Kayaking In Killarney: Real Pics & Prices! [2024]

Kayaking in Killarney is one of the most amazing ways to experience the Lakes of Killarney and Killarney National Park.

The views of the lakes and surrounding landscape from the water are stunning. 

From Glendalough Lake in Wicklow to the Killarney Lakes Ireland is full of beautiful lakes to visit but the Lakes of Killarney are hard to beat!

Ger and I have been to Killarney a few times before so we’ve been around the lakes a lot but this was our first time out on the water. 

Side note – We began our passion for Kayaking in Malaysia! It bucketed it down with rain but we had such a hoot!

Kayaking in killarney

We still can’t believe that kayaking in Killarney isn’t at the top of everyone’s list of things to do in Killarney.

If you want to go kayaking in Killarney, here is all the information you need to know before hand. 

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Side Note: Here Are Some Amazing Tours You Can Do Around Killarney!

Kayaking in killarney

Wild N Happy Travel: Killarney Kayaking Tour

Wild N Happy Travel is an adventure travel company that offers guided tours throughout Ireland, Scotland and Morrocco!

Some of the tours they offer in Ireland include kayaking in Killarney National Park, Dingle and Ring of Kerry day tours and Galway and Connemara tours.

When Ger and I were looking for kayaking tours or guided canoe trips Killarney was the first place we thought of.

The Lakes in Killarney National Park are stunning and we’ve always wanted to go out on the water there.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a Killarney kayak rental, you’re out of luck.

You would need to buy your own kayak and gear and then go through the process of getting a permit to kayak in Killarney…. That sounds like a lot of effort, right?

Or you could do what we did and go on the most amazing kayaking tour in Killarney which provides a kayak and everything you need!

Ger and I chose this Killarney Kayaking Tour, which took us from Ross Castle, out into Lough Leane, onto Inishfallen Island and back to Ross Castle.

It was spectacular! 

Kayaking Killarney Lakes was the highlight of our trip to Kerry and we have some amazing pictures from the tour to show you!

Kayaking in killarney


Wild N Happy Travel offers three Kayaking Killarney Tours:

If you want to go kayaking in Killarney Lakes then the tours by Wild N Happy are the best choice for quality and value!

Killarney Kayaking Tour – Ross Castle
Duration2 hours
Killarney Kayaking Tour – Innisfallen Island
Duration2.5 hours
Discover Killarney – 2 Day Tour from Killarney
Duration2 days

Kayaking in killarney

What To Bring Kayaking In Killarney?

  • Pair of shoes/trainers that you don’t mind getting wet
  • Swimwear for under your wetsuit
  • Do not wear cotton clothing as this will hold more water and increase the chances of hypothermia. I like this quick dry shirt 
  • Change of clothes and shoes for after the activity
  • (Optional) Food and water (snacks and a small bottle of water)
Kayaking in killarney

Meet The Instructor

We met our instructor, Mick, at the Ross Castle lower car park at 12:45 for our session at 1 pm.

You have to arrive 15 minutes before your session, so you have enough time to get changed and get your gear ready.

Kayaking in killarney

Learn How To Kayak Properly

Mick had already set up our kayaks by the water beside Ross Castle so we were all set to head on to the water at 1 pm.

He explained how to get in and out of the kayak properly, how to hold the paddle correctly, and how to paddle and steer the kayak.

We also had to decide who would be the captain and sit at the back of our two-person kayak.

I nominated Ger because if he can drive on these crazy Irish country roads, he can definitely steer our little kayak! (I am also a bit lazy ha!)

Next, we had to put the theory into practice and try not to capsize!

Kayaking in killarney

Kayak To Inishfallen Island

Next thing we were on our way to Inishfallen Island

Mick told us some really interesting facts about the history and geology of the area as we paddled towards the Island. 

  • Millions of years ago, this area was all desert and that’s why the mountains have an orange/red colour. 
  • The Lakes of Killarney were carved out by a huge glacier.
  • Muckross Lake is the deepest lake in Ireland, reaching 75 metres in parts!

Guided Tour Around The Island

We arrived at Inishfallen Island and Mick gave us a tour around the island and the different buildings of the abbey.

Kayaking in killarney

Kayaking in killarney

Kayaking in killarney

He spoke about the architecture of the abbey, the different buildings, and the carvings in the stone.

Kayaking in killarney

Mick explained that most abbeys and churches have yew trees planted around them.

Kayaking in killarney

After we had explored the abbey, Mick brought us to meet the deer that live on the island!

Kayaking in killarney

The does can be seen grazing together as a herd while the young stags fight over them.

Kayaking in killarney

We were lucky enough to arrive during the rucking season and got to see the alpha stag of the island!

After seeing the deer it was time to get back out on the water. Mick explained more about the area as we paddled back to Ross Castle.

Kayaking in killarney

There are a number of little islands dotted among the Lakes of Killarney.

For example, Mouse Island is a little piece of land that deer take a break on as they swim between Inishfallen Island and the mainland. 

Crocodile Island is another tiny island that got its name due to the currents of the lake eroding its soft, porous limestone into jagged edges like crocs teeth!

Kayaking in killarney

We also got to see Library Point; some say it got its name because the stone looks a bit like books. 

Others say there is a library at the bottom of the lake… Ger and I decided to stay dry in our kayak so we can’t confirm which theory is true!

Kayaking in killarney

We also got an amazing view of Ross Castle from the water, something we hadn’t seen before!

Other Ways To Explore The Lakes Of Killarney:

If you don’t have your very own strong Irishman to do most of the paddling for you then here are some great options for exploring the lakes:

Kayaking in killarney

Killarney Lake Tours offers the chance to explore the Lakes of Killarney by hopping on this waterbus at Ross Castle!

Kayaking in killarney

Ross Castle Boat Tours is another option for going out on the lakes.

Kayaking in killarney

Or if you want to stay on dry land you can get a tour around the lakes in a jaunting car.

Kayaking in killarney

Other Kayaking In Killarney Tours:

Killarney Kayaking

This Kayaking in Killarney experience is provided by Ireland Wild Escapes (a.k.a Connemara Wild Escapes). 

Kayak The Killarney Lakes From Ross Castle
Duration2 hours
Tour Times1pm – 3pm / 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Kayak To Innisfallen Island
Duration2 hours
Tour Times1pm – 3pm / 3:30pm – 5:30pm

Kayaking in killarney

Irish Adventures

Kayaking Lakes of Killarney
Price€50 – €60
Duration3 hours
Tour Times9:30am – 12:30pm / 2pm – 5pm / sunset trip

Kayaking in killarney

Outdoors Ireland

Outdoors Ireland offers three kayaking in Killarney tours:

Kayak Trip (Lakes Of Killarney)
Duration3 hours
Tour Times10am – 1pm / 2pm – 5pm
Sunset Kayak Trip (Lakes Of Killarney)
Duration3 hours
Tour Times6pm – 9pm
Full Day Kayak Trip (Killarney National Park)
Duration6 hours
Tour Times10am – 4pm

Kayaking in killarney

Photo Credit: Viator

Kayaking Tours Outside Killarney:

Sea Kayaking Along The Clare Coastline

This is a kayaking tour that takes you along the Clare coastline. You get to experience Clare from a different perspective, explore sea caves and beaches and see an array of wildlife such as otters and sea birds.

Duration: 2.5 hours

Price: From €89

Kayaking in killarney

Photo Credit: Viator

Guided Sea Kayaking In Roundstone Bay

This is a kayaking tour in Roundstone Bay. A local guide takes you around the coastline with village and mountain views. This is an amazing way to experience the Wild Atlantic Way.

Duration: 2.5 hours

Price: From €89

Kayaking in killarney

Photo Credit: Viator

Kayaking And Canoeing In Limerick City

If you’re looking to go kayaking near Killarney, the River Shannon in Limerick is not too far away (about a 1-hour drive). 

This kayaking and canoeing tour takes you out onto the River Shannon and into Limerick City. On this guided tour you can learn about the history of Limerick and local wildlife. 

Duration: 2.5 hours

Price: From €40

Kayaking in killarney

Photo Credit: Viator

Connemara Coastal Kayaking

Enjoy a day out kayaking along the beautiful Connemara coastline. Your tour guide will teach you all about the geography and history of the area. This is an amazing way to explore the West of Ireland.

Duration: 2.5 hours

Price: From €65

Where To Stay In Killarney:

Luxury: The Europe Hotel and Resort

Description: The Europe Hotel and Resort is considered one of the fanciest hotels in Kerry. It has an amazing spa and brilliant restaurants.

Amenities: 3 swimming pools, 3 restaurants, spa, golf course nearby, free parking.

Local Attractions:

Price: €420 per night

Value: The Victoria Killarney

Description: The Victoria is a 4-star contemporary boutique hotel on Muckross Road in Killarney. The hotel’s location makes it a great base for exploring the beautiful Killarney National Park. 

Amenities: free parking, free WiFi, hot tub, bicycle rental, bar, restaurant.

Local Attractions:

Price: €150 per night

Kayaking in killarney

Glamping: Killarney Glamping At The Grove

Description: This Killarney Glamping site is located in Ballycasheen, just a 5-minute drive from the town centre. There are romantic suites, luxury lodges and Cabins to choose from.

We actually stayed in this beautiful Cabin when we went to Killarney. The glamping site is situated by the River Flesk but also close to the town!

Amenities: private bathroom, toiletries, kitchenette, double beds, heating, air-conditioning, BBQ facilities, free parking.

Local Attractions:

Price: €109 per night

Kayaking in killarney

More On Local Attractions:

Killarney National Park:

Visit the world-famous national park. You can go for a stroll around Muckross House and Gardens, hike up Torc Mountain or even kayak out to Inishfallen Island on Lough Leane.

Kayaking in killarney

The Ring Of Kerry:

Go for a drive along the scenic route that takes you from Killarney down through Kenmare and along the southwest coastline. The views on this route really are hard to beat.

The Dingle Peninsula:

Check out the Dingle Peninsula where you can eat delicious food in the fishing town of Dingle, drive around the Slea Head drive, or even hike up Mount Brandon. There is so much to do around the Dingle Peninsula.

FAQs On Kayaking In Killarney:

Can I Kayak In The Lakes Of Killarney?

You must obtain a permit in advance if you want to kayak in the Lakes of Killarney. You can obtain a permit from the Killarney National Park Ranger Base located on the N71, 200m before the Muckross House entrance. If you are joining a kayaking tour then it is not necessary to obtain a permit.

Can A Beginner Do Kayaking?

Yes, kayaking is a beginner-friendly sport. It is suitable for children, older adults, and people of all fitness levels. The best way to get started with kayaking to see if you like it is by doing a kayaking tour. You can use the kayaking gear and learn the basics from an instructor.

Can I Kayak On My Own?

It’s important to be conscious of the potential risks and dangers to paddling solo. Like any watersport, it can be dangerous at times. If you go kayaking with other people you can help each other if any problems arise. Nevertheless, if you are experienced and skilled enough then you could consider kayaking on your own.

What Is Kayaking?

If you’re wondering what is Kayaking? Kayaking is a watersport that involves sitting in a small watercraft and propelling yourself through the water with a double-sided paddle. There are different types of kayaks designed for different activities and locations. You can kayak in the sea, in lakes and even in rivers.

If you’re looking for something different in Killarney, a kayaking tour on the lakes is a great option.

 Ger and I were blown away by the views and loved hearing about the history of Killarney from our guide.

You get to explore the area and see the landscape from a different perspective. 

You get to see Ross Castle, Inishfallen Island, and the surrounding mountains while exploring the lakes.

The tour guides also provide so much information about the history and geology of Killarney.

If you want to find out more about what Killarney has to offer, then check out the posts below.

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