full of history, heritage, outdoor wonders, and world-class hospitality, Killarney, Ireland, is a prime destination for couples looking for the perfect blend of romance and adventure.
The town is located on the northeastern shore of the expansive Lough Leane — the largest body of water among the legendary Lakes of Killarney — and is home to a host of iconic tourist attractions, including Killarney National Park, Ross Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Purple Mountain, and Torc Waterfall, among other gems.
Killarney is known not only for its gorgeous landmarks — and an equally stunning landscape — but also for its enthusiastic and welcoming people, eager to make you and your beloved feel like a part of the town’s vibrant community.
Kaitlyn Bristowe traveled to Killarney on Season 11 of “The Bachelorette,” and here’s how you can experience its wonders just like her.
One-on-One Date: Seal It with a Kiss
After exploring a bit of Killarney, hop in a rental car and take a romantic drive along the Irish countryside to Blarney Castle. (It’s only about an hour!) Magic hides in every nook and cranny of the historic building, which was originally built more than 800 years ago.
Extensive gardens surround the castle, with exciting attractions at every turn. You and your sweetheart can check out natural rock formations with whimsical names such as “Druid’s Circle,” “Witch’s Cave,” and the “Wishing Steps.”
Don’t forget to pay a visit to the castle’s most enchanting spot: the fabled Blarney Stone, otherwise known as the Stone of Eloquence. You and your significant other have the option to hang upside-down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone, which is said to give the gift of eloquence, and we suggest you make the most of your adventure and go for it!
Once you and bae are finished at Blarney Castle, get back in your car for another intimate ride — which, again, only takes about an hour — to nearby Kerry, where the Ballyseede Castle Hotel awaits you. The luxurious establishment — set on 30 acres of private gardens and woodlands — features impressive suites fit for royalty, with ornate cornices and marble fireplaces.
After you check in and drop off your bags, book a private dinner for two. Everything — including traditional Irish cuisine — is made to order, so you and your honey can indulge in the meal of your dreams before heading back up to your room for a passionate night alone.
One-on-One Date: Fly Away with Me
Book a helicopter ride to Killarney National Park, an expanse of rugged, mountainous country. As you and your love glide through the air, revel in breathtaking views of MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland, laced throughout the park.
Land on the Cliffs of Moher, which tower over the rugged west Clare coast. Take a walk along the paved pathways, where you can absorb spectacular vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and the Aran Islands. When you’re ready, sit down for a picnic and bask in all the beauty around you.
One-on-One Date: Love Boat
Take a rowboat to Innisfallen Island in Lough Leane, home to the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey, a collection of storied archaeological remains dating from the early Christian period. Increase your serotonin levels by playing a fun game of hide-and-seek among the seventh-century ruins.
Once you’re finished investigating the island, head back to dry land. End your evening at Beaufort Bar in nearby Kerry, where you and your boo can savor delicious cocktails from a menu titled “Interpreted Magic.” Separated into three sections, the drink list is inspired by the “three pillars of magic” — The Pledge, The Turn, and The Prestige — and features imaginative creations that combine unusual techniques and tantalizing flavors.
Sip your beverages as you take in the bar’s glamorous jet-black and burnished gold décor. Against the glow of warm candlelight, look your partner in the eye and talk through the incredible day you had together.
One-on-One Date: One with Nature
Traverse through Killarney National Park, one of the most alluring reserves in Ireland. Rigid mountains loom over glassy lakes, while native red deer roam through pristine woodland. Escape into nature for the day by hiking any of the park’s awe-inspiring trails. From lake loops to forest walks, there are so many ways for you and your sweetheart to appreciate the area’s diverse topography.
Once you’ve both built up an appetite, take a trip to Gaby’s Seafood Restaurant in neighboring Kerry. Warm up by the fire as you peruse a menu packed with exquisite Gaelic seafood dishes — including Gaby’s signature lobster in cognac and cream. Drift past the restaurant’s opulent wine cellar to find your table in the low-lit dining room, where you can reflect on the unbelievable time you’ve had in one of Ireland’s most enticing regions.
No matter how your time is spent in Killarney, the magnificent town — with so many remarkable things to do and see — is an ideal setting for any love story.