The Lakes of Killarney are a trio of magnificent lakes in County Kerry that are not only beautiful but part of Ireland’s rich and mysterious ancient history. Consisting of Lough Leane, Muckross Lake and Upper Lake, the lake district supports a rich ecology and is popular with vacationers as well as those interested in Irish history. The lakes are all part of Killarney National Park.
County Kerry is home to one of the oldest and most enduring Celtic cultures surviving in Europe. Because of the area’s history as druidic center, the lakes have a long cultural significance in the region. The mountains immediately surrounding the lakes are steeped in Celtic legends, and there are numerous very ancient burial sites in the area.
The Lakes of Killarney and the surrounding wetlands and mountains are home to a rich ecology, and is a popular haven for waterfowl at certain times of the year. Muckross Lake is said to be home to a massive water creature (local legen holds that it is a large eel or snake, but spottings are questionable). The surrounding mountains include Carrauntoohil, the highest mountain in Ireland, and Torc Mountain, where the mythical hero Fionn mac Cumhaill killed a magical boar.
The Lakes of Killarney are popular vacation destination and weekend getaway spot, especially during the summer. Hiking and fishing are popular activities, though boating is limited. Web: www.killarneynationalpark.ie (official website).